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You had your best-laid plans and then COVID-19 came along and hammered the entire economy. But you’ve got this – if you have the right information. Join Rob Carrick and Roma Luciw on Stress Test, a podcast guiding you through one of the biggest challenges your finances will ever face.

ROMA: Fast-forward 30 or 40 years. You’re retired. Maybe you’re on a beach or golf course, living out a Boomer retirement ad.

ROB: But you’re not alone if that vision seems dated. Rising housing costs, zigzagging career paths and the rarity of company pensions mean retirement will look a little different for the younger generations.

ROMA: Welcome to Stress Test, a personal finance podcast for Millennials and Gen Z.

ROB: I’m Rob Carrick, personal finance columnist at The Globe and Mail.

ROMA: And I’m Roma Luciw, personal finance editor at The Globe.

ROB: For our last episode of this season, we’re talking retirement – why it’s changing, and how to plan for it. Roma, we know some Millennials and especially Gen Zs feel like the idea of stopping work permanently is out of touch or impossible. What is the old model of retirement that’s out there? What did that look like?

ROMA: Well, the old model was this cookie cutter idea and it looked a little like this: You finish school, you get a job, you buy an affordable home, you pay it off in your 40s, maybe your 50s, and then you really start saving up hardcore for retirement. You work till you’re 65 and then you stop. It’s a hard stop of working. I think that vision of retirement is the one that’s out there. We both know that retirement will look different for younger generations. Rob, what are people up against now when it comes to planning and saving?

ROB: To me the big issue is the cost of housing. It costs so much to buy a house, it costs so much to carry the costs of the house. There’s not much leftover for retirement. I do wonder how today’s young people are going to manage it all. I think they can, they’re just going to need a little finesse though.

ROMA: I think there’s this idea out there that everyone should be thinking about retirement in their 20s. I know I certainly was not. Rob, were you?

ROB: Not for one split second. And I didn’t start saving for retirement until my 30s either. Even then it was kind of half-hearted because my wife and I had a house and a young family. Millennials you should know, and Gen Z too, that saving for retirement in your 20s, while a lot of keeners do it, a lot of people don’t and it’s not necessary. You can pick up the slack later on.

ROMA: That’s right. One of the things to keep in mind is that the sooner you start the better, but there’s also never a bad time to start. If you’re not thinking about it yet at a young age, you’re absolutely not alone. The one thing to note is that life can come at you fast. There’s a lot of unexpected twists and turns, some of them good or bad. There’s a lot of things that can derail

your plans later in life. I’ve seen divorce or illness do that. There’s a lot of unexpected benefits that can come. The bottom line is you don’t want to be left scrambling trying to catch up or Feeling like you have limited choices. The point is not to leave it to the last minute.

ROMA: After the break, we’ll hear from three guests with different visions of retirement and what they’re doing – or not doing – to plan for it right now.

ROMA: Our first guest is in her 20s. She is living a downtown lifestyle and not thinking much about saving. She makes about $60,000 and has $10,000 in savings, but doesn’t think she’ll ever retire in the traditional sense.

VICKY: My name is Vicky. I’m 25 years old. I live in downtown Toronto, renting an apartment with a roommate. I will say I’m in a pretty good place, I’m pretty comfortable. But also I don’t have a lot of savings. I don’t see retirement as like, just oh, I’m going to work, work, work, exhaust myself, and then reach to a point of my life where Oh, I have all this, like, accumulated wealth, and I’m gonna rest. I kind of want this pace it out, you know, throughout my life, I’m, I want to work and I want to enjoy life. And then maybe when I’m older, I’m still going to be, you know, working, if I can afford to my health and I just don’t want to burn myself out and then wait for that retirement. That’s just not how I and I also kind of have a pessimistic view of how our world is gonna be. So I just want to focus on like, the more near future, then, like 40 years down the road, if that makes sense. I think a lot of us are aware of, you know, like, for example, the climate crisis, I think that’s the main existential threat to all of us. But to me, I don’t know why I just feel like, I maybe because, like, that’s where my passion is at. And I just feel like, it’s, I can’t say that I’m not saying that the world is gonna, you know, humanity is gonna go extinct by when I get old, but definitely, I see that the quality of life will be continuously deteriorating as we age. And it’s just super unpredictable. and that’s like that’s shaped a lot of my core values as I grew up, like, I always wanted to be a mother, like, I’m a, you know, I love kids. But that’s like everything is I’ve started, I’ve started to question like, all of that. I just believe that things can change. And there’s never like one way of doing things were like the perfect way. So yeah, I don’t mind like living a life. That’s not super, super stable.

