The freedom 55 myth!

Well, it is just past RRSP season and we have all

seen the ads. One of the best campaigns is from a

mutual fund that shows a man who looks around 70

dressed up like a server at a burger joint and a retired

woman who is dressed like a greeter at Walmart. This

campaign was playing into the fear that when we retire

we might be spending our white, no haired days in a

situation like that. One of the most recognized brands

in Canada is Freedom 55. Few things get my blood

boiling, but this did. Here is a direct quote from their


“Whether it’s a cottage overlooking a pristine lake, a

warm, sandy beach or the untouched, white powder

on the side of a mountain – for most of us it’s going to

take some serious financial security planning to reach

our retirement goals. We can help you put a plan in

place today that will put freedom and choice in your


I wish to respectfully disagree. This plays into the

myth that we have to work really hard for 30+ years

then have freedom and choice. Why? Freedom and

choice – these are the core reasons highly motivated

people emigrate and take chances. My parents just

celebrated their 40th year in Canada. They came here

for a better life and have achieved everything they ever

hoped and dreamed for. I am thankful my parents

listened to their own “Freedom 25” message and left

Ireland and chose to come here. They left the comfort

of family and the known to cross the other side of the

ocean with no guarantee other than their drive and


To set the record straight, I am not against London

Life, financial planners nor am I against solid financial

planning. In fact, in research done by The Taddington

Group, there are 450,000 millionaires in Canada and

90% of those use a financial planner. It is wise to

have a financial advisor and a plan. What I AM against

is that we have to wait until we are 55 to have freedom

and choice in our lives. These types of messages

reinforce the myth that we need to conform, work hard

and wait till we are retired to have this available. I like

the freedom now plan! In fact there is a direct

co-relation to life expectancy and career satisfaction

in a study done by the University of Texas School of

Public Health. If you didn’t like your career, there was

a 43% higher increase of death 10 years post

retirement. I am not suggesting you run into your

boss’s office to quit today. Keep in mind that you don’t

have to wait or react. Put together a solid plan and get

advice before you take action and remind yourself that

we live in a free country and there is plenty of choice.

You just need to have the courage and smarts to

make the most of where you are in your situation!

This months draw is for a signed copy of my new book

which is coming out soon. <a






(Chapters/Indigo) </a>Share some of your "Think

Different" moments and

send to Alan@CareerJoy.com.


Along the road with you,<br>

Alan Kearns