Mastering Retirement: Time, Money, and Opportunities

How would you describe retirement in a nutshell? Many people have interesting ideas of what their ideal retirement would look like and I’m no exception. Naturally I expected the best case scenario for my retirement.

Can you imagine my surprise as the reality of a pandemic hit home early into my retirement. Definitely didn’t see that coming.

Regardless of your retirement expectations, all plans for retirement share three common factors; time, money and opportunity.

During your working life, significant time is devoted to your profession since you need to earn a living. Free time becomes a very valuable commodity as you look forward to weekends and annual vacations.


In retirement, every day is Saturday and you are on permanent vacation. No longer a slave to the alarm clock, suddenly you have free time galore. The challenge now becomes filling those hours.

Of course filling those hours becomes much easier when you have enough money to enjoy your retirement. How much is enough money? We all need a basic level of comfort to live well and this must be the minimum goal you need to achieve in retirement.

Basics, or Beyone?

Beyond that basic comfort level you can begin to explore fun experiences; these will cost money. Since we all crave fun experiences the goal is to save during your working life to be able to afford the fun stuff in retirement. Remember though, happiness has nothing to do with money; this comes from within.

My retirement goal was to be comfortable, understand how to be happy, and have enough money to splash in some fun along the way.

Having time and money won’t help you unless you have opportunities. This is the one commodity we’ve all taken for granted.

Unpredictable Events

The ability to travel freely, attend events, volunteer, take part in activities and congregate are universally assumed to be a basic human right. Unfortunately during a pandemic those “rights” were suspended. To say that people were angry about that situation would be an understatement.

Ironically these same three factors ultimately get you to that comfortable retirement. Over time money will compound and grow so the earlier you start saving the better.

Why Save?

Setting aside money today ensures you’ll have savings to enrich your retirement. That means being willing to separate wants from needs and making small sacrifices to free up money to invest in your future.

Grab Your Opportunities

Opportunities to enhance your savings are available to all. Registered retirement savings plans (RRSP), low fee well diversified investments, company pension plans, and tax shelters (TFSA), provide the foundation for a secure retirement. These opportunities are currently under-utilized by the masses.

If you company offers matching dollars for your RRSP, invest to the max. These are free dollars that you shouldn’t let get away.

During your working career you’ll rarely have the time, money, or opportunity to pursue your dreams. In retirement you deserve an abundance of these three commodities.

A comfortable retirement doesn’t happen by accident, you must commit to having a little less today so you can have more tomorrow. By saving today and wisely investing for your future, you can achieve that minimum comfort level. You can also enjoy the fun experiences that will enrich your golden years.

Water BarrelThe BalanceIn my E-books (“Water Barrel” and “The Balance”) I discuss simple methods to live sensibly for today, take charge of your financial affairs, and invest safely for the long term. For more information please visit David Penna Amazon.

As always, I am not a qualified financial advisor. I just relate financial management to my own experience which may not resemble yours at all. Advice is frequently worth exactly what you paid for it. Most of mine came from expensive experiences.

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