There’s a growing body of evidence that suggests postponing retirement – even by just one year – can lead to a longer, healthier life. The reality is that we’re living longer and saving less. Something has to give. But another year or two spent pushing paper in a cubicle is probably not the holy retirement grail we’ve been searching for.

Related: Growing older in America – The Health and Retirement Study

Indeed, if you’re healthy and can afford to stop working, the idea is to find something else you’re passionate about and do that instead – whether it’s switching to a new career in an unrelated field, writing a book, starting a blog, or simply volunteering at your favourite charity. Call it your work-optional years.

Victory Lap Retirement

Authors Mike Drak and Jonathan Chevreau call it your Victory Lap Retirement. The authors argue that the idea of retirement has to change in the sense that going from 100 percent work mode to 100 percent leisure mode is boring and fraught with risk.

The fact is we might be retired, in the traditional sense, for thirty or forty years – as long, or maybe longer, than we spent during our working lives. That’s too long to spend in an armchair watching Seinfeld reruns.

How do we find purpose and meaning in this third stage of life? More importantly, for some, how do we finance it?

In Victory Lap Retirement, Drak and Chevreau describe a post-employment lifestyle designed with a unique blend of work and play that allows you to live life to the fullest, on your terms, while you’re young enough to enjoy it.

Financial Independence

The key to planning your victory lap retirement is to achieve financial independence, or findependence. First you must rid yourself of all consumer debt and commit to a life of frugality – spending less than you earn while saving at least 10 to 20 percent of your paycheque and investing it wisely.

Related: What’s your Findependence Day?

Next come marriage, mortgage, and kids – the formation of your family and housing. The authors say the findependence game only begins when you’ve paid off the mortgage.

At the same time you should be in wealth accumulation mode with preauthorized automatic savings. Once the mortgage is paid off then you can double-down on saving for your findependence. This stage could easily last thirty or more years.

The final stage is the encore act, or victory lap, when one decides to leave corporate life to pursue their innermost dreams and long-suppressed life goals.

“No longer do you wish to be a salaried implementer of someone else’s grand vision; now you want to be the star of your own show.”

At some point during your victory lap, even if your encore career is bringing in income, you’ll likely shift to the decumulation and downsizing stage. That means planning for how to draw down your portfolio with an eye toward longevity and aging.

Final thoughts

Drak and Chevreau argue convincingly that a traditional full-stop retirement doesn’t work anymore. But a retirement filled with purpose and meaning is going to have to entail some kind of work. Ideally it’s not the drudgery of the corporate office but work that brings you joy every day.

Not everyone can do what they love for a living, which is why I say, “do what you love on the side.”

Work can just be work. We all have to do it. But try and save as much as you can while you’re working so that eventually you’ll no longer rely on that corporate paycheque and can shift your energy towards doing something you love. The sooner you do that, the sooner you can plan your Victory Lap Retirement.

Time for a giveaway!

Jonathan Chevreau kindly offered me a copy of Victory Lap Retirement to read and review, plus an additional copy to give away to one lucky reader.

To enter your name for a chance to win a copy of Victory Lap Retirement, simply leave a comment below and let us know what retirement means to you. Is it early retirement you’re striving toward? Traditional full-stop retirement at 65? Or do you never plan to retire?

The contest closes on January 1st, 2017 has been extended to January 2nd at 5PM EST. I’ll announce a winner in the following week’s edition of weekend reading. Good luck!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

109 Comments

  1. Erin D on December 30, 2016 at 4:35 am

    I was forced into early retirement due to a diagnosis of MS at age 44 in 2004. Hubby just retired at 60 at the beginning of the month. Not 100% sure how his retirement will look so this would be a good read for us both. Happy New Year Robb and family.

    • Cathy on December 30, 2016 at 8:19 am

      In my late 50’s and wishing I had planned better!
      Planning for retirement should be taught in high school!!!
      Hoping to retire at 65, good thing I love my job…most days!
      Happy New Year!

    • Bale Belding on December 30, 2016 at 10:05 am

      Although I have not retired yet. Semi-retirement at 50 is coming soon. I don’t want to completely stop working, but definitely do no want to work full-time past then.

    • Barb M on January 1, 2017 at 7:59 pm

      Sure looks to be an interesting valuable book for me to read, on the cusp of retirement, but hoping to keep on strong with self-employment. HAPPY Healthy New Year to all!

  2. Duncan Harris on December 30, 2016 at 5:23 am

    This article, and many others like it, always use terms like “the drudgery of the corporate office”

    Believe it or not, there are some people who actually enjoy what they are doing in the job and career that they have, and unlike all the ads on TV, have no desire to become a potter, painter or open a microbrewery.