ROB: Our second guest thinks a lot about retirement, probably because she wants to retire from her accounting job by the time she’s 40. She and her partner immigrated to Canada from Argentina four years ago. Their household income is about $160,000 per year. They save about half their income to invest in RRSPs and TFSAs.

IRINA: My name is Irina. I am 34 years old, and I live in Vancouver. I think my partner and I think too much about retirement, I would say it’s more than what my peers think about. Actually, I try to raise this concern with other people, because I see what our retirement will look like, like, you know, a lot of people are expecting to get the money from the government, and I don’t know where that money’s gonna come from, to be honest. And with, uh, you know, maybe that money will be enough just to survive, right, it will not be that retirement that we all wish then, you know, traveling or going out for, you know, nice dinners, it’s not going to be like that. So I try to tell my friends and my family, you know, we should start saving and, and I think that a lot of people think I’m crazy that I’m thinking about retirement. So yeah. We decided not to buy a home, we think that we will have more freedom and more flexibility. If we are not owners. Especially, there might be some opportunities to maybe move to other cities in the country. And I would like to have more time to visit my family in Argentina. We also have family and friends in different parts of the world. So I imagined more traveling than than owning something in particular. I think, work most of the time is to, to get the income to support your living. And also it can be sometimes a way for people to get a distraction. I, I don’t I for me, work is a chore, I don’t really enjoy working. So it’s not like I want to keep doing it, because I enjoy it. But I do think that I enjoy, you know, sometimes giving advice to people or organizing trips, or reselling things like finding a good deal and then reselling it online. So I think that maybe I’ll just do those kinds of things to try to get income. Because those are things I really enjoy, instead of just, you know, working for nine hours a day, and then just having the weekends off.

ROMA: But not all Millennials want to forgo the traditional retirement path – including the golf course. Our third guest and his wife have three young children. He works full time and his wife works part time. They contribute as much as they can to their RRSPs and RESPs for their kids, but it’s tough to save during this high-spending phase of life. Still, he hopes to retire around 60.

BRENT: My name is Brent. I’m 36 years old, and I live in Kelowna, British Columbia. I picture myself golfing a lot. And, you know, going out and running and biking and doing all the things that I think would be fun right now at my age, that I that I’m interested in doing. I can’t really picture anything else. That’s just what I what I think of as entertainment for me these days. Probably some traveling and you know, following my three kids around, depending on what age I actually get out of the workforce. So I’ve already had five or six jobs since graduating, I’ve been out of there for 15 years or something. You know, my, my mom was a teacher and worked at the same school her entire career. And, you know, my father is a lawyer, and he was in the same place, basically, his whole career. It’s just a very different way of approaching work. I think I was, it’s funny, I was in Ontario, I’m from Ontario originally I live in BC now, I was in Ontario in the fall. And my uncle was around and he had just recently retired. And he was talking to me about this job that I’m currently in, because I’ve been here about four years, and asked me, if this was the place I was going to be to, like, retire. And I thought it was a really funny question. Because I, you know, I’ve had a number of jobs up to this point. And it had never really occurred to me that this would be the job I stay in until I retire or even the employer that I stay with until I retire. And so I didn’t really know how to answer him. And I just kind of said, you know, I’m enjoying it where I am right now. But he kept pressing, you know, is this where you’re going to be retired from? I was like, I have no idea. I can’t say, probably not. For me, the big thing is, how can we help our children the way that we were helped by our parents, our boomer parents. So we had a lot of help with, you know, getting through education, getting our start, purchasing a first home, we had some help as well. We’ve benefited from that help. And I would love to be able to do that for my kids, as well. So holding on to the help that we’ve gotten and being able to use that to get ahead and stay ahead in air quotes when I say that I think will be important for us. Getting our kids through school with as little debt as possible is a big one on my radar. You know, education is not going to be getting cheaper, probably. Getting them out into adulthood in a good place. That’ll be my first priority. And then after that, it’ll be how soon can I hit the links?

