Getting Your Confidence Back

I rarely get this question when I give my Victory Lap presentations, but I know it is top of mind for many in the audience and I suspect for many of you reading. I know many of the people I speak with did not really want to stop working. Many have worked at the same career for years and now they are scared/uncertain about the future. The question they want to ask, which I will ask for them is: “Am I good enough to get hired again?”

 

Continue reading “Getting Your Confidence Back”

Every Picture Tells a Story

 

 

 

Another RRSP season is now behind us and I don’t know if it’s just me but this one seemed more low key than usual. Maybe Mr. Trump was hogging all the airwaves this time around?

What concerns me is that the advertisers continue to sell us a version of retirement that doesn’t reflect the current reality for many people. The images of the carefree happy couple sitting on a beach while sipping on a strawberry daiquiri, or the couple sailing on a yacht, smiling with the sun shining and the wind blowing through their hair.           Continue reading “Every Picture Tells a Story”

Why People Like Me Can’t Retire


Last Thursday I made a presentation on Victory Lap Retirement, followed by a Q & A session at the Toronto Public Library – York Woods branch. I love doing these presentations as it gives me an opportunity to present to my fellow boomers and find out what is going on out there in the real world.

After having talked to numerous boomers I’m convinced more than ever that the majority of us boomers really don’t want to retire, we just need a change, and some help figuring out what to do with the rest of our lives.

In this article I would like to share my thoughts on why some people feel the need for a significant change late in their careers and why traditional retirement is not the answer. I know these feelings because it happened to me.  Continue reading “Why People Like Me Can’t Retire”

In Pursuit Of Boomer Happiness

I was at my local Indigo bookstore this past weekend and look at who happened to stop by.

I’m really starting to believe in this karma thing as more and more chance encounters like this are happening to me since writing the book.

Through this chance meeting I had the chance to talk to Heather about Victory Lap Retirement and my concern that we had miscategorized the book by putting it into the personal finance/retirement section.  Heather was kind enough to share her thoughts and now I’m convinced that our book should be in the self improvement section.

Victory Lap Retirement is really not a book about retirement, in fact we make a strong case about the benefits of not retiring in the traditional sense.  It really is a book about lifestyle design with the goal of helping people create their own low stress healthy fulfilling lifestyle, one based on their own unique needs and wants. We know that through proper planning and intentional living, we can substantially improve the quality of our remaining years which is not a bad way to go out when you think about it.

Stress is the main risk in our eyes and prolonged exposure to stress can really mess a person up and in some cases actually kill them. I don’t know if it’s just me but I’m seeing more evidence of this each and every day, examples seems to be everywhere. Is it just me or are you seeing it as well?

We discussed the role of stress in a recent blog post called “The Big Dip”.

We have amended the original chart to now include a line representing a person’s level of happiness while travelling through the big dip. What stands out is that there is a strong negative correlation between stress and a person’s happiness. In simple terms, if your stress level is high chances are your happiness level will be low.  What is also interesting is that stress levels do not reduce as expected as a person ages.

This flies in the face of past research that talked about a happiness “U” curve where a person experienced increasing happiness until around age 30, with happiness dipping into their 30s and 40s and then climbing back up after reaching their fifties.

This theory used to work back when life was more predictable. When you could work for one company for most of your working life (like I did). When some of us had benefit of a defined pension plan. When your kids could get a good job and finally leave home. When you had a reasonable chance to save for a good retirement and when life expectancy rates were lower. But the world has changed and the U-curve theory no longer works and has been replaced by the Big Dip. This is the reason why you see so many books dealing with the subject of happiness at the front of your local bookstore. Think I’m kidding? Go have a look for yourself.

Today even as we age new stressors are around all the time. The top three stressors facing retirees are concerns over their health, the possibility of running out of money in retirement, and a lack of purpose or as we like to refer to it as ‘having a good reason to get out of bed in the morning.”

The good news is that we have found ways to successfully reduce stress levels and even more good news is that happiness will fill the vacuum stress leaves behind. You can’t chase happiness, happiness will find you but you need to make room for it.

So in summary the book is not a personal finance/retirement book at all. It is a self improvement book showing people how they can reduce the stress in their lives with the goal of creating a happy, healthy fulfilling lifestyle for themselves. Jonathan and I serve as the role models. We have made the transition and if we can do it there is no reason why others can’t do it as well.

Now I just need to figure out how to get the book into the self-improvement section at the bookstore.

