For those about to leave the work force after many years of hard work and toil,..." />

The Transition to Retirement

Posted 26 Aug 2014 by Rick Irwin, CFP, CLU

For those about to leave the work force after many years of hard work and toil, you are now making the transition to what may be the most rewarding and satisfying period of your life, retirement. Over the years you have no doubt had some pleasant daydreams about the pleasures of retirement and the rewarding and relaxing time to be spent. In many cases those daydreams have been of a very general nature: I want to relax, I want to spend more time with my family, I want to play golf, or I want to travel. However, now that retirement is actually here, you should probably spend some time considering what retirement will mean specifically for your time and lifestyle. If you have a spouse you should approach this pleasant task together to ensure that you both enjoy the coming years as much as possible.

Transitioning into retirement will mean a change in your lifestyle and some of your life goals. Part of my role is to help with strategies and advice for balancing your priorities and making progress towards achieving your financial goals. Take this opportunity to review your priorities and consider asking your advisor these questions:

  • How will my investment requirements change in retirement? 
  • What is the best way to structure my retirement income so I don’t lose age benefits and credits? 
  • How can my spouse and I minimize taxes in retirement? 
  • My spouse and I both have sources of income, which should we use first? 
  • Does my provincial health plan cover me when I spend time in the US? 
  • Should I be updating my Will? 
  • Should I be passing on assets to my family now or should I do it through my Will? 
  • Should I consider a Reverse Mortgage or Home Equity Line of Credit? 
  • How can I reduce my financial risks due to health problems? 
  • What do I need to consider if I travel outside the country? 

If you are interested in exploring this issue, I have a useful retirement planning workbook called “What do you love to do” that helps you paint a picture of your ideal retirement.

What do you love to do?

From there we can work together to help ensure your nest egg will be sufficient to support your core needs as well as your dreams. As investors -- and as financial planners -- too often we are focused on creating and preserving the wealth and less on what that wealth can actually do for us when the time comes. As the saying goes:

“A map is only good if you know where you are going.”