We’re in the midst of what many call a retirement crisis, with too many saving too little, too late. How do we turn this challenge into an opportunity to create financial security and personal fulfillment for millions of people? Co-hosted by retirement experts Don Ezra and Common Wealth, LIFE TWO offers in-depth, insightful conversations with the world’s best thinkers on the trends and ideas that are driving change in the retirement security field. The 10-part pilot series also features lessons from Don’s newly released book on how to plan and think about life after full-time work, helping to make this daunting topic more approachable and empowering for everyone.
What does it mean to retire in the 21st century? Pensions and a full-stop retirement are becoming things of the past, and global retirement systems are struggling to keep up with the changing trends. In this special double-interview episode, we speak to Chris Battaglia (VP/Group Publisher, Pensions & Investments) and Jeremy Cooper (Chairman, Retirement Income, Challenger Limited) about what needs to be fixed and which countries are doing retirement right. Even as individuals are increasingly left to manage their own financial future, later in the show we explain why retirement, or what we call Life Two, is potentially the peak time of life: the most enjoyable and the most rewarding.
00:00 | Opening
01:50 | Intro to Chris Battaglia: his background
04:50 | Global retirement challenges: longevity, what is retirement, investments, coverage
09:40 | Crisis? Successes and desirable improvements
20:10 | Why education hasn’t been successful
26:20 | Technology is helping to fill the gap
32:50 | The retirement transition, at the personal level
40:50 | Intro to Jeremy Cooper: the Cooper Review
47:40 | A tumultuous time in Australia
52:30 | “My super” as a simple (if imperfect) default
1:02:00 | Four criteria for evaluating change
1:08:00 | People continue to save in retirement
1:21:40 | Defaults for decumulation are manifestly more difficult
1:31:10 | Thoughts on personal retirement
1:35:40 | Don’s personal touch: Reframe retirement as Life Two, truly the best time of life
1:45:40 | End
Retirement, or what we call Life Two, is one of life’s biggest expenses, and with people working and living longer, traditional retirement planning is becoming more costly and complicated. Jonathan Clements (former personal finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal) of HumbleDollar draws on his experience and observations to tell us what goes into a good retirement plan, and later in the show, we break down an individual’s five financial stages and determine where you are in your retirement planning.
00:00 | Opening
01:30 | Intro to Jonathan Clements: his background
04:30 | The key to financial success is great savings habits
09:40 | Our whiny current self versus the needs of our future self
11:50 | Put retirement first
16:10 | The human side of money
23:40 | Investment and financial strategy in the next stage
26:10 | Visualize retirement, identify what matters to you
34:40 | Financial risks in retirement: don’t over-complicate things
43:00 | Paternalism helps retirement readiness
46:30 | Where the financial services industry can add value
52:10 | Personal feelings today
54:50 | Jonathan’s website and further reading
58:40 | Don’s personal touch: Three action steps for you to take, what to avoid, and mindsets to adopt
Just the thought of retirement planning can be daunting for many, so getting started is often the hardest step. Individuals not only have to overcome financial issues, but also psychological barriers. David John (Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, AARP Public Policy Institute) describes the challenges people face and the approaches for a successful retirement. Later in the show, we take you through the first stage of retirement planning, identifying the minimum, successful and exceptional standards.
00:00 | Opening
01:30 | Intro to David John: his background
04:00 | What hinders people from starting?
08:40 | Automatic and behavioral finance solutions
13:30 | Specific examples: Oregon and California
18:20 | Saving for emergencies
22:20 | People on lower and moderate incomes
29:00 | Personal stories!
32:50 | Motivation to take action
39:40 | Learn from other countries
43:30 | You don’t need numerous savings accounts for different purposes
47:40 | Trust (but verify)
53:10 | Where to find David’s work
56:10 | Don’s personal touch: the minimum standard, success and the gold standard in the early years
1:05:50 | End
How much do I need to save for a comfortable retirement? It’s the million dollar question – maybe even a bit more. It depends on a number of factors, making it all the more overwhelming for individuals to tackle retirement saving. We speak to author Fred Vettese (former chief actuary at Morneau Shepell) who has researched and written about what people can do. And later on the show, we discuss getting serious and building your financial base for a good Life Two.
