The Joy of Being Retired

Book offers more than 365 reasons why “retirement rocks – and work sucks”

January 28, 2021

It’s often very, very difficult to explain to non-retirees what it is like to no longer be at work.

Until now, that is! The Joy of Being Retired by Ernie J. Zelinski is a brilliant, funny look at the differences between retired life and the chains of the workforce, told in about 400 little anecdotes. This is a great read – you could consider reading one item each morning to start your day.

Here are some examples.

Reason 1 notes that “a truly satisfying and happy retirement includes interesting leisure activities, creative pursuits, physical well-being, mental well-being, a defined sense of purpose, and a great sense of community.”

You will, as a retiree, be “exchanging a gruelling nine-to-five routine for a well-earned casual and carefree lifestyle,” advises Reason 4. “You can play golf every day of the week,” suggests Reason 8.

Reason 15 quotes Canadian educator Laurence J. Peter as saying “the time you enjoy wasting… is not wasted time.”

Reason 26 thinks about the tax implications of retirement. “In retirement, generally speaking, you earn less money with the result that you pay a lot less income tax. And if you have always hated paying income tax, this should make you truly happy.”

Acting your age is no longer required in retirement, notes Reason 34. “You are never too old to become a little bit younger in spirit,” we are told.

The benchmarks of life change when we leave the workforce, states Reason 71. “Working life is when you judge your success by promotions, salary, and raises; retirement is when you judge your success by the degree that you are enjoying peace, health, love, and your dog.” Similarly, reason 116 says that whether your work was in a “corporate maze or a corporate prison… retirement sets you free from whatever it is.”

Reason 192 is one that Save with SPP has noticed – every day feels like a holiday. Truth be told, once you aren’t working you often don’t realize there’s a holiday going on until you run into long lines at the drive-thru.

Reason 218 points out that the average Canadian spends 26.2 minutes travelling to work, and 26.2 minutes returning home. This travel time, which doesn’t exist for retirees, “can rob you of a major part of your life.”
You can read the newspaper cover to cover in one go, says Reason 236.

“No more meetings,” boasts Reason 331. That’s one aspect of work that Save with SPP was extremely glad to see the end of, years ago.

If you are working away and worried about what retirement will be like, this is an excellent and recommended read. In fact, companies holding pre-retirement planning sessions would be smart to include this insightful, easy-to-digest and hilarious tome in the course materials.

Retirement fun can be even greater if your post-work pockets are a little deeper. This can be accomplished through retirement savings. If you haven’t got a workplace pension plan or want to augment it, why not check out the Saskatchewan Pension Plan? They uniquely can help you save, invest the savings, and turn that nest egg into a lifetime income stream – a one-stop shop for retirement security.

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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.

Aug 13: Best from the blogosphere

August 13, 2018

A look at the best of the Internet, from an SPP point of view

Canadians living longer – here’s how to avoid running out of money
Retirement is about accumulating savings and then “decumulating” them, or living on them for the rest of your life.

While it’s fairly easy to set a savings goal, the harder part is figuring out how long you’ll live, according to a recent article in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record.

“For planning purposes it is advisable to assume a long life,” the article notes, citing Statistics Canada figures showing that Canada’s life expectancy “ranks among the top in the world.” There are 19.4 per cent more folks aged 85-plus as of 2016 versus 2015, the article notes, and in that same period there has been a 41.3 per cent increase in those aged 100 and older.

“The longer the life, the more likely you will run out of money,” the article warns.

There is a nice way around that problem, called a “longevity risk” in the pension business. You can convert some or all of your savings into an annuity. An annuity will guarantee you a payment amount that will be paid each month for the rest of your life. That way, if you live for a century or longer, you’ll still be getting income.

The Saskatchewan Pension Plan offers an interesting variety of annuities, to find out more, check out their retirement guide.

Some selected sayings about retirement
What is it like to be retired? Save with SPP had a look at The Joy of Being Retired blog, and found a few choice comments.

  • “Gainfully unemployed – and proud of it too.” Charles Baxter, from Feast of Love
  • “The money is no better in retirement but the hours are!” Author unknown
  • “Retirement – when you quit working just before your heart does.” Author unknown
  • To these, we will add a few we’ve heard:
  • “I know I ain’t doing much – doing nothing means a lot to me.” Bon Scott, AC/DC singer
  • “I will be fully retired when the mortgage is.” Anonymous SPP blogger
  • “The older I get, the better I used to be.” Golfer Lee Trevino
Written by Martin Biefer
Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. After a 35-year career as a reporter, editor and pension communicator, Martin is enjoying life as a freelance writer. He’s a mediocre golfer, hopeful darts player and beginner line dancer who enjoys classic rock and sports, especially football. He and his wife Laura live with their Sheltie, Duncan, and their cat, Toobins. You can follow him on Twitter – his handle is @AveryKerr22