(NC) 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, don’t give it up,” says Dack. “When some people get to 60 or 65, they’re still feeling energetic and productive so retiring may not seem like such a great idea.”
Getting yourself ready involves a lot of mental work. The first step 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. Having a clear picture will help you prepare for it.
For those vacillating between retiring now or staying at work, ask 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? This may help clarify your position toward retirement, as well as your motivations and possible fears.
“Having a clear vision of how you plan to spend your time is a tremendous advantage when deciding 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 but having an initial plan before going into it will be very helpful as you begin the journey.”
Written and published by Investors Group as a general source of information only. Not intended as a solicitation to buy or sell specific investments, or to provide tax, legal or investment advice. Seek advice on your specific circumstances from an Investors Group Consultant.