Retirement - is it over-rated?

Preparing for life after work. RRSPs, RRIFs, TFSAs, annuities and meeting future financial and psychological needs.

Retirement - is it over-rated?

I'm retired. I'm glad. I'll never work again.
69
40%
I'm retired. I'm glad, I'm working to make ends meet.
4
2%
I'm retired. I'm glad. I'm working because I choose to.
21
12%
I'm retired. I'm sorry. I would have kept on working.
3
2%
I'm working. When I retire I'll never work again.
23
13%
I'm working. When I retire I'll need another job
4
2%
I'm working. When I retire I'll do something else.
38
22%
I'm working. I'll never retire.
6
3%
I don't work. I'm a gentleman (lady) of leisure.
5
3%
 
Total votes: 173

User avatar
Flaccidsteele
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 2346
Joined: 06 Mar 2014 12:52
Location: Retired Gen Xer somewhere on the planet earth

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by Flaccidsteele » 31 Jul 2017 10:36

This is an interesting article. Over time I'm becoming closer to this point of view than the "retirement is the best thing in the world" perspective. It may be correlated to age or lack of any daily structure.

What if retirement makes you miserable?
Retired @ 40 after reading Munger/Buffett. I avoided a fragile retirement by avoiding conventional volatility management (diversification, re-balancing and asset-allocation). "Put 90% in a very low-cost S&P 500 index fund...the long-term results will be superior" - Warren Buffett

User avatar
ghariton
Diamond Ring
Diamond Ring
Posts: 11811
Joined: 18 Feb 2005 18:59
Location: Ottawa

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by ghariton » 31 Jul 2017 10:56

Flaccidsteele wrote:
31 Jul 2017 10:36
This is an interesting article. Over time I'm becoming closer to this point of view than the "retirement is the best thing in the world" perspective. It may be correlated to age or lack of any daily structure.

What if retirement makes you miserable?
Thank you for the link. I can identify with much of that.

In my case, my retirement activity is shaping up to be sitting on board of not-for-profits.

George
The plural of anecdote is NOT data.

User avatar
AltaRed
Diamond Ring
Diamond Ring
Posts: 18287
Joined: 05 Mar 2005 20:04
Location: Ogopogo Land

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by AltaRed » 31 Jul 2017 12:21

ghariton wrote:
31 Jul 2017 10:56
In my case, my retirement activity is shaping up to be sitting on board of not-for-profits.
Ditto. I was eventually President of one and VP of another during my early retirement years in Calgary. I am currently Vice-Chair of a municipal commission and VP of a non-profit in my current location. Will continue to serve on those for at least another term and then move on to 1-2 others where I want to make a difference. It is enough to keep me engaged in some activity without a command performance to attend if I'd rather be on a travel adventure.
Imagefiniki, the Canadian financial wiki The go-to place to bolster your financial freedom

hamor
Silver Ring
Silver Ring
Posts: 296
Joined: 09 Mar 2013 23:12

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by hamor » 31 Jul 2017 14:28

I was once talking to a retired CEO of a 'factory'.
He told me - Never retire, if you can help it. It's so boring, the cottage helps in the summer, but that's about it.
He took a consulting gig, far from home too.

Clearly, work means more to some, than others, and then there are people who simply hate their job.

2 yen
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 2624
Joined: 09 Apr 2005 09:15

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by 2 yen » 31 Jul 2017 14:32

Seems to me that if one has ego needs to be met, that retirement can be a hell. Divorcing oneself from these 'needs' is a difficult process and very understandable. Everyone's situation is different and one template cannot be used for someone else. In my case, simply listening to the a.m. and p.m. traffic reports makes me glad to be at home. For someone else, this reason may be ridiculous. The article does make good points.

