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retirement planning

What's Your Retirement Planning Mindset?

Recent surveys* reveal that a large majority of so-called Baby Boomers are uncertain about their preparation for retirement. Arguably, the have it my way? generation did not all follow in their parents' footsteps when it came to saving for the future. As well, some major bumps along the way (a housing crisis, a stock market crash and a global financial crisis) have reduced many retirement 'nest eggs.'

Government Benefits Can Boost Retirement Income

In a 2010 report to the Minister of Finance, it was found that approximately 160,000 Canadian seniors were not aware of the full range of benefits they were entitled to in their retirement years. In fact, nearly $1 billion in retirement benefits from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) have not been paid out to eligible recipients.

According to the Service Canada website, seniors may qualify for a number of income supplement programs that would help them make ends meet, including:

Planning Required to Overcome Retirement Obstacles

A bleak picture is painted by the findings of the second annual survey about 'growing into retirement,' commissioned by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Most retirees' outlook has worsened in just one year, and the so-called 'golden years' are beginning to look tarnished. Just one year ago, 39 per cent of Canadians expected to still have debt in retirement; more than half of those questioned now (54 per cent) think that they will not have paid off everything.

Optimizing Your RRIF

Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) are one method of drawing an income from Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) in retirement. There are a few things to consider to get the best value from your retirement savings with RRIFs.

For many Canadians, RRSP savings will be the major source of their retirement income. The main concern for most is the risk
of outliving their money. Another priority for many retirees is minimizing income taxes.

Many Canadians Unaware of Retirement Needs

It appears that while many Canadians faithfully invest funds into their workplace retirement plans they are somewhat lackadaisical when it comes to determining their retirement needs as well as measuring their progress towards those needs.

In a survey conducted by Ipsos Reid in November 2010, it was found that 44 percent of those who invest in a company-sponsored pension plan are not aware of what their income will be upon retirement while 41 percent do not know how their current holdings compare to that target.

Manage Your Personal Economy

What you Don't Know Could Cost You

The age old saying, 'Ignorance is bliss', may apply to many things in life. However, when it comes to your finances, ignorance can be absolutely devastating. Even the government is calling the startling low rate of financial literacy among Canadians an epidemic that can have catastrophic consequences for the nation's economic future.

A lack of knowledge on even the most basic financial matters has already led to a cascade of calamities that will have a far-reaching and long lasting affect on all of us. Among them:

Maximizing Your Retirement

Bob and Lisa are wondering just how their retirement will turn out. After all that's happened over the past few of years, their RRSP accounts aren't what they used to be. Even in the best of times, the accounts weren't as large as they could have been, at least for all their post-retirement desires.

Pros and Cons of Annuities

With the turbulent times we have been experiencing in the markets, more people are considering annuities to ensure a certain income in their retirement years. It might not suit everybody to put their funds into annuities, and

there is always the question of what percentage do you want to invest in them, and how much will you leave in the markets? There is no clear-cut answer, and you'll need to weigh your personal circumstances to see how annuities can fit into your retirement plans.

The three levels of retirement resources

A survey conducted by one of the big banks some years ago revealed that about 18% of Canadians were hoping for a lottery win to fund their retirement. This raises the question, 'If you were to paint a picture of your retirement, what would it look like?' Many would let dreams take over and envision lots of travel, a vacation home in an exotic location, spoiling their grandchildren, perhaps several year-long world cruises.

RRSP vs TFSA: Which is Better?

Millions of Canadian make RRSP contributions each year for the sole purpose of getting a big tax refund cheque each spring. If this is your only reason for investing in RRSPs, there may be situations where making RRSP contribution isn't your best option.

With the arrival of the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) in January 2009, Canadians now have a viable alternative to RRSPs when saving for their retirement. Simply put, the TFSA is the mirror-image to an RRSP - you don't get an upfront refund, but all your future withdrawals are 100% tax free.

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