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retirement planning

Stretching Your Retirement Income

In this, the final installment of the series, Financial Strategies Simplified, we take a look at how to stretch your retirement income no matter how modest the starting balance.

There is a common misconception amongst clients that the day they retire their approach to investing and managing their RRSPs etc. has to change. But the reality is that today's Seniors are in many cases living until age 90 or more and the motherhood rules of investing - buy only safe fixed-income investments - may no longer apply.

Get More From Your RRSP

The so-called RRSP Season is on its way. TV, newspapers and magazines will soon be full of advertising to get you to make your last-minute RRSP deposits. And then RRSPs and retirement planning are often forgotten until the next deadline. But a little advance planning will get you more from your RRSP.

When Should I Start Receiving CPP?

If you apply on your 60th birthday, you'll get about 30% less of the age 65 monthly pension. But, if you wait until you're 70, you'll get about 40% more. Should you hold out for the higher income, or start early?

Start early and you're sure to get it. If you wait, and die before it starts, the income you could have had is lost to you and your heirs forever.

Welcome to RRSP Season !

It is that time of year again when attention turns to RRSPs and tax planning. This year's contribution deadline is March 3rd, 2014 if you want to deduct the contribution against your 2013 income tax return.

The purpose for making an RRSP contribution, from a financial planning perspective, is to build savings and assets over time so that you can replace earned employment income with passive or investment income for your retirement years. In other words you can sleep in and still have the lifestyle you want without going to work!

The Retirement Dilemma: Part 2

In our previous article, we looked at how seniors generally wish to invest their money to feel safe while in reality their expenses rise throughout their retirement years as the cost of various services, such as hydro and property taxes, typically increase annually. ( See graph at bottom )

Your choices are to either decrease your spending or deplete your savings or some combination of the two in order to make ends meet. The challenge is to make sure you don't run out of money before you run of time!

The Retirement Dilemma: Part 1

In the mid - 1960s conventional wisdom or motherhood for retirement planning said that you should take all of your investments and put them into government bonds or fixed income type products. The thinking was that you could not afford to take any 'risk' in your retirement years. Thus it was believed that guaranteed investing was the best approach to retirement planning and they were correct at that time.

You've retired. Now what?

Canadians are living longer, healthier lives. According to Statistics Canada (2012), the average life expectancy is 78 years for men and 83 years for women. This means your retirement years may almost equal your working ones. Family therapist Rhonda Katz suggests taking some time before retirement to identify what you find enjoyable in life and thinking of ways to sustain that happiness level. She also says to honestly answer the following questions:

'Is there some aspect of my job that I would love to keep doing?'

Retirement Planning: Back to Basics

In the aftermath of the US housing market bust and the ensuing financial meltdown that led to global stock market declines of 2008, people are getting back to the basics as far as their retirement planning goes. Although the stock market has recovered, many pre-retirees have lost a lot of ground in their retirement accounts and are facing a new reality. Retirement may not be what they had originally envisioned; but with some retirement income 101 basics, most people should be able to get back on track.

Start with Realistic Assumptions

A Financial Wakeup Call

If there is any good that comes from an economic downturn and stock market crash it is that it is a wake-up call that forces people to more seriously consider the frailty of their financial future. Many affected will change their financial habits by cutting back on spending, reducing debt and increasing their savings. But, for many Canadians, especially those in the X and Y generations, it is a life as usual? as the pursuit for the optimal life style, here and now, continues to win out over concerns for future financial security.

How to Get Income Out of Your RRSP's

Roger and Linda, like many Canadians, have saved for years for their retirement. They took advantage of RRSPs and now have a substantial amount of savings. As Roger will turn age 71 this year, they need to decide on the best strategy for using their RRSPs for their retirement income needs.

Until now, Roger and Linda have been relying on their non-RRSP investments and government benefits so their RRSPs could continue to grow tax-postponed. Roger has to choose from the following by the end of the year or all his RRSP funds will be fully taxed:

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