ROMA: After the break, we’ll speak about the shifting views of retirement with a certified financial planner whose core clients are Millennials and Gen Zs.

ROB: Shannon Lee Simmons is a Toronto-based certified financial planner. She’s had thousands of conversations on retirement over the past 15 years. The standard retirement model for generations as being go to school, get a job work for 40 years and retire, maybe have a pension, you’re probably retiring between ages 60 and 65. Now I’m wondering how will retirement look for millennials and Gen Z?

SHANNON: Very different, I think. But I do think it’s important to identify that I feel like after you know, 15 years of being on the front line of financial planning with this, this demographic, there’s really two there’s two types of millennials there’s like the the later the older generation of of millennial who are, you know, in their late 30s, or early 40s right now. And then there’s the younger, you know, the last bastion of millennial that kind of bleeds into or blends into Gen Z, and that they’re like, 27, right now 28 at this point. And I really noticed a stark difference between the two. So saying millennial as a whole doesn’t quite cut it for me, because I think that the retirement will look different for both of them. And I think that the attitudes towards what retirement is going to look like is very different between those two groups as well.

ROB: Okay, so talk about the older millennials first. How, how are they looking at retirement?

SHANNON: So I remember I am one. But I also remember, you know, you and I probably talking about this, you know, maybe 10 years ago, say, as a millennial saying our retirements gonna look different, the housing market, the wage, wages aren’t keeping pace with housing and the cost of living is going up, and the rise of the gig economy and all of those things are still very true for that demographic. But I do feel like the older generations you know, some managed to actually, you know, play their hand and survive a lot of those the cards that were dealt. So maybe they now actually managed to somehow buy a home, even though it was already overpriced. And now they’re looking back saying, Wow, I can’t believe we actually did that, you know, whoa, I didn’t think we ever would. Maybe they actually managed to get a job that was consistent. And they are, I find that generation, that attitude is still trying to shoehorn itself into that older model of retirement where, okay, well, we kind of clung on for dear life and maybe we can actually retire one day at 60 to 65. You know, not with a pension at all, but maybe with a little bit of retirement savings and maybe, just maybe, we can be mortgage free. The other end of the spectrum is like, I will never own a home and that’s cool. It’s just not in the cards for me. It’s less angry than the older version of the millennial that was very frustrated by that. I do find that there’s a lot of there is frustration, and there’s anger about it. But there’s, it’s almost like they were expecting it more so than the older version of the millennial who just felt like the rug just got pulled out of my plans. So I feel like the younger generation and even into Gen Z, Gen Z especially is more open to it, and the younger generation of millennial is accepting it faster than what I felt the older generation of Millennial is.

ROB: What’s inside the minds of these younger millennials and Gen Zs about retirement. Do they think they’re going to work forever for example?