    Their challenge, in these days of corporate “right-sizing”, is keeping the job that they currently have

  3. Pauline Belliveau on December 30, 2016 at 5:58 am

    My husband of 66 is already retired and is putting preasure for me to retiree at 59, not knowing if my egg of investment will be enough i am in research of all documentation or readable material i can put my hands on, that is why I subscribed to your newsletter and would benefit from this book. Best regards

  4. EDK on December 30, 2016 at 6:01 am

    Planning to retire at 65 ( will be 63 in 2 months) but willing to work to 67; raising cash to support planning a couple of major trips over to Europe. spent 3 and a half weeks this summer there and had an unforgettable experience.
    Currently focused on downsizing from current home & getting my financial house in order – don’t have a company pension plan to fall back on, to support a leisurely retirement.
    Planning a second career (part-time work) which will allow me to be engaged outside the home and allow for time to explore N.A. and take up sporting activities for health and interactive opportunities with new friends. Lining up those book titles that have accumulated over the years for my reading list and spending time listening to the waves soaking up a few rays.
    Looking forward to growing tomatoes, playing tennis and watching my grandchildren grow up!

    Best wishes for 2017 Robb !!

  5. Jackie D on December 30, 2016 at 6:02 am

    Hoping to use real estate properties to transition to retirement from our current 9-5 jobs. We are looking forward to pursuing our interests without a cubicle!

  6. Wayne on December 30, 2016 at 6:14 am

    I thought I was ready to enter into a full stop retirement at age 58. It lasted a whole 3 weeks. Talk about a paradigm shift in life, well welcome to retirement. I quickly realized that sitting at home, without a meaningful purpose was not for me, especially when my spouse and friends carted off to work each day. This book sounds like an interesting read and I hope it helps me prepare for the inevitable journey of retirement.

  7. Carmen on December 30, 2016 at 6:14 am

    Retired from professional career by choice after reaching financial independence a few years earlier than planned. Dividend income pays for my annual utilities and vacations while a generous indexed pension pays more than 50% of my former salary. Best decision ever! Blessed with good health, I am enjoying time with great friends (old and new), keeping fit at the gym and with like-minded acquaintances through meetup groups and sports clubs (winter skiing, hiking, summer canoeing) and volunteering.

  8. Irene S. on December 30, 2016 at 6:16 am

    I have a defined benefit pension plan and am planning to retire as soon as I reach the maximum number of years needed for full benefits, which is 58 for me. I look forward to this book to help me plan my victory lap. Happy New Year!

  9. Jill on December 30, 2016 at 6:18 am

    Retirement is what I’m enjoying right now. I’m in Thailand enjoying my first trip to Asia after 30+ years teaching in Canada. Retirement is having more time to do all the things I have always done and perhaps a few new ones.

  10. Pat o'Malley on December 30, 2016 at 6:25 am

    I have been retired for three years, at age 58, and thankfully my investment returns plus my defined benefit pension have been enough to pay for my retirement. My total investment portfolio has not decreased. I golf lots and love it. Can get up in morning and not rush out the door. This is life.

  11. Michael Wong on December 30, 2016 at 6:35 am

    Thanks for all the hard work in putting together this blog in 2016.
    Every little thing that helps me retire financially independent make me happy.

    I look forward to reading your 2017 posts.

  12. Dave on December 30, 2016 at 6:36 am

    Retired at 60 last year and enjoying it so far. Just stroked something from my bucket list, wrote and passed class 1A driver exams.

  13. Michelle on December 30, 2016 at 6:42 am

    As I approach retirement from a teaching career, four years out, I am investigating new passions now. I am completing a Yoga Teacher Training program and am researching teaching English abroad options. The new career will be less about generating income and more about giving back and living a few dreams. In the meantime I am focusing on staying postive and healthy.

  14. Maria on December 30, 2016 at 7:01 am

    I plan to retire in a year’s time, but am concerned about what I will do in retirement. I have a bucket list of what I’d like to do – all items which I do now in a small way, but wish I had more time to do in a larger way. I am concerned though that these items may be ‘scalable”. I do want to try though because I am healthy now. Having lived frugally during my working years, money is not my major worry.

  15. Retired or Unemployed on December 30, 2016 at 7:06 am

    Retired or Unemployed? After 40+ years as an independent consultant for the feds I have no benefits or pension so am watching my spending and paying more careful attention to my net worth and investmensts for the first time after my contract as terminated without notice or severance back in June. Your advice is very helpful.
    On the other hand I am so busy with a small farm and backlogged projects that I have no idea how I ever worked full time. That said, I guess I’ll call myself retired as I have no desire to go back to the politics of consulting if I can manage my cashflow.

  16. Dan on December 30, 2016 at 7:08 am

    We are a couple of 52 year olds. We plan to retire at 56 or soon after with one maxed defined benefit pension plan and one partial, plus a decent chunk of RRSP/TFSA we have saved. Everything big is paid off and we have started to use our current holidays and do extra jobs around the house as if we have already retired. If we get bored, we have already said we will work part-time or volunteer more. As the sandwich generation we have parents and kids that we spend time with and could always spend more. Happy New Year Everyone!

