In the aftermath of the US housing market bust and the ensuing financial meltdown that led to global stock market declines of 2008, people are getting back to the basics as far as their retirement planning goes. Although the stock market has recovered, many pre-retirees have lost a lot of ground in their retirement accounts and are facing a new reality. Retirement may not be what they had originally envisioned; but with some retirement income 101 basics, most people should be able to get back on track.
If there is any good that comes from an economic downturn and stock market crash it is that it is a wake-up call that forces people to more seriously consider the frailty of their financial future. Many affected will change their financial habits by cutting back on spending, reducing debt and increasing their savings. But, for many Canadians, especially those in the X and Y generations, it is a life as usual? as the pursuit for the optimal life style, here and now, continues to win out over concerns for future financial security.
Roger and Linda, like many Canadians, have saved for years for their retirement. They took advantage of RRSPs and now have a substantial amount of savings. As Roger will turn age 71 this year, they need to decide on the best strategy for using their RRSPs for their retirement income needs.
Until now, Roger and Linda have been relying on their non-RRSP investments and government benefits so their RRSPs could continue to grow tax-postponed. Roger has to choose from the following by the end of the year or all his RRSP funds will be fully taxed:
The Baby Boomers are making history as the largest retirement migration ever seen. However, it's their parents who hold the most massive accumulation of wealth and it's about to transfer to future generations. Estimated to be well in excess of a trillion dollars, the traditional rules of inheritance may be about to change.
Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) were introduced in 2009 and they seem to be struggling to catch on. Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), however, have been around for over fifty years and attract billions of dollars of deposits each year. If you are serious about saving for your future, it is important to know the differences between the two.
While RRSPs and TFSAs seem to be very similar on the surface, they are really apples and kumquats apart. The only similarity is that, within limitations, earnings inside either plan are allowed to grow without current taxation.
In a 2010 report to the Minister of Finance, it was found that approximately 160,000 Canadian seniors were not aware of the full range of benefits they were entitled to in their retirement years. In fact, nearly $1 billion in retirement benefits from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) have not been paid out to eligible recipients.
According to the Service Canada website, seniors may qualify for a number of income supplement programs that would help them make ends meet, including:
A bleak picture is painted by the findings of the second annual survey about 'growing into retirement,' commissioned by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Most retirees' outlook has worsened in just one year, and the so-called 'golden years' are beginning to look tarnished. Just one year ago, 39 per cent of Canadians expected to still have debt in retirement; more than half of those questioned now (54 per cent) think that they will not have paid off everything.
Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) are one method of drawing an income from Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) in retirement. There are a few things to consider to get the best value from your retirement savings with RRIFs.
For many Canadians, RRSP savings will be the major source of their retirement income. The main concern for most is the risk
of outliving their money. Another priority for many retirees is minimizing income taxes.
It appears that while many Canadians faithfully invest funds into their workplace retirement plans they are somewhat lackadaisical when it comes to determining their retirement needs as well as measuring their progress towards those needs.
In a survey conducted by Ipsos Reid in November 2010, it was found that 44 percent of those who invest in a company-sponsored pension plan are not aware of what their income will be upon retirement while 41 percent do not know how their current holdings compare to that target.
With the turbulent times we have been experiencing in the markets, more people are considering annuities to ensure a certain income in their retirement years. It might not suit everybody to put their funds into annuities, and
there is always the question of what percentage do you want to invest in them, and how much will you leave in the markets? There is no clear-cut answer, and you'll need to weigh your personal circumstances to see how annuities can fit into your retirement plans.