How executives can survive sudden job loss


By Bill Treasurer

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

The transition of a leader’s career from the top of the crest to the other side can actually be a beautiful thing. This is the time when your wisdom is ripest, when the bulk of your legacy has been established, and when your influence has left a tangible and positive mark.

At this stage of your leadership career, you are a leader in full. It’s worth noting that the leadership influence of many leaders became fully expressed late in life. Benjamin Franklin was 70 when he signed the Declaration of Independence (Samuel Whittemore was 81). Ronald Reagan was 69 when he became president, and 77 when he left office. Golda Meir became Prime Minister of Israel when she was 71. Dr. Ray Irani, the CEO of Occidental Petroleum, is currently 75 years old, making him the oldest Fortune 500 CEO.

While your leadership career may span many years, the current average retirement age in the United States is 62. Given that average life expectancies have been steadily growing, figuring out what to do with all that accumulated leadership wisdom and influence before you retire, will help soften whatever butt-kicks may come when the gates of your career close. (By butt-kicks, I mean embarrassing and humiliating moments in your leadership that serve as a starting point to discover your strengths and values, and become better).

Butt-kicking tips for senior leaders

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Retireby40’s take on Semi-retirement and Victory Lap Retirement

Joe Udo of

By Joe Udo,

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

It might be surprising to new readers of Retire by 40 that I don’t believe in the traditional definition of retirement.

Yes, the site is titled Retire by 40, but I really meant Semi-Retire by 40. The idea is to leave the stressful corporate job life and continue to work part-time on something I enjoy. I don’t want to spend every day lounging by the pool or golfing at the country club. That sounds nice, but I’d be bored out of my mind in about three days! Full retirement can wait until I’m 70.

The problem is Semi-retire by 40 just doesn’t have the same impact as Retire by 40. There wasn’t a good word to describe what I was aiming for … until now. Mike Drak and Jonathan Chevreau’s new book Victory Lap Retirement describes exactly the lifestyle I wanted when I started blogging.

What is a Victory Lap?

The following paragraph from the book explains it perfectly: Continue Reading…

How Collecting can keep you young

Old postage stamps from various countries on wooden tableBy Cher Zevala 

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

For your entire adult life, you saved diligently for retirement, but if you want to make the most of your savings, you need to remain healthy for as long as possible. Being physically active will keep your body in good shape, but your mind also needs exercise as you age — which is why you should consider starting a collection.

Humans have a drive to collect things; it’s what helps our species survive and thrive in an unpredictable environment. However, now that you have the time, you can begin collecting items of interest that you can show off to friends and fellow collectors. Here are a few benefits to starting a collection so you can be happy and healthy for decades after you retire:

Reduce Stress

Stress is terrible for the mind and soul, but it does dreadful things to the body, too. Research shows that excess stress ages your body’s cells prematurely, causing all sorts of age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and hearing and vision loss, before you might naturally develop them. Unquestionably, the less stress you have in your life, the better.

Research also shows that having hobbies can reduce stress as well as exercise, which is to say: quite a lot. Unless you feel like going for a run ― and few retirees can truthfully say they do ― you might start finding something to collect to cut down your stress.

Appreciate Beauty

There is beauty in the world, and with the right collections, you can prove it. Artwork, jewelry, books, and even droll items like stamps and coins can be evidence of the sublime. It doesn’t hurt to have pretty things around you, but you do have to locate and gather the things you find most precious and appealing.

Continue Learning

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Book Review: The Devil’s Financial Dictionary

41ixw3fyeLL._SX354_BO1,204,203,200_Like most closed shops, the financial industry features its own specialized vocabulary. As an investor, the key to understanding the financial industry is to understand the buzzwords and special terminology that are as often used to obfuscate concepts as to illuminate investors.

All of which makes Jason Zweig’s The Devil’s Financial Dictionary an invaluable tool for serious investors. Zweig is of course the Wall Street Journal’s eminent personal finance columnist. The book, published late in 2015, was inspired by Ambrose Bierce’s classic book, The Devil’s Dictionary.

