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Empowering Aging Canadians

Plan Your Retirement with This Holistic Approach

A group of seniors having a lively conversation on a porch
A group of seniors having a lively conversation on a porch

Carol Chow

Chair, CIFP Retirement Institute

Retirement planning is no longer just about accumulating savings so you’ll have enough money to retire. It’s now more about a life plan — creating a roadmap that gives you financial independence and allows you to focus on pursuing personal goals along the way. It’s more about a life journey marked by key events at different stages in your life.

To prepare for your retirement life, it may help if you take the time to think about these 10 major areas: 

  1. Self. What’s important to you? Is it your health, your finance, your personal goals, or your fears — whatever the combination, you should always take yourself into consideration. 
  2. Family. How does family fit into your retirement plans?
  3. Social. What about your friends? It may help to evaluate your plan against that of your peers.
  4. Leisure. What are you going to do in retirement? Taking up new hobbies, travelling the world, and even a new career are all opportunities within reach.
  5. Work. Most people’s sense of identity is with their work, but once you retire, it’s another chance to think about who you want to be.
  6. Spiritual. Consider how your personal support system will help or hinder your transition into retirement.
  7. Relational. If you and your partner retire at the same time, you should consider how you’re going to spend your increased time together. Do you have the same retirement goals?
  8. Cultural. Evaluate how your cultural background put expectations on you, like having to take care of elders.
  9. Community. Does your community have adequate public and private services, like health care and transportation, to meet your needs?
  10. Financial. What will your choices cost? And what are your options?

Yes, some of these considerations may have a financial impact and your decisions will be influenced by whether you have enough money, but there is so much more to it now than having the funds to retire.

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