“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”Attributed to various sources from Confucius to Mark Twain
“When do you think you’ll retire?” We get that question a lot. And it’s a reasonable one. Derek is older than the traditional retirement age. The average age of retirement for Canadian men is 65.5 years. For women, it’s 63.6 years. I’m not there yet. And we work for ourselves, which means it’s up to us to decide when we’ll stop. Perhaps when we get tired of the long commute to the basement. Or when our knees no longer allow us to do the stairs.
Many of our friends are retired. They’ve worked in traditional 9-5 jobs or they ran their own businesses. At a certain point they decided they had had enough. Our plan is to keep going. It’s mostly because we love the work, but also, who doesn’t want a little extra jingle in their jeans? And voice-over is something we can continue to do regardless of our ages, as long as our voices hold up.
Most Canadians approaching retirement won’t have a choice about whether or not to work past the end of their regular career. Or they’ll need to make deep cuts in their lifestyles to afford to stop working. A survey by Deloitte released this week finds only 14% of upcoming retirees are confident that they will live comfortably. They’re saving money for future care needs. Most others will have to make big changes to make their money last. We’re talking about middle class adults who have saved at least something for their old age.
The Government’s Contributions
Everyone seems to have a different take on Canada Pension Plan – CPP. You’re eligible at 60 but many people delay it so they’ll get a bigger payment once they opt in. I’m of a different mindset. It’s my philosophy that I could get mowed down by a bus or taken out another way at any moment. That’s my money, I paid into it, and I’d like to receive it now, thank you. To each their own.
And then there’s Old Age Security that kicks in at 65. That’s non-negotiable – you must take it! At age 75, it goes up by 10%. These benefits are great but the government sure hopes you’ve got RRSPs or another income source. Deloitte’s survey shows about one-million adults in this country will have to rely on government benefits alone. When costs go up, they might have to make tough decisions. Gold watches and fat pensions simply don’t exist for a lot of people. They certainly aren’t available to the self-employed.
Canada is one of the few countries in the world that hasn’t raised the age of retirement. It’s still 65. The US is moving it to 67 by 2027. In Ireland it’s 66, Portugal 68, Italy 71, and in the Netherlands it’s 74. It’s to compensate for longer life spans. When seniors access benefits later in life, the money will last longer. The Netherlands has one of the richest government pensions in the world.
The Bank of Montreal says we need $1.7-million to retire with. I had to stifle a guffaw. Although, they did suggest that we can count our real estate in that amount. It’s still way beyond the means of more than half of Canadians. Sheesh, “our” kids are struggling to buy a home or pay rent and many parents are helping them if they can. The parents’ own needs take a backseat.
Derek and I mention gratitude every day. We love what we do and we are so thankful that we can do it. It ebbs and flows. We have the ability to take time off when we want it, which we never take for granted. Some clients are gems and others are super annoying. In other words, it’s a job! But it’s a job where we can be as busy or as idle as we’d like. Whether we are working as a team, or on our own projects, true retirement isn’t our game plan. We’ll just have to see whether fate plays along.