  17. Happy Working on December 30, 2016 at 7:10 am

    I am 56 and my husband is 60. We are both in good health and beginning to plan the transition between full time to retirement for him at 65. Retirement for us will mean always working in some capacity as long as our health allows to fund the travelling and charitable giving we love. This book sounds great.

  18. Russ on December 30, 2016 at 7:16 am

    I’m 57, my wife is 55. In the new year I’m beginning a return to work following 2 1/2 years on disability, so I’ve tasted a kind of retirement over the last while. I was never bored. At this point, I think we are already “findependent” and would be able to quit our corporate jobs but: 1. we want to leave an estate for our children; 2. ongoing health benefits while employed are not insignificant given my ongoing need for expensive prescription drugs; 3. I am eligible for an unreduced DB pension at age 62. It’s hard to take that kind of money off the table.

  19. Pauline Adams on December 30, 2016 at 7:26 am

    With 2017 set to start on the year I turn 55, the question of when to retire becomes a reality for me instead of future thought. My husband has already taken that leap 2 years ago and during golf season is busy however winters here in Canada see him not always happy with options to occupy his time until I get home from work. I am a planner and finding the retirement word becoming something I want to plan to do something I want to feel excited about – paid is not so important as personal meaning for me is becoming my value as I form a plan. My next years will be my best years!

  20. Connie Verhaeghe on December 30, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Apparently I could retire now with no penalties. As a city employee for thirty years I have a good pension and I own 3 rental properties but I haven’t a clue about retirement. I’m active hence have never taken the time to assess my situation. I have a feeling this book will help me understand how I prepare for the Victory lap.

  21. nicole on December 30, 2016 at 7:33 am

    I am hoping for an early retirement – but really it is too early to tell yet. I would love to share this book with my parents who are planning to retire this year.

  22. Benjamin on December 30, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Retirement, for me, is definitely spending more time on doing what I love and having the findependence of not worrying about money. I am still in the middle of my working years and still in the accumulation phase.

  23. Kim on December 30, 2016 at 7:39 am

    I’m hoping to retire early – the plan is to retire around 45. If I can find a way to retire early, that would be great. I’d like to be able to focus on projects I love and care about once I leave the workforce.

  24. dexter on December 30, 2016 at 7:47 am

    retirement is being able to do anything without worries.

  25. Diane on December 30, 2016 at 8:01 am

    I never plan to retire. Perhaps won’t be working for my current employer beyond 65 but I will be doing something after I pack it in at the corporate office. Continuing to work will be less due to financial need, more due to social and psychological wellbeing.

  26. steve nolan on December 30, 2016 at 8:07 am

    I retired 2 years ago from a job that required me to be on call, carry a cell and a laptop at all times, and fix people’s problems. I now have a part time job that lets me know what it feels like to actually enjoy your work. My biggest work stress is now…blueberry or raisin bran muffin at Tims

  27. Pat Collyer on December 30, 2016 at 8:14 am

    I have a copy of Jonathan’s Findependence Day which contained a lot of helpful advice so would love a copy of Victory Lap Retirement to add to my bookshelves.

  28. fbgcai on December 30, 2016 at 8:17 am

    We both retired early – best decision ever – we can now both persue our interests with constraint, particularly the time constraint – every day is a Saturday or Sunday or a holiday (take your pick) 🙂

  29. Mike T on December 30, 2016 at 8:18 am

    I am planing to retire at 60 in 3 years and any money made during the victory lap is icing on the cake

  30. Debby on December 30, 2016 at 8:19 am

    The idea of retirement as the third stage of life really resonates with me. I am in my early fifties and am planning for retirement in 4-5 years. I am fortunate to have a decent pension and a lifestyle that is not based around spending money but being active and fit, and having fun. I would like to pursue a second part time career that involves helping people in some capacity, while leaving me a good amount of time for myself. I am actively brainstorming and researching how to set myself up to accomplish this. The book looks very interesting. I would love to read it to see what I could take away and apply.

  31. Lynne on December 30, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Working towards early retirement. Findependance sounds wonderful – less stress and more freedom. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  32. Dave on December 30, 2016 at 8:20 am

    57 and getting close to victory lap. Have no idea what I’m going to do in retirement when I get there, which is something I often think about. More travel for sure, but what to do otherwise is a good question!

  33. Gary on December 30, 2016 at 8:22 am

    To me, retirement has meant that I don’t have to sit in traffic twice daily. I do miss my co-workers, but enjoy going to the gym every day and otherwise keep busy with volunteer work

  34. Tracey H on December 30, 2016 at 8:26 am

    I’m retired already but my husband is trying to figure out when to retire (we can afford it when he’s 60). He loves working, but sometimes the work itself is too stressful. I’m hoping he can figure out how to transition to something part-time so he can still be busy with work without too much stress or time.

