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Planning Your Retirement Needs
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Planning Your Retirement Needs

What this article is not…a financial guide to planning your retirement. If that’s what you need, you need to either do a search online or go to your local bank and have a chat with your favorite bank agent. I just performed a quick search and most banks and finance companies have excellent online services and information that are probably exactly what you are looking for.

A recent study showed that extra income was needed over and above any pension and/or RRSP income. This is something that we need to know now and need to plan for now.

If you’re like me, we think that after working all of our lives and contributing to one or more pension plans and/or RRSPs we will be OK when we retire. I was a little shocked when I looked at the chart and saw how much might be needed to supplement our pensions, whether it is with RRSPs, personal savings, or even part-time employment.

Guess we need to “check our assumptions at the door”.

1. Think About Your Finances – while this article is not a guide it is surely a “gentle nudge” to you, and to me, to get us thinking about our retirement and what we may need to have in terms of retirement income. We've worked all our lives often planning each step of our career or doing what we needed to do to get that next promotion or raise. Why wouldn't we determine what our income needs to be when we retire?

With the many retirement calculators available we should be plugging the numbers now so we know what we will have coming in when it’s time. I also encourage you to take your business to your bank; you know, the one that you've financed your mortgage, vehicles, loans, education…kids…through. After this many years of dedicated patronage, they are more than eager to help you plan your financial steps to retirement.

2. How to Switch from “Work-Busy” to “Retirement-Busy” – so what will you do with those many hours…days…months…years (remember, we’re living longer) when you retire? Got a plan or do you have a picture of yourself lounging in your favorite chair watching your favorite movie or reading your favorite books day in and day out? Sounds like all the chastising you did of your teens when you needed to motivate them to get off their butts and do something with their lives.

Well, the same goes for us. We cannot allow ourselves to sit around and add to the flab. We've been busy working, vacationing, raising families all our lives…we cannot stop now! Make your plans, dream your dreams, and be alive in your retirement! Whether you choose to learn or become better at a hobby, write a book, travel, join clubs, or even become involved in a cause that’s dear to your heart, you need to plan this. Don’t work your last day without knowing what you will do on the first day of retirement…OK, take one day off (insert smiley face here).

3. Also, don’t lock the door – when talking about our retirement needs, we need to make sure that we are not locking ourselves up inside our mortgage-free house. Don’t become a loner, a hermit, the “crazy old person that lives next door”.

Engage in your community. Volunteer at your local hospital or get involved with your church. Find something that continues to give you meaning and purpose. Baby Boomers are accustomed to being busy and providing for others through our work. Remember, work is no longer there, but providing for others and giving to them, giving to ourselves, are things that you still need to plan for and do.

4. Work if you have to or want to – as noted earlier, some retirees have to work to bring in that extra retirement money that they need to “make ends meet”, even in retirement. There is nothing wrong or bad about this, it is simply the reality given the cost of living, etc.

However, it might also be that you want to work to earn some extra money to take those fun trips, learn that new hobby (doesn't have to be golf...insert another smiley face here), or even to donate to your favorite charity or cause. The reasons are your own but sometimes our pension and/or RRSP may not be quite enough and we need a little help through by working a part-time job.

When all is said and done, planning for your retirement needs is not just about money and making sure you have enough when it’s your turn to work your last day. This planning includes what you need as a retiree to continue to live a full and rewarding life. We've been focused this long, why wouldn't it continue into our retirement years?

Don’t wait until you retire to begin planning. Start now, whether you’re 30 or 50, start thinking about it and start dreaming about what you might do that work hours has not let you do up until now. Don’t tarnish your “golden years” by not planning in advance.

Street Talk

Great article, yes you sure need to plan your retirement, stick to your plans, as it's not a easy thing to do after working for so many years.

  about 9 years ago

Nice take on retirement! Keep up the good work Rick!

  about 9 years ago
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