Retirement: Are you ready for a fresh start?

For many of us, the golden years are better than ever--and longer, too. One more reason to carefully plan for your retirement!

Life expectancy has risen dramatically in the last few decades. In Quebec, it's now 80.8 years for men and 84.5 for women. When you retire, you'll have 168 hours a week to fill for some 20 years, so it's worth giving it some thought!

A fresh start

Increasingly, people are viewing retirement as a new lease on life. In the United States, the rallying cry is "Don't retire, refire!"

There are countless retirees who are refiring--in all directions--and Quebecers are no exception. An 82-year-old woman earned her PhD in literature from the Université de Sherbrooke, and a man in the Gaspé Peninsula started his first seaweed farming operation at 65, and his second at 81.

The key question you need to ask yourself when it comes to making a fresh start is: are you ready? Answering this entails taking a good look at your finances, health and lifestyle.

Finances:

Financial health is the cornerstone of a successful retirement. Your desired income level at retirement, retirement age and sources of income are key criteria.

Health:

It's one thing to live to an old age, but another to be in good health. Developing good habits early on will pay off in the long run. However, it's never too late to change your diet or take up a physical activity.

Lifestyle:

A U.S. study found that people with an extensive social network live 22% longer than those with a small network. Family relationships, friendships and personal projects all contribute to well-being.

When planning your retirement, be sure to take these three aspects into consideration, as they can have a huge impact on your future happiness. To take stock of your current situation and get advice that's tailored to you, complete the Retirement Index - This link will open in a new window..

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