  35. Steve on December 30, 2016 at 8:31 am

    I retired after working a full career at the age of 58. I had additional offers for other paid jobs but chose to focus on new avenues for retirement for two practical reasons; I could afford it as I had saved and created a large investment portfolio supplemented by an employer pension, and simply trading 60 hour weeks one place for the same someplace else solely for ego seemed a wasted opportunity.

    Life now is contributing to NFP organizations, traveling, and pursuing interests I once lacked the time to undertake. All I know with certainty is time is finite, health matters, money grants you choice in how to spend it, you should spend it on things that matter to you and hopefully improve your life and those of others, and there is seldom a “do over”.

  36. CE on December 30, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Retirement seems like a foreign concept to me … great in theory but even as each year brings me closer to that magic number I can’t imagine not working … and not needing that income.

    I see much written about planning for this time, which is great. But most of it is written for couples, and people who have working in stable environments. Like myself, my group of friends is largely people who have worked freelance in the creative sector (no corporate benefits, no EI when between jobs) and are single moms who have lived balancing debt while raising children alone. I don’t see a lot written in support of planning for retirement when one’s financial experience hasn’t had the kind of structure that one would like.

    As for a Victory Lap, and for time and resources to make choices … work that’s still fulfilling, more time to volunteer, finding ways to travel when finances may be limited … lots to look forward to!!

  37. Jan on December 30, 2016 at 8:38 am

    When I was in my 20’s my mother, who worked for the Ontario government, told me she did not want me working for the government. She told me to get a “real job”. Then years later she retired with full pension and health benefits. Now that I am in my late 50’s and nearing retirement, many of my friends the same age, who are government workers or teachers, are retiring with full pensions. Me? I have maxed out my RRSP’s every year but will not have a wonderful government pension and will work until about 65. I will also have to buy health benefits. So, I should never have listened to my mother.

  38. Frank on December 30, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Happy in Retirement
    Just reading the comments above reaffirms the unique nature of all human beings. We come to retirement after suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune (or not) which has its own bearing on how the last half of life will be lived. Perhaps we can call these choices.
    Regardless as Canadians we can be nothing but thankful for our standard of living and actually making it to retirement. Love your emails.

  39. Joe on December 30, 2016 at 9:00 am

    I plan to quit my day job by the time 50 rolls around, the same time that I’m eligible for a DB pension. I’ll stay longer in my govt job if I’m still having fun and find it fulfilling. I don’t see myself sitting at home though…I think it’d be fun to work in a local coffee shop p/t, making and enjoying great coffee and talking to neighbors and friends. I also plan to live abroad for a few months each year, everytime in a newer location. Lyon, France, and Bariloche, Argentina, plus somewhere in Tuscany or Northern Italy currently top my list to explore more in depth.

    My spouse was already forced to retire from her day job, but she has reinvented herself as a writer and editor…she’ll never stop doing this but will likely stop chasing lucrative work that may be less interesting and only focus on the projects that fulfill her interests and creative needs.

    Fantastic blog guys.

  40. K King on December 30, 2016 at 9:20 am

    I had planned to retire at age 62 and then my husband died. Just taking the time to reconsider my goals. Gratefully our mortgage was paid, however no company pension plans, so lots of careful planning needed.
    Victory Lap Retirement sounds like a great read.

  41. Heather on December 30, 2016 at 9:24 am

    At ages 59 and 60, having both come through divorces, my husband and I know we will have to work well past 65. Neither of us have company pensions so CPP and OAS will make up the major part of our retirement income. We are scrambling to learn as much as we can to ensure we save as much as possible over the next 5 years. We would be grateful to be the recipients of this book to use as a resource.
    Thanks so much for considering us.

  42. Martie on December 30, 2016 at 9:37 am

    My planned ‘retirement’ is coming up in April 2017. Yoohoo! I will be 55. I have been planning this event for over 35 years now! My second career will be doing part-time work in my field of passion. I am feeling very fortunate to be in this position, having made a few sacrifices along the way, I have the best of both worlds. Really enjoy your newsletter. Happy New Year to all.

  43. RedNuker on December 30, 2016 at 9:40 am

    I hope I win a copy of this book. It is badly needed. Husband forced into retirement this year at 61 years of age. It looks like I’ll be working the remainder of my life.

  44. ESI Money on December 30, 2016 at 9:41 am

    You need something to keep you busy no matter what age you retire.

    If you have interests, like to learn, are active, have friends, etc., then you can retire anytime and be ok. (I did it at 52 and it’s going very well so far.)

    If work is your life, including your social interactions and physical activity and you have no outside interests, you should probably work until the day you die. (Yes, I know people like this, some of whom are in my family.)

  45. Peter A on December 30, 2016 at 9:42 am

    I made my “Victory Retirement Lap” at the tender age of 49! Which corresponds exactly in the middle of the great recession of 2008-2009. Since then, I never regretted my decision, not for one second! Our couple is quite frugal by nature, and we don’t like to spend for nothing, though we enjoy life’s little secrets: a quiet walk at a nearby provincial park, a good reading while listening to soft music, drawing & painting, and give back to life because it has been generous with us, and above all, we try to give unconditional love to all living creatures, be they human, animal or carrying leaves!

