On-line Retirement Planning: The 30 minute overview

The transition is the hardest part...

Chris Crowley, author of Younger Next Year, describes how, in our society, there is no structure for what we are supposed to do after an active career:

Link to more from Chris Crowley

As Chairman of Life's Next Steps, Chris Armstrong has led many retirement seminars, and he has heard lots of new retirees say they will play golf, visit the grand children, and travel.

Retirement doesn't turn out the way those people think.

Chris says the common element among successful retirees is that they are actively driving the bus themselves, not waiting for others to plan for them.

Chris says there are three types of activities that should be combined to make a fulfilling retirement:

  • Leisure activities, the things we like to do for fun
  • Engaging activities, things we do well that we enjoy doing, and
  • Meaningful activities, things we do for a greater good than our own.

People need to plan to do what they like to do in each of these areas to make the most of their retirement.

More from Life's Next Steps

Psychology of Retirement

Barbara Moses, a career planning advisor and author of several books, has found that, at midlife, many people drift into a disengagement from their career pursuits, boredom, and low grade depression.

She says retirement iinvolves a psychological change; becoming more internally driven. It doesn't happen overnight. This is a time for a meaningful self-assessment, to evaluate who you are, what you care about, and what you like do. This process will often reveal what should happen next in your life.

More from Barbara Moses

Leaving the grind and starting something new

Career planning advisor Cam Mackie says that, if you don't need the money, and you don't love the job, there is no need to keep working, but....

... there is a real need to stay physically, mentally and socially active, and keep learning.

It is unhealthy to hang around with no direction to life, and it is particularly unhealthy to grieve the loss of a job, or to be negative about your situation.

A positive outlook to retirement is critical. Don't expect to find the whole new direction for your retired years all at once; take one step at a time, but keep moving forward.

More from Cam Mackie

Find a completely different job is an employment service that matches the skills and abilities of people over fifty to the requirements of specific jobs offered by employers. The project is designed for post-retirement employment; many of the jobs are part-time, and manyinvolve managing and mentoring.


Bill Smith describes how is rolling out across Canada.

Engage in something meaningful

Dr. Michael Gordon, a prominent Geriatrician at Baycrest in Toronto, also "prescribes" the need to be active, and he is particularly positive about the impact of volunteering on retirees.


He says issue men, in particular, often have difficulty as they transition into retirement. Those who were highly involved in their jobs experience a void when they no longer go to work. Many haven't developed alternative interests to pursue when they retire. He thinks the retirement life portrayed in advertisements of travelling all the time or playing golf all day is great for people on vacation, but not satisfactory on a full time basis.

He recommends finding a challenging volunteer opportunity.  He says that it's the volunteer who often benefits the most from an assignment, even though they spend their time helping others. Retirees who volunteer enjoy the opportunity to go where they can play an important role again.

He notes that retired men don't automatically migrate toward volunteering; they generally have to be encouraged in that direction by their friends and family.

Follow up: Specific volunteering opportunities

The benefits of exercise and physical fitness

Chris Crowley, author of Younger Next Year, explains how exercising sends signals to your body that delays the decay of aging:

Lesley Bowlby, the Coordinator of Fitness at Carleton University in Ottawa, emphasizes the need to develop a good fitness plan in retirement.

She compares the negative effects of sedentary living and aging on muscle, bone and health to the benefits of various forms of physical activity.  She calls a good exercise program "the fountain of youth".

More from Lesley Bowlby


For more on fitness, listen to the story of John Stanton, founder of The Running Room

Free Retirement Planning Advice

One of the best guides retirement planning is a booklet that is available free in ".pdf" format on the Internet.

Nininger book

When Dr. James Ninger retired as CEO of the conference Board of Canada, he produced this study on the impact of retirement on senior executives. It offers a mixture of research findings, anecdotes and advice. It is shorter and contains better research than most retirement planning books, and best of all, it is free. You can download the pdf file from this Government of Canada website.

Other recommended reading