Longevity & Aging

No doubt about it: at some point we’re neither semi-retired, findependent or fully retired. We’re out there in a retirement community or retirement home, and maybe for a few years near the end of this incarnation, some time to reflect on it all in a nursing home. Our Longevity & Aging category features our own unique blog posts, as well as blog feeds from Mark Venning’s ChangeRangers.com and other experts.

Review & Excerpt of Clay Gillespie’s Create the Retirement You Really Want

The Financial Post has just published my review of a new book by Vancouver-based financial advisor Clay Gillespie: Create the Retirement You Really Want: And Retire Smarter, Richer and Happier.

You can find the online review by clicking on this highlighted headline: From Dreams to Legacy: New Book Details the 5 Stages of Retirement.

And below is an excerpt from the chapter highlighted in the review. We may also run at least one other excerpt in the coming weeks. Over to you, Clay!

By Clay Gillespie

Special the Financial Independence Hub

Retirement isn’t an event; it’s a process, and it begins years before you actually retire. Working with hundreds of clients over many decades, I’ve come to realize that retirement success is best achieved in five distinct stages. Each stage reflects a different aspect of who you are and where you want to be in retirement, and it all begins with a dream.

       1.) Dreams stage

The Dreams stage of retirement typically begins about five or six years prior to actual retirement. This is the time when people have decided to retire but aren’t yet sure of the date. It’s the time where retirement goals and hopes for the future become defined and a preliminary retirement plan is developed. For couples, especially, retiring now becomes an ongoing topic of discussion, not just something brought up in passing.

2.) Reality stage

The Reality stage usually occurs between 6 and 24 months before retirement and its temporal proximity really starts to hit home. Lifestyle issues come into greater focus, along with fears that one’s retirement nest egg may be inadequate. This is a crucial time from a planning perspective. Old Age Security (OAS) and Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan (CPP/QPP) applications need to be made, income streams need to be consolidated, taxes need to be minimized and portfolios need to be optimized for income and growth.

3. Transition stage Continue Reading…

The weightlifting Granny

By Jessica Walter

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

A few years ago, Shirley Webb of East Alton, Illinois, was unable to get off the floor without the aid of a piece of furniture. Neither could she climb the stairs without holding onto the railing. Her only source of exercise came from mowing the lawn.

Now, the 78-year-old grandmother has learnt how to lift a 225-pound barbell. She no longer needs furniture or railings to help her. She’s a record breaker, setting records in Illinois for deadlifting at 237 pounds and in Missouri for 215 pounds, both in age and weight groups.

Along with her granddaughter, Webb joined Club Fitness in Wood River and, within six months of work with her personal trainer, John Wright, she was lifting in the 200-pound range.

So, what advice can seniors take from the weightlifting grandmother?

1.) Find a workout partner

Fitness experts believe that working out with someone will help you more than if you were to work out alone. Not only is it easier to set goals with someone and then motivate each other to achieve them, it’s more fun. Exercise shouldn’t be a chore!

2.) Choose a senior-friendly gym

You’re more likely to go to a gym if you like the premises and the staff – the more welcome you feel, the more fun it will be to go. In an interview with ESPN, Webb said the staff at Club Fitness explained all the equipment to her and her granddaughter before they signed up so she knew exactly what was what. Don’t forget to visit a few local gyms before you sign a contract! Continue Reading…

Estate Planning For Couples: You Can’t Take It With You

According to an Ipsos Reid poll commissioned by the CIBC, only 30% of Canadians have a formal estate plan in place. The reasons for not having one vary – some people think they are too young, or don’t have enough assets. Some believe that their belongings will automatically go to their spouse. Many couples think they have lots of time, and some just don’t want to deal with it.

Everyone needs to plan for the inevitable.

Estate planning is for your loved ones and for your own peace of mind. It means arranging how you leave your money and property when you die and it must follow the laws of the province you live in (or where the property exists).

Estate planning involves:

  • writing your will and naming someone to be responsible for carrying out your wishes
  • distributing assets during your lifetime as well as upon your death
  • arranging insurance to cover costs and provide for your survivors
  • specifying who will handle your affairs if you become unable to manage them yourself, and giving them direction through a power of attorney and medical directive.

Estate planning for young families

When you are raising a family, and are just starting to accumulate assets, consider these steps: Continue Reading…

The power of positive thinking

By Sandy Cardy

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

Positive thinking is a state of mind that allows you to focus on the bright side of life and believe that you can overcome any obstacle and difficulty, including dis-ease. While not accepted by everyone, the concept is growing in popularity. Optimism is the key to effective stress management and we already know that stress negatively affects our health.  The health benefits of positive thinking continue to be researched but may include an increased life span, lower rates of depression, greater resistance to the common cold and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease related deaths.

The way you think, feel and act has an effect on your body and there is growing evidence that you can change your health just by changing your mindset. Emotions can impact the course of an illness and the mind can affect the outcome of disease. For example, a stomach ulcer may develop after a stressful event, such as the death of a loved one or loss of a job.

Body speaks to Mind

At the root of every physical symptom is an emotional connection; the body speaks the mind. Poor emotional health can weaken your immune system. Continue Reading…

Better Retirement choices: An elegantly simple solution

By Doug Dahmer

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

“Life,” philosopher Albert Camus contended, “is the sum of all your choices.”

Do you think otherwise?

Good or bad. Easy or hard. Right or wrong. Every choice you make will impact your life to some degree.

Choices with little impact are often made without much thought and the trouble is this casual approach to decision making tends to be deployed on bigger and more impactful choices.

In my profession, as a retirement income specialist, I see poorly made choices all the time. They, unfortunately, tend to be life altering, irreversible and totally avoidable. Like a doctor passing along a gloomy prognosis, I am heartbroken to see the look on peoples’ faces when I tell them how a choice they made will put them at a disadvantage for the rest of their lives.

And, as I said, many of these damaging financial choices are often avoidable.

 The Retirement Risk Zone Years (TRRZY)

The years leading up to, and the early years of retirement are packed with important choices that can create turning points in your life. We call this period of your life ‘The Retirement Risk Zone Years’ (TRRZY).

TRRZY has aptly earned this acronym because this phase of life contains the highest concentration of high-impact choices that can lead to turning events, both good and bad, in people’s lives.

It is important to recognize that the number and frequency of tough and important choices increases during this time. In addition, the implications of choosing poorly intensify as both time and flexibility have turned from friend to foe. Successfully creating your best possible retirement years is directly linked to how well you navigate the challenging choices of TRRZY.

Over this nearly two-decade period we must adapt our thinking to a new reality. Strategies that served us well during our savings years can turn on their heads and start to work to our disadvantage as our flow of funds reverses from saving to spending. Those who fail to recognize and adapt to this new thinking have a high propensity for making poor choices, many of which they will regret in future years.

Turning Points during “TRRZY”

Continue Reading…