2 yen

User avatar
AltaRed
Diamond Ring
Diamond Ring
Posts: 18287
Joined: 05 Mar 2005 20:04
Location: Ogopogo Land

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by AltaRed » 31 Jul 2017 15:03

The thing is.... is that it is not difficult to be involved in causes that matter to you. An electrician I know locally gave up his trade to do odd jobs for the local Boys and Girls Club. I could see myself being involved in the Burrowing Owl society preserving habitat. I could also see myself working part time, tinkering in the maintenance (machine shop) building of the Kettle Valley railway repairing locomotives, undercarriage bogies, etc. Then there will be the facilities, exhiibits, benches, etc in 2018 for the new Okanagan Rail Trail that will be re-built out of the abandoned rail bed. There are "hundreds" of worthwhile endeavours.
Imagefiniki, the Canadian financial wiki The go-to place to bolster your financial freedom

SQRT
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 1902
Joined: 01 Nov 2012 11:33
Location: Alberta/Ontario/Arizona

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by SQRT » 31 Jul 2017 15:53

AltaRed wrote:
31 Jul 2017 15:03
The thing is.... is that it is not difficult to be involved in causes that matter to you. An electrician I know locally gave up his trade to do odd jobs for the local Boys and Girls Club. I could see myself being involved in the Burrowing Owl society preserving habitat. I could also see myself working part time, tinkering in the maintenance (machine shop) building of the Kettle Valley railway repairing locomotives, undercarriage bogies, etc. Then there will be the facilities, exhiibits, benches, etc in 2018 for the new Okanagan Rail Trail that will be re-built out of the abandoned rail bed. There are "hundreds" of worthwhile endeavours.
Agree. If you really can't figure out something worthwhile or interesting to do in retirement it reflects poorly on you. It may very well take some time to figure out your identity outside your career (took me probably about 3 years) but it is necessary and certainly doable. Surely not a valid reason to work until you drop.

User avatar
optionable68
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 1110
Joined: 19 Feb 2005 18:47
Location: GTA

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by optionable68 » 31 Jul 2017 17:53

You guys are killing me. Still hanging onto my 40s but am still planning (hoping) to "retire" around 55. If its financially feasible.

Boredom? I don't understand that word. I have never experienced boredom in my life and don't really expect to. I do what keeps me entertained and interested and educated. I like to learn things I don't know - and that is a whole lot of things... waiting for me to find the time to get to. I also want to experience places and/or cultures that interest me. So I guess incremental learning and exploratory travel are the 2 biggest rewards on my to do list

As I think of what I would do @ 55, I am thinking there are so many books I would want to read but currently don't have the time to read. I mean enough books to last decades. Academic books, Self learning books. Maybe even get a few extra degrees, not because my work demands it but because I find the area of focus interesting. I always wished I was better at home repairs and upgrades. Maybe even get better at cooking. Being retired would give me the chance to learn.

I also want to spend time seeing/experiencing more travel destinations within less traveled areas of Canada and abroad - and I want to take my time. There are enough seasons that I could find enough outdoor activities to keep me active in various seasons and around different surroundings. Educational travelling and preparation can take weeks or even months to fully experience.

For me, life after 55 is about learning and new experiences which I don't have the time for while I am working. Constant learning to keep my mind active.
1st Place Winner of FWF's 2007 & 2015 Stock Market Predictor Contest. :)

User avatar
Flaccidsteele
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 2346
Joined: 06 Mar 2014 12:52
Location: Retired Gen Xer somewhere on the planet earth

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by Flaccidsteele » 01 Aug 2017 01:17

From my perspective, retirement is similar to having children in that, until a person has experienced it, you really can't trust that they know what they're talking about.
Retired @ 40 after reading Munger/Buffett. I avoided a fragile retirement by avoiding conventional volatility management (diversification, re-balancing and asset-allocation). "Put 90% in a very low-cost S&P 500 index fund...the long-term results will be superior" - Warren Buffett

Zipper
Silver Ring
Silver Ring
Posts: 461
Joined: 10 Aug 2005 16:36
Location: London ON

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by Zipper » 01 Aug 2017 08:20

If you want to work well past your best before date and defer pensions, have at it.

