What’s your OPB retirement story?

November 21, 2019
4 minute read
What’s your OPB retirement story?

In our 2019 issue of OPB News for Retired Members, we asked our retired members to submit a photo of how they are staying active in retirement. We received a number of submissions and will be highlighting some of our member’s experiences in an ongoing web series called My OPB Retirement Story.

Join us to read about how OPB’s retired members are spending their time in retirement.

To start off the web series, we spoke with retired member, Ron. Ron has been living a vibrant and active life since he retired from his private sector career in 2016, after many years of service in the Ontario Public Service.

In addition to sharing how he is staying active in retirement, we also asked Ron to tell us about his experience in retirement so far, here’s what he had to say:

What were you were doing in the photo?

Following my retirement in October 2016, I immediately reached out to the closest Ski Hill in Batawa, Ontario to ask if they were in need of a Certified Snowboard Instructor to support week day school outings organized by local elementary schools. I was thrilled to learn they were in short supply, as I was in search of activities to fill a couple of my week days. In the photo, I was “in between” lessons that day where we received over 100 kids from three different schools.

How are you staying active in retirement?

Wow – where to begin! Well, aside from teaching snowboarding…

Within one week of my occupational retirement, I accepted a Professor position with the St. Lawrence College School of Business in Kingston. This provided me with the opportunity to fill my week days at my discretion teaching from 6 to 12 hours per week and on the days of my choice.

I enjoy golfing in the warmer months. I had not played golf for close to 10 years and picked it up again post retirement. I love the outdoors and the exercise walking the course 4 times per week, which facilitates the frustration of the sport. Ha! Ha!

In October 2018, I joined several neighbors taking up Pickleball. Apparently, it’s the fastest growing adult sport in North America – go figure! I play two to three times per week in a non-competitive social setting – this has benefitted me with making many new friends.

Gym time workouts have always been in my schedule, often five days per week and focusing mostly on cardio workouts. I’m working to add more strength training, but spin classes always seem to win out.

How are you enjoying time in retirement?

The absolute best part of retirement is being in command of your own schedule. In my working life, I would race out the door in the morning with coffee in hand. Now, I really enjoy rising early, grabbing the newspaper with a fresh coffee and not rushing out the door – most days.

How was your first year of retirement?

Exciting and exhilarating! A welcomed chapter in the life cycle. I didn’t find it difficult as I had been preparing for the past +/- 15 yrs. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved my job, but I also knew that retirement was in the future.

What has been the biggest change for you since retiring?

All of the above! Back in 2012, my wife and I started to develop our retirement plan beginning with divesting our cottage in 2014 and downsizing our primary residence in 2015. We relocated west of Kingston to the historic village of Bath by the shores of Lake Ontario. Now, we live in a golf course community which has certainly contributed to a peaceful and tranquil existence.

What important advice could you give to those who are going to retire soon?

  • Plan ahead for your retirement
  • Use the resources your employer makes available to fully understand your benefits and pension income options in retirement
  • Utilize your networks to facilitate a smoother transition
  • Develop your activities, interests, hobbies before retirement

What is one thing you wish you’d known ahead of time?

I wish I had taken the time to become more knowledgeable in the areas of investments and taxation to know with peace of mind that I was truly maximizing my savings.

Looking back, what is one thing you would tell your 30 year old self now?

I will admit to really only starting to invest in my retirement at about 35. Suffice to say, start as early as possible, even if only a couple of hundred dollars a year. The other advice I would offer would be for employees to take full advantage of their employer’s matching plan on pensions!

We want to hear from you

Send us a photo of how you’re spending time in retirement to be featured in our retirement story series. Email feedback@opb.ca for further details.

Stay tuned for the next retirement story coming soon.

About OPB Advisory Services

OPB’s Advisory Services offers you access to our qualified Client Service Advisors who are all Certified Financial Planners (CFP®). They can help assist with questions about budgeting in retirement and can offer key considerations when updating your estate plan. Our Advisory Services are available to you at no cost and are offered either in-person or over the phone.

To learn more about our Advisory Services, visit the ‘Member Services’ page and meet our Advisors. To book a one-on-one session, log in to your e-services account at the top-right corner of our website and select ‘Book My 1-on-1’.