Retirement Checklist

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Retirement Checklist

Published
November 2019

Retirement Checklist

Nearing Retirement? – Pre-retirement Checklist

Nearing retirement? This checklist, designed for those who are thinking about or nearing retirement, provides an overview of what you need to consider when calculating your retirement income.

  • Speak with your financial advisor to determine retirement readiness, including projected income needs and expenses.
  • Review your employer/company’s procedures for retiring employees so you clearly understand any continuing benefits and options at retirement.
  • Do you have employer sponsored benefits (e.g. a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), registered pension plan, or group plan)? Inquire about options and conditions upon retirement.
  • Review Old Age Security (OAS) and Canadian Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan (CPP/QPP) entitlements to determine the most beneficial time to apply for these benefits.
  • Work with your financial advisor to understand OAS “clawback” rules and potential impact to retirement income.
  • Discuss retirement income options with your financial advisor and work with them to define an appropriate income withdrawal plan.
  • Discuss health care coverage needs with your financial advisor.
  • Speak with your employer (or others) if you’re interested in opportunities for part-time employment or contract work.
  • If you are a business owner, decide if the business should continue after your retirement and work with financial, accounting and legal advisors to implement an appropriate business succession plan.

 

Enjoying Retirement? – Post-retirement Checklist

Enjoying retirement? This checklist, designed for retirees, presents an overview of several things to consider to maximize income and preserve assets in retirement.

  • Have you applied for all the benefits you’re entitled to1? Are all available sources of income being received, including Old Age Security (OAS), Canadian Pension Plan or Quebec Pension Plan (CPP/QPP) and employer sponsored benefits?
  • Is sufficient “tax at source” being withheld from income payments to cover tax obligations at year-end?
  • Do your pre-retirement projections for income and expenses in retirement align with the realities of your retirement?
  • Are adjustments needed to your investment portfolio to meet short and long-term income and capital requirements?
  • Are additional savings being invested tax-efficiently, such as a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) or, where available, RRSPs2?
  • Are you comfortable with your principal residence or does downsizing make sense?
  • Discuss insurance and long-term care needs with your financial advisor.
  • Thinking about part-time or contract work? Consider the possible advantages.
  • Review philanthropic goals and consider the most impactful charitable giving strategies.
  • Work with your financial and legal advisors to build an appropriate estate plan and ensure that estate planning documentation (e.g. powers of attorney and your will) are current and in place.

1 Speak with your financial advisor about when to begin certain benefits as some programs (e.g., OAS, C/QPP) provide incentives based on what age you decide to start collecting.
2 Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) contribution room would be required.

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Publish date: 
November, 2019

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