ARTA Story Fall 2021
September 16, 2021

An Unexpected Retirement Bonus

Finally reaching your retirement date is a feeling of freedom for most, but for ARTA member Tracey McIvor, it came with some unexpected news: While he was ringing in the beginning of his retirement with a golf game, he got a call from Alberta’s premier, informing him that he was the first winner of the province’s COVID-19 Vaccination Lottery. It seemed that fate had handed him a $1,000,000 retirement bonus.

Tracey had been looking forward to retirement after a long career as an administrator with the Calgary Board of Education. Along with his wife, he was making plans to do some light travelling, spend some time with friends in Arizona, and help out his two children as they begin careers and lives of their own. The news that he was Alberta’s first lottery winner didn’t change those plans, but it definitely opened up a few more possibilities.

“Our retirement goals haven’t really changed all that much, but we’re looking forward to being able to reach higher and have some experiences that we could only dream about before,” he says. “We had planned on visiting Europe, and one thing I’ve always dreamed about is watching the British Open in St. Andrews, Scotland, but I never would have been comfortable doing it. Now, it’s something extra that I can include in my trip.”

In addition to Europe, Tracey and his wife want to tour the United States and visit all the Major League Baseball stadiums in the country — another longtime dream. But Tracey is also looking to spend his lottery winnings a little closer to home, in a way that helps people in his community. “We have the chance to help people in our community here in Langdon and do a lot of good for our neighbours,” he says. “We’re not quite sure what that looks like yet, but it’s something we’ve been thinking about a lot.”

Tracey had always planned on getting vaccinated, and in fact, had both doses by the time the lottery was announced. “I think everyone makes their own choice based on their own situation and beliefs,” he says. “But for me, getting vaccinated is about protecting the people around you. It’s about feeling safe and making everyone else feel safe as well. We have lots of friends here and in the United States, and we want to be able to see them without worrying about getting them sick. It’s not just about me, it’s about the people I care about.”

Congratulations on your big win, Tracey. It’s hard to think of a better way to begin your retirement.