This is retirement?

I caught separate interviews with Derek Foster, Canada’s self-proclaimed “youngest retiree,” on both Breakfast Television and CityNews today. Both interviewers (Dina Pugliese and Jee-Yun Lee) repeated the “retiree” line, with Lee’s teaser going so far as to proclaim Foster as “the youngest person to retire in Canadian history.” I’m certain that the crack fact checkers at Citytv verified this ludicrous statement with the federal Department of Dubious Data before going to air with it. Foster’s story has also recently appeared in the Star and the Sun.

But wait a second, why all sudden attention on Foster, who retired three years ago? It turns out that he’s flogging copies of his new book, The Lazy Investor. Both Lazy and his first post-retirement book, Stop Working, purport to share his investing secrets so that you, too, can retire in your thirties. You can buy both books directly from the author’s book-selling web site.

Now I don’t know what Foster does all day long, but my guess is that he writes his books, contributes articles to Canadian Money Saver (and possibly other publications), and has occasional speaking engagements. Oh, and he probably spends more time at home than when he was employed in traditional workplaces.

Dude, I’ve got news for you: you’re not retired, you’re self-employed. And by that measure, I retired when I was 25, handily beating you for the title of “Canada’s youngest retiree” by 9 years. But neither one of us is really retired, are we?

One Reply to “This is retirement?”

  1. Thank-you Val. I was having the same problem. I mean here I am, watching a guy grinding his way through a week of media interviews, talking about how great retirement is. I think that if I were a writer I would feel like wrenching his little neck right off the TV screen for implying that writing successfully for a living was akin to retirement. (My next thought was that the book must not be very good). He also seemed a little unsure of his investment strategy, which sounded simplistic. The part I did like was how, in the segment that I saw, it was pointed out that “retirement” looked a lot less like a life of luxury than living modestly to allow for a more self-determined life, earlier. I wonder how many Freedom 55er’s will retire “on-time” or as comfortably as the advertisements for that concept have depicted.

    Maybe he should have called the book “How I got out of the rat race and created a life that suits me” or maybe even a catchier “Semi-retirement, NOW” would at least be more credible.

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