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Retirement FAQ: Your most common questions answered

1. How long will my money last?

This question can only be answered if we know when we will die and what we spend up to that point. Because we don’t have the answers to those two questions, we must plan to try and anticipate a number of scenarios. It is always safest to develop a plan that will provide us income to age 100. At the same time, we will be well served if we have incorporated a plan that deals with the possible need for any surprise expenses. For example, how will I pay for medical expenses like expensive lifesaving medications not covered by the government plans, a caregiver or nursing home costs? This is where a CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) can help by building a plan that addresses these and many more issues.

2. When is the best time to start taking money from my CPP, OAS, and RRIF to live on?

These questions can only be answered after careful consideration of one’s individual circumstances. It can be beneficial to start drawing from the RRSP and CPP early in some cases. Alternatively, delaying the start of CPP to age 70 would increase the income by 42% annually and delaying OAS to age 70 would increase those payments by 36% annually. Both pensions are indexed to inflation. After careful analysis, a qualified CFP® can prepare a plan to utilize the best strategy for your situation.

3. Can I structure my affairs so that my Estate pays the least possible taxes at my death?

Yes, careful planning prior to death can go a long way to ensure the tax-efficient distribution of your Estate. This is again where qualified professionals are required.  Certified Financial Planners, Lawyers, and Accountants with experience in Estate Planning are trained to help you build a solid estate plan that meets all of your objectives. In many cases, this group works together to achieve the best result for their clients.

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