What is one thing you wish you’d considered before retiring?

By Maddie Johnson | November 7, 2022 | Last updated on March 19, 2024
2 min read
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This article appears in the November 2022 issue of Advisor’s Edge magazine — our second last print issue. If you’re a print-only subscriber, learn more about our digital transition and how to continue to receive all the best news and features on Advisor.ca.

Nancy Shewfelt, former advisor with National Bank Financial in White Rock, B.C. Retired in 2017.

I invested so much time and energy into my client relationships, I thought I would be missed or needed more, especially in the first year. Managing my ego was the biggest adjustment. When I was in business, I was connected to the community in every facet. Now I love where I live, but it’s not my community anymore. I didn’t expect that. Also, I’ve become a snowbird so I’m only there half the year.

Eventually, you move on from being fully engaged in building a community and practice, and you start enjoying the fruits of your labour. Once that first year is done, don’t look back. Don’t hang on to a job forever. Recognize when your time has come, like an athlete, and go out on a high.

Cemil (Jim) Otar, former advisor with Investment Planning Counsel Inc. in Thornhill, Ont. Retired in 2018.

I could have retired sooner — three or four years before I did. It was the inertia; business was still going well and I liked dealing with clients. After I retired I made more spreadsheets, and that was when I realized I could have retired earlier.

For me, the most important thing is to make sure you account for a margin of error in your calculations. For example, I built in 10 years of inflation at 7%. This was in 2018. People said I was crazy, but now look at the situation. Pay attention to the mathematics of income planning so you have that safety in your calculations. I may have been too cautious. But after you do that, you have the freedom to decide when you want to retire.

Christine Timms, former advisor with CIBC Wood Gundy in Toronto, Ont. Retired in 2016.

Here are a few things I’m really glad I did consider — things that mattered the most. First, I’m thankful we started years in advance. We managed to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s. Starting early ended up being a blessing because one of the associates who was going to take over my practice changed his mind.

I am also happy I waited until I had a significant financial buffer. In the five years since I retired, we’ve had a bit of a nasty turn in the market.

Lastly, it was really good to know what I was going to do with my time. Most of the people who are happily retired tell you they don’t have enough time to do all the things they want to do, and I am in that boat.

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Maddie Johnson

Maddie is a freelance writer and editor who has been reporting for Advisor.ca since 2019.