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Transitioning into retirement: What will work mean
to you?

A survey of Canadian retirees conducted for TD Waterhouse in March 2008 asked: “If you could offer advice to someone planning for retirement, what would it be?” Almost 60% of respondents said, “Take time to prepare for and understand what you want out of retirement.”

“Planning for the next stage in your life is taking on extra significance,” says Patricia Lovett-Reid, Senior Vice President, TD Waterhouse. “For many of us, the goal of early and total retirement is being replaced by a desire to stay in the workforce and take on new opportunities.”

A recent Statistics Canada study showed that six in 10 Canadians aged 50 to 64 were employed or looking for work in 2006. That’s 2.1 million people — more than double the number in 1976. The elimination of mandatory retirement at age 65 means many more Canadians will work past the traditional retirement age.

“Today it is much less likely that our working lives will come to a sudden halt,” continues Lovett-Reid. “Instead, we are staying in our careers longer, working part-time or starting new businesses. Work is now seen as part of the transition into retirement.”

Self-employment is a popular option, says Lovett-Reid. Not only does working for yourself provide income, it offers independence and the opportunity to pursue personal interests and opportunities.

“The role work will play in our future will affect how we plan and save for retirement,” concludes Lovett-Reid. “That’s why it’s very helpful for pre-retirees to sit down with a financial advisor and discuss the next phase of their lives.”

Here are some questions to consider before your meeting:

  • What does work mean to you?
  • Do you need to stay busy?
  • Does the idea of starting a business appeal to you?
  • Do you have the skills and entrepreneurial drive to succeed in self-employment?
  • Could you, or the beneficiaries of your estate, benefit from the extra income that working longer will bring?

If you’ve already started thinking about working during your retirement years, be sure to talk to your financial advisor. That way you’ll be able to identify your goals clearly and develop a plan to reach them.