Living Your Retirement

Q.1. How will my life change?

Retirement is a relatively new phenomenon and it is not for everyone – for some it is not financially possible to retire and live the life they prefer. If you enjoy your work and you have the option, you may choose not to retire. Some people work well into their seventies and eighties or even longer. Before you retire you need to reflect on where you get your enjoyment and satisfaction in life. If you get it primarily from work, you might consider not retiring, or putting it off as long as you can. If you do choose to retire, retirement is about more than just having enough money. You will now have the responsibility of controlling your time. If you worked for an employer, the discipline that your job gave to your day has now been removed and you will need to give purpose to your day. For this reason you need to make plans concerning what you want to accomplish. Engage in activities that give your day purpose and keep your mind sharp. Staying active, joining social organizations and clubs and volunteering are ways of providing activity, meaning and variety to your life.

Q.2. What will my retirement lifestyle be?

When you retire your lifestyle may be different from the one you lived during your working years. How it will differ will depend upon your goals and your ability to afford those choices. Using a retirement lifestyle quiz can help you make the appropriate choices.

Q.3. Will moving help my money go further?

Where you choose to live after your retirement will obviously affect your finances. Even if you have paid off your mortgage housing costs could be the biggest expense you have after you retire. Many people who retire choose to sell and downsize their living accommodations to save costs. Others look to relocate to a smaller community to reduce costs and still others make a far more dramatic move and relocate to another country where costs are less. When making a decision such as whether or not to move, ensure that you take into consideration such things as family and social circles, your health needs and the type of lifestyle you wish to live.

Q.4. What happens if I go back to work?

Many retirees choose to return to work. They do not necessarily return to the same type of work but find other forms of employment. If you choose to do this there could be implications for your government pension or your company pension plan. For example, beginning in 2012, if you are aged 65 to 70 and you work while receiving the Canada Pension Plan retirement pension you can choose to make CPP contributions and your employer will also have to make payments. This will increase your CPP the following year. If you are self-employed you would have to make both the personal and employer payments. There could, however, be negative consequences for your company pension. You need to check with the company to determine the implications.