The government,CRA, and pension plans love it when worker bees croak at the last possible moment.

User avatar
Descartes
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 1153
Joined: 03 Nov 2008 09:59

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by Descartes » 01 Aug 2017 12:57

Purpose, respect, accomplishment, authority.
If your career provided these (or the illusion of these) then how do you adequately provide them in retirement?
God knows I get no respect and have no authority at home :P.
"A dividend is a dictate of management. A capital gain is a whim of the market."

slim
Silver Ring
Silver Ring
Posts: 173
Joined: 28 Feb 2005 22:52

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by slim » 01 Aug 2017 13:53

+1 :rofl:

longinvest
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 1397
Joined: 10 Sep 2012 17:26
Location: QC

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by longinvest » 01 Aug 2017 14:55

Descartes wrote:
01 Aug 2017 12:57
Purpose, respect, accomplishment, authority.
If your career provided these (or the illusion of these)
It does. It's like being paid to play all week long. :)
Descartes wrote:
01 Aug 2017 12:57
then how do you adequately provide them in retirement?
That's an excellent question!
Descartes wrote:
01 Aug 2017 12:57
have no authority at home
Marketers know that women hold most of the authority at home:

Win over women, and the men will follow -- The Guardian
Understand the purchasing power of women
[...] They control up to 85% of consumer purchasing decisions and account for nearly half of all purchases in traditionally male-dominated categories such as cars and electronics.
My household is no exception.
Bogleheads investment philosophy | Simple index portfolios | Lifelong Portfolio: 25% each of (domestic/international)stocks/(nominal/inflation-indexed)bonds | VCN/VXC/VAB/ZRR

User avatar
kcowan
Diamond Ring
Diamond Ring
Posts: 12968
Joined: 18 Apr 2006 20:33
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by kcowan » 01 Aug 2017 18:33

longinvest wrote:
01 Aug 2017 14:55
My household is no exception.
I can't complain. I get to make decisions on car and home purchases, as well as investments. Of course with a buy and hold strategy, these are few and far between compared to all her decisions.
For the fun of it...Keith

longinvest
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 1397
Joined: 10 Sep 2012 17:26
Location: QC

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by longinvest » 01 Aug 2017 20:36

Keith,

I am quite surprised to learn that your spouse's opinion wasn't dominant in the final decision to buy the family home. This seems unusual. Maybe you meant that you're the one who set the budget?
Bogleheads investment philosophy | Simple index portfolios | Lifelong Portfolio: 25% each of (domestic/international)stocks/(nominal/inflation-indexed)bonds | VCN/VXC/VAB/ZRR

User avatar
Flaccidsteele
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 2346
Joined: 06 Mar 2014 12:52
Location: Retired Gen Xer somewhere on the planet earth

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by Flaccidsteele » 01 Aug 2017 23:29

It seems unusual to me to have one person make a unilateral decision to purchase something as significant as a car or home.

My wife and I discussed how much we wanted to spend on our primary residence. I was more concerned about limiting purchase price and she was more focused upon limiting ongoing expenses (insurance, maintenance, property taxes, utilities, etc.). Which is why we avoided living in a detached house as this would have maximized both purchase price and ongoing expenses. And if my family and friends are any indication, a house seems to function primarily as a large storage facility for junk with large heating/cooling/electrical costs and maintenance needs.

Both of us decided that investing in rental property is a better use of funds. We would rather have excess monthly cash flow than a large box that generates weekend maintenance and large regular (and irregular) expenses.
Retired @ 40 after reading Munger/Buffett. I avoided a fragile retirement by avoiding conventional volatility management (diversification, re-balancing and asset-allocation). "Put 90% in a very low-cost S&P 500 index fund...the long-term results will be superior" - Warren Buffett

User avatar
kcowan
Diamond Ring
Diamond Ring
Posts: 12968
Joined: 18 Apr 2006 20:33
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by kcowan » 02 Aug 2017 09:58

longinvest wrote:
01 Aug 2017 20:36
Keith,

I am quite surprised to learn that your spouse's opinion wasn't dominant in the final decision to buy the family home. This seems unusual. Maybe you meant that you're the one who set the budget?
No I have the ultimate decision. I also decide on electronics. Like all our decisions, there is always much dialogue.

