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!

I also just started a weight loss challenge with my fishing buddy “five star” Joe, someone you will learn more about in a future blog as he is one interesting guy. The goal is for both of us to lose 34lbs by May 1st 2017 and we will be checking our weight each Monday till then so wish us luck! I don’t believe in fad diets and all that other stuff that is out there.  To me losing weight is simple: burn off (exercise) more than you take in (eat) and over time you will be pleased with the results. It’s simple just focus and execute. I always like simple!

Meet Us At The Zoomer Show Oct 29th & 30th

We will be at the Zoomer show in Toronto this weekend at booth 916 at the Enercare Centre (formerly the Direct Energy Centre at the Exhibition Grounds) to do a book signing. Jonathan with be with me on Saturday and I’ve talked the Contessa into keeping me company on the Sunday. If you have the time please drop by for a visit. I always find it interesting to meet the people who follow this blog.

Victory Lap Retirement Winners

Ok, now for the fun part! I want to do blogs on people who are winning in VLR that can serve as possible role models for the rest of us. I don’t want to talk about famous people, I think we get enough of that on TV and let’s face it most of us are not famous and never will be. But really who wants to be famous anyways? I sure don’t!

So please send in any stories of successful VLR role models that we could share with the rest of the VLR community. Try not to focus just on the work part and making money. There is so much more to life than just making money.

The only rule I have is that they need to be alive which disqualifies my father but I will use him as an example of what I’m looking for and his complete story if your interested can be found in our book Victory Lap Retirement.

Stanley Martin Drak

My father worked in the corporate world and was in charge of a large accounting department that went through a difficult enterprise-wide computer conversion late in his career. The constant high stress over a couple of years finally convinced him he had to leave to protect his health. However, being my father, he felt the obligation to the company to stay on until the project was completed, even though he suffered from high blood pressure. Staying there too long would have killed him, but as my mother and I later learned, leaving to do nothing wouldn’t do him any good either. Death by stress or death by boredom – either way you cut it you end up dead!

When he did retire at the age of sixty, he almost immediately began to suffer from sudden retirement syndrome. The shock of leaving a long- term, successful career to do nothing created significant stress for him. He was unprepared for a full-stop retirement, and the drifting and boredom were causing him to lose it. Luckily my mother, who is a very smart women, threw a copy of the want ads at him with a few opportunities circled. She said, “Here stop whining and go find something to do.” (My mother’s Irish, can you tell?) It didn’t take long before my father had a new part-time job delivering pet food to people at their homes.

When I first heard what he was doing, I couldn’t stop laughing. Here was a former corporate executive who at one time had managed a group of about sixty people and now he was having the time of his life delivering pet food. But he didn’t stop there. He was concerned about his health, so he decided to start cutting lawns as a side gig to get him into shape and also generate a little bit more of fun money. My father had always been frugal (my mother liked to call him cheap) and would never pay money to go to a gym, so instead he created his own workout program by cutting lawns, and boy was he ever happy with his new lifestyle. Minimal stress, no more deadlines, and he didn’t have to manage people anymore.

You see it doesn’t have to be much, it doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s all up to you and what you need to do in order to be happy. Some people view this time of their life as the last chance to chase their dreams; some just want a part-time job to help satisfy their social needs and generate a little extra income.  Everyone of us has different needs and each one of us just has to find the right balance for ourselves, some combination of work and play that will make us happy. And many people have discovered that it doesn’t take much at all.

The key point here is that my father didn’t need the money but he needed to do something that would make him happy. Something that made him feel that he could still contribute, that he still mattered, something that would give him a good reason to get out of bed in the morning.

– Mike

PS: Since I’ve been talking about my father I feel that I should complete the story. He retired at sixty and died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 72. His first year of retirement was a bit rough due to a bad case of retirement shock but after he got that job delivering pet food his world changed for the better and he enjoyed a great life until the end. Thinking about him delivering pet food always makes me smile.


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