What is Your Retirement Plans?

This is really the BIG question around here isn’t it.

Recently, I brought up the idea of retiring early with a couple of colleagues over breakfast as both of them have a few years on me. What I found most interesting is one of them is currently planning on working beyond his retirement age of 63. He’s currently seven-years from the common age of retirement here in Canada.

Surprisingly the other guy said if he were to retire today, he believes he has enough projects around his own home and acreage to have at least 5-years worth of work! He’s a real handyman and is continually rebuilding his house and outbuildings around his property. This particular guy also has a couple rental properties which he has to repair from time to time too. And with any rental property it fills his coffers with a bit of passive income.

Over the past three or four years I’ve been noticing what I deemed as an odd phenomenon around our small company.

The oldest person in our company is aged 82 (albeit he works around 1.5-days per week) and the youngest person is about 22 years old. Our company is comprised of around 100 employees in three provinces: Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. The medium age in our company is around 45 years old. This means more than 70% of the company is within the twenty years or less window for meeting the designated age of retirement: 63.

What seems even more unreal than the above comment is there are approximately 25 people who are 55-years old or older and have the potential to retire tomorrow, or next week, or next month. That’s a WHOPPING twenty-five percent of the workers! And the kicker we have 12 of them who are within 1-year of age 63 or over this mark.

Yet these people keep driving into work on a daily Monday to Friday basis.

Some people will chalk this up to the current status of the world with this whole COVID19 pandemic keeping people from retiring and/or the opposite forcing people to retire as they didn’t agree with the BIG vision or policies companies were mandating for their employees.

If you could retire tomorrow… what would you do with all this new found freedom? Do you have enough invested to live off it for another ten, twenty or more years? Or do you need a side hustle to keep your pockets flush and to keep your hands from pulling down cash withdrawals from your investment plan.

The one item I’ve not mentioned yet is in the last 24-months I’ve held several conversations with some of these should be retired people and even if we eliminate what’s currently happening with COVID19. These colleagues of mine are frightened of what their day-to-day lives will look like without having a job to travel to in the morning, the work they prescribe to on a daily basis and their travel home in the evening time. They feel engaged in the work they are producing for the company, the camaraderie with their fellow colleagues for the social aspects of life and why not be engaged in mental work?

Except wait, what if your life could be anything at all? What were all those dreams and goals that you had in your twenties, thirties, or forties? What about all that travel, or golfing, or RVing you were thinking about? Can you make it to all 48-lower US States?

Or maybe you were one of those people who enjoy traveling with a purpose? Such as volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and traveling around the world to assist with their non-for-profit home building teams. Or volunteering with the environmental group known as GreenPeace? Or assisting with another great non-profit the Red Cross as a disaster relief volunteer? Perhaps being boots on the ground in the aftermath of hurricanes, or typhoons, or other natural disasters will lite up your soul and get you out of the cubicle?

Is it me? Am I the one who wants to travel to Africa (Kenya to be specific) and volunteer my time for trade of three-hot meals, a cot to sleep on, and spend my days watering rescued elephants for a safari ranch. Or traveling down into Indonesia to search for the lost golden Buddha of Jakarta.

Perhaps you are like my colleagues at breakfast and merely want to stay near the City for which they have always been close to. Maybe that is the dream. Stability.

Whatever you are planning for your retirement we hope you have laid out your plans and are working towards it each day. Because I’m looking forward to the day when I can spin this twenty-four inch globe and as its spinning on its axis I will jab my finger into its side until it comes to a halting stop. Wherever my finger is pointed, is the next place we will be exploring.

~ Aaron JacksonCrabb