1. Navigating Career Crossroads – Justin Smith, CFP, CAP, CFA Retirement Wisdom 21:22

Are you ready for the new Retirement? The old-fashioned “full-stop” Retirement simply doesn’t work for everyone. For many people, to retire happy, it includes some form of work – on your own terms. In a hybrid Retirement, work – paid or unpaid – can provide meaning, connection, purpose, fulfillment – and some income. There are more options available today to create a hybrid Retirement that works for you. But that may mean changing lanes. You’ll need to plan ahead and lay the groundwork. Justin Smith, CFP., CAP, CFA of Savant Wealth Management, offers his tips and a tool to help you think outside the box and navigate career crossroads.

Justin joins us from Phoenix, Arizona.


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Justin specializes in helping executives and successful professionals navigate the chapter between full-time work and full-stop Retirement, which we call a “Victory Lap.” He has been involved in the financial services industry since 2005. Prior to joining Savant, he was a partner and portfolio manager for an independent Registered Investment Advisor firm in Chicago.

Justin earned a bachelor of business administration degree with a concentration in finance from the University of Michigan. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and has earned the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) and the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designations. He is a frequent speaker on the topics of Victory Lap Retirement and tax-smart Retirement planning.

Justin loves to cook (especially tacos!) and enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and three children. After living in the Midwest for many years, they truly appreciate everything Arizona has to offer. In the fall, you are almost certain to find Justin on his patio watching Minnesota Vikings or Michigan Wolverines football.


For More on Justin Smith


Download The Career Crossroads Workbook


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It’s Game Time!

Win The Retirement Game

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Wise Quotes

On Hybrid Retirement 

“I think this is becoming more and more of a movement. Nobody announced it, but it’s becoming more and more popular. 20 years ago there was really one path where it was somebody in the C-suite and then they would go serve on a board and they went from working 80 hours a week to working 20 hours a week. They’d still fly around and go to board meetings and things like that. But now that has been democratized and there’s countless different ways that people can take a hybrid path. And the big change I’m seeing is that a more people have access to these hybrid paths. Basically anybody who puts in the work can find something that checks all the boxes for them. And the other thing I’m seeing is that people are not waiting until 65 or full Retirement age, or the point where they feel fully financial independent. They’re jumping off the treadmill earlier and then they’re playing that hybrid game longer.”

On Planning Ahead

“In the Retirement planning game, you absolutely want to be looking forward and start planting the seeds for your next chapter. Often I find it could take two or three years or more for people to get into that Retirement rhythm. So if you can start planting seeds, start testing things out, start doing some experiments, 2, 3 or 5 years early, you can give yourself a huge head start. Then you get to make the most of that Retirement chapter that you’ve been looking forward to for so long.”

On Creating a Sabbatical or a Gap Year

“I’m seeing some people do sabbaticals where they will take a year or two off. Maybe it’s a trial Retirement. They’re not sure if they’re actually going to come back after the sabbatical, but they’ll call it a sabbatical. And when they come back, maybe they go back to the same thing, or maybe they pivot. I’m seeing a lot of creative employment arrangements as well, where they might say to their employer or a prospective employer: Hey, I have all these different tools in my toolbox and you have this unique set of problems. Let’s think about a way we can solve for that and we can find mutually agreeable ways to make that work. Because for some of these folks at this stage in life, the top line compensation might not be their top priority. So employers –  the smart ones – are open to these types of arrangements. And I’ve seen people be able to get health insurance, which can be a big stumbling block for folks before their 65 Medicare eligibility. Maybe in this creative employment arrangement, they get health insurance as part of the deal, get remote work, go part-time, perhaps get two months off in the summer, whatever it might be. So that is becoming more popular as well. There’s just so many benefits from thinking outside the box here.”


About Your Podcast Host

Joe Casey is an executive coach who also helps people design their next life after their primary career. He created his own next chapter after a twenty-six-year career at Merrill Lynch, where he was Senior Vice President and Head of HR for Global Markets & Investment Banking.
Today, in addition to his work with clients, Joe hosts The Retirement Wisdom Podcast, which thanks to his guests and loyal listeners, ranks in the top 1.5 % globally in popularity by Listen Notes. Business Insider has recognized him as one of 23 innovative coaches who are making a difference.

Intro and Outro voiceovers by Ross Huguet.





Joe Casey Retirement Coach, Podcaster

Joe Casey is an Executive Coach and Retirement Coach who brings extensive experience navigating transitions from his coaching work with clients and from his own life and career. After a 26-year career in Human Resources with Merrill Lynch, Joe shifted gears and retired early at age 52 to become an executive coach. His executive coaching practice has been named as one of the Top 10 Leadership Development Consulting Companies for 2019 by HR Tech Outlook magazine. He now also works to help people design their lives following their corporate careers, helping them pursue second act careers or to successfully navigate their transition to retirement.