Ready for Retirement?
Saying so long to work might be the biggest career move you make. How can you decide when it’s time to go?
Long gone are the days when it was mandatory that Canadian workers retire at 65. Now, people can call it quits at any age as long as they have the resources to make retirement work. When to leave the workforce, though, is not an easy question to answer.
Deciding when to retire could be the most important career decision of a person’s life. It’s also often the most emotional one, says Kate Dack, a Victoria-based clinical counsellor and founder of Retirement Coaching Canada, a firm that helps clients prepare mentally and emotionally for retirement. Retirement can be an emotional tug-of-war that alternates between dreamy visions of life after work – sleeping in, travelling the world – and worries about post-working life, she explains.
Choosing a retirement date takes some serious introspection. However, if you’re not ready to face a world of no work, then don’t give it up, says Dack. “When some people get to 60 or 65, they’re still feeling energetic and productive,” she says. “Retiring may not seem like such a great idea.”
Getting yourself ready for retirement involves a lot of mental work, says Hani Kafoury, a Montreal-based psychotherapist and career coach at Tranzition Consulting Services. The first step, he says, is to recognize retirement as a real possibility and then to start planning a new reality with less, or no, employment.
Think hard about what retirement will look like. “Have as clear a picture as possible of what you want your retirement years to look like and to feel like,” he says. “If you don’t know what that picture is going to look like, how would you prepare for it?”
For those vacillating between retiring now or staying on at work, Kafoury suggests asking yourself a few questions: Do you still enjoy your work? Are you great at it? What will you gain by retiring today? What will you lose? Will your partner and family members support your decision to retire? “Answering these questions may help clarify your position toward retirement, as well as your motivations and possible fears,” he says.
“Having a clear vision of how you plan to spend your time is a tremendous advantage when you are trying to decide whether to retire,” said Debbie Ammeter, Vice President of Advanced Financial Planning at Investors Group. “Of course, your life in retirement will change over time – just as your life has always changed – but having an initial plan before going into retirement will be very helpful as you begin the journey.”
December 14, 2015
This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Québec – a Financial Services Firm), and Investors Group Securities Inc. (in Québec, a firm in Financial Planning) presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Contact your own advisor for specific advice about your circumstances. For more information on this topic please contact your Investors Group Consultant.