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You spend decades working towards it, preparing, waiting… yet when the day comes, do you actually know what you want to do in retirement?
Hopefully you’ve asked yourself this question before the retirement planning process began. After all, how do you achieve – or know if you can afford – a goal if you don’t know what it is? Understanding the reasons behind those goals is really what makes it all worth it and makes it happen.
Here are five things to consider when thinking about how you want to live out your retirement years.
We’re living longer – and it’s impacting more than just our lifespans
The knowledge that people are living longer is not new. According to Statistics Canada and the 2016 Census, “there were 5.9 million seniors in Canada, which accounted for 16.9% of the total population. In comparison, there were 2.4 million seniors in 1981, or 10% of the population.”
With more people living longer, it’s no wonder one of the top concerns for many retirees is ensuring they’ve got enough assets to last them through the retirement years, without impacting their lifestyle.
In addition to growing, this aging population is also challenging what it means to get older, leading to what’s called the longevity economy. From real estate trends, to medical innovations and consumer products to fulfill the silver lifestyle, an entirely new economy is booming. That means more choices to enjoy those retirement years, and new investment opportunities to help fund it for longer.
Free time can be longer than you think
It’s not just your wallet that can be stretched once you’re done working. Time itself can stretch out when you’re no longer filling 40+ hours a week with work.
This was a lesson learned during the pandemic, when many found themselves with extra time on their hands, most of it spent at home. People rushed to fill their time with home improvement projects, outdoor activities or socializing virtually – not all that much unlike retirement.
The catch? That spare time can be harder to fill than one might think. And the freedom of movement or spending time with loved ones isn’t always guaranteed. Think about the logistics of how you want to spend your time to help set realistic goals.
Can you make your bucket list a reality?
Once you’ve decided how you want to spend your time, you’ll need a tangible plan to make it happen. Remember, retirement can last decades, so that trip to Europe you took at 65 could cost a lot more ten years later.
And it’s not just inflation that you need to think about. The pandemic could also have a lasting impact on travel costs, particularly flights, travel insurance and extra hotel stays if you need to quarantine. Budgeting properly and leaving room for increased expenses can help make sure you live the retirement life you want, even in the later years.
Your ‘active lifestyle’ will change as you age
As the Statistics Canada report cited above noted, older retirees at 65 tend to be less active than at 55, putting more time into reading and watching TV. Good news… there’s more online entertainment content than ever!
When planning how you will spend your time, front-load those outdoor activities at the start. It will probably help you keep healthy longer. And you can always switch over from golf to stamp collecting or binging Netflix when you’re in your 90s.
There is no hard rule that you must stop working when you hit birthday number 65. As we mentioned, time is hard to fill, and costs can go up, so working in retirement can help keep you busy and maintain some cashflow.
Maybe you still enjoy what you did and want to continue in some part time or consulting capacity. Or perhaps you want to learn a new skill set – there’s no shortage of online classes or continuing education courses out there! And with more people likely working from home even after the pandemic, finding a flexible work situation is only getting easier.
Do you have a financial plan for your retirement?
Now that you’ve run through these considerations, let’s talk about how you want to spend your time in retirement. We can put together a retirement plan that helps you enjoy your time the way you want. Book a call with a financial adviser.