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You’re retiring — so what are you going to do?

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Tired of being a slave to your alarm clock? Always looking at your watch? Sometimes we feel there are not enough minutes in the day to accomplish all of our daily tasks.
Retirement will eventually come your way and, as exciting as that may be to most of us, it is important to be prepared, not only financially but mentally.

Some 62% of Manitoba retirees have said they are largely living the retirement of their dreams and doing exactly what they planned for. To help you do this, the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce offers three excellent tips to think of before you plan to retire:

(1) save more money than you think you will need and start saving earlier than planned; (2) pay off all debts before your final paycheque; and (3) take the time to work with a financial professional to map out your financial future.

My personal addition to these tips is to take care of your health now.    

I have had eight close friends retire within the last two years and it has been quite interesting to watch how they have adjusted to their next chapter. Most are quite happy (giddy actually!) but a few have had minor hiccups to their new adjustment period.

What if retirement turns out to be too easy and unfulfilling? For some it can be a serious issue and the instance of depression in retirees is higher than you would expect.

When researching this subject, one of the most valuable pieces of advice I found was planning  on taking a ‘bridge’ year before taking the next step. This term is usually reserved for people graduating from high school and transitioning directly into university/college. For some it’s not a smooth transition and this can also be said for retirees.After talking with my newly ‘unemployed’ friends, the decision most have made is to become Snowbirds or to permanently move to a warmer climate. This decision also comes with the advice that people should try it first by renting a place for a month or buying an RV and travelling for a month before committing to a long-term life change.

My husband and I have had a financial advisor for many years (who sometimes gives of heck when he sees yet another new and bigger trailer in our driveway) and we look forward to our retirement with excitement.  

Our son and daughter plan to move to Victoria, B.C., in the future and we would like to follow suit (I don’t consider this stalking...) and, after seeing the many incredible pictures my daughter sends home every few weeks, all I can say is... Victoria I’m coming!

Virginia Sperl is a community correspondent for Silver Heights.

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