Shortly after my article Tawcan's 7 Phase of Retirement got published on Retire by 40, a reader by the name of Mike Drak approached me asking if I wanted to do a book review. At first I was slightly hesitant but I was very intrigued by the book title, Victory Lap Retirement, so I agreed to do a book review and a testimonial.
When I received the digital copy of the book from Mike, I was pleasantly surprised that he didn't write the book all by himself. Victory Lap Retirement was written by two authors - Mike Drak and Jonathan Chevreau, a well known & reputable Canadian personal finance writer.
On this blog I have tried to refrain from using the word "early retirement." Instead, I have been using the word financial independence. To me, early retirement does not mean sitting on the beach drinking piña colada all day long. Rather, early retirement simply means that we can quit our jobs without having to worry about money. We can decide our own schedules and have the freedom and options to decide what we want to do. Early retirement does not mean that we will never work again. Rather than working because we need the money, we are working because we are enjoying it and because we are fulfilling our life purpose. To get there, we need to be financial independent, meaning that our passive income exceeds our expenses.
When I started reading Victory Lap Retirement, I quickly realized that Mike and Jon had created the perfect term to describe my ideal early retirement. They refer to the stage after reach financial independence and before full leisure retirement as victory lap retirement. In sports, a victory lap is the slow victorious circuit taken by an athlete after winning a race or other sporting content. The athlete continues to run, bike, or skate to enjoy and soak in the sweet victory. Similarly, once you become financial independent, you may not ready to engage in leisurely activities full time. Instead, you may decide to work part time and travel for the rest of the time, pursuit the business idea that you had for years, or you may decide to go back to school and gain more knowledge. Essentially you have all the choices and freedom to decide what you want to do with your time in victory lap retirement.
Unlike many early retirement books, Victory Lap Retirement does not focus on how to become financial independent (Jon has written another book on this topic). Rather, the book focuses on life after financial independence and strategies that can be implemented for individual to cater post-FI life to fully enjoy his/her life. Even if you are not financial independent just yet, the book gets you thinking and planning about creating a lifestyle that you will enjoy once you are financial independent.
What I enjoyed most about Victory Lap Retirement is the fact that Mike and Jon put so much emphasis on the pursuit of happiness and the idea of creating a life from which you don't have to retire. Why retire when you enjoy things you do and they generate income? Creating your own happiness and maintaining a healthy, satisfying, and self-fulfilling lifestyle becomes extremely important when you are in victory lap retirement. After all, having all the money in the world doesn't mean anything if you aren't happy and healthy.
I think Victory Lap Retirement is a must read for everyone with FI in their mind. Given that the average life expectancy is 80+ now, we need to make sure we develop a healthy and active lifestyle post financial independent. I certainly can't imagine sitting on the beach or playing golf every single day for 20 or 30 years straight. I will get bored after a week!!!
Book Contest for Readers!
Do you want to win a copy of Victory Lap Retirement?
Lucky for my readers, Jon and Mike have graciously agreed to give out copies of Victory Lap Retirement to two lucky readers! Unfortunately, because shipping is a bit expensive, the contest is only for Canadian and US readers. If you would like to win a copy of Victory Lap Retirement, please leave a comment below and I will randomly draw two winners on November 4th.