Vince Mayne, 69, St. Catharines, Ont.
I initially retired in 2012 after a career as a chartered professional accountant (CPA), the last part of which was working as an IT executive at Hewlett Packard. I was ambivalent about retirement at first. A lot of my persona was wrapped up in my job because of the international travel and responsibilities, so I took some contracts at IBM for another couple of years before retiring officially in the fall of 2015.
I was assured by three different financial advisers that I was financially ready to retire. The last one told me I would have to live until I was 116 before I would drain my bank account. Even if I did live that long, I’m not sure I want the quality of life that might come with it.
While I was financially prepared, there was a huge void in my life after my wife died of cancer during the time I was doing contracts with IBM. My whole social structure evaporated overnight. I decided to make some radical changes, including selling the house in suburban Toronto and buying one in Elora, Ont., near my father. I thought a small-town lifestyle might also better suit me as a recent widower. My dad passed away earlier this year, which is when I decided to move again, to St. Catharines, to be closer to my new partner.
I’m an avid cyclist and have kept that up in retirement, even after being in an accident on my bike five years ago, which led to me needing brain surgery. I’ve fully recovered, but the incident caused me to switch gears a bit and really focus on improving my health expectancy, not just my life expectancy.
I became even more serious about the sport after joining a local cycling club where many members were about 30 years younger than me. I hired a cycling coach to develop a daily cycling training program that I could do in the winter. After the first winter of training, I was able to keep pace in the peloton without much effort. I also joined the local kayaking club and took a few private lessons to build my skills to handle whitewater.
Apart from cycling and kayaking, I also volunteer to run financial literacy workshops in conjunction with CPA Canada. I’m also active with the international development organization CESO (Canadian Executive Service Organization), which recently included an assignment in Tanzania to help vulnerable women develop a means to support themselves and their children. The assignment was conducted virtually owing to COVID-19 travel restrictions. I’m also a landowner relations volunteer with the Bruce Trail Conservancy.
For me, retirement isn’t just about keeping busy but doing things that interest me, which include sports and volunteering and spending more time with my three sons and three grandsons. I like to describe myself as a ‘sen-ager,’ which is a senior with money and no curfew. To me, age isn’t a limitation. Your only limitation is your imagination. Thankfully, I have a pretty good imagination of fun things to do in retirement.
As told to Brenda Bouw
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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