“Retirement, a time to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, where you want to do it and how you want to do it,” – Catherine Pulsifer
First things first - define what retirement means for you. It means different things to different people:-->Do nothing, seat in front of the house and become the street security camera, the crazy old man harassing younger folks about how they are being rude or mannerless? Or the pleasant old woman always greeting every passerby and asking how their day went?-->Or a time when you are free of financial worry and stopped working?-->Time when you finally decided to do what's fun and important for you?-->Time to spend time with grandkids?-->Time to travel?-->Time to gossip?
It doesn't matter what you decide, you need to think about it and plan for it.
Today is the tomorrow you talked about yesterday!
Like a lot of other things, I believe that retirement is a journey.
I came across an organization in the United States called the TIAA Institute (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America). They are a research institute that provides actionable information that anyone can make use of in the areas of financial security and higher education. In 2017, they conducted a Transition to Retirement study which showed that Americans look for 3 major things in retirement -
1. Freedom from financial worries. (money?)2. Flexibility to do whatever they want. (time?)3. Relaxation time with family and travel.
I know this is not a Canadian survey but isn't that what most of us really want?
So as first-generation Canadian immigrants, how should you then approach retirement planning?
Consider your age - how old are you and when do you want to retire?
Consider the lifestyle plan you designed or want. What will retirement look like for you financially and time-wise? People do all sorts in retirement - they volunteer, go back to School/pick up new skills, become teachers/mentors, travel, rekindle an old hobby, work - because they want to (not because they need to), spend more time with friends and families, get more active in politics, etc.
Consider your health - how healthy are you?
Consider the life expectancy for an averagely healthy person in Canada.
Consider your responsibility towards your kids if you have them.