• – By Norman Francis

Reinventing Retirement: What to do now?


As soon as I turned 60 years old, everyone was asking me when I was planning to retire. By the time my parents were my age, they were both already retired (lucky as they were – or maybe it was good financial planning?) and to be honest, the thought had not even crossed my mind.

I took it upon myself to speak to as many friends at the seniors’ centre as I could. I wanted to know their thoughts on what they did, and how they had planned to spend their so-called “retirement years”. Here’s my favourite responses:

Continue working – “When I turned 65 I was quite happy working, but I needed to find something closer to home. I guess 65 made me rethink the amount of driving I was doing...?”

What’s that?? – “I don’t think there is such a thing as retirement anymore. We all need the money, so I’ll keep working but I have taken up volunteering which makes me happy. That, and spending time with the grandkids!”

Mentoring – “Yup, still working, although part time... but I also connected with the Region and I’m now mentoring some young entrepreneurs in the business that I was in. It makes me feel good, and helps them out in a huge way.”

Make stuff – “I retired from the (police) force and now I dedicate my time to making stuff. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of creating: I make things out of wood, I paint, and I make wine. When a birthday or holiday comes around, I’m the guy everyone loves because I always have gifts made and a big bottle of wine to gift!”

Art – “I made the huge decision to downsize and move into a retirement residence, and it has been the best decision ever! There is so much to do that you can choose from... and once per week I get a ride to the seniors’ centre for pottery classes. What more could a gal ask for?”

Writing – “I always loved it, but never had the time. Now I just printed up my first children’s book! Only 12 copies of course, but I figured it was the best gift I could leave for future generations. Plus I can write anywhere, unlike piano!”

Genealogy – “There’s so much you can do with it online now, I just needed that extra bit of time to do it.”•

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