Retirement isn’t just about the numbers (have I saved enough, how much can I spend). It’s a new chapter in your life that can last 30 years or more. You need to consider what you’re retiring to, not just what you’re retiring from. That’s exactly what author Mike Drak explores in his latest book, Retirement Heaven or Hell.
Mr. Drak was a self-proclaimed workaholic, winning sales contests and focused on his decades-long career in banking. Then he got packaged out and forced into early retirement. Mr. Drak discusses how he was on the path to retirement hell – unhealthy, overweight, and missing the purpose that drove him throughout his entire career.
Retirement Heaven or Hell draws on the author’s previous book – Victory Lap Retirement – that he co-authored with Jonathan Chevreau. The Victory Lap is a re-birth of sorts. Rather than a full-stop retirement, it’s about finding a new purpose or passion to fuel the next stage of your life.
Mr. Drak found his Victory Lap in writing two books and a blog, plus holding retirement seminars to help new retirees unlock their own passion.
His new book identifies nine principles for designing your ideal post-career lifestyle:
- Nurture strong relationships
- Foster good health
- Achieve financial independence
- Reignite your sense of adventure
- Tap into your spirituality
- Find your tribes
- Make the most of your time
- Adopt the right attitude
- Discover your purpose
Throughout the book, Mr. Drak discusses retirement trends and research, shares his own experience transitioning from Retirement Hell, and offers some relevant lessons from the current pandemic.
The end of each chapter asks thoughtful questions for self-reflection, and readers will get the most out of this book if they play along and answer them.
My favourite part of the book was Chapter 17 – Retirement Lifestyle Design: Creating a Good Ending to Your Movie. This is where you really define who you are, what you want to do, and create meaningful goals for your retirement. The author emphasizes creating retirement goals, rather than retirement simply being “the goal”. Define your purpose.
There was one quote from the book that resonated with me:
“The three components of happiness are something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to.” – Gordon Livingston
Retirement can be challenging for those who haven’t given much thought to how they plan to spend the next chapter of their lives. Spouses aren’t on the same page. Career-driven individuals lose their sense of purpose. Prolonged leisure time gets boring.
We need a book like Retirement Heaven or Hell to highlight these challenges and force us to think about how we want to spend our retirement years. That could mean becoming a ‘Retirement Rebel’ who plans to travel the world, climb mountains, run marathons, start a business, and never stop working. But it could also mean a more relaxing retirement surrounded by friends and family.
How do you plan to spend your retirement years? Are you and your partner on the same page? Leave a comment below for a chance to win a free copy of Retirement Heaven or Hell.
This Week’s Recap:
Check out this short interview I did on the Moolala podcast with host Bruce Sellery.
Last Friday I looked at your human capital versus your financial capital.
On Sunday I shared the beginner’s guide to RRSPs.
On Tuesday I reviewed the TurboTax Full Service Self-Employed software.
And on Thursday I featured Eirene Cremations, a new online funeral arrangement service.
A reminder to join our private Facebook group – Personal Finance Canada – where close to 1,000 members are having daily discussions about everything from saving, investing, and retirement planning. Get your burning questions answered by industry experts.
Promo of the Week:
CDIC is giving away $10,000 in prizes in this ‘Earn and Learn’ contest. My friend Barry Choi shared this with me and if you enter the code “BarryChoi” you’ll get an additional five entries.
This daily contest runs until March 22, 2021 and is offering 10 cash prizes ranging between $100 and $5,000 each.
Make sure to click ‘Login’ and then register an account before you start playing.
Our friends at Credit Card Genius shared the best credit card offers, sign-up bonuses, and deals for February.
Global News reporter Erica Alini says Canadians opened 2.3 million DIY investing accounts in 2020.
On CBC Go Public, a class-action lawsuit against TD Bank alleges employees were pressured to drive up profits by selling customers services and products that were unsuitable or unnecessary.
With the recent rise and adoption of Bitcoin, central bankers around the world (including the Bank of Canada) are pushing to develop their own digital currencies.
Do you really want to be a landlord? Larry Swedroe shares a host of reasons why investing in individual real estate might not be the best idea:
“When you purchase a property, you become a landlord, with all the attendant headaches of property ownership. This is not a trivial issue. The “cost” of the time you would spend renting out and managing the property should be factored into the net returns expected.”
For dividend investors, here’s how the dividend snowball works.
The Canadian financial advice industry is a mess. That’s why young investors are turning to Reddit.
Millionaire Teacher Andrew Hallam explains why you shouldn’t turn your back on diversification now.
Here’s Squawkfox Kerry Taylor and Andrew Hallam on why material things won’t make you happy:
I loved this post by Of Dollars and Data blogger Nick Magguilli, who shares his 10 biggest money mistakes.
Michael James questions the research around spending naturally declining as we age. He suggests this is not a natural tendency but something forced upon us by spending too much early on and having to adjust spending. I can see both sides of this argument. No one is an average. I’d personally rather plan for ever-increasing (inflation-adjusted) spending as I get older rather than assuming my spending will decline in my 80s and beyond.
Jason Heath shares a thoughtful post on financial planning in your 70s.
Romana King explains everything you need to know about refinancing a mortgage.
Finally, Wealthsimple CEO Michael Katchen suggests that regulations around discount brokerage platforms offering advice to investors should evolve in the wake of the recent GameStop (and meme stock) frenzy. I disagree.
Have a great weekend, everyone!