Retirement Planning

Helping you create the life you want, no matter where you start.

It begins with a conversation.
Retirement planning is the process of setting goals for your retirement years as well as actions and decisions needed for achieving those goals. It includes identifying sources of income, estimating expenses and cash flows, implementing a savings program and managing assets. And retirement planning is often not your only priority. We'll help you find the right balance to live better today and in the future.

Retirement Planning Steps

Here's a few of the things you'll need to think about. Not to worry, we'll walk you through each step with jargon-free guidance. 
It's never too early to start saving for retirement.  Ideally, you would begin in your 20's. The earlier you start planning, the more time your money has to grow.

That said, it’s never too late to start retirement planning. Even if you haven’t so much as considered retirement, don’t feel like you missed the boat. Every dollar you can save now will be much appreciated later. 

Your financial needs during retirement depend on a number of factors, including where you’ll be living, how you’ll be spending your time, and whether you’ll continue to work. Here are a few things to think about when estimating your retirement costs:

  • Where will you live? Will you live in an urban centre, a smaller town or a rural community, and how will those choices impact your cost of living? Do you plan to downsize to a smaller home after the children leave the nest, and use the equity to help fund your retirement? Or do you plan to stay in the same home as long as possible? Maybe a cottage or a getaway vacation home in a warmer location is on your wish list.
  • What will you do? What will your day look like during retirement? Do you want to travel during retirement, or simply spend more time on your hobbies? Do you anticipate helping to support your children or grandchildren during your retirement ? Consider not only your day-to-day expenses, but how other activities – like travel or a golf membership will impact your living costs.
  • When will you retire? Are you hoping to retire early, or will you delay retirement as long as possible? The earlier you retire, the sooner your employment income ends, and the sooner you’ll dip into your savings. Retiring before you turn 65 can also reduce the payments you receive from government programs or company-sponsored pension savings if you choose to take payments early.
  • Will you work during retirement? You may want to maintain your industry network and take on the occasional consulting gig. If you own your own business, you might reduce your work hours to begin passing the reins to a successor. Perhaps you plan to take on a part-time job to keep yourself busy and active within your community. Paid employment during retirement can help you delay drawing on government or pension plan payments, which could help boost your payments in future years .
You may be wondering what dollar amount will be enough money to comfortably retire. Unfortunately, there's not a one-size-fits-all number. However, how much you’ll need depends largely on your retirement plans.

Earlier, we looked at what you'd like your retirement to be. Now, we can put a price tag on that retirement by estimating your retirement expenses. You can also compare your current spending with expected retirement spending. The rule of thumb is to replace 70% to 90% of your annual pre-retirement income through savings and government programs.

Old Age Security Pension (OASP): OASP  provides a monthly non-taxable benefit to most Canadians aged 65 or older and is not at all dependent on employment status or history. However, if you earn too much—currently, over $128,137 per person—the government will claw-back your benefits via the OAS “recovery tax.”

Canada Pension Plan (CPP): CPP is a government administered pension designed to benefit not only retirees, but also those who are disabled, and relatives of those who die after having paid into the CPP system. CPP benefits will be entirely dependent on how much you’ve contributed to the system over the years, though payroll taxes.

Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS): GIS is provided only to retirees earning very low incomes. How low? The numbers frequently change, so best to consult the government’s eligibility tables.

Employer-sponsored retirement and pension plans: Your employer may sponsor a retirement plan, such as a group Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or a registered pension plan (RPP). Under these plans, you and your employer (or just your employer) regularly contribute money to the plan. When you retire you may be eligible to receive either a regular income from the plan or a lump sum of money that you can convert into an income.

Personal retirement savings and investments: Two common sources of personal retirement income are Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) and Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs). RRSPs and TFSAs can be made up of various savings or investment products. You may also receive income from non-registered sources, such as personal investments like stocks and bonds, or personal savings accounts.

Retirement is probably not your only savings goal. Lots of people have financial goals they feel are more pressing, such as paying down credit card or student loan debt or building up an emergency fund. If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of having to tackle more than one goal at the same time, our financial planners can offer some guidance, strategies and a perspective you haven’t yet considered.

Unexpected events can have a big impact on your retirement savings.

It's possible that you could face:

  • having to retire earlier than expected because of personal, professional, or health reasons
  • major unplanned expenses such as home or car repairs
  • health emergencies, or a need for additional care, for yourself or a loved one
  • having to move or make changes to your home because of a change in your health or the health of a loved one

To help plan for unexpected events, create an emergency fund

Many people are not aware that a simple online retirement calculator can give them a better picture of how much they will need to save for retirement. Knowing how much money you’ll have at retirement age will help you set realistic plans for living expenses and let you know how much money you’ll have left over to spend on items for your enjoyment.

Remember: Retirement Calculators Are Not A Replacement For A Certified Financial Planner!

It is important to know that online retirement calculator tools are not a replacement for a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). They are, after all, only tools. Don’t depend on the tool alone. Always seek a certified financial planner to help walk you through each of the calculation steps. 

There are a lot of variables in retirement planning. Retirement calculators are not going to be able to take into account all of your individual circumstances and give you the best advice for your specific situation. Having an experienced Certified Financial Planner who knows how to use these tools will get you the best results possible.

Will you have enough to retire?

There's no better time than now to find out!
Check out our retirement assessment to see how you're doing.  

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