Life Two Podcast

Life Two

We’re in the midst of what many call a retirement crisis, with too many saving too little, too late.

How do we turn this challenge into an opportunity to create financial security and personal fulfillment for millions of people? Co-hosted by retirement experts Don Ezra and Common Wealth, LIFE TWO offers in-depth, insightful conversations with the world’s best thinkers on the trends and ideas that are driving change in the retirement security field. The 10-part pilot series also features lessons from Don’s newly released book on how to plan and think about life after full-time work, helping to make this daunting topic more approachable and empowering for everyone.

Don Ezra

Don Ezra

Don Ezra is a former co-chair of Russell Investments global consulting and the creator of the retirement website His latest book is Life Two: How to get to and enjoy what used to be called retirement.

Alex Mazer

Alex Mazer

Alex Mazer is a Founding Partner at Common Wealth, a mission-driven business focused on expanding access to retirement security. Common Wealth partners with associations, unions, and other groups to build and manage large-scale, collective retirement plans.

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Episode 1

What does it mean to retire in the 21st century? Pensions and a full-stop retirement are becoming things of the past, and global retirement systems are struggling to keep up with the changing trends. In this special double-interview episode, we speak to Chris Battaglia (VP/Group Publisher, Pensions & Investments) and Jeremy Cooper (Chairman, Retirement Income, Challenger Limited) about what needs to be fixed and which countries are doing retirement right. Even as individuals are increasingly left to manage their own financial future, later in the show we explain why retirement, or what we call Life Two, is potentially the peak time of life: the most enjoyable and the most rewarding. 

Episode 2

Retirement, or what we call Life Two, is one of life’s biggest expenses, and with people working and living longer, traditional retirement planning is becoming more costly and complicated. Jonathan Clements (former personal finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal) of HumbleDollar draws on his experience and observations to tell us what goes into a good retirement plan, and later in the show, we break down an individual’s five financial stages and determine where you are in your retirement planning. 

Episode 3

Just the thought of retirement planning can be daunting for many, so getting started is often the hardest step. Individuals not only have to overcome financial issues, but also psychological barriers. David John (Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, AARP Public Policy Institute) describes the challenges people face and the approaches for a successful retirement. Later in the show, we take you through the first stage of retirement planning, identifying the minimum, successful and exceptional standards. 

Episode 4

How much do I need to save for a comfortable retirement? It’s the million dollar question – maybe even a bit more. It depends on a number of factors, making it all the more overwhelming for individuals to tackle retirement saving. We speak to author Fred Vettese (former chief actuary at Morneau Shepell) who has researched and written about what people can do. And later on the show, we discuss getting serious and building your financial base for a good Life Two.

Episode 5

It’s time to get in touch with our feelings because as we all know, money is deeply tied to our emotions. How does one psychologically prepare for retirement? One of the scariest aspects is how you find a sense of purpose in Life Two, how you’ll fill your time, and how you’ll coordinate activities with your partner. International best-selling author Ernie Zelinski (The Joy of Not Working and How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free) tells us how to make plans that transform your mindset from fear to eager anticipation. And later in the show, we get back to managing your finances as you approach Life Two. 

Episode 6

People seek out life coaches when they’re trying to achieve more fulfillment or pursue a new career, so why not have a life coach to help with the challenging life transition of retirement? You don’t have to do it alone – setting goals and figuring out how to structure your life for greater satisfaction. We explore how Life Two coaching works and its benefits, both psychological and financial, with retirement coach Jon Glass of 64 PLUS. Later on the show, Don shares his own experience, with its unexpected emotions, and draws lessons so others can benefit. 

Episode 7

Save, save, save – that’s the retirement mantra. But then do you know how to draw down from your pot of money so that you can enjoy Life Two? Relatively little attention has been devoted to this logical conclusion, also known as decumulation. When you have no idea how long you’re going to live, how do you determine the sustainable rate at which to withdraw your money? We sit down with one of the world’s pioneers in this field, Moshe Milevsky (finance professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business), describing the sensible and the less than sensible practices he has encountered. Also, you don’t have to do this alone – later in the show, we discuss what to say with financial professionals and how to share your Life Two plans with those close to you. This interview was recorded in the summer of 2019. 

Episode 8

Throughout our podcast, we’ve learned about the many challenges within the retirement field, both personal and collective. Now we hear from two acknowledged leaders who observe the global scene, each also with much hands-on experience in creating innovative practices. Ida Rademacher (Vice President, The Aspen Institute, and Executive Director, Aspen Financial Security Program) and Will Sandbrook (Executive Director, NEST Insight) discuss their Aspen-Nest Insight Transatlantic Collaboration and tell us what they see in the future to improve the retirement security of this generation and future generations. This interview was recorded in the summer of 2019. 

Episode 9

One voice we haven’t heard yet in our podcast series is that of the plan sponsor. What are the challenges companies are facing as they help their employees improve their retirement incomes? Cindy Deere (General Manager, U.S. Pension Plans, Shell) shares insights on how a major employer leading in global pensions provides support to about 60,000 participants. This interview was recorded in the summer of 2019. 

Episode 10

We end our pilot series with a conversation between Don Ezra and Common Wealth’s founding partners Alex Mazer and Jonathan Weisstub, who share how they’ve put to work some of the ideas discussed on the podcast. Founded in 2015, Common Wealth is a Toronto-based firm focused on expanding access to retirement security. It has advised pension organizations with collective assets exceeding $800 billion, as well as unions, associations, and governments, on issues of strategy, governance, regulation, and the design and implementation of retirement plans, products, and institutions. This interview was recorded in the summer of 2019. 

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