  46. Lyn on December 30, 2016 at 10:06 am

    I’m 66 and slowly cutting down my workload, hoping to be retired by age 70. My husband last worked at age 61, due to disability. Both of us spent our lives self-employed, never made much money and will have a minimal retirement income: OAS, CPP, possibly GIS. I have a bucket list of things to do during retirement (skills to learn, volunteer activities), but will not have funds for ‘extras’ like travel. We live frugally, but happily.

  47. Mike Wilson on December 30, 2016 at 10:12 am

    I’m 59 findependent & have been jumping back & forward between retirement & employment over the last 5 years.
    Findependent to me means being having time & choices.
    As for full retirement I’m still trying to figure it out so welcome any help I can get from reading Victory Lap Retirement.
    Great blog Robb, have been reading & getting good ideas from you for years.

  48. Mike on December 30, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Retirement means changing the tires and driving on, possibly at a slower speed and with less frequency, but definitely with commitment to tasks that provide meaning, and likely some income

  49. G Page on December 30, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Hi all
    I think retirement planning and retirement itself is a work in progress. Life changes and I think to be adaptable both financially and ‘work/recreation time wise’ should be goals.
    Happy 2017!

  50. lrcumming787@gmail.com on December 30, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Contemplating retirement. Not sure if I’m ready. Studying up the options. Learning lots from blogs such as yours. Thanks!

  51. Steve on December 30, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Shamefully, I spent my working life thinking only about myself and my family. In retirement I’ve learned that life is really all about what we do for others. I wish I’d learned this lesson in my 20’s. Thankfully, it’s never too late to change.

  52. Coke on December 30, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Retirement for me and my wife means doing something less intense for a career. Reduce the stress load and work less hours at something that is full-filling. 46 now and I hope to slow in it down at 55 and again at 62. Will plan to enjoy hiking all over the world with out needing to work after 62. Will work only if I want to and not because I have to.

    All the best to all in 2017!

  53. Nicole on December 30, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Ideally retirement for me would have a mix of some part time work that I enjoy – with flexible hours combined with some volunteer work and time for leisure also. That said, it looks more like the ‘pipe-dream retirement plan’ where I just dream about it…

  54. Jim O'Marra on December 30, 2016 at 11:46 am

    I’m 57 and my wife is 55. We seem to be the exception on this blog because we own our own business, and have for the past 25 years. We had a huge personal loss this year with the death of our oldest child at 25, which came completely out of nowhere. It’s clearly changed our perspective on life, and we’re now going through the process of selling the business and moving into the realm of retirement. We have sufficient funds to live a comfortable lifestyle, that will definitely include travel, golf, plus a strong commitment to volunteer work in our community. This is a major transition in our life, and the challenge to create purpose is the most important piece.

  55. Malcolm Palmer on December 30, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Excellent advice, been retired 7+ years, do financial advice, insurance, investments on the side, volunteer, keep busy.

  56. Kim on December 30, 2016 at 11:54 am

    I retired at 64 with a defined pension and am enjoying travel, family and gardening. Haven’t been bored yet, so all is good.

  57. John on December 30, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Happy New Year Rob and Marie, great blog, keep it going.
    I am planning on retiring when the mine shuts down in a year or two.
    Looking forward to not having to do things on a schedule. However, having said that, it is clear I will have to do something. Not sure what yet though.

  58. Joy on December 30, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    At 46 and a having raised my 17 year old on my own to this point I am yearning for retirement! Hoping to get him through University, hang in and hope to have enough to retire at 59 with my pension plan. I need some strategic advice!

  59. Andy Gregory on December 30, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    At 51 our kids away and with the mortgage gone in 2, years time, we will soon be financially independent for all our basic needs, however I am not planning to retire till I’m 57 to ensure I have the budget to support the travel we want to do for several years till state pensions kick in.

    I do love the idea of just stopping, when the only email is from friends saying tee off at 10, beer at 3, and you plan your day, not some one else, but know that after a while I’ll miss the social side of working, so plan to look for 1 or 2 short term contacts a year as I actually enjoy what I do, but want the freedom to plan to take off for a more than a couple of weeks at time.

  60. George on December 30, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Retirement to me means having the time to do the things that I love and cherish, as well as having the time to improve skills that I started while working, such as improving my piano playing.

  61. Brian on December 30, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Early retirement has been my goal for a long time now but, in that time, I’ve had to redefine what retirement looks like. After seeing too many of my peers and mentors struggle with full stop retirement, I realized retirement is about sand beaches and R and R. It’s about stopping working at something because you have to and starting working at something because you want to. I’m fortunate to now work at a 9 to 5 that I enjoy so, once I have the option of retirement, I might just carry on in the same job.