As Zweig writes in his book’s introduction, “If investors are to be partners instead of pigeons, they must master the many ways in which Wall Street uses language to conceal rather than reveal information. Every profession is a conspiracy against the laity, and every profession’s jargon is meant to confuse and exclude those who aren’t part of the guild.”

If you learn nothing else, consider the following pithy observation by Zweig:

The denser the jargon, and the more polysyllabic the terminology, the more likely someone is hiding something from you.

Arranged alphabetically, as one would expect of a dictionary, this is a book you can peruse randomly; in fact, I’d suggest that approach. Without further ado, here are some sample definitions that got my attention and/or made me chuckle: as you’ll see, many of the definitions are simultaneously amusing and yet useful in penetrating the true meaning of many financial terms. They’re also quite cynical, which is half the fun: I’m sure Zweig had a blast writing them up in the first place.

ANALYST, n. A purported expert on a company who in theory estimates its value by breaking it down into its constituent parts but in practice functions as a salesperson and cheerleader.

CREDIT CARD, n. A thin slab of plastic that enables a person to feel pleasure today by incurring pain tomorrow. Continue Reading…

Starting is Hard, Doing it is Easy: 9 ideas to get you started

The secret of getting ahead is getting started - famous American writer Mark Twain quote interpretation with pink notes on vintage carton board

Starting is hard.  Doing is easy.  Even when it comes to the hardest things, starting is harder than actually doing the hard thing.

For the most important things, or the things where we have the most to gain, starting is the hardest thing.

If things are really easy to do, if they’re important, starting is hard.

Why is that?  Maybe we’re afraid of the consequences if we fail.  Maybe we’re afraid of the consequences if we succeed. After all, what would we fret about all day if all our “to do’s” were done?  Who knows where or why but as the proverb goes, “there is an enemy within.”

And if this enemy shows itself in areas which are important or where we have the most to gain or lose – it probably manifests itself as often as ever when it comes to the following:

  • relationships
  • personal fulfillment
  • exercise
  • diet
  • finances

These are all big areas where we could stand to gain a lot if we get things right!  And the longer we delay starting, the more it stresses us out – we sit in a paralytic trance, waiting for inspiration to hit us and it just never happens.

Perhaps breaking larger goals into smaller, more tangible steps might help, or at least it might trick you into doing something that sends you in the direction of progress.  While we don’t proffer advice in many of the above areas and in fact struggle as much as anyone,  we think the following smaller steps might help get you on the road to sorting out your financial house.  We’re sure there are more but here’s 9 to start:

9 smaller ideas to move you towards getting your finances in order

1.) Make sure you have an up-to-date Will, Power of Attorney designation and Health Directive.

2.) If you have people that depend on you, get insurance to make sure they’re taken care of if something happens to you – term life insurance is relatively cheap and pricing is fairly standardized.

3.) Pledge allegiance to the following mantra: “By far the most important thing I can do to ensure long term financial success is to live within my means.”

4.) If you have children, be sure to open a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and invest enough to get the maximum Canadian Education Savings Grant (CESG)….free money from the government (need we say more?).

5.) If your company has a retirement savings program with matching contributions, it’s usually a good idea to contribute enough to get the maximum match.

6. ) Open a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA).

7.) If you have investments, grab a pen and piece of paper and write down what you’re invested in, why and how much you pay annually in fees.

8.) If you can’t do number 7 without turning on your computer, educate yourself – we recommend the following Sensible & Concise Investment Books

9.) If these steps still seem overwhelming, find someone qualified and independent to help you.

Postscript –  if you’re interested in digging a little further into the enemy within, please read Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art.  He calls the enemy Resistance and it’s very real and very, very scary…..

graham-bodelGraham Bodel is the founder and director of a new fee-only financial planning and portfolio management firm based in Vancouver, BC., Chalten Fee-Only Advisors Ltd. This blog is republished with permission: the original ran late September here