Victory Lap

Once you achieve Financial Independence, you may choose to leave salaried employment but with decades of vibrant life ahead, it’s too soon to do nothing. The new stage of life between traditional employment and Full Retirement we call Victory Lap, or Victory Lap Retirement (also the title of a new book to be published in August 2016. You can pre-order now at You may choose to start a business, go back to school or launch an Encore Act or Legacy Career. Perhaps you become a free agent, consultant, freelance writer or to change careers and re-enter the corporate world or government.

Retired Money: Sticker shock on Healthcare costs for Seniors

Senior with her caregiver at home

Have you factored rising Healthcare costs into your retirement planning? Here’s my latest MoneySense Retired Money column, which you can access by clicking on the highlighted headline: One huge cost to factor into retirement plans.

That huge cost is of course unexpected medical expenses, which tend to escalate the further along you go in your golden years. Typically, the early years of Retirement (say, in your 60s) are dubbed “Go-Go” years, which are the healthy ones during which you can travel, and medical costs tend to be minimal.

Costs rise as you go from Slow-go to No-go years

But as time goes on, often between the late 60s and early 70s, you can expect a few medical problems to emerge for at least one member of a senior couple, if not both. That’s why they some dub the middle period the “Slow-go” years.

And of course, the last few years is where costs can really mount up: the so-called “No-go” years, especially if you no longer “stay in place” in your home, or require extensive in-home care, or are forced out of the family home altogether to go to a retirement home or nursing home.

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Business Owner suffering Pension Envy? Here’s a Remedy

Jean-Pierre Laporte

The Globe & Mail’s Report on Business has just published my piece titled A remedy for sufferers of pension envy, which you can access by clicking the highlighted text.

It describes the long-established Individual Pension Plan (IPP) and a newer variant called the Personal Pension Plan (PPP). The creator of the latter, Jean-Pierre Laporte (pictured to the left) estimates 1.2 million Canadian business owners could benefit from these plans, which are in effect Defined Benefit (DB) pension plans designed for professionals and business owners.

The newer PPP from Integris Pension Management Corp. is a hybrid in that it can be either a DB plan or a more market-sensitive Defined Contribution (DC) pension.

Trevor Parry

Several sources in the piece have written at more length on these topics here on the Hub. For example, see this blog from the Hub last November: How a Personal Pension Plan can mimic gold-plated DB pensions. Or see Trevor Parry’s most recent Hub blog, Making Canada Great Again. Perry sees both IPPs and PPPs as increasingly relevant in the current Canadian tax environment.

Tim Paziuk

One source I consulted for the piece but didn’t appear is financial advisor and author Tim Paziuk. Paziuk – of Victoria, BC-based TPC Financial Group Ltd. – laments the fact that “employees of the public sector and large corporations enjoy benefits and retirement plans that are unavailable to the private business owner.” As he noted in a recent Hub blog after the last federal Budget — On the Middle Class and Paying One’s Fair Share of Taxes — the pending Liberal working paper on the middle class and tax fairness doesn’t augur well for owners of corporations and even family members who enjoy “income sprinkling” from such corporations.

Fortunately new tools like the PPP and the not-so-new IPP give business owners a way to fight back. You can find on the web various debates between those who prefer the IPP and the PPP. For example, also quoted in the Globe article is Stephen Cheng, of Westcoast Actuaries, who has debated the plans with LaPorte here. Laporte’s reply can be found here: Comparing old IPPs to PPPs.

Motley Fool: Canadians overrate their financial literacy?

P.S. Here’s my latest blog for Motley Fool Canada. The headline pretty much sums up the story: Overconfident Millennials and Gen X flunk Financial Literacy Test, but Boomers only marginally better.

And while on the topic of financial literacy, I was gratified to be named one of Canada’s top online finance influencers, as conveyed by in this post.

5 Steps to a Victorious Retirement

Who doesn’t want a Victorious Retirement?

Just in time for the long weekend and Canada’s 150th birthday, has just published a 5-part series on retirement, going from deciding what you want to working longer, the Ages & Stages by decade, being a snowbird, and finally what to do once you finally reached the hallowed land of Retirement/Findependence/Victory Lap.

Here’s a summary of each piece (all written by Yours Truly), and links to the full articles:

1.) The first step: What do you really want?

