This Article is About
nose to the grindstone
ducks in a row
adult lives
live forever
Working Backwards From Retirement
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Working Backwards From Retirement

Retirement is typically something that’s coming, that we’re working towards. But what if I told you that you should actually be working backwards from your retirement? What do I mean?

50 – 65 Age Group

We actually begin to think we’re going to make it to retirement, although, many in this age group believe they can work well past the arbitrary 65 age. However, we can see the end in sight, and I mean that in an “I’m-going-to-live-forever” way, so we actually begin to count our chickens and get our ducks in a row.

We begin to plan what day one of our new lives will look like in our retirement, whether we plan to travel, learn something new, learn this internet thing, or even continue to work part-time. But we are definitely planning and visualizing ourselves enjoying the life we have worked all of our lives to enjoy. Yes, we did enjoy life before this but it was always the kids and jobs that were the priorities. Retirement is now about us…finally!

30 – 50 Age Group

I won’t spend a lot of time here because it’s already been a long and blurry and weary and expensive 20 years. Kids, pets, mortgage, schools, toys, vacations, cars…well, you get the picture. This was obviously a time of careers and families which form the bulk of our adult lives with responsibilities.

During this age period we’re tucking away the pension contributions whether through work and/or our own RRSP’s, 401’s, or whatever else investing that we need to do. Nose to the grindstone is the motto, knowing that those premiums are piling up and that one day we will get to reap the rewards (I always believe the propaganda, by the way).

But Retiring at 65 Starts at 25

For those who attend post-secondary you will typically commence your career at around age 25, so let’s use that for everyone (plus it works nicely with the “65 theme”).

In Canada, where I’m at, we typically start paying into the Canada Pension Plan right away (and I’m not giving any government secrets in telling you this). In other countries it may be different. Regardless, not enough young workers realize the importance of beginning now to understand the importance of saving for your retirement.

Ask most retirees and they can tell you what they would have done differently and earlier in order to better enjoy their retirement. You can even consult with a financial planner or retirement advisor, whichever you prefer, to ensure that you know what you will need for your retirement and how to start planning for that…today.

That being said, if you are like me and are already in the middle group or even the older group, it’s not too late. You should check out your retirement income based on current income if you have not already done so. Then you will have some idea of the amount you will have when your “golden watch day” arrives. This will also help you plan early should you need to continue working longer or even working part-time after you have retired.

So rather than look ahead to your retirement, use these age groups and work backwards so you know what you will need to do as early as possible. While the road may seem long ahead and you think you have all the time in the world to travel it, you should also plan out your route. Those retirement roadblocks could be just around the next corner.

Thanks for reading.

Street Talk

Nice Article. I am 72 but not retired, still running a dry stock farm with my husband. So hopefully I am trying to work backwards to 21, not having much success. Making good progress with setting up a website on WA.

  about 9 years ago

Hi and thanks for reading. Be great to be 21 again, wouldn't it?

  about 9 years ago

I'm just about to enter the 50 - 65 group. Where did those years go? Your article makes me reflect :)

  about 9 years ago

I'm in it already so that's probably what prompted the article. Not sure I'm ready to retire but I do know I better get planning. Thanks for reading.

  about 9 years ago
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