Skip to main content
Open this photo in gallery:

Ivan Peterson still has a hobby farm with his wife and plays golf, curling and hangs with his three grandchildren. HANDOUTSupplied

Sign up for the Globe Advisor weekly newsletter for professional financial advisers on our sign-up page. Get exclusive investment industry news and insights, the week’s top headlines, and what you and your clients need to know. For more from Globe Advisor, visit our homepage.

In Tales from the Golden Age, retirees talk about their spending, savings and whether life after work is what they expected.

Ivan Peterson, 76, Sturgis, Sask.

I retired three times. The first time was in 2001 when I was 54 after a 30-year career teaching high school math. Early in my teaching career, my wife and I bought a mixed farm that included mostly cattle and some grain operations. I retired from teaching to focus on the farm, which had grown over the years. I was also the chairman of a local health district. I had too many irons in the fire, so while teaching was good to me, it was time to leave.

Then, when I was 61 – after it became clear our two sons weren’t interested in taking over the farm – we sold it to a neighbour. Because I also have a heart condition, my wife and I decided to sell the farm so that, in case something happened to me, she wouldn’t be left to deal with it. Shortly after leaving the farm, I worked at Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp., a job I enjoyed until I retired in 2016 at age 70. While I’m officially retired now, I continue to take on projects and sit on boards.

My wife and I remain active in retirement. We golf in the summer and curl in the winter. We also have three grandchildren who live nearby and we like to spend as much time as we can with them. We live in rural Saskatchewan, which means a lot of driving them to their practices. It keeps us busy and involved in their lives.

We don’t worry too much about money. I have my teacher’s pension, a retirement plan from my final job, and other investments alongside our Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefits. I also have a small stock portfolio that I manage myself for fun. Watching it daily keeps me interested and engaged in the markets. We’re not rich, but we’re comfortable in our lifestyle. Rising inflation hasn’t caused us to cut back on spending, but we’ve certainly noticed how much the cost of almost everything has increased in recent years.

With retirement, there’s a relief that comes from realizing you no longer need to punch a clock and your financial needs have been met. What I enjoy most about retirement is the freedom to do what I want every day. That said, I believe it’s important to use the time wisely. You need to keep your mind and body active and maintain some purpose in life. Sure, you can play cards at 10 a.m. once you’re retired, but doing that too often might not be very satisfying after a while.

My advice to others is, ‘Don’t be in a rush to retire.’ It doesn’t mean you need to stay in the same job forever. For example, the last job I had in crop insurance was very refreshing. It wasn’t just about the money; the career change was good for me. Retirement can be a long time, so if you’re feeling good, hopefully, you can find something enjoyable to do – whether that’s another job or other pursuits outside of work. Whatever it is, it should be something that makes you want to get out of bed every day.

As told to Brenda Bouw

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Are you a Canadian retiree interested in discussing what life is like now that you’ve stopped working? The Globe is looking for people to participate in its Tales from the Golden Age feature, which examines the personal and financial realities of retirement. If you’re interested in being interviewed for this feature and agree to use your full name and have a photo taken, please e-mail us at: Please include a few details about how you saved and invested for retirement and what your life is like now.

For more from Globe Advisor, visit our homepage.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe