‘Can we retire at 55 and still be able to afford a good quality of life?’

Special to The Globe and Mail – By Dianne Maley

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Cory and Cole have just moved into their forever home and are wondering how to deal with competing demands on their income. They have well-paying jobs, grossing more than $180,000 a year between them and live in a part of the country where houses are not hugely expensive.

“We made the move to be closer to work and school so we could spend more time as a family, not stuck in a car commuting,” Cole writes in an e-mail. Cory is 37, Cole 38. Their children are eight and 10. Paying for their children’s higher education is among their long-term goals.

Cory is a teacher, while Cole works as a manager in a government agency. Both have defined benefit pension plans. They hope to retire from full-time work at the age of 55 and pick up short-term contracts “as needed.” In addition, they want to do a major renovation of their new home in the next three to five years.

“Can we retire at 55 and still be able to afford a good quality of life with travel while financing some or most of our children’s education?” Cole asks.

We asked Gina Macdonald, a financial planner at Macdonald Shymko & Co. Ltd. in Vancouver, to look at Cory and Cole’s situation. Macdonald Shymko is a fee-only financial planner. Ms. Macdonald holds the registered financial planner (RFP) designation. Click here to read the rest of the story.

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