By Joe Udo, Retireby40.org
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:
A Victory Lap most commonly describes the slow, victorious circuit taken by an athlete of any track, playing field, or sheet of ice after winning a race or other sporting contest. It’s that extra, happy time of continuing to run, bike, or skate, but it’s done in a different way and at an entirely different pace. It’s an opportunity to bask in the glory and enjoy the fruits of months or years of training, practice, and sacrifice.
What if we apply the Victory Lap concept to our work life? In our work life, the finish line is financial independence and the Victory Lap is the freedom to work on whatever sparks your imagination. The beauty of the work life Victory Lap is that we’re not competing with anyone. There isn’t just one winner. Everyone can win if they are persistent enough.
Work is good for you
The authors pointed out that work is actually good for you and I agree 100%. The right kind of work will give you purpose and invigorate you. When was the last time you couldn’t wait to get out of bed to go to work? That’s what I did at 5 am this morning! It is very fulfilling to work on something you like.
The problem is most corporate jobs these days are dominated by the side effects. It’s like prescription drug. The benefits are the paychecks and some job satisfaction, but the side effects are endless meetings, unrealistic deadlines, horrible bosses, long hours, cramped cubicles, and a stressful environment. Once the negatives outweigh job satisfaction, the paychecks may not provide enough incentive to keep working. This is especially true when money isn’t a big concern anymore.
Okay, I admit that I usually don’t get up at 5 am to blog, but school started 2 hours late today and I needed to reshuffle my schedule. I spend the morning being a stay-at-home-dad and that’s an awesome job, too. I can do things on my own time and dictate my own agenda. How many people have that luxury?
The good news is that you can have it, too. Financial independence can be a long journey, but I firmly believe anyone can achieve it if they set the goal and work towards it consistently. Unfortunately, we live in a consumerist culture where the goal is materialistic accumulation, not financial independence. A lot of people have no idea what financial independence is or what the possibilities are. If they do, they don’t think they can achieve it or they don’t know how.
This book educates readers on the meaning of financial independence and the various stages of the financial life cycle. However, it doesn’t focus on the exact steps on how to get there. I don’t think that is a big problem because once you make financial independence your goal, you will be able to find resources everywhere. It’s a whole hidden world!
I like their formula for financial independence:
PASSIVE INCOME > NON-DISCRETIONARY EXPENSES = FREEDOM
Victory Lap Retirement
Victory Lap Retirement is about making financial independence a goal and how to move beyond it. This book is a great read for anyone, and it’s perfect for professionals who are in a solid financial position yet are dissatisfied with their work life. When they make financial independence their goal, they can achieve it very quickly because they already have a good financial foundation. Actually, this is still a great read even if you are happy with your job. Life changes and you won’t be satisfied with your job forever, so it’s better to be prepared.
It’s unfortunate that most professionals don’t know about financial independence and the options it can bring. Victory Lap Retirement is an alternative path that is very achievable. Full on retirement can wait until our bodies give out.
I highly recommend Victory Lap Retirement for anyone who is interested in early retirement and financial independence. You can order a kindle edition of Victory Lap Retirement from Amazon, purchase a hard copy from the Victory Lap Retirement website, or enter to win a copy below.
Great news! Mike and Jon have generously offered to send 3 copies of Victory Lap Retirement to Retire by 40’s readers. For a chance to win click on the original version of this blog linked below! Good luck!
*You can tweet once per day for more chances to win.
Opens to US and Canadian addresses due to the high cost of shipping.
Joe Udo is founder of the Retire by 40 website, which he founded in 2010, after a corporate engineering career at Intel Corp. He left the corporate world in July 2012, “hopefully for good,” becoming a stay-at-home dad and blogger by age 38. This review appeared earlier this week here on his website and is republished on the Hub with Joe’s permission.
P.S. Editor’s Note: For a 6-minute video on Semi-Retirement and the book, click on Tuesday evening’s CBC TV clip here, Tips for Boomers. Mike Drak and Jonathan Chevreau will be at Booth 916 at the Toronto Zoomer Show on Sat., Aug 29 to sell and sign the book. The show also runs Sunday.