Breaking Boundaries

What are you going to do when it's your turn?
What are you going to do when it’s your turn?

Last week I appeared on BNN as a guest to talk about Victory Lap Retirement. You can see the interview here.

BNN was doing a piece on “Why Canadians Are Putting off Retirement – and The Challenges They Face” and it looks like our book Victory Lap Retirement struck quite a nerve. You can see a review of the book here and here.
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Financial Independence and Zen Awakening




I was recently asked to review a new book “Zen and the Art of Wealth” by Warren Mackenzie, which is a story of two friends who chat while one helps the other build his drystone wall. It’s a good book and reminded me of some important life lessons that I had forgotten over the years. The book also triggered some memories about how I was first exposed to the world of Zen. Continue reading “Financial Independence and Zen Awakening”

Prolonged Exposure To High Stress Will Mess You Up

Wall Street Banker
Wall Street Banker

I had to write this blog in response to what happened recently at Wells Fargo.

I’ve spent most of my working life, thirty eight years, in the financial services industry and was lucky to escape relatively largely free from long-term damage (I was damaged a little, but am recovering nicely).  I feel for the employees of Well Fargo who, in order to survive, in order to protect their jobs and their families, felt compelled to open over two million chequing and other accounts without their customers knowledge.


How did this ever happen?

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Don’t Ever, Ever, Ever, Quit On Yourself

Work or retire as a concept of a difficult decision time for working or retirement as a cross roads and road sign with arrows showing a fork in the road representing the concept of direction when facing a challenging life choice.

If you are reading this, it means that my website has been fixed and is up and running again. Sorry about that folks, but if you have been following along, you know this computer world is all new to me and I’m trying to get by as best I can.

I’ve been told that I need to build a social media platform for myself to help tell the world about Victory Lap Retirement (VLR), which means that I need to learn all about Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and God knows what else. I currently use an old computer that appears to have a life of it’s own and for some unknown reason decides to shut down and restart whenever it feels like it. My internet works the same way, sometimes it likes me and sometimes it doesn’t, but it all doesn’t matter because once I decide on a course of action I never ever, ever quit.

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Considering A Sale Leaseback On My Home

Real Estate and Cash concept on green blackboard

This idea came to me while away fishing and the more I think about it the more appealing it becomes. Sale leasebacks are common in the commercial property arena but I couldn’t recall seeing it discussed with respect to residential property. I googled “sale leaseback residential property” and was pleasantly surprised to find that some people are already doing it.

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Gone Fishing!

Gone Fishing Message.

Well it’s that time of year again when I leave town to do some fly fishing for Atlantic salmon on the mighty George River. It takes us two days to get there, but the trip is always worth the pain. It’s wonderful to be able get away from computers, the internet and the news which always seems to be bad these days. Everyone needs a break, a chance to recharge and the George River does that for me in spades!

Will be back in Toronto on Sept 8th.


Don’t Fall for The Great Retirement Con (Part 2)

Snake oil Salesman

Over the years, like many of you, I was lulled into believing that retirement was the natural conclusion of things, the final step so to speak. I bought into the deal that my role was to work for thirty plus years, pay off the mortgage and help the kids get through school and off to a good start in life. Once that was all done, and my major responsibilities were behind me, I would be allowed to retire. But retire to what?

Nobody really talked about that part of the deal and that was the part that I was really interested in. Something started to smell funny. Remember, I’m skeptical and so I started to dig deeper into this retirement thing. I was surprised when I finally came to discover that retirement is a relatively recent twentieth century phenomenon and that prior to the industrialization of this country, retirement didn’t exist at all!

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Don’t Fall For The Great Retirement Con (Part 1 of 2)

magic, performance, circus, gambling, casino, poker, show concept - magician in top hat showing trick with playing cardsI don’t like to admit it, but over the years and due to circumstances largely beyond my control, I have turned into a skeptic.

I wasn’t born a skeptic, but who here can really blame me for turning into one with all the crazy stuff going on in this world? Today people seem to say anything they want. They just make stuff up. If you want proof of this, just watch the current race for the presidency in the US. Enough said.

I discovered I was a skeptic one day while drinking bottled water.  You see I used to get clean drinking water at a number of places in my house. As a matter of fact, I could even get drinking water outside my house. I just had to pick up the hose and there it was, as much as I wanted and best of all, it was basically free. I think we can all agree
that when healthy things are free that’s a pretty rare and good thing, especially these days. Continue reading “Don’t Fall For The Great Retirement Con (Part 1 of 2)”

Friday July 29th Was a Big Day for Me!

Hands of caucasian businessman addicted to work bond and locked with iron chain handcuffed to computer laptop in workaholic, internet slave and addict conceptFriday July 29th will be a day that I will remember for the rest of my life. After thirty-eight years, I finally packed in my banking career. To be honest, it will take some getting used to as my banking job played an important role in my life.  It provided financial security for my family and gave me a good reason to get out of bed most mornings.  My career, like most careers, had its good and bad points. Overall though, it was a good ride and one that I will miss to some degree, but I had to leave in order to publish Victory Lap Retirement and create my blog.      Continue reading “Friday July 29th Was a Big Day for Me!”

Rediscovering Your Inner Child in Your Victory Lap Retirement

Baby on ComputerThe other day I was talking to a gentleman about how, in our Victory Laps, we have the opportunity to start living like a kid again. He thought that was a little weird, but I think I finally won him over by triggering some long forgotten memories in him.

Remember back to when you were a kid in school. Back then, we had no fears and anything seemed possible. We dreamt such big dreams like competing in the Olympics or becoming the president of a large company.

Life used to be such an adventure back when we were young but unfortunately over time we tend to bury our hopes and dreams, deep down inside us. We are driven to obtain financial security for our families and save up enough for eventual retirement but at some point we allow ourselves to be assimilated by our jobs and start following the crowd. We end up acting like everyone else, without knowing exactly where they are taking us, and live by rules drawn up by someone else. As a result, many people just sit back and watch their dreams slowly wither and die. They follow the same dull, boring daily routines, and feel overwhelmed by the pace of their lives, their jobs, debts owed and family obligations. When we allow our dreams to die our soul isn’t far behind.

Young people have little in the way of financial resources, but seem to have the ability to live where they want, travel where they want, and have no fear of doing what they want to do in life. We can learn (perhaps re-learn is a better word) a lot by watching and listening to our kids. The challenge we boomers face is to find a way to open our minds and take a new approach to life as our past experiences and old prejudices keep getting in the way. Don’t settle for just getting by and start looking at the world with fresh eyes. We all need to start living again just like when we were kids.

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