Tag Archives: retirement

When can we stop working?

EI 1029


By Jim Selman
| Bio

Stephanie Chen, a writer for CNN, recently published “No Retirement for These Older Folks, Just Work” about older workers and the fact that more and more people have to keep working well beyond their ‘retirement age’. For some, this is purely a function of economic necessity. For others, it

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Canada’s Call for Pension Reform

The C.D. Howe Institute recently released their recommendations on how to break the deadlock in the Canadian pension system. With many citizens not saving enough for retirement, provinces, lobby groups and retirement gurus alike are looking to increase tax-deferred saving, improve access to good retirement saving plans, and modernize the rules governing retirement income. The federal and provincial governments have committed to finalize their options by May after nation-wide public consultations

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Choosing Your Future Every Day

By Kevin Brown | Bio

This week I have been having discussions with several of my friends and business associates concerning the apparent absence of choice as we are nearing retirement. It seems that for some people, there appears to be no choice but to remain with their current employer in a job they no longer find satisfaction in due to an anticipated financial loss associated with pension and health benefits. For many, this realization has them feeling like they have no choice in the matter.  I have also noticed a similar view held by folks in the second half of their career, who are in their mid to late forties. They already have a sense of this apparent lack of choice, working in jobs they do not find satisfying and holding the view that they have few, if any, real options. They have mortgages to pay, a family to provide for, and the risk of changing jobs in this economic downturn just reinforces their apparent absence of choice.  Do our actions, as a result of this deeply held belief, impact how we will experience aging as we enter our fifties, sixties, and beyond? Might this perceived absence of choice, if not confronted, place limits on our experience of aging? What can we do now, regardless of our age, to lay the groundwork for a future full of choice? Could we create for ourselves an experience of aging in which there are endless possibilities, with freedom and fulfillment a natural by-product? At the Eldering Institute, we hold the vision of living life as a possibility. Choice and possibility appear to me to go hand in hand. When we consciously choose how we relate to our circumstances, we allow for what is possible to come into our view. Even when life throws us a curve ball, we can choose to play the game and hit the ball as pitched or wait until the game of life occurs the way we would like it to occur. One response places us actively in the game of life: the other has us on the sidelines waiting for just the right conditions to arrive. We cannot change the circumstances of our lives. But could it be that we have choice about how we relate to everything in our lives? Take the employee who believes he cannot change jobs so late in his or her career and is experiencing a loss of power, freedom and possibility. They may feel trapped if the financial loss of leaving without another job to go to is a compelling reason to remain with the current employer. What if they simply accepted that they need an income and are, at the moment, choosing to remain with their current employer. Choosing gives them space to create a new possibility for themselves—perhaps a new game for themselves at work in which power, freedom, and fulfillment are present or perhaps new relationships to their career and money. What might be possible in your future if you were to play with the idea that you are always at choice in all areas of your life each and every day?  © 2009 Kevin Brown. All rights reserved.

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Boomers: Trying to Hang On?

By Kevin Brown | Bio

Have you noticed lately the impact that Boomers continue to have on the world as we know it? Yes, the ‘Net Generation’ is beginning to have a growing influence on our world and the way we interact with everyone in it. But the Boomers are not retiring or withdrawing from being in action on the field like their parents’ generation did before them. No, the Boomers are choosing to remain in the game and to impact how life occurs for them and for everyone else

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An Entirely New Game: Life 2.0

By Kevin Brown | Bio

Increasingly I find myself thinking about the word retirement and whether it has the appeal that it once had for the mature worker. I remember, as if it were yesterday, my father talking about how he was looking forward to retirement. After working long hours and raising a family, there just did not seem much time for anything else. Through much of his mid-life, my dad’s job (conductor for the

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Retirement and Choice

By Kevin Brown | Bio

In my previous post, I mentioned two books that I was in the process of reading, Ken Dychtwald’s "With Purpose" and Don Tapscott’s "Grown Up Digital".  Ken’s book calls us to consider how we will spend our time and apply our life experience in the later stages of our life. Don’s book has us consider the impact the ‘Net Generation’ is having on the world at large. I have only begun to read "Grown up Digital" and already I am reading it from the perspective of aging. While considering the impact of the ‘Net Generation’, I am really listening for "What does this mean to the generation of baby boomers (my generation) that is about to retire and how will it directly or indirectly influence our generation’s impact on society going forward?" Traveling regularly back and forth between Calgary and Edmonton (the two largest cities in Alberta, Canada) allows me to interact with the many friends I have made in both of the cities in which I have grown up, gone to school, worked, and contributed socially.  For many of my friends and I, our conversations are increasingly turning to the subject of retirement. For some, retirement is eagerly anticipated and just a few short years away. For others, it is on the mind, but seen as something that will occur five to ten years in the future. The question that I have been asking my friends when the discussion turns to retirement is, "Could we have a more powerful discussion about our future by focusing on possibility?" One doesn’t have to spend much time researching aging to conclude that life expectancy continues to increase (in Canada 83 for women and 78 for men and in the United States 81 for women and 73 for men). There is every likelihood that, with the constant improvements in medicine and in health and wellness research and practices, we will continue to live longer lives with greater levels of health.  If, therefore, we can reasonably expect to live into our mid to late 80s with healthy bodies and minds, then how will we spend our time and contribute the best of ourselves back into society?  What if our focus were to shift from one of "Retirement" to one of "Choice"? Each calls us to consider very different possibilities for aging. Webster defines retirement as "withdrawal, as in withdrawal from one’s occupation or profession". Choice is defined as "the opportunity and power to choose or reject a possibility". Shifting our focus from one of "withdrawal" (in which the future is defined by our past and we see only diminishing opportunities) to one of "choosing” (in which the future offers endless possibilities for us to choose) creates an opening for action and contribution and engagement.

At the Eldering Institute, we speak of "Eldering" as a way of being in which we are creating purpose and mastery in later life. One of our program offerings is "Eldering: The alternative to retirement". This interactive one-day workshop is intended for individuals who are focused on choosing how they relate to their future. Eldering is a masterful way of relating to the rest of our lives—one

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Poverty or Pension?

Many retirees these days are revisiting their retirement and pension plans to see if they’ll have enough funds to weather the global recession. In Canada, 35% of seniors receive the federal Guaranteed Income Supplement benefit, which ensures that individuals receive a minimum annual income (including Old Age Security benefits) of at least $13,683. This level is still below the level set by the government as the deemed poverty level ($15,336 for 2008). CARP is now proposing that the government

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Africa

By Jim Selman | Bio

I am getting ready to fulfill one of my dreams. I have always wanted to go to Africa, but for one reason or another it was always too expensive, too far away or the opportunity just didn’t click at the right time. In March, I will be going and I am both excited and a little anxious since I am not quite sure what to expect. As I watch myself preparing, I realize that the best part of getting ready is that I don’t know what to expect—and that is the good news

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Vanishing Pensions

By Jim Selman | Bio

I have had several conversations with friends in Buenos Aires about how people deal with their financial security in their older years. To my surprise, the uniform answer is that they mostly don’t. Then I hear a story which, by my naïve North American standards is shocking, but whhich reveals something important for all of us as we contemplate our own future and worry about the uncertainties in the financial markets.

The story goes like this. Prior to 1994, all pensions in

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