Hot off the press – The view of Canadian retirees and pre-retirees age 45 and older on retirement!

Reading this report in full or the executive summary may provide you with insights on what to expect on your journey to or through retirement and also help you feel normal if those around you have different perspectives on how that next chapter will look. And the questions posed to ask yourself (see Stages to the retirement journey below) are a great start if you’re looking ahead to retirement or in it and floundering.

The study was conducted by Edward Jones (a full-service investment dealer) in partnership with Age Wave (a thought leader on population aging and its implications) and The Harris Poll (a global consulting and market research firm).

Here are highlights that stood out for me.

Pillars for living well in retirement

Health, family (read connections), purpose, and finances are the interconnected pillars for living well in retirement underpinning this report and the webinar I co-created with Glory Gray of Glory Grey Wealth Solutions that looks at The Real Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Retire. Glory and I quote data from an earlier version of this research in our webinar. What surprised me in this newer report is how few Canadian pre-retirees age 45+ felt very prepared for the retirement journey in those pillars — not many – with preparedness for finances and health lagging behind family and purpose.

A new chapter in life

No surprise that current pre-retirees and retirees (herein, the respondents) don’t see themselves having their parents’ or grandparents’ retirement. The retirement of generations that came before was described by 40% of respondents as “a time for rest and relaxation” compared to 54% seeing their own retirement as “a new chapter in life.”

One size does not fit all

Quoting 2020 Public Health Agency of Canada data, this report points out that the average Canadian spends the last 11 years of life with their activities at least partially – and often seriously – curtailed by illness, injury, or cognitive decline. No, we can’t view the lives of those in retirement through a single lens.

Stages to the retirement journey

This report describes four stages to the retirement journey: anticipation (10-0 years before retirement), liberation/disorientation (0-2 years after retirement), reinvention (3-14 years after retirement), and reflection/resolution (15+ years after retirement). For more questions to ask yourself in any one of these stages, see the full report.

To work or not to work – that is the question?

Actually, among respondents, of Canadian retirees 0-2 years in retirement, 55% are working in some way – 29% working part time, 20% cycling between work and leisure, and 6% working full time. The remaining 45% say they are never working for pay again.

What about this report stands out for you? How is your journey to or through retirement going?

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