As you head towards retirement it is an exciting time – you will be looking forward to having lots of freedoms and spare time. You can finally do all the things that you have been putting off due to time pressures. However, retirement in Canada has changed and you need to manage these to make sure you have a happy and fulfilled retirement free of stress and worry. Take some time out to plan to ensure that you get to live the life you want with the financial freedom that you will need.

Financial planning

Make sure you have enough in your pension. According to a survey by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Canadians estimate that they will need $756,000 for a comfortable retirement but what you will need will depend upon the lifestyle you wish to lead. It is always better to have more than you think you will need.

Your income in retirement comes from savings and investments so make sure that you consult with a certified financial planner and have a robust plan in place. We are living for longer with the average life expectancy now 83 years). This means that you need to plan around living longer as you could be retired for 20+ years.

Your life aspirations

Be clear with yourself with what you want to do during your retirement and how much money you will need to have to achieve your aspirations. A new car or lots of travel might be your aspiration and you will need to plan for these.

A key aspiration for many Canadian retirees is to stay in their own homes and to achieve this goal you need to plan carefully. If you do not want to downsize or live in retirement community residences, then your home needs to be adapted for you to live an active lifestyle in comfortable and familiar accommodation.

Home lifts are becoming increasingly popular to future proof existing homes for current and future needs. They can be stylishly incorporated into existing décor or installed discretely. Residential elevators help to prevent falls, which is the leading cause of people having to leave their home.

Falls are the leading cause of injury among older Canadians with 20-30% seniors experiencing at least one fall each year and over one third of seniors need long-term care following a fall. Make sure your home is a safe place for you as you get older as prevention is always better than a cure.

Cost of living

Inflation and the resulting prices pressures across the board have been having an impact on financial planning and Canadian retirement plans. You need to factor inflationary pressures into your retirement planning.

Be aware that your cost of living may increase in retirement not only due to inflation but also due to how you will spend your free time. More frequent meals out and weekends away, for example, will increase your spending.

A successful retirement in Canada is an active lifestyle. Make sure you plan to make the most of your time and your newfound freedom. Get exercise – join a yoga or Pilates class, take up lessons in tennis or golf. Learn new things – sign up for that painting or pottery class, learn to play an instrument or a new language. It is important to meet new people, socialize, and stay active physically and cognitively.

Make sure your retirement plan means that you can make the most of your retirement. After many years of working, you deserve the retirement that you want where you want it.