Welcome to our article on all you need to know about planning for your retirement in Canada. With high taxes and cost of living in major cities in Canada, what are some things you can do to help you plan for retirement? Here are 10 tips to help you:
Planning Retirement For Canada: 10 Tips
1. Have A Budget
This is a very important aspect of your retirement planning. You want to make sure that you are in full control of your expenses. A budget allows you to place your income side by side with your expenses. With a well-planned budget, you can determine what is important and what is unnecessary, that way, you can track your expenses. It is important to note that the budget you are creating is for both your current income and expenses and that of post-retirement. Having a budget for your post-retirement will also help you spend your retirement savings wisely. These budgets must be realistic.
Do not forget that the aim of the budget is to help you with your expenditure, so don’t strain yourself today all because you want to save for retirement. There is no point living broke today and causing health complications that may take your money post-retirement. A budget is to help you make shrewd financial decisions. Your budget during post-retirement will be different from your current budget. You don’t have to commute to work or buy clothes for work, and some of your daily expenses will no longer be required because you are not actively working. Such extra cash can be used to create a sufficient budget during post-retirement.
2. Avoid Debts
Retirement planning requires funds from every source you can get and one thing that stands in the way is debt. Debt is a financial burden for most and it is known to be the root cause of most people not achieving their financial goals both during active service and post-retirement. According to statistics, 1 out of every 3 retirees in Canada owes some form of debt or the other. This is a bad ratio and it simply means that most retirees do not get to enjoy their post-retirement because of debt.
To avoid being among this category of retirees, ensure that you pay off all your debts before retirement. This includes your mortgage, car loan, credit card debts, and any other personal loans. The interest rates of debts make it difficult for your to live comfortably on what you earn. Now imagine that you still have to settle debt with your retirement saving when you are no longer active to continue to earn money. when creating your budget. Ensure that you have a debt payment plan that will see that all debts are paid before retirement. Do not completely neglect this as you will have to pay for it with your retirement funds. There is no fun in that. Once you are free from debts, make sure you avoid getting into another one. If you have to, ensure that any money borrowed is what you can return within the same month you borrowed it, this will help you avoid interest rate payment.
3. Cut Unnecessary Spending
Once you start saving for retirement, you need to cut your spending. Especially on expenses, you can do away with. You need all the cash you can get to build a sustainable retirement savings portfolio. Expenses like eating out, weekly shopping, vacationing every month and other activities that gulp money that you can survive without. This is not to suck the fun out of your life but to make sure you are financially secure post-retirement. That is not to say you won’t do any of these at all, you just have to cut it down significantly. The cash you save from this can be diverted into your retirement savings.
Financial experts advise that you save between 10 to 15 percent of your incoming. An emergency fund should also be part of this percentage. If you can cut unnecessary spending, you will have extra cash at your disposal and you can divert this into your retirement savings.
4. Know How Much You Need For Post-Retirement
This is often overlooked by Canadians in their retirement plan. Most just have a round figure they think will be enough and begin to save. Statistics show that only 47% of Canadians know how much they need for retirement. It is important to know how much you will be needing for post-retirement so that you won’t overwork yourself to save or not save enough. Plan your post-retirement lifestyle, set your post-retirement financial goals and you will be able to have the magic number as they call it. Knowing the number also helps you to plan a budget that will help you save towards the goal. While there is no exact figure needed for post-retirement, it is good to have an estimate to work with.
5. Make Provisions For Your Health
Ensure you have sufficient health coverage for post-retirement. Health is one of the major expenses during post-retirement due to age. To adequately cover this, make sure you have a plan for health insurance. You can take private cover asides from government health benefits. That way you can have enough for post-retirement living.
6. Work For Bit Longer
Hitting the retirement age does not mean you should stop working. You can still take on a few side gigs or part-time jobs that can still earn you some cash. This will ensure that your retirement savings will be sufficient and will not place a burden on them immediately after you retire. However, you should take on jobs that will not complicate your health later. This will also help you ease into retirement by ensuring steady cash flow, even though it is not up to what you were earning.
7. Learn More About Discounts & Tax Credits
These are ways of relieving the burden on your retirement savings. But you can only enjoy them only if you know about them. Learn more about discounts that travel agencies, stores, and insurance companies offer to senior citizens and retirees. Tax credits can also be used to lower the tax obligations on your retirement earnings. There are tax credits that retirees and senior citizens enjoy in Canada.
8. Invest Early and Consistently
Savings only will not grow your retirement savings to your desired figure and one sure way to achieve this is through investment. The importance of investment cannot be overstated. Once you start your retirement savings, it is important that you consider investing the funds so that they will grow. The portfolio you invest in will be determined by the number of years you can still actively work. If you have a long time horizon before retirement, you can invest in high-risk investments such as cryptocurrency, and stocks. But if you are close to retirement, it is important to invest in conservative portfolios like bonds and mutual funds. You have to take calculated risks to build your retirement saving.
9. Sign Up For Government Benefits
There are various government programs that can ease the burden on your financial savings and it will be good if you consider some of these benefits. In Canada, you are entitled to government benefits such as the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), or you can consider Old Age Security ((OAS). Once you are approaching retirement, you can learn more about these benefits and how you can apply for them. They will help sustain your retirement savings.
10. Get A Financial Advisor
The contribution of a financial advisor to your retirement planning cannot be overemphasized. There is a myth about having a minimum retirement saving before meeting with a financial advisor. This cannot be further from the truth. You can meet with a professional once you decide to have a retirement plan. They will help with planning your budgets pre-retirement and post-retirement. They will also account for inflation in your retirement plan. This will help you avoid short-changing yourself.
How Much Does The Average Person Need To Retire In Canada?
Retirement is inevitable for everyone and depending on your post-retirement lifestyle and goals, you need to have a magic number you are saving towards. There is no industry standard figure you need to retire in Canada, it is all down to the following factors:
- How do you live now & until retirement – This will determine how much you can save while covering your living expenses. Experts advise that you save at least 10% of your current earnings. However, depending on what you want you can increase this number. One thing is for sure, you have to be consistent with your savings;
- When do you want to retire – This will determine how much you can save and invest until you retire. It will also determine how aggressive you will save and the risk appetite of your investments;
- Where do you want to retire – This is an important question because the standard of living varies in each province in Canada. Make sure you read about the cost of living in the province you want to retire. This will guide your savings goal.
There are also retirement calculators that you can use to estimate how much you will need to retire comfortably in Canada. These different calculators will help you with the following:
- Retirement age calculator – This will help you determine the age you will reach your retirement goal;
- Retirement savings calculator – This will help you calculate how much you need to save every month to reach your retirement goal;
- Retirement nest egg – This will use your current and future monthly investment to calculate the value of your retirement savings once you retire.