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Giving thanks for working hard

By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com
Friday, November 26, 2010
Posted: 10 am ET

Thursday -- before Thanksgiving dinner -- I read the results of a survey of Canadians that concluded they were better prepared financially for retirement than they were emotionally.

The survey by Investors Group concluded that:

  • Only 20 percent of working Canadians 45 years and older have a strong commitment to activities outside of work.
  • 30 percent are not involved in activities outside work that give them an opportunity to make new friendships.
  • 35 percent spend less than three hours per week immersed in activities outside of work or passive entertainment, such as reading or watching TV.

My guess is that had Investors Group surveyed Americans, they would have come to similar conclusions. After a lifetime of working from early morning to dark or later, it is hard to even contemplate living a different way of life.

"As we get closer to retirement, we need to do more than build up our retirement savings, we need to get ready for a new life after work; this too should not be left to the last minute," says Debbie Ammeter, vice president, advanced financial planning at Investors Group. "It takes time to develop networks of friends and personal interests that will support a fulfilling retirement."

I think it's interesting that this retirement planning survey was released at a time when many parts of the world are embroiled in controversy over raising the retirement age. Here in the U.S., proposals to raise the age of eligibility for Social Security makes many people angry -- but not me.

At 59, with retirement not so far away, I'm working just as hard as ever and I'm happy about it. So during this season of Thanksgiving, I'm taking the time to be grateful for good health and economic opportunity. And I'm wishing all of you the same.

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