  62. Pierre on December 30, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    My plan is work full time for on more year which will bring me to 64, and then if possible work 3 days per week for another 2-3 years before full time retirement. Victory Lap would help define that particular process. Really like your Blogs.

  63. Don Scott on December 30, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    I am amazed at the large number of commenters that want to retire early as they don’t like their jobs. Our society is failing people who feel they must stick with a job instead of having the gumption to change jobs to something that interests them during their working life. I am 88 and was forced to retire at 65 from my University professorship by University policy at that time. I had changed careers several times and had been at the University only 13 years so my defined benefit pension plan is only $ 1500 per month. As a depression (the big one) child I was taught to save my money which I did all my life so am financially secure now. For the past 23 years I have been a Professor Emeritus and have stayed active as an unpaid volunteer at the University helping to supervise graduate students in interesting research projects. I have been fortunate that the University has allowed me to hang around in this role. The message is clear, do not retire early but find a career that interests you and keep doing it whether you get paid or not. Good for the brain as well as for contentment.

    • Loving Life on December 31, 2016 at 9:19 am

      I love your post! Congratulations on doing what you love 🙂

  64. Andrew on December 30, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I am aiming for Financial Independence at an earlier age <55 – meaning I could theoretically quit or retire and never again have to work a day in my life. I think that option will be enough for me now, would likely still do part time work or gigs. I believe I need to reach that FI point (or at least be a lot closer to it) prior to deciding on what my retirement looks like.

  65. J Sullivan on December 30, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    I am 68. I retired a year ago today, then came back 11 days later to the same job but through my own company. I was able to do this by working diligently to be completely debt free. I am also in a career that is my dream come true. I love the process more than the proceeds. So I am in my victory lap and my next decision will be how many times to carry the flag around the track. I need to do some real planning around finding the things that will give me the same challenge and enjoyment I am lucky enough to have today. That is my quest.

  66. Jenny on December 30, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    I am in my 40’s. My husband has been retired for about 10 years. I like my job but it takes a lot out of me, and I would like to explore a victory lap career

  67. Scott N on December 30, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Retired from the bank after 38 years but continued as a mortgage broker until looking at fully retiring closer to my wife’s date. She is looking at retiring in Feb/18 from nursing but also will look to casual for a few more years.

  68. Ginette H on December 30, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Happy New Year Robb, Marie and everyone who enjoys reading their blogs. My husband and I have reached Findependence and are counting down to an early retirement. Whilst I seem more relaxed moving into retirement with a ‘take every day as it comes’ mindset, my husband is looking for more purpose, wondering about what legacy he can leave. It sounds like this book is well suited to help guide my husband’s thinking and provide tangible advice on how to define and achieve what he is looking for. To everyone, all of the best for a prosperous, healthy and happy 2017!

  69. Lindsay on December 30, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    This book really peaks my interest. At 32, I realize I am too young to retire, but I am old enough to know that traditional retirement does not appeal to me. Going from 100% to no work is surely too big of a transition. It also seems that there is a large risk associated with such delayed gratification (i.e. Will you live long enough and be healthy enough to enjoy the fruits of your life’s labour?). I have been playing with the idea of taking a year off every 5 to 7 years and tacking the working time on to the end of my working career. That too poses risks, such as not being able to make up the years of lost productivity due to a heath crisis, the economy, job loss, etc. Perhaps the Victory Lap will give me another option I have not considered.

  70. Ian on December 30, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Just would like the book for some interesting reading, and perhaps action in 2017.

  71. E. Williamson on December 30, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    66 year old widow. Retired this year after a profound hearing loss and a cochlear implant. I love not watching the clock and having the freedom to do my day as I wish. I am lower income and find that I do not need all the things I thought I would. I am able to pay more attention to my art, I am a member of a cooperative art gallery, participate in festivals and shows, have my art hanging in 2 places in my city and looking for more venues where I can sell my work. I volunteer and as I do not have the money to travel I hope to accomplish this by providing my services for house and pet sitting world wide. I wish I had done this sooner.

  72. Garth on December 30, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Just starting retirement at age 60. No plans to go back to work yet. Spending lots of time reading, browsing the web, taking online course, etc.

  73. Ginette Ritchie on December 30, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I retired 2 years ago at 65. I had been working part-time (3-3 1 /2 days a week) for 5 years before retirement. My husband retired from his full-time employment at 65 and then was offered employment part-time until he turned 70. As of September 2016, we found ourselves both retired and enjoying our grandson and our new found freedom. We were able to pay off any debt including a small mortgage, we took when we downsized to a beautiful large condo almost 8 years ago. Now our challenge is to make sure to stay within a budget and not overspend in the years ahead. We have a full define benefit pension + a second 50% define benefit pension We have to find better investment within our RRSP and TFSA in order to not lose out to inflation. As the partner with the lowest define benefit pension when my partner passes away I will be left with half his define benefit pension and will lose his QPP and OAS. That lower income will be a challenge. This book would be of great help to us. We enjoy your articles a lot. Happy 2017!