SHANNON:Yeah, I do, I think I think and again, Gen. Zed is even more flexible and more open, in my opinion, and the people that I’ve been working with, but that younger version of millennial is kind of still in that transition. I do think that they’re much more open to this state of some semi-retirement or semi-permanent retirement or, you know, finding ways to diversify your income so that maybe you could work less sooner, but you’re always going to be working. I think that the idea that I mean, if you’re a that you are one day just going to call it quits and go play golf. I really don’t see that as being the vision of retirement all the way through millennials, all the millennials. There is an assumption that at some point, you’re going to have to keep working. And so what I’m really noticing in my financial planning sessions is okay, given the cards I’ve been dealt economically, so the, you know, the wages, that housing prices, now the inflation, all of the things that are, you know, not making it easy, I still want to enjoy my life. So a trend that I’m seeing is a lot of people planning kind of like a FIRE light. So it’s like, maybe there’s periods where they take a few years off working, and they, you know, live really cheaply for a few years and keep working. And then they try to join back into the labor force earlier, which I never saw before. That was a huge deal before. And now I’m also seeing this idea that how, you know, could I keep my cost of living really low, so I can save a little bit of money, maybe I’ll never hit a million, maybe I’ll never own a house. But I only have to earn X amount of dollars, and I could kind of just live my life and enjoy and work wherever I want to. And so there’s there’s this opening up of an idea that retirement isn’t typical from what it was before, but maybe we can enjoy life still in the present and then throughout.

ROB: How feasible do you think that is? And I asked this because we live in this consumption driven society where we all want to buy stuff and own stuff, and you’re telling me people want to live light and be unencumbered and have the flexibility to work less. I don’t see how that computes. What do you think?

SHANNON: I think that’s the major paradigm shift that is happening. I think that is absolutely the difference between the older generation of Millennial and Gen X and Boomer switching, I think that the younger version of Millennials are just starting to come to this, whether they want to or not, they are coming to it. And Gen Zed is like, yep, that’s the way it is. Look what happened, all those Millennials, I’m not going to be like that. And so I really feel like this switch from a, that I want to own things, you know, I need to own the power washer, I don’t want to go to the tool library, like

all of that kind of thing. Can you tell I’m speaking from personal experience. And so all of that kind of share economy is going to become more and more normalized. And I feel like the acceptance of that is the paradigm shift that we’re experiencing, and is the big difference. So I think that it’ll become mo re normal as it becomes more normal, it will be way more manageable, because people don’t expect to have everything now. And that’s the problem with everything now is that that’s where we’ve kind of been living. And I think that it’s becoming more and more clear that that’s extremely unsustainable,

ROB: How much has the pandemic influenced this mindset of Gen Z?

SHANNON: I really think it put it on steroids, I feel like first and foremost, the idea that you could work anywhere in the world and hold a remote job. This was the biggest piece that we used to financially plan around. But that older version of millennials, and even my Gen X clients who wished that they could do something like that, and were like, but I can’t leave my job and if I go somewhere for a year or two, I’ll never be able to come back into the labor market. Well, now you could keep your job and still go live somewhere that might be a little bit cheaper, rent out your place that here you can still keep your primary ties and go travel around, come back for the holidays. It’s way more flexible. And the idea that you can ask an employer to work remote or an employer wouldn’t be like, what are you talking about? I think it just really was a catalyst of a lot of this. I also think that during the pandemic, I saw a lot of peoples’ wages disrupted just overnight. And they survived it, whether it was through government support or emergency savings, or just really reducing costs. And they were forced to do that. And so when that happens, you get really clear on what’s important and what’s not. You have an emergency, you realize like I don’t need that, I need this. And so after two years of maybe having like, will I have income, won’t I have income, will I owe taxes, all of this uncertainty for those people who lost their income. I think it shifts your values and makes you realize that like life is short and I can do this, because you were forced to do it. And so unlike someone who was, you know, never experienced some sort of like paring down of expenses and living more simply, I think that some of the people whose incomes were disrupted during the pandemic, who were able to do that really actually learned a lot about the fact that they don’t need as much as they maybe thought they did before.

ROB: I want to get back to the idea of FIRE, which means financial independence, retire early, and how that is finding its way into the retirement thinking of young people. I mean, I think there’s this, this idea that young people want to retire at age 30. And just, you know, leave the workforce. I don’t think that’s actually what’s going on. I think it’s more on the financial independence side than the retire early side. But tell me more about the mindset of the young clients that you have in this idea of sort of like this semi-working, semi-retired existence where they will never officially retire. But they’ll never officially be working 50-hour work weeks either.