Take a custom approach to retirement planning. There’s no point fretting too much about retirement and how much to save if you haven’t first determined what you want to DO once you’re retired. For starters, how are you going to fill those 2,000 hours a year you use to spend in the office and commuting? Click here for full article.


2.) We live longer. Why not work longer?

Ask questions about a retirement plan that’s right for you. Life expectancies are on the rise: more and more Baby Boomers can expect to become centenarians and that probably goes double for their children, the Millennials. Makes sense to consider working a little longer, if only part-time. Or if you really dislike your chosen profession, go back to school or retrain and find something you’d really enjoy doing in your golden years: preferably something that pays! Click here for full article.


3.) Snowbird? Learn the “substantial presence” test

Learn the tax pitfalls of retiring to the sun in the U.S. It all depends on how long you plan to stay down south each year: the formula isn’t simple. If you don’t relish the thought of paying tax to two countries, you may want to make sure you’re not considered to have a “substantial presence” in the U.S.  Click here for full article.

4.) Your retirement plan has a life cycle

Retirement planning strategies for every age. Every decade from your 20s to your 70s and beyond should take you a little further along the journey to financial independence/Retirement. Just like we all share the same fate in our human life cycle, so it is with the financial life cycle. Click here for full article.


5.) Retirement planning —after you retire

The plan doesn’t stop when you stop working.

My co-authored book Victory Lap Retirement features on its cover what appears to be a sprinter breaking through the finish line of a long marathon. But that doesn’t mean we’re saying Retirement is a literal finish line and with it the end of striving and purpose. In fact, we’re saying a “Victory Lap” really only begins when you reach the “finish line” of financial independence, or Findependence.

There will still be a big adjustment as you move from Wealth Accumulation to the De-accumulation or “Decumulation” phase: less earned income and more passive sources of income. And you’ll need to master the tax aspects because Tax may be one of the biggest expenses in Retirement. Click here for full article.

Retirement STILL Rocks

Heather Compton & Dennis Blas, coauthors of Retirement Still Rocks

By Heather Compton and Dennis Blas

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

Since retiring in 2004, we’ve learned a thing or two.  Foremost, a rockin’ retirement requires more than a bucket list: it’s not a given, it’s a statement of intention. A satisfying retirement requires finding new ways to satisfy our needs and utilize the skills and talents that give us the greatest satisfaction. Like a working career, a retirement career unfolds, develops, progresses and changes as life circumstances unfold. This doesn’t mean some front-end planning won’t be useful. Our cornerstones for a rockin’ retirement include Lifestyle, Relationship and Finances.

Go-Go to Slow-Go to (sigh) … No-Go

Many of us will have a third act lasting 30 plus years and few will plan for the full-stop retirement of a previous generation.  All play and no work also makes Jack a very dull boy! We may think of retirement as one long time frame, but those who study aging divide it into three distinct phases: the go-go, slow-go and no-go years. Certain Victory Lap careers, travel destinations and budding interests must be pursued in the go-go years; others might wait until the slow-go. Either way, you’ll want to mind-bank lots of great life experiences to relive in the no-go years! Continue Reading…

6 ways to ensure you won’t outlive your money

“Retirement: World’s longest coffee break.” —Author Unknown

Over the years you’ve taken plenty of advice, saved and invested diligently. Now you and your family are knocking on retirement’s door or, perhaps, in its midst.

The good news is the family members will likely live longer than before. The flip side is that more money may be required to fully fund retirement lifestyle.

Let’s assume that retirement spans from age 60 to 90, often longer. Many worry that the money won’t last and runs out during retirement.

Analyze life expectancy of the immediate family members for both spouses or partners. Specifically, review the current ages of grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts and cousins.

Some are petrified at the mere thought of such a prospect becoming reality. The question becomes what you can do to at least contain this situation.

I summarize six essential ideas designed to ballpark your lifestyle needs and help your retirement money last:

1. Family life expectancy

Analyze life expectancy of the immediate family members for both spouses or partners. Specifically, review the current ages of grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts and cousins. Get familiar with the ages attained by family members that have passed away. Pay attention to patterns of critical illness and longevity.

Today, it is commonplace for many to live well into their 80s. It is wise planning for a family to expect that at least one spouse could easily live past age 90. Another expectation is that family longevity continues to increase. Updating the retirement projection refreshes the family’s capital needs for the desired lifestyle.

2. Becoming too conservative
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