My Personal Message
I decided to create this site for a couple of reasons. One of them was so that I could finally justify stopping work on Victory Lap Retirement which I co-authored with Jonathan Chevreau and finally get it published. There is no doubt that more effort would have added some needed polish but at some point you need to draw a line and say to yourself that it’s time to move on. The challenge was that we were discovering new things in Victory lap every day and it was turning into a never ending project. I think it best for people to view the book as a starting point, the foundation if you will and the plan going forward is to use this site to post new discoveries and also give us the ability to share experiences and opinions with one another.
Time for A Change In Thinking
The journey that I am now on started about five years ago: the day I woke up and realized I didn’t want to do my corporate job anymore. The last few years the job was starting to have a negative effect both on my health and on my personal well-being. The stress of performing at a high level year in and year out was getting to me and I was reminded of this every morning, when I took my blood pressure medication.
For a long time I hadn’t been taking proper care of myself. I wasn’t in a good spot mentally or physically and was out of balance. I had been so caught up in the competitions, titles, and salary increases along the way in my career that I had lost track of who I was in the process. I had bought into the idea that material success would eventually bring me happiness, but believe me on this, it doesn’t! I really didn’t know what would make me happy, I just knew that I didn’t like how I felt anymore. I used to laugh a lot more and I didn’t understand why that had stopped. I yearned to get rid of that nagging feeling and the sense that something needed to change.
But what was I going to do? Was retiring my only alternative? And if I did retire, to what would I be retiring? I had no idea, but I knew in my heart that a full-stop retirement just wasn’t in the cards for me: I get bored easily and the thought of possibly spending more years in retirement, with nothing to do, than I had spent in my working life scared me a little—no, make that a lot. I didn’t want my story to be, “He went to school, married, worked for a company for thirty five-plus years while raising a family, then retired.” I had worked and sacrificed too much over the years to have it all end abruptly like that. My corporate job had served its purpose, but I wasn’t done yet and I knew my best days were still ahead. I wanted more—much more—out of life.
Understand This: Retirement Is Not A Natural Act
It’s important to understand that the concept of retirement was created during the industrialization of this country to help factory owners get rid of older workers so they could be replaced by a younger cheaper more efficient model. We were conned into believing that retirement was a right, our reward for taking orders and performing well for thirty-five plus years. Those that made it to the finish line were celebrated as winners, and their prize was a watch with the company logo and a nice letter from the president. We were conditioned to believe that retirement was the natural order of things and it made sense as everyone else was doing it. This retirement thing was great for the employers but was it good for the employees?
Retirement takes away our purpose and reduces us to feeling unsatisfactory and inadequate. It takes away from our self-esteem as everyone needs to feel that they contribute, that they matter and to know that what they are doing is important.
Victory Lap Retirement: The Better Alternative
We know from numerous longevity studies that lifestyle choices are the key to a healthy and active old age and that a full stop retirement is not the best way to go for most of us.
The goal in Victory Lap is to transition from a high stress environment to a low stress sustainable lifestyle in order to enjoy a healthier, happier, better life. We set a new course for ourselves and create a new life in alignment with the person we really are. We become authentic again. We intentionally slow down the pace of our lives and once again focus on the things that are really important to us. I’m not going to pretend that it is easy because it isn’t. Old habits are hard to change. It’s far easier to buy something new and feel good about yourself for a short period of time than it is to change yourself but if you really work at it you will eventually remember what life is all about and start feeling whole and complete again. It’s taken a long time but you will be in control again and will know what to do with the rest of your life.
Where Do We Go From Here?
This site along with the book is my own personal way of giving back, serving the common good and contributing to something that I think is very important today. The current North American lifestyle is killing our souls and we need to make lifestyle adjustments and change our way of thinking before it is too late.
It’s sad to admit that I’ve spent a significant part of my life living in fear but I don’t plan on living like that anymore and neither should you! My new Victory lap lifestyle delivers to me my health as well as sufficient play money to allow me to create an interesting and exciting life for me and my family. It’s all about adopting a new attitude. Life is good again and over the years I plan to convince a lot of boomers to do the same as me.
I also intend to spend time teaching my kids, the millennials about the importance of adopting a frugal lifestyle and the power of financial independence. Hopefully they will benefit from the mistakes that I’ve made over the years as well as my successes.