SHANNON: Ya, I think that, honestly, climate change plays a lot into that mindset. So the clients I’m speaking to are worried about what is 20 years look like from now. So, you know, I can sit there and blab on about capital markets and blah, blah, long-term time horizons and yada yada and they’re like, cool. What if none of that matters in 20 years? And it’s a real climate anxiety, it’s a real thing. And who knows? And so there’s this idea of living in the present that I’m really finding wonderful and optimistic. Actually, I don’t think it’s like a, you know, people used to say, but the millennials are so lazy, they don’t want to work and it was like no we can’t. But I don’t find that Gen Z especially, I don’t find it to be negative, I find it to be positive, they’re very creative and open to alternative ways of living, living in the present and making their life sustainable. And it really is about that financial independence so that they are able to live a life that is fulfilling. And also, there’s an acceptance of the fact that the old model is not necessarily they can’t shoehorn themselves into that old model necessarily. So how can we plan financially to make make our incomes diversified enough so that if one goes down, I still have more. Huge, huge difference in my older clients, especially my like Gen X. And if it was like one income all the time and a part time job meant you worked at a coffee shop was like very much that. And now my Gen Z and my like, millennial clients are like, got all sorts of irons in the fire. There’s lots of things happening, all remote. So there’s, there’s an openness to having diversified income streams and less resentment over it with the younger generation. And then I think that there’s this optimism around, and I’m going to live for less so I can enjoy more now because I don’t know what 20 years looks like.

ROB: The idea of a house being linked to retirement is something that’s in the minds of all generations I find. What can you say to practically help someone who won’t own a house have a secure retirement?

SHANNON: I think that this might be something they’ve heard a million times and Google that three in the morning, and I hate that I’m going to repeat it too. But the biggest win is that I see day after day after day, people with homes sinking into line of credit debt that nobody sees. Nobody talks about that. They don’t talk about the like 30 grand that went into like replacing the roof and then like the plumbing when they had a flood. And that’s just going on a line of credit and then being rolled into an ever increasing mortgage every five years. No one’s talking about that. When you read about housing prices, and you’re a renter, all you think is my friends bought that house for 800,000. Now it’s worth 1.2, how am I ever going to come up with that 400 grand that they just made. But what they’re not thinking about is that a) that family doesn’t have access to that money unless they sell the house, unless they borrow it. So they’re going into debt to get access to that money unless they sell. And so one thing that you as a renter don’t have to worry about is repair and maintenance. And all of that extra cash flow that you are not putting out at Home Depot every weekend can go right into your retirement account. So it is truly the biggest win as a renter. And I also think it provides flexibility on where you want to go. You could just leave and move somewhere else if you wanted to. Like there’s lots of other benefits to renting that can still be a secure retirement, I just think that it’s really important to make sure that the eviction threat is down. That has been the number one piece of stress for any of my clients who are retired right now who rent.

ROB: Let’s talk about the nitty gritty of retirement planning for this group. How much do they have to save for example?

SHANNON: Oh, that’s like asking how long is a piece of string?

ROB: Long. In my experience It’s really long.

SHANNON: I think it really comes down to how much do you cost to live? And it’s always been that question. But I feel like that keenly important with this generation is, you know, lifestyle, inflation is an absolute thing that we’ve been financially planning around for years with people. And if there isn’t that sort of lifestyle, inflation, or if you can keep that in check, then your needs go down, right. So if you don’t cost that much to live and you can actually keep your costs relatively low, you don’t need that much in retirement savings. If you require a ton of money every year, then you’re going to need more, but maybe you can afford to save more. So I don’t actually like to give a number because what will happen, Rob is someone will hear that and there’ll be like, like, let’s say I said a million dollars, you know, Dr. Evil style. And, and someone hears that. And they say, well, that’s never me, I might have why bother? That’s my biggest fear about giving numbers. So I would say, if you’re listening to this, and you’re like, how much do I actually need? I would sit down and map it out. There’s a ton of retirement calculators online. And you put in like, what is your daily cost of living right now? What do you think it’ll be later on? And like, what is an amount of money that we kind of generate that for X amount of years in, quote, retirement? And what if I could offset that with a little bit of semi-retirement income, which is a lot of what I’m seeing with millennials and Gen Zs.

