Stats Canada says that those who are 50 when asked about their retirement plans say that they plan to stay working until 64 and a bit. That is their intention. It may be their reality but, for some, a health concern of their own or that of a loved one may put a detour in that plan. For others, a layoff, a pink slip, a relocation, a disappearing position, or a tempting package will cause the required recalibration. The latter as a reason for retirement has doubled in the last few years. Retirement can be the best of times or the worst of times depending on the circumstances and attitudes of the retirees.
Related article: Is retirement really the best years of your life?
Those who have controlled their love of spending, lived within their means, and/or started saving early in their lives, tend to be happier and less stressed when contemplating the gift of modern times, their retirements. Circumstances and human nature often throw a monkey wrench into retirement plans, however. Many boomers are underfunded. Situations like grey divorce, low returns on investment over the last decade, health issues, the high life, the sandwich generation squeeze as well as career interruptions have put many in the position of having to keep on working for some time.
“I’m Never Going To Retire!”
I hear this more and more. A healthy 60 year old has a 50% chance of making it to 90 years of age. Can you really see yourself at 85 doing what you do now? The good news and the bad news is the same here…you could live a long time! That is why I take the never retire idea with a grain of salt. Retirement may be delayed for financial realities or because work is what makes life great for some, but, at some point, a change is going to come.
If you are lucky, you will retire. It is a gift. Get excited, learn new skills, try new experiences, make fun plans, and figure out how to add value to your own life, your family’s, or that of your country or community. Figure out how to revocate if that is what you wish. Lots of folks are starting businesses, using their experience and contacts to get new and different jobs, or volunteering at home or abroad. Figure out how to regenerate. Bring back a dream from earlier in your life and make it happen now. Engage in a passion that you have not had the time to up until now. Get excited by the possibilities!
Retirement can be whatever you want it to be
The new retirement is unique to each person. It is engaged, flexible, and hugely varied. It is living on a sailboat in Central America, volunteering with a fundraising campaign, building a Habitat for Humanity home, taking up a new sport, starting your own B & B, joining a band and cutting a CD, living in France for part of the year, and the options are endless when you have your health, some resources, and a good imagination. The Boomer generation has set its own pioneering paths before and is doing that again with a richness of retirement experience.
The boomerpreneur trend is happening with everything from the buying of franchises to on-line marketing start-up companies. Career fairs for older workers, 50+ career counselling and retraining, and websites like retiredworkers.ca help create options for Boomers interested in new careers and skills. Creative travel options from home exchanges to working abroad show the ingenuity and inventiveness of these new retirees.
No matter how or when you retire, treat it as the gift of a new life and make the very best you can of the opportunity.