I suspect that the fact that 2 couples who are best friends and have a controlling man makes my role easier.
For the fun of it...Keith

longinvest
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 1397
Joined: 10 Sep 2012 17:26
Location: QC

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by longinvest » 02 Aug 2017 10:03

kcowan wrote:
02 Aug 2017 09:58
longinvest wrote:
01 Aug 2017 20:36
Keith,

I am quite surprised to learn that your spouse's opinion wasn't dominant in the final decision to buy the family home. This seems unusual. Maybe you meant that you're the one who set the budget?
No I have the ultimate decision. I also decide on electronics. Like all our decisions, there is always much dialogue.

I suspect that the fact that 2 couples who are best friends and have a controlling man makes my role easier.
Thanks for the precisions. Seems that I'll have to be more careful to avoid stereotypes.
Bogleheads investment philosophy | Simple index portfolios | Lifelong Portfolio: 25% each of (domestic/international)stocks/(nominal/inflation-indexed)bonds | VCN/VXC/VAB/ZRR

User avatar
deaddog
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 2596
Joined: 19 Jan 2008 19:59
Location: Central BC/Arizona

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by deaddog » 02 Aug 2017 11:21

longinvest wrote:
02 Aug 2017 10:03
kcowan wrote:
02 Aug 2017 09:58
longinvest wrote:
01 Aug 2017 20:36
Keith,

I am quite surprised to learn that your spouse's opinion wasn't dominant in the final decision to buy the family home. This seems unusual. Maybe you meant that you're the one who set the budget?
No I have the ultimate decision. I also decide on electronics. Like all our decisions, there is always much dialogue.

I suspect that the fact that 2 couples who are best friends and have a controlling man makes my role easier.
Thanks for the precisions. Seems that I'll have to be more careful to avoid stereotypes.
Be careful. Women are sneaky, a lot of them let their man think he is in control. :D
Most of our so-called reasoning consists of finding arguments for going on believing as we already do.( J.H. Robinson)

User avatar
scomac
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 5921
Joined: 19 Feb 2005 09:47
Location: The Greenbelt

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by scomac » 02 Aug 2017 11:25

Flaccidsteele wrote:
01 Aug 2017 23:29
It seems unusual to me to have one person make a unilateral decision to purchase something as significant as a car or home.

My wife and I discussed how much we wanted to spend on our primary residence. I was more concerned about limiting purchase price and she was more focused upon limiting ongoing expenses (insurance, maintenance, property taxes, utilities, etc.). Which is why we avoided living in a detached house as this would have maximized both purchase price and ongoing expenses. And if my family and friends are any indication, a house seems to function primarily as a large storage facility for junk with large heating/cooling/electrical costs and maintenance needs.

Both of us decided that investing in rental property is a better use of funds. We would rather have excess monthly cash flow than a large box that generates weekend maintenance and large regular (and irregular) expenses.
I'm wondering about this myself.

Our #2 son and his fiancee have moved to the Oakanagan Valley and are living in a new development of craftsman style homes. They are renting the lower level which is street level and the owner is in the upper level which is also garage level -- one of the benefits of building on a hillside. There are at least a half dozen units set up this way with a rental suite of some sort. The lady next door is using her lower level as an Air B2B. It was full during our entire stay by three different renters.

