The average Canadian retires at around 64.4 years old. While retirement is often thought of as an idyllic time of relaxation, that’s often not the case for retirees. For some, financial struggles mar their retirement. For others, all of the downtime proves more of a burden than the break it’s intended to be. That makes planning a crucial task before you have retirement on the near horizon. Keep reading for six things you should consider if you’re retiring in Canada.
Much like Americans, Canadians must give serious consideration to their financial health post-retirement. While you cannot predict things like the recent spikes in inflation, you can make some general predictions about things like the cost of living. Then, you can plan around those predictions in terms of retirement savings. Also, don’t get too caught up in conversations like RSP vs RRSP. While you might run across minor differences, they are essentially the same thing.
Something else you want to consider is the location of your retirement. While many people want to stay in the area where they live, the cost of living often makes it impractical. For example, Ontario has the highest cost of living of any province. Moving to Saskatchewan or Manitoba can reduce your cost of living substantially and let you stretch your retirement savings out.
Post-retirement work may sound like a contradiction in terms, but it’s more common than you might expect. Many people find that they miss having somewhere to go and something to do daily. Of course, not everyone wants to work a full-time job, but may take up freelancing or consulting so they have a steady stream of part-time work. You may even take a long-term hobby and turn it into a small business.
Plan Activities in Advance
Many people assume that they’ll reach retirement and automatically know what to do with their time. The reality is often much more complicated. Some people do discover that they have no trouble filling up their time. Others find themselves drifting from day to day with no purpose. Even if you don’t plan on working after retirement, you should plan some kind of activities for yourself in advance. For example, you can make travel plans or pick out hobbies that you want to try.
Literal Closet Cleaning
If you work in a professional field, the odds are good that you have a lot of clothing that you bought specifically to wear to work. Once you move into retirement, you probably aren’t going to need most of those clothes. While you don’t need a full purge of your closet, it makes sense to offload some of that clothing. Consider donating some of those clothes to a local Goodwill or similar charitable organization. If you’re not fully committed to the idea of not working anymore, hang on to half of those clothes so you can dress professionally if the need arises.
Get Your Paperwork in Order
A key task you take care of at retirement, if you haven’t already, is getting your affairs in order. For example, you should make sure that you have things like a medical power of attorney or health care proxy to make sure you get the kind of treatment you want or need in the event of a medical emergency. Beyond that, you should also get a finalized will to make sure that your property goes to the people you want it to go to after your death. While these tasks may feel a little morbid, taking care of them can save your loved ones a lot of trouble and stress in the long run.
Retirement and You
Many view retirement with some trepidation because they don’t know what to do with themselves. The key to avoiding that kind of uncertainty is planning. Start early and get your finances in order. For that matter, get your legal paperwork in order. Think about things like the cost of living and tuck away enough in your retirement to finance your lifestyle. Consider where you might move to lower your cost of living. Decide if you’ll keep working or at least make plans for how you’ll spend your time post-retirement. That planning will give your retirement some structure and even help provide you with purpose.