D. Smith: Drawing a picture of what retirement will look like

Have you started to think about what your plans will be during your retirement years?

How will you spend your days that will turn into weeks, months and years in retirement?

Statistics Canada reports the average man who reaches age 65 could expect to live an additional 18.1 years and a 65 year old woman could live an additional 21.3 years.

Retirement planning is a big part of my discussion with clients.  It is important to spend some time in pre-retirement to plan what you will do “for the rest of your life”.

As a woman I look forward to living an estimated 20 plus years in retirement.

That means I must make plans for how I will live in retirement.

I am very aware that I need to plan what I will do at the end of my own working career; plan on how I will fill those many days and nights in my own future.

Taking care of our own health is very important to having a healthy retirement.

We may consider ourselves too busy during our working years to get sufficient exercise or focus on eating properly.

It is necessary to take the time out of our busy schedule to make the time to exercise and focus on our health.

We have to take care of our bodies throughout our life time so our bodies will take care of us in our later years.

Keeping my mind active outside of my career is very important.

During my work day, I sit at my desk and do financial plans, focusing on numbers and business.

While I am not at work, I know it is important to keep the other parts of my brain exercising and to focus on enjoying non business activities.

I enjoy listening to music, keep physically active and volunteer on a regular basis.

Volunteers live an average of 10 years longer than non-volunteers because they tend to focus on someone or something other than own problems.

Canadians with a written financial and lifestyle plan are more confident of what their future will look like.

The written plan can combine finances and lifestyle and may be worthwhile to keep a bucket list of things you have always wanted to do, but never had time to.

Anticipation is considered a big part of the journey.

Aging is a vibrant time; people want to live life well, are engaged in their communities and contribute to society.

“Age 70 is the new 50; age 60 is the new 40”.  Believe it!

Aging has never been better. Survey results show that nearly all seniors in Canada (97 per cent) are satisfied with their lives in general and 70 per cent say they have very good or excellent mental health.

In virtually every field of medicine, life-prolonging advances are being made.

Modern medicine helps keep people from dying from disease, but the major effect is likely improved living conditions.

In the “old days” retirement meant slowing down and many people died soon after retiring.

In current times, our longevity has increased to give us several decades of living well.

It is a good idea to plan for retirement—some people plan more for their next vacation which might last a few weeks—instead of a retirement that can last more than 20 years.

Aging is a positive thing, given the alternative.

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