Downsize, debulk and have a rental income stream all at the same time strikes me as a very attractive combination coupled with all the advantages that you get from a new build. In my mind it's actually preferrable to the condo lifestyle that is being pitched at us seniors.
"On what principle is it, that when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?"
Thomas Babington Macaulay in 1830

User avatar
AltaRed
Diamond Ring
Diamond Ring
Posts: 18287
Joined: 05 Mar 2005 20:04
Location: Ogopogo Land

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by AltaRed » 02 Aug 2017 13:15

scomac wrote:
02 Aug 2017 11:25
Downsize, debulk and have a rental income stream all at the same time strikes me as a very attractive combination coupled with all the advantages that you get from a new build. In my mind it's actually preferrable to the condo lifestyle that is being pitched at us seniors.
My wife's mid-30s son and his wife are looking to re-locate sometime in 2018 from the Lower Mainland to an area in the Central Interior where they can buy and do the same, i.e. live in the upper storey and rent out the lower level. So it is not only an attractive option for seniors, but for anyone who is not overly materially oriented.
Imagefiniki, the Canadian financial wiki The go-to place to bolster your financial freedom

BRIAN5000
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 5850
Joined: 08 Jun 2007 23:27

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by BRIAN5000 » 02 Aug 2017 13:59

AltaRed wrote:
02 Aug 2017 13:15
scomac wrote:
02 Aug 2017 11:25
Downsize, debulk and have a rental income stream all at the same time strikes me as a very attractive combination coupled with all the advantages that you get from a new build. In my mind it's actually preferrable to the condo lifestyle that is being pitched at us seniors.
My wife's mid-30s son and his wife are looking to re-locate sometime in 2018 from the Lower Mainland to an area in the Central Interior where they can buy and do the same, i.e. live in the upper storey and rent out the lower level. So it is not only an attractive option for seniors, but for anyone who is not overly materially oriented.
For someone who is cash-strapped or travels most of the year or just trying to get ahead a bit you could also rent out the UPSTAIRS and live in the basement. As finances improve or other considerations become more important you can move upstairs and rent out the downstairs. Someone else pays a lot of the mortgage and you can approximate how many years you would need to do this till you could move out and buy your dream home and rent the whole house out. :wink: :wink: In our case it was six years down, 4 years up, then paid cash for new PR. Could be used for down sizing but staying in same location depending on property.
“Sometimes you are going to sell early and wish you would’ve held on, other times you will hold on a
little bit longer and wish you would’ve sold early - this is just part of the game.” - Frank Zorilla via Abnormal Returns

User avatar
kcowan
Diamond Ring
Diamond Ring
Posts: 12968
Joined: 18 Apr 2006 20:33
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by kcowan » 02 Aug 2017 18:10

Also there are plenty of B&B owners wanting out. The older home is not structured for 2 families living independently. We have a friend who has one and has been sitting on it for years trying to sell it as an operating B&B without success. It was grossing $150k a year and with plenty of write-offs.
For the fun of it...Keith

SQRT
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 1902
Joined: 01 Nov 2012 11:33
Location: Alberta/Ontario/Arizona

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by SQRT » 03 Aug 2017 09:04

Virtually all our decisions are made jointly. I often find it difficult to determine who had the original idea or took the lead in discussion. We each do tend to be a little more dominant in certain areas. Me investments, autos. Her travel, decorations, renos. Communication is definitely key.

longinvest
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 1397
Joined: 10 Sep 2012 17:26
Location: QC

Re: Retirement - is it over-rated?

Post by longinvest » 03 Aug 2017 14:19

SQRT wrote:
03 Aug 2017 09:04
Virtually all our decisions are made jointly. I often find it difficult to determine who had the original idea or took the lead in discussion. We each do tend to be a little more dominant in certain areas. Me investments, autos. Her travel, decorations, renos. Communication is definitely key.
It's the same, here, but referring back to the context where I started discussing this, I still feel that my authority is much more diluted at home than at work. At least, at work I know where it starts and where it ends. At home, it's another story. :wink:

To get back on topic: In retirement, how does one adequately provides for purpose, respect, accomplishment, and authority?
Bogleheads investment philosophy | Simple index portfolios | Lifelong Portfolio: 25% each of (domestic/international)stocks/(nominal/inflation-indexed)bonds | VCN/VXC/VAB/ZRR

Post Reply