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The joys of retirement are many, including time to travel, socialize, play golf or other recreational pursuits, and generally enjoy a more leisurely pace. Planning ahead can help ensure you have the financial resources to enjoy these activities, worry-free, for as long as possible.

Planning also means considering your later years of retirement, when you may slow down or need additional care.

In this series of three articles, we offer tips to smooth the transition through the most common phases of retirement.


This is the phase, typically between ages 65 and 75, where you have the hips and heart to participate in active endeavours. Now’s the time to get out the bucket list and follow your dreams while you’re at your most active.


During this second phase of retirement, activity levels may be more moderate. You might choose to cut down on driving or stay closer to home when you go on vacation. Additional health-related expenses may enter the equation. The key during this time is to accept any limitations as graciously as you can. Enjoy life and focus on everything you can, rather than can’t, do.


Plan ahead

One of the biggest concerns during the active phases of retirement may be whether you can actually afford to do all the things on your wish list without compromising your future financial situation.

This is why having a long-term plan in place is so important. A detailed plan, established before the onset of active retirement, will help give you the confidence to spend money on the things you enjoy—when you’re most able to enjoy them.

An acceptable plan is one where financial resources outlive the individual, says Doug, who adds that a financial plan should cover you through age 100+.

Visualize your future

When planning, start by painting a picture of the lifestyle you envision, through the various phases of retirement to end-of-life care. Work with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional to map out current and future expenses, from mortgage or rent, home maintenance, insurance, travel and food in the early stages of retirement to potential medical expenses and assisted living costs in the latter stages.

Work with your financial planner to develop a plan that works for your specific circumstances and recognize the uncertainty of thinking decades into the future. That may mean erring on the side of being conservative, says Doug, both with your annual budget and your expected investment returns.

Careful planning early on can make the difference between an enjoyable, stress-free retirement and one where money is a constant concern.

Discipline is what it takes to block out the noise, commitment is what it takes to walk the path to financial success and patience is what it takes to reach the goal.

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