The Missing Link To A Happy Retirement

Retirement Income & Tax Planning, Calgary

The missing LINK to a happy retirement



I got the idea somewhere. I just can’t remember where, but it goes like this.


The 3 keys to happy retirement (life) are as follows:


Something to do.

Someone to do it with, and

Enough money so you can sleep at night.


As we unpack each of these concepts we can better understand what’s missing in our lives and figure out how to fix it.


Let’s start with the first idea of having something to do. Most people retire from their work but don’t know what they are retiring to.


Recently, someone told me they rarely know what day of the week it is as every day is the same. What’s the difference between a routine and a rut? Some people like routine as it keeps them grounded and other people hate routine as life can quickly become monotonous, predictable, and boring.


I prefer the word RHYTHM.


It’s a flow of life. Think of a river.


In fact, consider the lyrics of the tune “ol’ Man River”


Ol’ man river

That ol’ man river

He must know something

But he don’t say nothing


Cause he just keeps rolling

He keeps rolling along

He don’t plant gators

He don’t plant cotton

Them that he plants ‘em is soon forgotten


You and me

We sweat and strain

Body all aching

And wrecked with pain

Tote that barge

Lift that bale…


The writer is envious of the river. In a sense, retirement is like the river. It represents a time in our lives where the sweatin’ and toilin’ ends and we can live a more carefree life. Go to bed when we want and get up when we want. Go where we want to and stay as long as we want to. But, then it hits us - this is a rut and it is void of purpose and meaning. Which brings us to the most important questions of all, regardless of our age and stage of life: What’s the purpose of it all? Where do we find meaning in life?


We have to live a life of intentional purpose.

We have to be connected to others.


We have to stay true to ourselves and do what we are good at - give back. I don’t mean finding any place where we can volunteer. I mean doing something that satisfies the soul. I like to call it soul food. I nurture my soul when I do something for which I am gifted. Work that brings meaning and purpose. Think of a carpenter or woodworker who crafts something beautiful and stands back and admires the work of their hands. Think of someone who sews the most beautiful quilt. The artist who paints a portrait. The speaker who speaks.


Retirement isn’t a time to do nothing and enjoy endless weekends, rather it’s a time to redefine who you are and be what you always wanted to be. Live the life you have always envisioned and live out of your true giftedness.


What scares me about retirement and why do I feel like I never want to retire? 


Not getting to do something I love.


I don’t think I’m going to win a Pulitzer Prize for my writing skills, however, I continue to write because I love it and I have something to say - and fortunately, I have someone willing to read what I write. You inspire me to keep doing what I do and I hope I never have to stop. It’s soul food for me and energizes me to sit in total silence in the early morning in my recliner with my coffee next to me and my computer in my lap and I write. I love it. Finding purpose and meaning in retirement has to be an overflow of what’s inside you.


Oh, it’s easy to be busy with tasks. There’s no end to what other people want you to do for them and it’s fine to be helpful and busy, but are you feeding your soul? If you are not, you will be empty and starved of fulfillment.


We are the culmination of our life’s journey through experience, education, and vocation and all of us have something to share.



Just a thought,



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