ROB: More than the ultimate amount you need to save I was thinking more about the percentage of income that you need to put away. For example, if you’re talking about someone with multiple income streams, maybe they’re in the gig economy, they’ve got a lot of different contracts. And they’ve got this lumpy income, it’s gushing. And sometimes it’s a little bit dry. So they’re going to need to cover off the dry spells, and also put something away for the long, long, long term. So that they have they have sort of this retirement money, this financial freedom money. So if I’m pulling in $1, how much of that do I need to save?

SHANNON: I’m adamant that 10% can get it done. I love playing that game with my clients. They’ll be like, no, it’s not enough. And I’m like, well, that’s what’s enough, right. And so we often will start like test that 10% of your take home pay is going to, to the long term stuff, and everything else can go to the short term, and emergencies, and your bills and all that stuff. And if they can do 10%, you’d be shocked at how much. So even if it was if they make $1 and 10 cents goes into, you know, the RRSP or the TFSA. I think that that’s a huge win. And I even think that that’s hard for so many people these days as like we just feel squeezed and the cost of living with inflation feels higher and higher. So if you can do 10%, I think that’s a huge win. And my minimum would be whatever you can. So the other thing that I would say is if you can’t do 10%, don’t just give up. Even 1% is better than no percent.

ROB: Now, where does the money go? What investments do you suggest?

SHANNON: In this economy? I think it depends. So if it’s a lot, so first of all investment vehicles that I would use, I’m a huge fan of somebody’s if you’re in a position where you are not in a high income tax bracket, then I’m about I’m all about the TFSA. So yes, you’re you’re not necessarily getting the tax deduction from the RRSP when you put money into the TFSA, but you’re getting that potential investment growth over time that’s tax sheltered. And you could have a lot of money in there. If you’ve been maxing that out every single year. That’s all tax free and then it won’t intrude with taxing on CPP or old age security. You may still qualify for the government pensions because it’s not necessarily considered income. So I’m a real fan of maxing the TFSA first and then almost like a waterfall, if you can max the TFSA, then you probably make enough money and have enough savings that you can also then put money like the overflow into RRSPs. So for example, if you were able to save $6000 a year, TFSA. And if you were able to save $10,000, a year $6,000 to the TFSA, $4,000 to the RSP. That’s kind of my standard golden rule. And then within those accounts, what investments are you are you putting in there? Well, it’s tricky. If it’s a long term asset mix, then I’m still a big fan of the tried and true, boring, diversified portfolio, that’s low-fee over the long run. And I know that in the next 10 months that might look bananas. But over the next 10 years, I believe that if you’re the best offense to not knowing what’s going on and uncertainty is to be diversified. The worst thing we can do is start taking massive speculative bets that don’t pan out.

ROB: And speaking of those speculative bets, that seems to be a major investing theme with with young adults in the past two years, and, you know, more power to them, because there was an opportunity in the markets, and they jumped on it. And they squeezed a lot of juice out of it. But I’m wondering if that is not a suitable long term plan for building up money for retirement and for financial independence? Can you address this sort of speculative mindset that did pay out 2020 to 2021, but it’s really not looking very good right now.