  74. Mike on December 30, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Just paid off my mortgage. Got 18 yrs left doing something I love…. looking for the next milestone… and some advice.

  75. Byron on December 30, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Semi retirement for me at age 58 BUT 3 part time jobs. I love all of them and they are flexible enough that we can still travel. Just got back for India (10 days) and Nepal (10 days). Life is great!

  76. Keith on December 30, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Retirement to me is the phase when you have the OPTION to work or not, regardless of what you choose. I suppose it is similar to Findependence. At 29, my goal is to stash as much cash as possible, so that if I’m feeling tired of my work/industry at some stage, that I have the financial flexibility to make a change without the pressure of limited cash. I would love a copy of the book to read, and then donate to my local library!

  77. Bryan on December 30, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    My retirement plan ‘was’ to watch Seinfeld reruns on continuous loops. But that has been shot down 🙁
    Honestly though, to me retirement has always been the thought of getting out earlier rather than later, and continue doing things you love! Would love to see the reasoning behind staying longer though. Happy belated Festivus!!

  78. Tom on December 30, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    I retired two years ago at age 62 after 36 years working for the same company
    With my pension and investments we can live comfortably
    I now find that I am more busy now as I volunteered for a few things then people asked me to more and more and now I have to refuse requests for help
    Plus helping my 94 year plod mother and the grandkids my life is so full I do not have time for tv

  79. Cedrick on December 30, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    I’m not ready yet to decide which kind of retirent I will have as I’m still young. But I’m making my plans to be financialy independant by saving at least 10% of my salary outside my DBP.

  80. Alan on December 30, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    I retired 11 years ago at age 60 from my law firm and have not regretted it for a second. Since then I have had a couple of part time law-related board appointments, which have been great in easing me into retirement. My wife and I have always been frugal so we are able to do what we love, which is travelling. With a son in New York and one in Stockholm, that gives us a couple of great jumping off points. My advice would be to start saving and investing early. It will pay off in spades when you decide you’d rather be doing something else than working at your same old, same old job.

  81. Michael Caligiuri on December 30, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    I plan on retiring sometime in 2017. The first year will probably involve doing things of leisure and other non-work things. Then maybe re-enter the work force on a part-time basis the following year for maybe 3-6 years. Then who knows. I guess it depends on my health then.

  82. Jesse on December 30, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Some interesting points, I think there are some ideas that are worth a second look here!

  83. M on December 31, 2016 at 12:31 am

    I’ve always thought I’d be working until 65 or 67, as I would love to have a few extra years to save for retirement. With the departure of my boss, however, I’ve had to face all the characters he faced on a daily basis. I can see why he wanted to retire at 65 and not a day later. The job is fine, but the people are a bit much. Perhaps I’ll have to come up with a different plan as that day approaches as he did.

  84. B. Gray on December 31, 2016 at 7:58 am

    This is what I have been thinking about and planning on, the next stage. I see it with my father continuing to work with projects. Continuing to keep some plates spinning while enjoying more of what we dream of.

  85. TC on December 31, 2016 at 8:33 am

    To me “retirement” is just financial independence – aka: when work becomes optional.

  86. Carrie on December 31, 2016 at 8:51 am

    My plan is to retire at 55 when I am eligible to start collecting my defined benefit pension plan. We are also saving RRSPs and TFSAs in addition to my pension.
    Retirement to me does not mean not working at all. It means freedom. It means I will be financially secure and able to work as much or as little as I want. Our plan is to still do casual work but leave ourselves lots of time for travel.

  87. BobJ on December 31, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    My wife and I are 61 and had our own business for 25 years. We sold the business but contract back part of the work that we personally had been doing for the company. We are debt free and live a fairly simple life. When I started looking towards retirement a dozen years ago I decided to study the stock market as a way to partially fund retirement, plus give me a focus when retired. We are cutting back on the company work we are doing as each year goes by, and I’m looking at fully retiring in a couple years (my wife would like to continue longer). Our children and grandchildren live close by and our greatest joy is being able to help them with looking after the grandkids while they work. We’ve made enough that we can afford to take the family on trips. We have also determined that for us, spending the winters in Arizona, is NOT how we want to spend retirement. I have a number of friends that retired, but it did not work for them, and they are spending more hours/week working now, than before so-called retiring.

  88. ffsquared on December 31, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Retired at age 60. I qualified for a defined benefit pension plan benefit (70% of average best 5 years of annual salary income). Both of my parents died young (61yrs old and 72) so I decided to retire early. I am enjoying traveling to see our children (both live in USA), paying it forward through volunteerism; summers at the cottage and staying health through regular exercise and training.

  89. HR on December 31, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Currently deciding when to retire. It will depend on my savings.I do plan to keep working at something else when i retire.

