Tag Archives: Wellesley Institute

Oct 22: Best from the blogosphere

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

Study shows how we can thrive in retirement
As we have been learning, there’s more to retirement than the math of it. While having sufficient income is obviously key, there are health and activity benchmarks we should all be aiming for in our drive to thrive.

A recent study by The Wellesley Institute in Toronto, titled Thriving in the City: A Framework for Income and Health in Retirement sheds some important light on the topic.

As a start, the study notes, we need to be eating well. “Nutrition significantly influences older adults’ general health and well-being, affecting sensory functions, cognitive abilities, and chronic disease risk,” the study notes. “Older adults are at particular risk of inadequate diet and malnutrition,” the report adds.

Next, housing must be adequate and safe, and needs to be affordable, “meaning it costs less than 30 per cent of a household’s pre-tax income.”

The study also looks at physical activity, and supports the Health Canada guideline of 150 minutes of “moderate to vigorous” activity per week for those over age 65. Exercise, the report adds, should include muscle and bone strength-related exercise twice a week.

The research found that while Canadians all have basic health coverage, not all seniors have adequate coverage for “high need” drugs, vision and dental coverage. “Healthy and independent aging,” the study notes, “may involve significant costs,” particularly when privately-delivered care is factored into the equation.

Another key area the research looked at was socialization – the need to spend time with friends and family. “Older adults who engage in social activities frequently (at least weekly) are more likely to report having good health and are less likely to report feeling lonely or dissatisfied with their lives,” the study notes.

So while government retirement programs generally provide a good income for older Canadians, focus must be placed on non-financial aspects of retirement as well, the study states. “If the goal of the retirement income system is to help Canadians maintain an adequate level of income to thrive in their retirement, we need a different approach to the retirement income system and other policies,” the study suggests.

Remember that much can be done in advance of retirement on the savings side. The Saskatchewan Pension Plan offers an end-to-end program that can turn your savings into future income. That can certainly help you with at least one part of a thriving retirement down the line.

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