Retirement is in the Eye of the Beholder
Our standard view of retirement has been drastically altered over the last number of years to a point where it has changed to a completely customized life transition differing from one person to the next. The standard retirement model of leaving the workforce at age 65 collecting CPP and OAS with a handful of savings and a paid off house has served many well for a long period of time in the past but is slowly becoming the exception rather than the norm. This can be attributed to many factors but for a lot of boomers retirement is not perceived the same way as other generations have in the past.
Well into the past, people generally took greater care to insure that they will have enough means to retire and were taking control of their lives, putting the right things in place to be able to make the decision when they are ready. Retirement, back then, was seen as a priority goal as much as paying the mortgage or funding a child’s education. Now, even though potential retirees and even current retirees are concerned about retirement, we are not seeing the same practical attention paid to this life transition as others have done in the past. It may be attributed to the general healthiness of the population in their later years of life and complacency.
Age 70 is now the new 60 and age 60 is now the new 50, as some may have phrased it. Whatever the reason, people are just not prepared financially or mentally for the challenges that come when you achieve the age 60 hurdle. Here are some really easy steps to take charge of your financial objectives whether you’re in retirement or approaching it:
An important step in reaching one’s retirement goals is really spending the time reflecting about what that concept actually means to you individually and your household. It doesn’t take much too actually ask yourself some pretty easy self-reflecting questions like….. What are my routines going to be like….will I continue to work in some fashion and….what are the things that will occupy my time? For us as retirement specialists, it is so much easier to provide advice and planning to those who really understand what retirement means to them individually.
Another step is to challenge yourself to some pretty tough questions like….what happens if I get sick or injured….What if my spouse dies prematurely…..or what if I run into some kind of financial hardship for whatever reason? Asking yourself these kinds of questions might sound a little depressing but I ensure you that it will begin to uncover any potential risks in your financial objectives. This kind of exercise will quickly prompt you out of complacency and seek financial direction and guidance.
The single most important step will be to seek advice from a qualified and reputable financial planner and \ or life coach advisor, who has had the luxury of seeing all these experiences before with clients. You will be surprised that there are really a multitude of solutions to every potential issue and current financial circumstance. An experienced and qualified financial planner has the unique ability to link these important life issues with the right advice and match your retirement assets to your retirement goals and objectives. The bottom line is they help you solve any current or potential issues, work out retirement income needs and help you sleep at night.
This article is for information purposes only. It is recommended that individuals consult with their Wealth Advisor before acting on any information contained in this article. The author is an employee of ScotiaMcLeod, a division of Scotia Capital Inc. (“SCI”), but the data selection, analysis and views expressed herein are solely those of the author and not necessarily those of SCI. The author has taken all usual and reasonable precautions to determine that the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. ScotiaMcLeod is a division of Scotia Capital Inc., Member CIPF.
Photo Credit: Sal Falko