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February 7, 2012 / mike54martin

Freedom 85

A recent poll by Harris Decima for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce found that 44 per cent of Canadians surveyed said that they are not financially ready for retirement. Even among those getting closer to what we consider a normal retirement, those aged 55 to 64, 31 per cent said they could not afford to retire. The question that this raises is when are people (including me) every going to be able to retire? Freedom 75, 85?

The answer to this problem is to start saving for retirement earlier. Duh!! But that is way too simplistic. When you are young you have to first pay off your student loans and then start saving for a house and by the time you have a down payment you likely have a partner and are ready to start a family. And good luck to anyone who has a new home and young children. Both go through money like… I won’t make the diaper joke here.

Maybe, just maybe when you are in your early 50’s your children are starting to move out and go to school on their own. You feel sorry for them so you try and help out with their tuition and school fees. You feel even sorrier for them when they can’t find a job and end up back living with you along with their new spouse and baby. Then of course you feel sorriest of all for yourself when you can’t retire because you have no company pension plan, $50,000 in an RRSP, and $485.25 in the new Tax Free Savings Account that you set up last year. That’s a fair distance from the $750,000 to $1 million that the “experts” tell you that you will need for retirement.

So you might as well face it, your dreams of playing golf every day and lying on the beach every February are not going to happen. Better re-think that strategy of telling your snotty young supervisor where to go. And unless you want to settle for that job with the blue apron greeting people you better think about going back to school as well. Because you are going to need new skills to compete with your son who will have probably three degrees on you.

So enjoy the sunshine of your life. It’s not like your retirement has been stolen from you. It’s just been postponed. Indefinitely. It will come. We’re just not sure when.

This article was originally posted on my blog at


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