Working Past 65


Ralph Crawford


April 15, 2015

April 15, 2015

An interesting newspaper article recently released by the Canadian Press showed that a new poll by Sun Life Financial outlined that there are more Canadians today who expect to be working past age 65 than those who expect to be retired. The annual poll outlined that about 60 per cent of respondents expect they would be working either full or part time when they reached 65, compared to 27 per cent who plan on being fully retired. Sun Life Financial also reported that it’s the first time since it started the survey seven years ago that the number of Canadians polled who expect to be still working fulltime past the normal retirement age has surpassed the number of those who expect to be retired. Not surprising is that the two top reasons why people expect to be still working past 65 are: (1) paying for basic living expenses and (2) a lack of confidence in government benefits.

The question of working past 65 got me curious of why 65 is the so called retirement/pension age. Checking back in time revealed that German Chancellor, Otto von Bismark, introduced the world’s first state old age pension system in the 1880s. You had to be 70 years old and the expectation was that you would probably live only a few years to collect – the average life expectancy in the 1880s was about 45 to 50 years. For reasons not really known Germany lowered the pensionable age to 65 in 1916. It was 1927 that Canada introduced its first Old Age Pension Act with payments of $240 a year when a person reached age 70. In 1965 the age of eligibility was moved from age 70 to age 65.

So if age 65 is the magic number for retirement and 60 per cent of Canadians expect to still be working, we have to give some thought to one of the main reasons why they choose not to retire. Paying for living expenses! And that is exactly where the contributors within this issue and every issue of The Professional Advisory play a major role.

In his article Due Diligence, David Rosenthal states, “Purchasers who do not conduct appropriate due diligence of a practice are putting their investment at risk”. And doesn’t that have a bearing when you want to retire? Ron Weintraub in his Increasing Focus on Effective Operation Protocols stresses that many aspects of a successful practice depend on various components of the team being fully effective. And doesn’t “successful practice” mean being able to pay for basic living expenses? Patients treated with patience, leads to more patients states Colin Ross as he deals with how patient loyalty along with additional skills, technology and education leads to creating practice value – again, you choose whether it’s 65 or not.

Mark McNulty lays it on the line. In How much money do you need to retire? He uses a case study of a typical dentist and his wife and leads them in a step by step direction that determines a savings target that motivates them towards a successful retirement. “Welcome to 2015” says Ian Toms as he outlines in his Premises Lease News how as a tenant the world has changed dramatically in the past five years. He emphasizes that retaining appropriate advice is critical. Which translates whether you have a choice of how long you work. Feeling tax stress? Relief is on the way says David Chong Yen and Louise Wong. They introduce readers to RELIEF – a series of six upcoming articles that without doubt will deal with the vital taxation elements that one way or another will have a bearing on your retirement.

The recent financial surveys indicating how long one has to continue to work are not very encouraging. However, the good news is that according to the articles within The Professional Advisory the choice of Working Past 65 can be yours.