As Joe Farnsworth* from Toronto discovered, published return percentages do not necessarily tell the whole story of an investment portfolio performance. Joe retired 9 years ago from the Toronto Police Service from which he collects a serviceable pension each month.
There is a common misconception that, if left unaddressed, can having a devastating effect an individual’s long-term financial well-being. It is the belief that long-term care costs are fully covered by provincial health care plans if you or a loved one ever need this special type of care.
Unfortunately, this is simply not the case. While programs do exist to cover some needs like these, most of the burden of long-term care costs usually fall to the individual or their family members.
The unfortunate truth about aging is that the human brain deteriorates as we age. While the process is vastly different depending on the individual and their health and circumstances, the rate of deterioration cannot be predicted with any level of certainty. It doesn’t cater to genetics, family history, or life habits.
Harry and Sally both earned high incomes and liked to live the good life. They leased higher end European cars, took two-week exotic vacations almost every year, and lived in a house much larger than they truly needed. To accomplish this lifestyle, they put off retirement savings. Now in their forties, Harry and Sally are realizing they have some catching up to do. Listed below are a few things to consider:
Delay no more - Procrastination or bad breaks may have derailed a savings plan. Now is the time to make savings a priority.
One of the top retirement goals for many is travel. As many as 1.5 million so called "snowbirds" travel to the Southern United States during the winter. With summer just around the corner, thoughts turn to travel within our borders, too. The Canada Safety Council states that a few simple precautions can help ensure a safe, healthy and enjoyable trip any time of the year.
Maureen, age 20, figures she can save $400 each month; or she can keep frittering it away at the mall. She lives with her parents and they think she should save it. Dad says, "Put it into an RRSP and get a tax break as well." Her friends think RRSPs are for old fogies and she doesn't need to start thinking about retirement savings until she's 30.
We all know how easy it is to romanticize our retirement years. Many of us make lengthy lists of things we will do and experience in those golden years. We have little doubt about our ability to enjoy the perfect blend of leisure and excitement, which is what makes the very idea of retirement seem so priceless to so many of us. However, it would be a mistake to equate “priceless” with “cost-free!”
Those golden years might cost you more than you think. Are you prepared for those costs?
Convert RRSPs to income - Roger and Sarah, retired for several years, have delayed taking income from their RRSPs so they could enjoy the tax deferred growth as long as possible. They must start an income from their RRSPs before the end of the year they turn age 71.
Review investment portfolio - Joanne had been using investment funds to save for retirement. She had benefited over the long term by investing in equities, but wants a more income-oriented portfolio with less volatility for her retirement income needs.