SHANNON: So we’re talking about like meme stocks and cryptocurrencies and NFTs and, you know, yoloing, on Wall Street bets on big on like day trading stocks. I saw so many losses this year. And I’m all for DIY, I’m all for taking, like having a high risk tolerance. So I’m not sitting here trying to shame anyone who did that. What I think it shows anyone who lost money is this speculative, volatile nature of a speculative asset class, which has always been the case, right. So anything that was speculative before, it comes with massive wins or massive losses. That’s, that’s the nature of it. So what I’m always telling to people right now is, okay, if there’s a part of you that has this high risk tolerance, and this hunger to like, get involved in the market, whether it be crypto, NFTs which are sort of crypto or like some sort of day trading, or you feel really passionately about a stock. Power to you. Like, I absolutely think that that’s great, however, choose an amount of money to invest that if it goes to zero, or you lose half of it within the next few days, or it takes 10 years to double in value, or whatever it is, your overall financial security is still okay. So I’ve been doing a lot of work with people around choosing whatever that amount of money is, it’s not necessarily a percentage of the portfolio, it typically is an amount of dollar amount, that is like, Okay, I’m gonna take a lot of risk on this, and I’m gonna see if it pays out, because I don’t want to miss out, I don’t want that FOMO. But I’m also not gonna like put all of my life savings in there, which I did see a few people that not because I said that, but not because I was advising them to do so. But I saw a lot of people chasing returns in the speculative market at the latter half of 2021. And now it’s a big old mess. And so, so I don’t think it should be something that we do for our entire retirement plans. But I think it’s totally okay to explore that space just to do it responsibly.

ROB: Shannon, I want to conclude by asking if you think maybe young people are unduly pessimistic about retirement and you know, 20, something, they have 40 years to build their career and build their income, find something they really enjoy doing. And maybe they will have a more conventional retirement than they expect. What do you think about that?

SHANNON: I think that’s possible, because I remember being a millennial thinking I would never. And then, you know, life happens and things play out, and you keep keep on the plan. I know that that sounds so lame, but honestly, I just like you keep chugging away at it. And somehow the magic of the ball starts rolling and things start to happen. And maybe you get a job that you didn’t expect. Or maybe this happens, or x happens anyways, the point is, I see a lot of people’s lives play out in real life in real time and things have a way of working out and surprising us. And so I think that there’s always the case for hope. And I do think that as long as you’re saving something, and as long as you’re making decisions on a daily basis that feel like they’re kind of upholding what’s important to you and not and not sinking you into a hole of self-fulfilling prophecy, like Well, I’m never gonna make it so screw everything I’m I’m out. Then eventually, however it plays out, you’re going to be financially okay. And I say that from a place of privilege, but also from a place of seeing it happening real time with clients from all walks of life over 15 years. And so I do think that there may be the case for the quote, conventional retirement happening and they might be surprised as I know a lot of the millennials that I came in when we graduated into the 2008 crisis, we were like, well that’s it for us. We’re never gonna have jobs. We’re never gonna own a home. We’re never gonna retire. And now, you know a lot of millennials that are a little bit older like well, didn’t expect that maybe I’m maybe I might have some maybe I might and they didn’t win the lottery. They didn’t have generational wealth to help out with that. So I think I think there’s always the case for hope. But I think that the mindset around being open to the way that retirement might look for you and the everything now mentality is ending. And I think that’s a good thing, no matter who you are.

ROMA: So maybe you’ve squeezed into the traditional retirement framework. Maybe you want to re-write the script entirely.

Either way, retirement will likely look different in the future. Rob, what are your takeaways from what we heard today?


  • Even 20- or 30-somethings should start to think about retirement: Moves you make when you’re young can set you up well for retirement 40 or more years down the road.
  • Retirement, hard-stop, is fading away for many people: A phased retirement, working on a reduced schedule, has already caught on with Boomers.
  • Retirement at 70 is worth a thought: Millennials and Gen Z will probably live to 90 or 95…working to 70 gives you more years to save.

ROMA: Thank you for listening to this season of Stress Test. This show was produced by Kyle Fulton, Emily Jackson and Zahra Khozema. Our executive producer is Kiran Rana. Thank you to Vicky, Irina, Brent and Shannon for joining us this week.

ROB: You can find Stress Test wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked this episode, please share it with a friend and leave us a review.

ROMA: We’ll be back with another season this fall. Until then, find us at the Globe and Mail dot com. Thanks for listening.