Retirement – The Somber Reality and How to Fix it

Most people spend more time planning their next vacation rather than their retirement. Most people don’t even have a road map to retirement and that’s why we see baby boomers working at their local grocery store not because they are bored but because they relied on the government to retire them, and sadly it is not enough. I give credit to those that try to create their retirement plan themselves, however circumstances will dictate how things will work out and that needs to be taken into serious consideration. I have come across many that are semi-retired that kept working but had to switch careers, find something part-time, and at this rate ‘fully retired’ just means that they can’t find another job and some may never be able to fully retire comfortably and most Canadians will not be able to leave any money to their family and many more children are taking care of their elderly parents.

It doesn’t make sense that the banks are breaking record highs for profits while 96% of Canadians are retiring below the poverty level. Their dreams to knock off their bucket list of travels and adventure is decreasing as the age of retirement is increasing. Retirement is no longer an end goal but rather a new stage in life that is creating struggle for most. Because of backwards thinking we were conditioned to go to school, get a good job, buy a home that you have to be in debt to for 25 years, pay your bills, save, save, save and in my own generation – Gen X, it was all things shiney and bright that were sought after. But because of debt load through student loans and mortgages, and people spending more than they’re making they are purchasing things that are not necessary through credit cards, lines of credit. According to the Payroll Association, out of 3600 Canadians surveyed, 51% of BC, 48% of AB, and 52% of ON, are living paycheque to paycheque without putting anything aside for emergency. Debt load is overwhelming but it’s the long term financial outlook that is very concerning.

In BC, employees are now needing 1.2 million dollars to retire but that same amount is needed to purchase a home with no real increase with their pay, neverminding inflation. What is needed is more financial literacy and straight money talk but most people feel that talking about finances is a taboo subject that most of us keep in the closet because of Ego or because we are ashamed. Most people ‘think’ they know how they will retire but are not financial experts. What is really needed is for us to face it head on, get educated and get more literacy on the subject of finance and retirement. We need to learn to embrace new money management and skill set building on modern ways of investment – not through traditional banking institutions. The key is to start young and if you haven’t then a smart start is recommended before it’s too late. For many, saving for retirement and having goals beyond that – may seem daunting; however, speaking to a trusted advisor can help to make it feel more approachable and truly give you peace of mind because when you’re all over the map with your loans, investments and savings, it’s too difficult to see the end goal of your financial independence number.  First thing is first, learn how money works, earn more money, then free yourself from debt, become propery protected, invest wisely and be financially independent and instead of retirement enjoy freetirement. It is never too late. Contact me for your complimentary financial needs analysis.

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