The idea of retirement is one of the most misunderstood concepts in Canada. Many people mistakenly believe that it means to cease doing anything useful or productive. For many people, the concept of the “perfect retirement” is a time to do something that they have always wanted to do but never had the time or opportunity to pursue. It may be a hobby, such as painting, gardening, restoring cars, writing or whatever else you might enjoy doing.
For others, this change in lifestyle isn’t their idea of a dream retirement. For them, the idea that they are expected to stop working is just not acceptable. They have the mindset that retirement from work is equivalent with no longer living.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to continue working while in your retirement years.
If you have been a productive worker all of your life and someone asked you what your dream retirement might look like, you might respond “to continue working” because you may be one of those people for whom work is what gives meaning and purpose to life.
We shouldn’t impose the same standards of retirement on everyone. To say that to enjoy your golden years, you must take up fishing, start sleeping until noon, sit in a rocker and watch the day go by while you gradually turn into a senior citizen is not a pleasant thought. If working is the thing that would make your retirement meaningful, embrace that and enjoy it!
There are many seniors looking for part-time work so that they can supplement their income while staying active and involved with society. Continuing to work may help you feel younger and more vital, giving you a sense of purpose while providing an opportunity for social interaction. Working while in retirement allows you to develop new skills, giving you a feeling of self-worth. It also boosts your sense of independence.
If you are thinking about retiring from your job but want to continue working, here are some suggestions:
1. Find out if you can continue working part-time or on contract after you retire from your regular job.
You will probably be surprised at how many opportunities there are for seniors in this area. For example, if you have been an accountant all your life you could consult. Consider getting a job as a consultant or freelance worker in your field of expertise. This way you can work on projects that interest you and also make some extra money on the side. For example, if you’ve been an accountant all of your life, why not get a job teaching young entrepreneurs how to do basic bookkeeping? If you have been a teacher you could offer to tutor students in your area of expertise.
2. Consider starting your own business.
If you have always wanted to be an entrepreneur, now is the time to start. You can work from home, which will give you more time to spend with your family. And if you are retired, you don’t need to worry about paying rent or utilities. The internet can also open up worlds of money making opportunities that you can use to land work or sell something you may have made by setting up your own web site and learning how to promote yourself online. Many cottage industries have taken off and been hugely successful. For example, you could start a business that involves selling items online. If you are talented at making beautiful artistic pottery, you can create a line of pots that is perfect for sale over the internet. If you have an idea for a product, you could get it developed and work with a marketer to help sell it online. The ways you can create a new business in your retirement years are only limited by your imagination.
3. Get involved in volunteer work
Do something that is important to you and contribute your skills and knowledge without having to worry about making money or having a boss who is constantly looking over your shoulder. If you enjoy working but aren’t needing the financial help, consider getting involved in volunteer work. For example, you could volunteer at a local animal shelter or a food bank. This will help you feel like you’re doing something useful, and it will also give you a chance to meet new people. It’s always nice to meet new people, and you never know when you’ll meet someone who is a great fit for your business (see point #2).
To help you with planning these retirement goals, reach out to Pension Solutions Canada and ask to schedule a call with one of our Certified Financial Planners. We’ll assess your situation and assist you with creating a realistic retirement plan with goals you can successfully achieve. The team at Pension Solutions Canada specializes in helping individuals prepare for retirement and protect their assets. We can also help you with estate planning, address tax minimization, and answer all of your retirement and pension questions. Call us at 1-888-554-6661.