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In Tales from the Golden Age, retirees talk about their spending, savings and whether life after work is what they expected.
David Carriere, 68, Kelowna, B.C.
I retired in 2016 at age 61 after a career in hotel management. I dreamed of retiring at age 55 but still enjoyed working into my late 50s. Also, I wasn’t entirely sure how much money I needed to retire or what I would do with my time. Then, in my early 60s, there were a lot of changes in my job that were out of my control, so I decided it was time to leave.
Financially, I thought I would be fine. My needs are small. I don’t have kids and I don’t have a lot of expensive hobbies. I didn’t have a work pension besides my Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits. Still, I contributed to a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) over the years and invested the money myself using a low-cost online platform.
Initially, I took on a few part-time jobs because I wasn’t sure how to retire. I worked in the stock room at a liquor store, as a driving range clerk and as a shuttle driver at a car dealership. I stopped the part-time jobs when COVID-19 hit in March 2020 and haven’t worked since. Job hunting is difficult. Not many employers are looking to hire someone my age. Thankfully, I don’t have to work as long as I continue to save and invest wisely.
I’ve also found more enjoyable ways to spend my time. For example, I started reading books again. I also listen to audiobooks while going on long walks. I now consume all sorts of books that I never thought I’d be interested in. I didn’t realize how fulfilling and interesting this would be. It seems to have replaced the excitement and learning that I used to get from working.
I also golf and travel with my girlfriend, who lives in Winnipeg. We travel back and forth to visit each other and go to Mexico in the colder months of the year. I moved to Kelowna from Brandon three years ago and have spent a lot of time immersing myself in my new community. For instance, I volunteer on the board of the condo where I live. I also keep close tabs on my investments. With more free time, it’s easy and fun – at least when the markets are going up.
Sometimes I get bored, but it’s not something I dwell on. To me, the most challenging part of retirement is anticipating what might happen to my health. Getting old sucks, but I hope to remain active for many years to come!
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: email@example.com Please include a few details about how you saved and invested for retirement and what your life is like now.
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