MONEY TALKS

Five ways to be sure you’re fi­nan­cially pre­pared for the re­tire­ment you’ve al­ways dreamed of.

Canadian Living - - Contents - SCOTT HAN­NAH IS PRES­I­DENT AND CEO OF THE CREDIT COUN­SELLING SO­CI­ETY. FOR MORE IN­FOR­MA­TION, VISIT MYMONEYCOACH.CA. TEXT SCOTT HAN­NAH

Five ways to be fi­nan­cially pre­pared for re­tire­ment

THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT YOUR LATER YEARS TO LOOK LIKE. Write down your de­sires and goals, and con­sider their costs. If you have a sig­nif­i­cant other, talk with him or her about what he or she en­vi­sions. Don’t worry if your plans don’t al­ways align; if you know each other’s ex­pec­ta­tions, you can see where you can seam­lessly join plans, com­pro­mise or de­cide to do some things separately. PAY DOWN DEBT. Make it a goal to go into your re­tire­ment debt-free (mort­gage in­cluded). This will free up money that you would nor­mally be giv­ing away to in­ter­est, mean­ing more cash lin­ing your pock­ets. If you’re stuck on how to get to the fin­ish line with­out debt, talk to some­one at your lo­cal non­profit cred­it­coun­selling agency, who can look at your fi­nances and give you some op­tions. TOP OFF YOUR TAX-FREE SAV­INGS AC­COUNT (TFSA). The beauty of a TFSA is that the funds you de­posit, along with the prof­its you make on your in­vest­ment, are not taxed when you with­draw them later. Ear­mark th­ese sav­ings for larger ex­penses, like, say, an RV to drive across the coun­try (if that’s your de­sire). MAX OUT YOUR REGIS­TERED RE­TIRE­MENT SAV­INGS PLAN (RRSP). Do what you can to put as much money as pos­si­ble into RRSPS. This will lower your cur­rent tax rate, and you’ll reap the re­wards in re­tire­ment when your tax rate is lower. TALK WITH A PRO­FES­SIONAL. A cer­ti­fied fi­nan­cial plan­ner can walk you through your vi­sion, take into con­sid­er­a­tion your as­sets and li­a­bil­i­ties and sources of in­come, cost of liv­ing, taxes and insurance to help you de­ter­mine ex­actly what you’ll need. When you know your real num­bers, you can work back­ward to map out a plan to get there.

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