A few months back, I met a lady in her late fifties at a party. She wanted my advice, as she was approaching her retirement age. Although there is no mandatory retirement age in Canada, she knew she had to start taking in her pension latest at the age of 71.
She wanted a quick answer on what the ideal age was to say goodbye to work. In order to assess her situation, I asked her, “How was work?”
She said, “Stressed, too much work and because of all the job cuts, there is more work pressure.”
Then, I asked her, “How is your health?”
She replied, “I have health issues and am on medication.”
Finally, I asked her, “What keeps you awake at night – Health or wealth?”
She laughed and said, “Both.”
I said to her, “You gave multiple answers and I want only one answer.”
She hesitated and was unsure on what the criteria should be for making that selection.
I told her that tomorrow she would have the wealth but if she had no health, then all of that would be nothing but a waste. On the other hand, if she looked after herself but had less wealth, she would still continue to enjoy her life. In addition, we live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world with an excellent health and social system compared to many other parts of the world.
I advised her that there was another angle to her situation. Curiously, she asked me, “What is it?”
I told her that if she accesses pension assets earlier, she would be able to plan smart and with that returns, probably fill some of the gaps. Thus, she realized there was another way to look at the situation and replied, “I think I found my answer.”
If we look at life through a prism, we can see different facets of life and probably answers too. However one should always take the time to do so prior to any decisions.
Then, she acknowledged and said, “Thank you for clearing my mind. I will plan for an early retirement, as my health is more precious and it’s also my wealth. I promise you I will not cut corners and look after myself because that’s the best gift for myself as well as my family.
Please share with your families and friends