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Are you stressing about retirement in Canada? You’re not alone. Many Canadians feel stressed about their retirement and there are 3 main reasons why.
Thirty years ago when the Defined Benefit Pension plan was available, people didn’t have to think much about retirement planning in Canada. This plan placed the responsibility for retirees’ income on employers and the government and most people were covered by the plan.
However, by 2011, only 18% of Canadians were covered.
Largely because people don’t know how to plan for retirement, many people decide to just wing it, hoping there will be enough money for retirement when they are ready.
Unfortunately, this strategy is dangerous. About ⅔ of Canadians don’t even know how much money they will need in retirement or how long they will need it. However, these questions are important to answer along with what happens if you need long-term care.
Before retirement, people are in the accumulation phase. They are used to focusing on growing their assets. However, retirement is the opposite, but many people don’t have a clear plan for this.
Most investment ads are focused on the accumulation phase. For example, everyone is always trying to sell us on RRSPs as an investment tool for retirement. We hear about the tax benefits and how it facilitates saving for the long-term.
However, no one explains how to take out the money at retirement. For example, you have to take the money out by age 71, otherwise, you could end up paying more in taxes. When you retire, your game plan has to change, but many people don’t know this.
So what do you need to do? Consider the following 4 takeaways from the book Don’t Worry, Retire Happy by Tom Hegna.
First off, you need to define what retirement is to you. For me, I think retirement should encompass the ability to do whatever I want to do without having to worry about bills. In other words, financial freedom.
Of course, everybody has a different idea of their ideal retirement. One person might love the idea of sitting on the couch all day while another would love to travel and will take 5 trips a year.
Keep in mind that there are three stages of retirement.
The point of this isn’t to be depressing, but to remind you to enjoy the early years of your retirement while you can and adjust your expenses over time. Not everyone retires with the same amount of money or has interests that cost the same amount, so you much plan carefully.
To do this, some people choose a hybrid retirement where they stay in the workforce. This helps supplement your retirement income, keeps your mind active, and allows you to qualify for hefty benefits such as health insurance. After all, it’s not unusual for people to live to age 90 and beyond. About 45% of retirees are currently enjoying this option.
With COVID-19, the Canadian government is jacking up debt like there’s no tomorrow. Unfortunately, tomorrow we will all be paying for it in the form of higher prices for goods and services.
The book suggests that inflation won’t affect you much if you retire at 70 and die at 75. However, if you retire at 55 and live into your 90s, inflation can cut your buying power by 50%!
I’ve worked with people who have over 30 different accounts in different banks. So confusing! I recommend consolidating accounts into 4 basic piggy banks.
This is to pay your daily living expenses, including “weekend” bills like country club membership fees, etc. Remember, every day is your Sunday in retirement!
Guaranteed money for long-term expenses like a pension, government benefits, rental income, term deposits, etc.
Aim to at least beat inflation with these funds. This is stockpiled money you can use to fund piggy bank A & B as necessary.
By age 75, 5 in 10 Canadians will need some type of medical care, but don’t expect the government programs to be enough.
It is proven that having a retirement plan in place makes people happier. A professional can take the confusion out of the process, especially for those who don’t have the time or interest to do their retirement planning in Canada themselves.
Book with me for all your retirement planning needs and check out my YouTube channel to watch informative videos and learn about retirement in Canada!