I wanted to start dipping into RRSPs and share an understanding of how they work. Before I delve into the subject however, I think it’s important to understand what the word “retirement” means to you. I don’t particularly like to imagine my future in terms of exactly where I will be as the level of uncertainty makes it quite hard; but I do believe it’s important to consider current values, interests, and beliefs. How could they play a role after the “more active working years of my life”? 

Now I say the more active working years because I imagine I won’t be comfortable going full stop. I’ve always had this driving force behind me that doesn’t seem to allow me to sit still. Being sedentary in a lazy boy watching CNN and working on my latest crossword puzzle subscriptions doesn’t seem fitting for my future. Maybe I will be working on some projects that could potentially supply income; but I’d like to have peace of mind in knowing that I don’t need it. I worked hard and put money away in my younger years to allow for my security. It’s there. Certainly there are bound to be factors that need to be considered. Just because you’re retired, does not mean that the expenses stop as well. These are just some of the many things to look forward to:

  • Increasing cost of healthcare, prescription drugs etc.
  • Life insurance, disability, as well as other premiums that will have to be paid
  • Automobile maintenance, gas, and insurance
  • Home owners insurance, property taxes, maintenance, and utilities
  • Entertainment costs i.e. Netflix, cable, internet etc.
  • Retirement housing
  • Funeral plans (I personally won’t want to leave my family with the bill to put me on the other side of the grass)

When it comes to retirement, I think of the family I may have down the road. What experiences would I like to be able to share with them? Being able to afford experiencing outings and engaging in activities with those close to me will certainly cost money. And if they decide to move away from the old man version of me, I’ll need some cash-ola to chase them across the world. Maintaining good health and wellness throughout my life is an important value of mine. I engage in a very active lifestyle. As an old man will I summit the swiss alps? Probably not. Will I be interested in doing similar activities? I very well could be!  Where will I be within my community? Could I have other retired chums that get together every sunday and go golfing? I could see myself as part of an old man crew that hits the fairways from time to time; and golfing is EXPENSIVE! There are a lot of things to consider based on interests that will also cost money in your later years. I think that I have illustrated the point that when the working income stops, the expenses certainly do not!

Let me say that again;

When the working income stops, the expenses certainly do not!


It is important to consider your 5 W’s; who, what, where, when, why, and lets not forget about the hows.

  • Who will be there, and how will they influence your future?
  • What does retirement mean for you? What are your values, interests, and beliefs?
  • Where do you want to be when you retire? Where will you be living?
  • When do you plan to, or at least hope to retire?
  • How will you get there? How will you be using money after you’re out of your prime working years? How are you going to save to ensure you have the retirement you had hoped for?

So, what does “Retirement” mean to you?





One Response to What Does “Retirement” Mean To You?

  1. I’m in semi-retirement right now due to my freelancing situation. I work a bit, take a year or two off.. work again.. it’s kind of nice. I think I’d rather do this than work like a dog then have absolutely nothing to do after the age of 65 except sit on my bum and twiddle my thumbs.

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