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3 Things You Need In Retirement Other Than Money

By Shamez Kassam, CFA, MBA

Although our daily routines have changed drastically recently, many of us are still working hard and staying busyjust from home. As we’re all just trying to survive this incredibly challenging season, it’s hard to make plans for what comes next, much less for when our working days are finally over. But planning for your retirement should still be a priority, and we’re not just talking about the financial aspects of your golden years. It’s also important to prepare for the emotional and psychological changes that come along with retirement.

Retirement isn’t just about having enough money in the bank to quit work. Yes, you need a stream of income you won’t outlive, but it’s also a time to take adventures, grow, and begin a new chapter in life (a chapter that could last 20-30 years).

So, let’s look at 3 things we need in retirement to be happy.

1. A Structured Schedule

Most of your life you’ve lived by some type of schedule, but retirement is arguably the only time in your life when you have no structure at all. The calendar is completely blank, and you’re free to plan out your days how you wish.

This newfound freedom is fun at first, but a lack of structure can lead to restlessness. The days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, and before you know it, you don’t know where the time has gone.

To help with this aimlessness, keep some type of schedule when you retire. You don’t have to plan out every second of every day, but implement some routines to keep yourself from getting bored. Even better if those routines help you achieve your goals as well, like signing up for workout classes so you can stay healthy, or scheduling a weekly lunch date to stay in touch with friends. Create a schedule that gives you something to look forward to.

2. A Sense Of Purpose

For most of us, we find our purpose in our careers. Our work is ingrained in our identity and it’s hard to find new passions once we retire. So, what will your purpose be in retirement? How will you stay engaged and content?

According to a recent retirement survey, 76% of retirees who engage in 10 or more activities are very satisfied in retirement, compared to only 52% for those engaged in 1-4 activities. (1) Some activities that give retirees a new sense of purpose include:

  • Spending time with family

  • Socializing with friends on a regular basis

  • Gardening and improving the home

  • Traveling

  • Volunteering

  • Joining a club or organization

And don’t think it’s too late to find your life’s passion. A recent study found that people with a sense of purpose have a 15 percent lower risk of death compared to those who are aimless. (2) The study also found that it doesn’t matter when you find your direction. Even if you’re in your 70s, it still leads to a longer life.

3. A Strong Community

Last but not least, surround yourself with people you love. Many retirees admit that they miss their interactions with colleagues after they retire. (3) If you stop and think about it, this makes sense. We spend the bulk of our time at work and friendships naturally form in the workplace. Once retired, it can be difficult to replace this type of day-to-day connection with others.

The good news is, engaging in the activities listed in point #2 (spending time with family, volunteering, joining a club, and so on) is a great way to stay connected and add meaning to your life.

Let Us Help You

If you’re feeling uncertain as you prepare for retirement, you don’t have to walk this journey alone. Let us at Northfront Financial be your guide, and we’ll start taking steps today to make sure you’re financially, emotionally, and psychologically prepared. Schedule a complimentary consultation to see if we are the right fit to help you secure your financial future and plan for a happy, worry-free retirement. Contact us by calling 403-571-8960 or emailing

About Northfront Financial

Northfront Financial is a boutique full-service financial planning firm serving individuals and families in Calgary, Alberta. As one of Calgary’s leading wealth management teams with highly skilled, certified team members, they help create financial capacity for their clients by deeply understanding their needs, opportunities, and strengths through their unique Northfront Process™. To learn more about Northfront Financial and how they can help you, visit their website and schedule a complimentary appointment.





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