Is early retirement for you?

Financial considerations, timing & mental preparedness

During tumultuous economic times, those close to retirement may be feeling anxious. You may have been offered an early retirement package and now feel overwhelmed about making a big decision during an uncertain time. Here are three important considerations to support your decision.

Financial prep

How much do you need to retire? Consider your budget. Getting an idea of your spending is a good place to start. You can then reduce any employment-specific expenses (like dry cleaning or parking) and add in any additional costs associated with hobbies and additional travel. Being realistic about your expenses will help you determine how much you will need to spend in retirement.


When preparing for retirement, timing is important to keep in mind: retiring early may mean less years of additional savings and loss of years of contribution to CPP, resulting in an overall smaller income stream throughout retirement. You may also be forfeiting group insurance coverage through an employer. Now may be a good time for a full insurance review.

Mental prep: Claire’s story

When analyzing your retirement needs you should also consider how you’ll spend your time. Being prepared mentally or emotionally for retirement is also an important factor.

Claire (not her real name) retired early at the age of 58 when an opportunity arose to leave her organization where she worked in a senior position. Despite her initial reluctance and a certain degree of anxiety, she is now completely satisfied she made the best decision for her and her family. “My greatest fear about retirement was losing the security of employment, the sense of self-worth and validation from being employed. Not having a high-flying career, I believed, would make me a non-entity to some degree – just a retired person,” she explained.

Claire sought financial advice when she was about 51 and we helped her make changes to her retirement planning and investment strategies. “These steps were financially useful and, I came to realize, should have been done sooner,” Claire noted.

She explained her decision to retire as a “no brainer” once the plan was laid out. Clearly not everyone will have the opportunity to retire early, but careful planning with our assistance can help prepare you for many contingencies. Based on the calculations, Claire's retirement would be about $5000 less than her net salary after considering the expenses of working (clothing, travel etc.), taxation differentials and no retirement/pension plan contributions.

Retirement, she said, has been partly about giving, enabling her to do some volunteer work. She says she’s been fortunate to have a good income in retirement. “Having an adequate pension and investments has made my retired life easy,” she notes. “For me, retirement is enjoying the company of my husband who is also retired, helping with my grandchildren, working in the garden, catching up with friends and, in the main, having a great time.”

Every journey is unique. Speak to us about your options and the most effective ways to achieve your retirement goals.