Book offers advice on how to Win The Retirement Game

November 10, 2022

“Retirement is full of surprises. Some appear right away; others emerge over time. And the non-financial challenges that pop up stand squarely between you and a fulfilling life in retirement, that is until you defeat them.”

In his insightful book, Win The Retirement Game, author Joe Casey takes a look at the “non-financial” barriers to a good retirement, and what you can do to overcome them.

He uses the story of Pete, who in the beginning of the book loses his high-end job when his company gets sold, and thus is plunged into an unexpected retirement.

We are told, the book begins, that in retirement we need to be open to new experiences. “Retirement is one of life’s most stressful events…. Retirees face changes in status, identity, purpose, and practical challenges, such as structuring their time independently.”

Pete admits to a retirement coach that he is afraid of becoming bored in retirement. An antidote to boredom, he learns, is curiosity, which “invigorates retirement. It can lead you to new interests, passions, and even a new purpose.”

Pete decides to leave his “comfort zone” and get back into exercise, starting small with just five minutes on an exercise bike daily, a break in his routine. “Within a few weeks, Pete was up to riding his exercise bike 45 minutes a day… and he was feeling confident he could change in other ways, too,” the story continues.

Soon he becomes aware that he is lacking social connections, like he used to have through work. “Retirement disrupts the social ecosystem you’re a part of at work,” the book explains. “When you retire, your social circle shifts more toward family and away from professional colleagues.” More time with family, and less with work friends, means thinking about “how you will replace the connectivity and interaction you have, or used to have, with work colleagues.”

Without giving away the story, Pete is coaxed into becoming a mentor to a young inventor, rediscovers his love of playing the guitar, and after venturing out to a local basketball court, meets up with a group of pickup hoops players who eventually become part of his new network of friends. He even, on a whim, takes up painting again with his unretired wife as a classmate. By the end of the book the mentoring has led to a new employment opportunity which Pete must weigh.

The book says these sorts of post-work changes are part of learning “where you each see yourself living as a couple and what you’d ideally like to be doing.” For instance, in the book, Pete is happy living in the suburbs, but his soon-to-be-retired-too wife Melissa wants to move back to the city. He has to let go of some of his expectations and modify his retirement flight path, but they get there.

The book encourages us to build our “self-efficacy” through “practices like starting a journal. Reappraise your capabilities in light of the new phase of life you are entering and identify any adjustments that may be needed. Find role models who are succeeding at doing what you’d like to do.”

By the end of the book, the author concludes, “you know how to outfox Boredom, evade the Status Quo, and circumvent Inertia. You are prepared to conquer Uncertainty, vanquish Loneliness, and break free from other people’s Expectations, when they’re unhelpful. And you’re ready to sidestep Overwhelm, outmaneuver unrealistic Obligations and reject Drifting without direction.”

This is a very well-thought-out book and is well worth checking out.

While the book doesn’t focus on the financial side of retirement, it goes without saying that the more you are able to put away for retirement while in work, the more options you’ll have when enjoying retirement later. If you don’t have a savings program of your own, then consider the Saskatchewan Pension Plan, open to those with registered retirement savings plan room. Get SPP working on your retirement!

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Written by Martin Biefer

Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.


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