Archive for category Financial Planning

Retiring Retirement (National Post) and more…

Retiring Retirement…that’s the title of an article in which I was recently interviewed for. I like the sound of that phrase (retiring retirement). It sounds a bit like this blog’s name and philosophy: UNretiredLife.  Well, as many of you may know – retiring the old notion of retirement is a topic I’ve addressed for quite some time. This year, there’s been a huge ramp up of this story as boomers have turned 65. Media, banks and many other players in the financial services industry have hop on to this new narrative of what ‘retirement’ is going to mean to boomers. A paradigm shift to say the least!

In the News! In the past couple weeks, I’ve been quoted quite extensively in articles about work and life in so-called retirement. See below. And, btw, if you feel you are years away from retirement and don’t need to think about this – well, think again. Planning for life (and possibly work/career) in the next stage of life takes time. I know. I started in my ’40′s — and as many of you know, I have been developing an extensive second career that could serve me well into my so-called retirement years (Big Cheese Coaching)  — alongside my other career in communications.  Takes work. Planning. Thinking. And more.

Anyways, don’t take it just from me – hear what others have to say:

Retiring Retirement – and how boomers can stay engaged with work and life (Investment Executive, November 2011)

Retirement Can Get Old Very Fast – if you don’t do the ‘life planning’ part of it (National Post, November 5, 2011)

Post-work Planning – how boomers can plan for life after full time work (Investment Executive, November 2011)

To a TGIM work+life in all stages of work and life!


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Try the Retro Retirement…In the News

Anyone who pays attention to all the marketing buzz regarding retirement savings will feel they need to save millions to live a good, happy and meaningful retired life. Not so, says a recent article in the National Post, written by Garry Marr.  “Try the Retro Retirement” – shows how one couple is living a full and happy retirement lifestyle without spending lots.

I was interviewed for this article and quoted towards the end. In my chat with the reporter, I shared a few thoughts. Here’s a quick recap of our chat (since we spoke about more than what he was able to include in the article quote):

Living a meaningful life during so-called retirement is not only about the financial planning and money side of things. It’s about life planning. Every individual will have their own ‘version’ of what makes for meaningful life. So the key to planning is to first articulate your goals, what’s important to you; how you will spend your time; your must-haves vs. ‘nice to haves’, etc…..only then will you know how much $ you need to fund that lifestyle.

There are many dimensions to consider when planning for that next stage of life: your material needs of course  but also your emotional, intellectual and physical needs. Not everyone wants to travel the world. For some people, having more time with family and friends and personal pursuits will fulfill their dream life. Volunteering, learning a new hobby or advancing an existing one.

The options are many. So before you make assumptions about how much $ you need, take the time to explore what ‘meaningful life’ will be all about for you. That combined with the essentials (costs for home, food, etc.), will be a better starting point for your planning.

To the UNretiredLife!

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Do You Have the Green Light to Retire?

Further to my post yesterday, here’s another article of a similar theme:  boomers are not rushing out to do a full stop retirement. Many are heading back to work. Another Certified Financial Planner (Ted Rechtshaffen) wrote an article for the Globe and Mail’s “Globe Investor” and invited me to comment on this.

The article begins with this:  I think we all know of people who retired but then changed their mind. What made them go back to work? What lessons can it teach to those who are now thinking about retirement?


To success and fulfillment in your own version of UNretiredLife!



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A New Definition of Retirement: “Freedom to Choose”

I had an interesting conversation with my Certified Financial Planner professional the other day.  I recently made a change in advisors and in the process of establishing the engagement, we have been reviewing all aspects of my financial plan. That of course, includes retirement.

Like any good planner, he asked the question: At what age are you thinking of retiring? Well, let me tell you how I resisted answering that question! I wanted to send him straight to this blog so he could understand that retirement ain’t what it used to be (I exclaim with indignation! 🙂 ). Like many other Canadians, I will likely work for quite some time — not just for financial reasons but because I get a lot of satisfaction from my work. According to many recent polls, I am not alone.  

 But my CFP did understand. He said: “Well, Eileen, I have a different definition of retirement. Rather than it being a fixed date when you stop working, I see it more as a time (projected) when you will have the freedom to choose. It may or may not include work but you have that freedom to decide.”

Business man with briefcase jumping in air in search of success

Ohhhhh…I like the sound of that.  The ‘freedom to choose’ ….isn’t that delicious?

It can be daunting to pin-point a date in time when you will retire (especially if you are still young…literally…or ‘at heart’). So reframing it to ‘freedom to choose’ (whether work is part of your retirement or not) is much more palatable and easier to do when it feels you are years away. The bottom line is you do need to prepare financially and you need a target time-frame. But this definition offers some much appreciated wiggle room on what retirement will mean to you.  

Some people will argue that you always have a choice. But let’s be real. Different lifestages bring different commitments. If you are early in the mortgage, raising kids, sending them to school (like many Canadians), then you gotta work hard to bring in the dough. But at some point, those obligations shift and there does come a time for many when there can be a loosening up of the wealth accumulation agenda (unless you are committed to spend, spend spend). Do you have to work as hard? Do you want to? Maybe, maybe not.

Getting clear on your goal age to have freedom to choose is both a financial planning question and a life planning question. Success in the UNretiredLife involves planning in all three dimensions:  work + life + financial. 

If you don’t yet have a financial planner yet, I encourage you to check out Financial Planning Standards Council  and select their ‘choose a planner’ function to find a CFP professional in your area. And do check out the tips in what to consider when hiring (disclaimer: I have a professional involvement with FPSC and I believe wholeheartedly in their mission). 

And if you would like some help with the life planning dimension — to explore your possibilities, then give me a call!

To your version of a meaningful UNretiredLife!


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