Retirement means something different for everyone. For some it's a time to travel, while for others, it might be indulging in a hobby, learning something new or devoting time to family.

Whatever your goal, having a plan is fundamental to making your retirement vision a reality. Yet Opens a new window in your browsera 2018 poll conducted by CIBCOpens a new window in your browser found that 90% of Canadians have no detailed plan that defines the lifestyle they want in retirement.

In this series of articles, we'll examine the importance of having a retirement vision and provide suggestions on how to create yours. Here's where to start.

Finding security in retirement

Feeling financially secure is a goal shared by many pre-retirees, and it makes sense. It's reassuring to know that you’ll enter retirement with enough money to live the kind of lifestyle you want for the next 30+ years, without a fear that you'll run out of money.

53% of those polled by CIBC who had yet to retire or were semi-retired weren't sure they were saving enough to fund their full retirement. Fortunately, active planning together with a savings strategy can help you find out if you’ll meet your needs.

In addition to knowing that you’ll have enough money for retirement, planning ahead can help you prepare for unexpected expenses. 30% of Canadian retireesOpens a new window in your browser, for example, say they had to deal with surprise costs, such as home repairs, long-term care expenses or providing financial support to children, grandchildren or aging parents. If you plan for some of these items, then you’ll be more prepared if they do happen.

A financial plan can keep any surprises from steering your retirement off course, and it can provide the financial security that allows you to create a meaningful retirement lifestyle. Overall, a financial plan can help you make the most of the time you've worked so hard for.

Rediscover your purpose

How you think about retirement beyond just finances matters. Other desires will likely influence the choices you make once you retire, including how you spend your time. Having a positive mindset and clearly defined goals can make it easier to create the kind of lifestyle you desire most.

Taking care of your physical health is also a key part of the retirement planning picture. Data from Statistics CanadaOpens a new window in your browser shows that healthy seniors are more likely to be active, and active seniors have stronger social ties, are more involved in their communities and more likely to indulge in hobbies they enjoy.

Maintaining social connections and personal relationships is particularly important for your mental and emotional wellbeing. A 2017 CARP surveyOpens a new window in your browser found that older Canadians who spent time in public places with others present, such as parks or libraries, were less likely to experience feelings of loneliness.

Retirement is also an opportunity to re-centre and rediscover your purpose — then pursue it wholeheartedly. That could involve testing your entrepreneurial skills and starting a business. It might be volunteering or sharing your expertise with others as a mentor — or it could mean indulging your creative side and finally writing your memoir.

When your retirement plan covers all the bases — your mindset, maintaining good health, staying connected with friends and family, engaging in new or old activities you love — the result can add up to give you a deeper sense of satisfaction.

Shaping Your Vision

Planning for all aspects of retirement puts you in control of your retirement destiny, allowing you to forge ahead with confidence. The sooner you begin planning, the more flexibility you will have to account for life changes or unexpected obstacles that could otherwise leave your vision out of reach.

Determining how much you need to save is an important next step. The average Canadian believes they'll need $756,000 in retirement savingsOpens a new window in your browser. Your individual savings goal may be higher or lower, but it's equally important to consider your purpose in retirement and consider the larger picture.

That's what this series will help you with. As you explore the different topics, keep in mind this central question: what will you need to feel fulfilled, purposeful and content in retirement?

Read more of our series, How to Shape Your Retirement Vision and Bring It to Life:

A happy retiree surfing


Exercise more than your mind in retirement

Read moreabout how staying physically healthy fits into your retirement plan.

A happy retiree surfing


Why staying connected matters (and how to do it)

Read moreabout how staying physically healthy fits into your retirement plan.

A grandpa giving his grandson a piano lesson


Finding Your Purpose in Retirement

Read moreabout finding and pursuing your purpose in retirement.