Get your retirement plans in order this year

by | Feb 25, 2024 | Finance and Business

Whether you’re just starting out in the job market or you’re approaching the end of your career, it’s never too late or too early to plan for your retirement. Make this the year you get those plans in order. Here are four things to consider.

Full stop or semi-retirement?

For some of us, one of the joys of retirement is that it means you’ll never have to work again. Others plan to continue working part-time or seasonally to keep themselves active or to bring in some extra income. If your goal is to stop working completely, you’ll need to make sure you have enough investments to fund the lifestyle you seek for as long as you’re alive. An investment planner can help you determine how much money you’ll need for the retirement of your dreams.

Downsize or age in place?

For many of us, our homes are our biggest investment. As such, some homeowners have it in the back of their minds to downsize when they retire and use the proceeds from the sale to help fund their retirement. But older Canadians are increasingly opting to “age in place” in the home where they lived or raised their family. If that’s what you plan on doing, there may be options to draw on the equity of the home without selling. A financial advisor can walk you through your choices.

Diversify your investments

Fewer and fewer jobs come with pensions that can fully – or mostly – fund a retirement. As a result, people increasingly need to invest for their retirement on their own. The most common option is to invest in a Registered Retirement Savings Plan, or RRSP. But note that any funds withdrawn from an RRSP are considered taxable income for that year. With a Tax-Free Savings Account, or TFSA, any earnings on your investments are non-taxable, so you don’t have to pay any taxes when you withdraw them. Other options include investing in the stock market or real estate, both of which come with risk and potentially significant returns. Do your research to decide what options are best for you.

Reap the rewards of your working years

If you can think back to your first-ever paycheque, it was probably a bit of a shock to see how much money was deducted for various taxes. The good news is that once you retire, you benefit from many of the programs that that money helped fund. This includes Old Age Security, a monthly payment you’ll start to receive once you turn 65.

Another is the Canada Pension Plan. CPP Investments, the professional investment management organization that manages the Fund, recently reported a 10-year annualized return of 9.6 per cent, growing the Fund to a total of $576 billion. CPP Investments was the best-performing pension fund in the world from 2013 to 2022, according to Global SWF, and an independent review concluded the plan is sustainable for at least 75 years at current funding rates.

Find out more at cppinvestments.com

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