Take it from an expert

Jean Cookson

Take it from an expert: Jean Cookson

What can you expect from life after retirement? We interviewed retired member Jean Cookson about her retirement experience.

Jean retired in 1999.

What was your profession before you retired?

I was a secretary for School District 23 in Kelowna. My responsibilities mainly included running computer programs, covering marks, recording attendance and other administrative tasks.

What’s the best part about being a plan member?

Receiving the pension!

What advice can you give about retirement?

Look at retirement as a beginning rather than an end, and actively pursue hobbies and fitness. Volunteer some of your time—maybe even work part time. Join a retirees’ association and get involved in decisions about your pension. It takes effort to maintain a fulfilling life after work.

Do you remember the first question you had when it was time to stop receiving a paycheque and start receiving your pension?

I didn’t have any questions because my husband and I went over our retirement numbers so thoroughly. We knew more or less what to expect. You have to tailor your lifestyle to the money coming in.

How do you connect with the Municipal Pension Plan?

When I do contact the plan for information, I go to the plan website first and then follow up with a phone call if necessary.

What do you look forward to in the next few years?

I look forward to continued good health. I knew I wouldn’t have a problem filling my time. If you like what you are doing well enough, you will put the time in. For instance, I have sewn since I was 15. I also walk about 12 miles a week, practise yoga and am a volunteer gardener in my strata complex. You have to make the effort to get out and stay active once you’re retired, but it’s worth it.

smiling woman sitting at outdoor table, reading tablet

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