Retirement planning is not just about money

It used to be most Canadians shared an idea of what retirement looked like. You worked until you were 65 and then you punched your timecard and spent the rest of your days on the golf course, travelling the world or spending time with your grandkids. If you were lucky enough to have squirreled away more money, you might have quit your job five or even 10 years earlier than you planned.

In 2019, not so much. The definition of retirement is evolving and it’s now different for everyone. One person may be able to fully retire at 55 while others are working part-time after they’re 65.

Some people are starting new businesses, going back to school or selling their homes, buying an RV and travelling. Some people are buying a recreational property down south or maybe staying close to home to be near family and friends. Some people will go back into the workforce, and some people have no idea how they want to spend the next 20 to 30-plus years of their lives.

People need to plan before they retire so they know how much money they’ll need to make their dreams come true. It’s important that people have a plan and know what they’ll need to financially support it.

But it’s not all about money. One of the most important things people can do to prepare for retirement is to deal with the non-financial side of retirement. If you’re one of these people, ask yourself:

  • What will make you happy?

  • What’s on your bucket list?

  • What are you passionate about?

  • What do you want to do less of and more of?

  • What will bring meaning and fulfillment into your life?

Doing this type of planning before you retire will help you determine where you can start making changes now and will also help you reduce any fears or anxiety you may have about the transition. It will help you not to waste a minute of your precious post-career time and planning will give you the confidence that you have enough money to live the retired life you want. This all adds up to a healthy, active and meaningful second half of life.

One of the biggest challenges people face is finding their purpose and living a meaningful life. Some people experience a loss of identity in their post-career life, which is totally normal, especially if you’ve spent the majority of your career at one job.

If you’re experiencing any worries or fears about retiring, try to identify the reason behind it. Taking action to explore those fears will help you overcome them. It’s the first step in preparing yourself psychologically for your retirement.

If you need to get clarity on your purpose – create a vision for your retirement, explore what you could do and develop goals you wish to accomplish. The most important thing is to write this all down. Putting pen to paper will increase your chances of success in accomplishing these goals.

Retirement can be a little scary, but it doesn’t need to be. Planning for your retirement will help generate a deeper understanding of what is important to you, gain clarity on what you really want, and will help you focus on your desires and personal growth.

That way you can take action, get energized and start getting excited about this incredible life change.

Marielle Gauthier, owner and principal of Redworks Communications, is a certified Results coach; an Associate Certified Coach (ACC); a Conversational Intelligence Coach, and an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC).

To receive updates about Marielle’s retirement coaching program, training and webinars or for more information on coaching services contact Marielle at or visit