Practice being retired

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One way to determine if your planned retirement lifestyle will be right for you is to try it out beforehand.

It may sound like a strange idea, but you’re likely to be retired a long time. With life expectancy climbing, a person retiring at 65 may remain retired until they’re 95 or older.

So make sure the life you plan is one you’ll like. And can afford.

There are a few ways you can do this.

For the financial side, try to get a handle on approximately how much you’ll get each month from the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, and any company or personal retirement savings programs you’ve participated in.

In many cases, that amount will be lower than what people make each month while they’re working.

For a period of one or two months, try restricting yourself to that level of income to determine if all your bills will be paid. It’s best to do this during a month when your spending is normal, so you get a realistic picture of how your expected future income will cover your needs.

You also need to set money aside for property taxes or other payments that may not fall due during those specific months, but for which you still need to save.

On the lifestyle side, a so-called staycation can help you get a sense for whether life at home with no specific agenda is something you’re up for.

Getting the full effect of how the days run together may require you to book two full weeks off, instead of only one. The idle time may help you decide that you need to fill the void with more structured post-retirement activities.

Taken together, these two tests can give you a better sense of what you’ll face in retirement.

And that can help you plan.


CPP Investment Board, investing today for your tomorrow.

The content on this site is provided for information purposes only. CPPIB is not a financial advisor, and the content on this site does not provide financial advice. Every person’s financial planning needs are different. For advice on how you should prepare financially for retirement, please consult a credentialed professional financial advisor.


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