“Unretirement” and why it’s not selfish to be selfish

“Unretired” novelist and blogger Joyce Wayne

By Yvonne Ziomecki, HomEquity Bank

Over the last few years, we have seen a growing trend among older Canadians: what we call “unretirement.”

This is where some Canadians take action on long-held dreams once they settle into their retirement and start to consider activities and interests for added personal fulfilment. They’re increasingly seizing the opportunities that retirement presents, fulfilling personal passion projects, which, up until now, they never had the opportunity to prioritize.

One particular obstacle seems to hold Canadians back from achieving their retirement dreams: the guilt of feeling selfish if they actually do something just for themselves!

The obstacle to a fulfilling unretirement: selflessness

We recently surveyed 1,361 Canadian homeowners, aged 55 and over. We asked, “If you received a $100,000 cash gift, what would you most want to do with the money?”

Using the money to pay off debts or giving the money to family members or donating to charity were very popular choices. More popular than putting the money towards their own retirement or funding a lifelong dream.

It seems that Canadians are extremely generous souls, putting others’ needs ahead of their own. But is their selflessness preventing them from having a fulfilling and purposeful retirement?

Mark van Graft, Vice President at Mackie Research Capital Corporation, believes it is.

“I enjoy motivating my clients to realize that it’s not selfish to be selfish”

For decades, Mark has been helping Canadians to make informed financial decisions in their own best interests.

“I enjoy motivating my clients to realize that it’s not selfish to be selfish,” he says. “They should spend some of their investments on their own enrichment versus sitting on savings or worrying about everyone else.”

Mark likes to help his clients embrace their personal goals and aspirations in their retirement. “Coaching clients who have unrealized dreams is one of the favourite parts of my job,” he says.

“I show clients how to use a reverse mortgage, not as a last resort or dire straits resource. A reverse mortgage can unlock funds to go beyond aging at home. It’s more like enabling a desire to ‘unretire,’ to bring a passion project to life, to fund a legacy project or finance a long-held dream to travel or innovate.”

Write a new chapter and unretire

Joyce Wayne is a retired college writing instructor and an unretired novelist and blogger. “I have always loved writing,” she says. “When I retired, I embraced risk. I wanted to tackle writing a novel, but I needed funds to make things happen, so I down-sized my house to help finance my passion project.”

The gamble paid off. Joyce recently published her second novel, a historical espionage thriller, as well as writing a regular blog on issues and opportunities for retirees and soon-to-be retirees, called retirementmatters.ca

Joyce would only do one thing differently. “Had I known about HomEquity Bank, I wouldn’t have downsized. I would have taken out a reverse mortgage and stayed in the home I loved,” she shares.

Funding your unretirement

Depending on the scenario, Mark van Graft will counsel his clients take out a reverse mortgage from HomEquity Bank to fund their retirement dreams.

“Many clients feel their only option is to downsize and create an investment portfolio,” he says. “But this can lead to unintended consequences when it comes to income taxes and impact on government benefits.”

“A CHIP Reverse Mortgage could help them achieve their goals,” he continues, “while at the same time allowing them to stay in their home, reduce their income taxes and preserve their investment portfolio.”

According to Mark, getting independent financial advice is key to making the right decisions to achieve your own unretirement. “A reverse mortgage is something that you may not realize or even hear about unless you work with an independent financial planner,” he says.

Yvonne Ziomeck is Executive Vice President, Marketing and Sales and Chief Marketing Officer, Ms. Ziomecki leads Marketing and Consumer Sales and is responsible for developing Sales, Marketing Strategy and Vision for HomEquity Bank.


3 thoughts on ““Unretirement” and why it’s not selfish to be selfish

  1. Don’t forget about the Manulife ONE account. Treated similar as the CHIP plan but you only pay interest on what you use. A good competitor for HomBank.

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