  90. Robert on December 31, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    For me, retirement only refers to withdrawing from my career to pursue other learning and activities I have not explored.
    It started 3 years ago and I have new skills now.

  91. B Don on December 31, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Targeting FI by 45.
    Hope to do contract work throughout the year after that. I love to work, also love to travel and play sports and enjoy ‘outdoor activities’. Goal after FI is to find a balance where I can grow (or at least contribute) professionally while carving out 2-4 months of leisure. If this can be achieved I may never fully retire.

  92. Rorry on December 31, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    The company I worked for offered a Voluntary Severance Package that paid me 35 weeks. I am now deciding what to be when I grow up (I am only 61). Consulting appeals to me in an area I worked in which I love, as does a change to hands on work like home or auto restorations. I may use that to transition to a paid hobby.

  93. Claire on December 31, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    I retired about 10 years ago … every day is a vacation, and just like you have to plan your days when you are on vacation, you have to plan your days in retirement. Helping others always gives a rewarding feeling afterwards. This can be helping friends and family, not just volunteering to help strangers.

  94. papabear192 on January 1, 2017 at 7:41 am

    I am one of those that is still trying to get my head around retirement. At 57 we are in a position where we could retire if we wanted but I am still not ready and I would like to build up our funds more. After the company I worked for last year folded I was fortunate enough to pick up a 1 year contract right away. This will end mid this year and I need to determine what I will do. I am thinking of taking the summer off before looking for something new. Good luck to everyone this year as you work your plan!

  95. Lori on January 1, 2017 at 8:50 am

    I am 55 and wanting to retire. I have an ok pension and savings but I have so many questions / concerns regarding money and all that free time. Any and all info would be extremely helpful.

  96. Charles Kaplan on January 1, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Happy (and healthy) New Year. I trust the book includes the importance of “social capital” and the need to plan for the unplanned……(generations above & below), and the pleasure of being able to say “no” when that is what you really want, and choose your use of time

  97. Silverfox on January 1, 2017 at 9:54 am

    I’m a big believer in planning for retirement. But, don’t forget to take care of your health. See your Doctor for regular checkups so there are no surprises when you get near retirement. If not, you may have a very short one or none at all. Unfortunately, my late father never received a pension cheque as he passed away at the age of 55. Way too young. Take an active role in your health.

  98. Paul Hawes on January 1, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Age 53 ,Plan to work as long as possible with some adjustments along the way. Would love to read this book and then send it to someone else who replied here.

    Thanks and keep up the good work, oh yes Happy New Year !

  99. Grace Fika on January 1, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Retired 2 years ago on a defined benefit plan pension. Hubby is still working but we hope to have him retire at 55 as well. Have done some consulting work and some volunteer roles found me as well. Can’t believe I ever worked and got everything at home done! More travelling in our future…can’t wait!

  100. Dave B on January 1, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Last fall, I turned 65, but have no immediate plans to retire. We operate a cattle ranch and that keeps us pretty active and we get many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. At any age it is always a challenge to have balance in your life. We have a large family with many grandkids and even two great grandkids. Getting together for family meals is important and helps us keep tabs on what is happening in everyone’s life. For many years we have done a family canoe trip in northern Saskatchewan and that has given us quality time together. Christian faith, involvement with a local church, and supporting each family member are the priorities that keep us motivated.

  101. Leonard on January 2, 2017 at 6:45 am

    At this point in time I do not see the horizon to retirement. I was a late starter to saving in RRSP’s and Mutual Funds. Unless I can save more, there no time line to retire. Twenty five years on this job has taking a toll on my body. Thanks for a good read. Happy New Year

  102. Adam R on January 2, 2017 at 10:53 am

    I Plan for an early retirement full of travel and volunteering my time to worthy causes.

  103. Kevin P on January 2, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    If retirement means never working again then I hope I never retire. I do hope that by age 65 or 70 I will have found the work that I love and be working for myself. I don’t plan on working the hours that I do now but I still plan on working.

  104. Jerry B. on January 3, 2017 at 3:40 am

    One way to prepare for retirement is to save. Another way: Don’t retire.
    The majority of people who work for someone else after a long career spanning 35-40 years and continue to work claiming they love their job are either lying, broke or both! And then there a few who would rather be at work than spend 24/7 with their spouse if he/she is already retired. And fewer yet truly believe the company won’t be able to survive without them even if they were in a positin to retire. Trust me after you are gone, other than a few close colleagues, the rest won’t even remember your name after a few short months.
    Smell the coffee and retire as soon as you are financially independent. Find things to do on your own terms, report to yourself and happiness will find you.
    I packed it in after 40 years and couldn’t be happier! I highly recommend it!!

  105. Chantal on January 4, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Just turn 50 this year and took time to reflect on my life including retirement . Although I love my work and am still very healthy , I often ask myself “what if”. Retirement is a very unknown territory for me but it is starting to cross my mind. More tools you have , better prepared you can be. Chantal R

Leave a Comment