00:00 | Opening
01:30 | Intro to Fred Vettese: his background
04:30 | How much do you need to save for retirement?
07:50 | How do you know if you’re on track?
12:00 | The ant and the grasshopper
16:30 | Learn the basics about investment
19:20 | The balance between individual responsibility and paternalism
24:20 | Staying on track: calculators, misleading commentary
28:50 | Efficiency: how to get more bang for your savings buck
35:40 | Annuities and life expectancy
40:20 | Fred’s own experience of retirement
47:00 | Focus on the individual’s quality of life
58:20 | Don’s personal touch: Some of your current expenditures will stop before you retire; three phases of post-retirement spending; the minimum standard, success and the gold standard in this “get serious” stage
1:06:35 | End
It’s time to get in touch with our feelings because as we all know, money is deeply tied to our emotions. How does one psychologically prepare for retirement? One of the scariest aspects is how you find a sense of purpose in Life Two, how you’ll fill your time, and how you’ll coordinate activities with your partner. International best-selling author Ernie Zelinski (The Joy of Not Working and How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free) tells us how to make plans that transform your mindset from fear to eager anticipation. And later in the show, we get back to managing your finances as you approach Life Two.
00:00 | Opening
01:30 | Intro to Ernie Zelinski: his background
09:00 | Happiness and purpose in retirement: anecdotes
16:10 | Purpose, community, structure, friends
21:30 | A letter from one of Ernie’s readers
25:40 | The Get-a-Life Tree
32:50 | Common elements leading to happiness in retirement
38:50 | Creativity and freedom in retirement: there’s more to life than work
46:40 | Things you can do now
49:10 | There are two people in a marriage
51:40 | Ernie online
54:30 | Don’s personal touch: The Get-a-Life Tree; the minimum standard, success, and the gold standard in this “get set” stage
1:02:46 | End
People seek out life coaches when they’re trying to achieve more fulfillment or pursue a new career, so why not have a life coach to help with the challenging life transition of retirement? You don’t have to do it alone – setting goals and figuring out how to structure your life for greater satisfaction. We explore how Life Two coaching works and its benefits, both psychological and financial, with retirement coach Jon Glass of 64 PLUS. Later on the show, Don shares his own experience, with its unexpected emotions, and draws lessons so others can benefit.
00:00 | Opening
01:30 | Intro to Jon Glass via his tagline “Retirement: you won’t know what it is like until you get there”
03:30 | Busy is not always meaningful; relevance deprivation syndrome; stay-at-home syndrome; Monday morning-after syndrome
07:20 | How a life coach helps, and the types of people who can be helped
14:50 | Dedicate your energy to what gives you pleasure
17:30 | Most of these principles also apply to life before retirement
21:20 | Adjusting to being at home, in retirement
25:40 | Your emotional legacy
29:40 | Friends and relatives help you to avoid anxiety and loneliness
34:20 | Your true values in life — and the role for boredom in retired life
38:50 | Opportunities to give to society
43:50 | There are no “right” answers
49:30 | Don’s personal touch: Replanting your uprooted tree; even young people recognize the psychological transition; some good questions to ask yourself
57:39 | End
Save, save, save – that’s the retirement mantra. But then do you know how to draw down from your pot of money so that you can enjoy Life Two? Relatively little attention has been devoted to this logical conclusion, also known as decumulation. When you have no idea how long you’re going to live, how do you determine the sustainable rate at which to withdraw your money? We sit down with one of the world’s pioneers in this field, Moshe Milevsky (finance professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business), describing the sensible and the less than sensible practices he has encountered. Also, you don’t have to do this alone – later in the show, we discuss what to say with financial professionals and how to share your Life Two plans with those close to you.
This interview was recorded in the summer of 2019.
1:05:14 | End