Dream of moving to the cottage?

Howe, who considered himself only semi-retired, also found job opportunities limited and low-paying.

Eventually, he traded cottage living for urban life and started a new career in financial planning in Toronto. While still appreciating the rewards of cottage or country living, he draws on his own experience when advising others considering a similar move.

“You just have to be clear what your goals are and know what you’re getting into,” says Howe, who is a consultant for Investors Group. “You should try to anticipate what your lifestyle and your needs may be ten years into the future in order to help you make a decision.”

Do you dare retire?
George Burns was once quoted as saying, “Retirement at 65 is ridiculous. When I was 65, I still had pimples.”

Many Canadians of conventional retirement age may have no choice in the matter, pimples or not. A combination of not enough savings and an extended life expectancy means that for many, full retirement at 65 is simply not an option.

This means, of course, that moving to cottage country, away from an urban centre or one’s professional network can be financially devastating.

“There are more people who are saying that they are not going to have a choice. They are going to have to continue working,” said Bill Gleberzon, co-director of government relations for Canada’s Association for the Fifty Plus (CARP).

According to a recent Statistics Canada report older workers are staying in the workforce longer because of three factors: a strong attachment to the labour market among baby boomers; rising levels of education, particularly among women; and an apparent desire among people over 55 to continue working, either from interest, financial concern, or other factors, such as the virtual elimination of mandatory retirement at age 65.

Yet this doesn’t mean that all boomers will keep up the grueling work pace of past years. In fact, reports have shown that many boomers who either need or want to work past conventional retirement age are finding new ways of working. A shift toward non-standard work arrangements such as self-employment is on the rise, according to Statistics Canada.

“Many older workers are looking for creative and meaningful ways to earn income,” said David Cravit, Senior Vice President, Marketing, for the 50Plus Group. “This could mean going to university to gain new skills, starting a small business in a new or related field or consulting full or part-time. For years telecommuting has been an increasingly beneficial option for both businesses and employees.”

So perhaps with a little creativity and a good internet connection, you might figure out a way to (semi) retire to the cottage after all!

Turn talents into cash
The new retirement
Boomers keep on working

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