The old adage, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life,” is never truer than on a client’s last day on the job. And advances in medical technology mean that, for many, the rest of their life could be a very long time.

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In fact, they could well live a third of their life after retirement. So what will that new life look like? That’s each individual’s choice, but a growing mound of research says it shouldn’t mean a full stop.

Here’s why:

  1. We all need a little ikigai. That’s Japanese for “a reason to wake up in the morning.” This Financial Post article by Mike Drak and Jonathan Chevreau looks at the shockingly healthy seniors of Okinawa and the lessons to be learned from them. The long and the short of it: A sense of purpose can keep clients healthy, wealthy and wise. To that end, this Next Avenue post by Richard Eisenberg includes an interview with retired pastor Jean Risley about how she found her raison d’être in retirement.
  2. Late-in-life tippling could become a problem. Boredom isn’t good for people. This brief Globe and Mail article by Rob Carrick hones in on the “new alcoholics,” who are retired, wealthy and bored. The poster boy: musician Phil Collins who became an alcoholic in his 50s.
  3. This is their chance to be of use to others. Richard Adams’ Guardian article features British journalist Lucy Kellaway, who left a career in journalism at age 57 to become a teacher. Kellaway has started a website to encourage other middle class career switchers to consider doing the same. Teacher shortages don’t exist on the same scale (if at all) in Canada, but there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer. This CTV News segment by Nick Wells features a program aimed at helping homeless veterans get their lives back on track, and there are a variety of resources featured on the Volunteer Canada website.

On another subject entirely, clients would do well to check out this timely MoneySense story by Jonathan Chevreau about how to pay less tax in their golden years. And this CBC article by Lorenda Reddekopp takes a look at an innovative idea for senior housing.