 

Mike

Back At The Pool Again

Last night I finally got back in the pool again. It’s been about three years since I last swam at my community pool and it was quite a struggle just to get there. My original plan was to begin swimming in early January, but I caught a terrible cold followed by a dry cough that just didn’t want to go away, which ultimately delayed my return.

I was away from swimming for a long time because I got caught up writing my book Victory Lap Retirement. I’ve always had the bad habit of going “all-in” on a new endeavor. It consumed me, which is not a very good thing, and there are consequences to living like that. More importantly my wife the Contessa didn’t take it very well. Something about getting up every morning at 4:30 to write and then falling asleep on the couch around 9:00 every night, probably had something to do with it! Continue reading “Back At The Pool Again”

My Year End Review

Since I had never written a book before, I did what made sense to me and wrote the last chapter first. This is apparently a no-no in the writing world but I knew how I wanted my life to play out and what’s wrong with writing a story with a happy ending for yourself. Makes sense to me!

My Own Victory Lap 

Our book Victory Lap Retirement is all about designing your lifestyle. My overriding goal, in writing the book, was to help me design a fulfilling low stress lifestyle that would deliver maximum happiness over the next ten years. Instead of looking forward I now live with a sense of urgency. It’s all about living happy now, not delaying it to some point down the road. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not spending money like a drunken sailor, I still have to justify the investment to myself. Let’s just say I’m no longer concerned with saving money anymore.  Continue reading “My Year End Review”

No One Told Me It Would Be Like This

There is something very wrong with the work world today. It is far too common to find employees who are tired, over-worked, stressed out, and living in fear of an uncertain future. As a result, people are eating too much, watching too much television, and complaining too much, often self-medicating with drugs and/or alcohol or taking prescription medication to cope with their stress. How can it be that in North America, with two of the most prosperous societies in the world,  people are taking more medications for anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders than ever before?

Blame it on the big dip. Continue reading “No One Told Me It Would Be Like This”

Letting Go Of Grudges

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With Victory Lap Retirement now finished I’ve set out on a mission to simplify my life. This past weekend I cleaned out the cave, aka my home office, where I do the majority of my writing. I managed to fill up a garbage bag with papers containing my thoughts and ideas, newspaper clippings, magazines, and books. I was so pleased with this process, I expanded this simplifying process to the rest of the house, and I am amazed by all the “junk” collected over the years. In many cases, I didn’t even remember how it was acquired. It’s not just physical “junk” that I will purge, but also the “junk” that takes up valuable space in my mind.

Today I would like to talk about how I found a way to discard grudges which are a huge time and energy waster.

“Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness, laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you cannot change.”

-Author Unknown

Continue reading “Letting Go Of Grudges”

Having Fun At The Zoomer Show

mosesjonmikeJonathan and I spent last weekend at the Toronto Zoomer Show, which gave us  the opportunity to talk to numerous people about our new book ‘Victory Lap Retirement.” As Ernie Zelinski my mentor likes to say “Books don’t sell themselves!”

The Zoomer show is Canada’s largest consumer and lifestyle event for men and women aged 45+. Visitors at the show receive the latest trends, advice and information on positive aging from more than 250 exhibitors such as Health and Wellness, Financial Planning, Caregiving, Fitness, Technology, Employment, Education, Pets, Volunteerism, Faith, Safety and Travel. There are celebrity speakers, fitness and health demonstrations and much more. One thing I really enjoyed was the strong line up of quality tribute bands, which included one doing songs of one my personal favourites “David Bowie”.

Continue reading “Having Fun At The Zoomer Show”

Introducing “Victory Lap Retirement Winners”

Victory Lap Retirement Lifesyle winner
Victory Lap Retirement Lifestyle winner

I’ve been meaning to blog about this for awhile but the book launch has kept me quite busy and to be honest I’m a little burned out at the moment. On the positive side I feel like Scrooge on Christmas morning, there are so many positive things going on in my life right now. That is what happens when you decide to take control of your life back and design a great lifestyle for yourself. But to be honest it’s not all roses all the time and one concern that I do have is watching out for my health. I’m not sleeping properly, there is way too much stuff on my mind and even though it’s all positive it concerns me.

I’ve begun a regular habit of checking my blood pressure whenever I’m at Shoppers and the readings are all over the place. While I’m no doctor, I’m pretty sure that it reflects the pace that I’m currently living at. The goal going forward will be to lower stress and slow the pace way, way down as I want to be around a long, long time!

Continue reading “Introducing “Victory Lap Retirement Winners””