Victory Lap Retirement – 2nd Edition

The original version of Victory Lap Retirement was published back in 2016, but Cheverau and Drak were back with a second edition in 2019. For the second edition, they added Rob Morrison to the mix as an additional co-author. The addition of an American based Chartered Financial Planner added some international credibility to the book. Of course, it will also allow it to serve a much larger market than the original Canadian focused content.

The premise of the book remains intact; with the idea that easing into retirement is a much better option for many people than the traditional full-stop retirement approach.

The authors offer both financial and non-financial reasons for continuing to work in some capacity, rather than stopping work completely. The reasoning is well thought-out and explained in the book, which cites further reading and academic papers for several of their assertions on the topic. An example of some of the benefits of delaying full retirement are as follows:

  1. Reduction in financial anxiety
  2. Increased longevity
  3. Healthier (Higher quality of life)
  4. Reduction in boredom

What I find most notable about the above list, and the book in General, is that there is a distinct focus on the overall physical and mental health of the person as it related to the reasons for continuiing to work, even past financial independence and traditional retirement age. While the authors certainly have the pedigree to speak to the mathematics of the Victory Lap retirement, their experience in the field appears to have led them to this more holistic approach. Frankly, I find it rather refreshing among a slew of Shockingly Simple Math articles.

The authors have given this concept a name, but the Victory Lap Retirement isn’t anything new. In fact, my own mother is currently having a Victory Lap and she has no idea what the term means. She simply found a way to do what she loves (Hair Stylist for the elderly), without the hassle of continuing to own her own business and be present at the salon 6 days per week. She has transitioned to a part-time position at a care home for the elderly and now works between 12-16 hours per week. She has a blast with her clients and adores the Lady that she works with. A successful Victory Lap in the making!

Many people in the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) community have played out a Victory Lap strategy in a variety of ways, possibly without even knowing it. Some have downshifted to fewer hours or less stressful work, some have taken career intermissions, while others don’t give it a name other than Retirement but are living the principles as outlined in the book.

I’ve certainly been guilty of conflating Financial Independence with Retirement in the past. While the two are linked, this book has given me a lot to think about with respect to how I want to design my life once I have reached Financial Independence – or close enough to see the finish line.  For example, I’ve always been too conservative to start my own business. However, once I don’t need to generate a full-time income from the business to replace my earned income, it is something I should try. As it relates to the book, I would hope that a business would keep me mentally and socially active, increase my longevity and, to the extent it generates some income, reduce my financial anxiety. 

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