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Retiring soon? Plan for your time as well as your money

August 11, 2023

As baby boomers age, thousands of Canadians are retiring each day. But are they ready? Many people learn too late that they could have prepared better for post-work life. Our goal is to help you avoid this regret.

When we think of retirement planning, saving and budgeting usually come to mind. While finances are important, emotional factors matter too. How will you spend your time in retirement? How do you feel when the financial market moves? What is your personal health status? Many factors beyond financial security contribute to a successful retirement. 

Invest more than just money

For many of us, work provides a sense of purpose, self-worth, and social community. Moving away from structured work weeks to having no fixed routine can be exciting and unsettling at the same time. What would you do if you had several hours of newfound free time each day? 

It can take some time to get into the groove of retirement. We have had many conversations with clients who, despite being financially secure, felt nervous about retiring. We encourage new retirees to stay actively involved in their communities where they can be engaging in travel, family time, charity work, or volunteering. 

Identifying what drives you at work and seeking other sources of purpose later in life is essential. Perhaps your fulfillment comes from problem-solving, learning new skills, connecting with people, or managing projects; many of which can be found outside the workplace. 

To expand your knowledge and skillset, seek creative and stimulating activities such as reading, cooking, or educational courses. Some people choose to consult part-time, sit on foundation boards, or invest personally. Additionally, prioritizing existing friendships, fostering new relationships, and staying connected with former colleagues can improve your overall well-being. Harvard’s long-standing study of adult development states that quality relationships are the best predictor of happiness and longevity for seniors. 

Bottom line? Have a plan for your time, not just your money. 

Do a temperature check

As we have learned, feeling anxious about post-work life is normal. Likely for the first time in their lives, people about to retire (or those choosing to reduce their earned income significantly) will rely heavily on their savings to cover spending.

In the years leading up to retirement, consciously reflect on your sensitivity to market movements. When your portfolio value declines, how do you feel? Does this cause a lot of worry? Be sure not to let unsettling thoughts about retirement cloud your views on investing. 

Talk to your investment manager, stick to your long-term financial plan, and understand how your money is invested. What risks are you taking to generate a return? In some cases, adjustments may be necessary. Ensure you feel comfortable and confident, both from a knowledge perspective and asset mix point of view.

Time horizon matters

Lastly, your unique time horizon is important. What is your current health status and family history? In Canada today, a 65-year-old woman is expected to live until age 88 (84 for men). This is two years longer for both genders compared to 2015 estimates.  

Living longer is a blessing but also means greater strain on your retirement portfolio. One retiree interviewed by the Wall Street Journal regrets stopping work at age 65, partly because he missed additional years of saving. Now he relies too heavily on government benefits.

Conversely, living longer can also mean more time for personal connections. We urge people with wealth beyond their spending needs to consider giving to family or charity early instead of leaving their estate transfer until death. It can be meaningful to experience firsthand the benefits of sharing your wealth.

Planning for retirement should not be tedious or stressful. Leaving work can be an exciting adventure, and it is important to recognize that many dimensions lead to a happy retirement. CC&L Private Capital’s planning framework can help you quantify the impact of key decisions that affect your financial future (e.g., When can I retire? How much can I give?).

Financial security and emotional fulfillment go hand in hand. Our Wealth Advisors across the country are always ready to answer your questions. Whether you are a valued client or interested in discovering more about how CC&L Private Capital can steward your wealth with confidence, please get in touch.




This post is for information only and not intended as investment advice. The views expressed are subject to change at any time.

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Catherine Dorazio
Managing Director
Business Development

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