Instead of taking a more traditional retirement route, some Canadians today are working with their employers to allow them to ease into the next phase of their life. By formally “retiring”, but continuing to work for their company on a freelance basis, this suits those who love their job and not wanting to give it up entirely. By freelancing, they continue to use their skills in an environment they are comfortable in, while still having the flexibility and income for volunteer work or to travel. It’s the best of both worlds!
The number of Canadian seniors who are delaying retirement has steadily increased since the mid‑1990s and today, close to one in four Canadians aged 65 to 69 was still working. Retirement‑aged workers are choosing to extend the time they spend on the job for a variety of reasons; some want to remain mentally stimulated, maintain their social connections or try something new, and some are simply not ready to retire.
For others, the reasons are financial as the extra income can help fund travel, support family or boost their retirement savings.
There are many options to consider if you’re considering transitioning into retirement. You’re more likely to enjoy yourself if you choose a role that’s important to you and makes you happy. Get started by asking yourself:
- What type of work do I want to do?
- How much time do I want to spend working?
- Do I want to learn new skills or use a skill I have?
- How much flexibility do I want to have?
- Do I want to work for myself or someone else?
- How much money will I need to earn to do the things I want?
Some approaches to consider if you decide that semi‑retirement is the right choice for you.
- Stay in your job, but work less. Ask your current employer about the potential to work fewer hours or time‑share with another employee.
- Consult or do freelance work. This allows you to lend your expertise to projects on your terms. Your current employer is familiar with your skill set and could be an ideal client.
- Work seasonally. Consider jobs like planting flowers for a nursery, ushering at your local stadium or theatre, conducting tours at a local attraction or working in retail during the holiday season.
- Monetize your skills. Cooking, sewing, tutoring, cleaning, driving, giving music lessons, doing yard work, fixing things around the house. The services people are willing to pay for are endless. If you have a skill that you enjoy and would like to profit from, let your friends, family and colleagues know.
- Giving your time, energy and skills to an association, charity, festival or event is a great way to meet people, develop new interests and give back to your community.
Your financial advisor can help with the shift from full-time work to semi‑retirement. He or she can help you manage your income stream and provide advice on tax efficiency.
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