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Redefining retirement: How “retirees” are crafting new careers


5 minute read

middle-aged plant worker in a plaid shirt and a safety helmet leaning on the counter with a tablet in hand

The retirement landscape is evolving, ushering in a new era where 65 no longer signifies the golden retirement age. Over half of Canadians aim to continue working, albeit fewer hours, into their senior years, indicating a growing trend toward phased or semi-retirement.  

Gen Xers in particular are reevaluating their retirement prospects, with 57% expressing doubts about saving enough to retire comfortably. As 76% of Canadians believe they must work longer than their parents to secure their future, revised retirement expectations underscore a societal shift that necessitates a closer look at financial planning.

Inspiring career transitions

With the rise of remote work and technological advancements, we have more opportunities than ever to build sustainable income in retirement.  Here’s how Canadians are making career moves to bolster their retirement nest egg: 

  • Side hustle: Marie began a dogsitting business from home, starting with the simple purchase of a laptop and a chain link fence. She gradually expanded her venture into a kennel and grooming service and invested her earnings in her retirement fund.
  • Second career: Tom shares his IT knowledge by teaching evening classes at a local college and coding camps for kids in the summer. It helps him sharpen his skills, and contribute to his RRSP. 
  • Remote work: Pratik’s employer adopted work-from-home policies, which eliminated his morning commute. So he funneled that extra bandwidth to his freelance writing— and this additional income goes straight to his investment accounts.
  • Contract work: After a layoff prompted early retirement, Product Manager Carl leveraged his industry connections to establish a career as a contract consultant, and now enjoys the flexibility of setting his own hours.
  • New training: Leasing agent Patricia pursued her real estate license, which allowed her to shift from renting to selling homes.
  • Career change: Jeff, a former Human Resources Manager, transitioned into entrepreneurship by running a successful online coaching business. 

These real-life stories illustrate how older workers are boldly embracing new retirement journeys;  they prove  that the end of one career can mark the exciting beginning of another. 

Stepping into phased retirement

Thinking about taking retirement in smaller steps instead of one big leap? Here are some steps you can take now to follow the lead of these Canadians who are redefining their post-career life: 

  1. Network: Build a potential client list for a consulting side hustle in retirement.
  2. Utilize resources: Take advantage of any training or education reimbursements through your employer to upgrade your skills.
  3. Job shadow: Shadow a colleague or industry expert to gain insights into other careers.
  4. Negotiate: Start a conversation with your employer about transitioning from a full-time career to part-time or flexible hours.
  5. Get certified: It’s never too late to obtain a new license or professional certification.
  6. Stay current: The internet is full of free online software tutorial for you to keep your tech skills up to date.
  7. Explore new work: Test the waters of a new career through part-time or volunteer work.
  8. Take a quiz: Discover your specific strengths and explore new income-earning opportunities by taking a career quiz.
  9. Know your worth: Your experience and knowledge can be a valuable resource to the younger workforce; recognize where your transferrable skills lie, and find ways to use them to benefit others.
  10. Investigate support: Investigate retraining and career support options for older workers, such as WorkBC or TIOW.
  11. Seek business or financial advice: Reach out to others who are semi-retired or have multiple incomes for guidance. Speak with your financial advisor about your retirement outlook and painless ways to accumulate investment funds.

Your retirement roadmap

If you’re concerned about running out of time to retirement, remember everyone’s journey looks different. Try not to define your life by rules that no longer apply; instead, seek out a lifestyle—now and into the future—that will work for you.

Have some questions about taking the next step, and need  some help? An advisor can help you plan your retirement roadmap and determine if phased retirement is right for you. 

Talk to an advisor about a retirement plan that works for you.

Start with a free 15-minute consultation.

Call us at 1-888-597-6083, visit us in branch, or fill in the form below and an advisor will reach out to you.