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How to create a post-pandemic retirement plan

As the pandemic turns endemic, we’ll be in a post-pandemic world—adapted to living with COVID-19 as part of life. For those retiring now, it’s possible you’re thinking about how it might have been pre-pandemic had you retired then. More freedom? Less worry? Perhaps.

It’s true COVID-19 has changed a lot about daily life, and some of your ideas for retirement may feel out of reach. But, planning your post-pandemic retirement may be a good lesson in resilience and adaptability, which are essential skills for enjoying life at any age.

Words of advice from RTOERO members

Early on in the pandemic we asked our RTOERO members what advice they would give to someone retiring. The response was outstanding! Here are some of our favourite comments.

Make sure you feel ready. Listen to your gut. If it feels right – embrace it!

Susan Oivanen

I am unable to understand the concept of boredom. I retired ten years ago and my life is still so full every day. My main advice would be to develop a PASSION for something, if you have not already. A hobby, a research study. A humanitarian cause, anything legal and fulfilling. A life without passion is mere existence.

John Wamboldt

Take a deep breath and take time to do things. Learn not to be rushing to get things done in a hurry.

Jean Anderson

Enjoy doing those things you didn’t have time for when you were working. Stay open to possibilities. You never know what opportunities for amazing experiences may come along.

Deb Gerow

Make a plan. Try different things. Be flexible. Find your way to involvement — what and how much. You are retiring from one activity/work, not from all the other life experiences around you.

Richard Goodbrand

Five ways to think differently about retirement activities post-pandemic

Here are some ideas for retirement with the post-pandemic in mind. If you want more inspiration, be sure check out our list of 50 activities for retirement—the most popular article on our site!   

Expand your ideas about travel

While international travel is back on, you may feel uncertain. Or, with the rising cost of living right now, it may not be a good time to take a significant trip. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Become a tourist at home. Create a list of towns or cities within a two-hour drive and plan day trips. Look at TripAdvisor and other travel sites for the most popular attractions in those locations. Invest in the gear you need to make your local travel enjoyable, whether that’s warm, waterproof footwear for the winter season, or bug jackets for exploring the bush during summer.
  • Take a long-range approach. Some dream trips require a lot of planning. Spend time researching exotic or remote locations and create a special vacation fund to help you get there. It’s possible that all the extra planning and saving time will make your adventure the trip of a lifetime.

2) Try a new sport or activity

Our members often talk about how they tried many different activities upon retiring to find new interests. Think of activities that take place outside. Look to rent or borrow gear so you can try things before you commit to purchasing expensive equipment. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Cross-country or downhill skiing
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Geocaching
  • Golf
  • Foraging
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Landscape or wildlife painting
  • Nordic walking
  • Photography
  • Pickleball
  • Running
  • Snowshoeing
  • Stand-up paddle boarding
  • Tennis

3) Go back to school

If the idea of diving back into the role of student appeals to you, now is the perfect time because there are still so many opportunities for online learning, in addition to the in-person opportunities running again. Set yourself up with reliable technology and embrace the process of learning how to use it. Explore different topics for free using Youtube, programs available through your public library or by watching talks on If you find a topic that sparks your passion, or if you already know what you want to study, consider taking a course or program through a college or university. Some of our members have even completed graduate degrees in retirement!

4) Spend time with grandchildren/children

If hanging out with grandchildren or children, in general, was part of your vision for retirement, now is still a great time. Many parents are looking for help as they try to juggle work and childcare. Even if you don’t have grandchildren, you may be able to connect with a family in your community who could use your support.

Focus on your financial literacy

It’s hard to avoid talk of rising interest rates these days. Finances are top of mind for many. If you’re retiring right now, then you may be thinking about finances more than most. One way to relax worries is to build your knowledge on the topic and then take some action based on what you’ve learned. We have different resources to help in our money matters resource section

Plan a future to look forward to

Download our retirement planning bundle for education sector workers. It’s full of our best resources to help you get retirement ready, with confidence.

Download the ultimate retirement planning resource bundle for Canadian education workers

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help you get retirement ready with confidence.

  • Retirement planning checklist
  • Template retirement letter
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  • Procrastinator’s guide to retirement
  • Esprit – our membership and insurance guide
  • Insurance comparison checklist
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