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Retirement Checklist

Helping you make the most of your retirement

If you are getting close to retirement, or have just recently retired, there are many financial details that you need to address, such as applying for government benefits and converting your registered plans to provide you with pension income. To help you address many of these important issues, RBC Wealth Management has created a Retirement Checklist.

 

The checklist includes a comprehensive listing of many of the financial issues people like you, who are approaching retirement or have already retired, typically face. Depending on your individual situation, some of the items on the list may not be applicable to you, or you may have already addressed them. The six checklists cover the following topics:

 

1. Government Benefits such as the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS), OAS claw-back and other government programs, such as the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). These regular monthly income sources can be an important component of your retirement income. For many Canadians, these government benefits may be the only source of guaranteed monthly income for life. Therefore, it is important to maximize the benefit, where possible.

 

2. Employer Pension and Benefits – Determining your pension options at retirement, transferring pensions, leaving your employer, pension splitting, pension planning for survivor spouse, etc.  Although employer-provided pensions are being offered less frequently now, they will be the primary income source for many retirees. Making the best decisions to maximize income for both you and your spouse is essential.

 

3.    RRSPs, RRIFs, Locked-In Accounts and TFSAs – Often the largest component of our retirement savings! The checklist covers a number of topics, such as naming beneficiaries, RRSP conversion options, annuity options, options for business owners, spousal RRSPs, pension tax credit, unlocking provisions, foreign pensions, order of asset withdrawals, etc.

 

4.    Non-registered assets – Tax efficiency and strategies, income splitting, asset gifting, asset allocation and joint-ownership options to name a few.

 

5.    Estate Planning – Wills, powers of attorney for BOTH property and personal care, US Estate tax considerations, probate fees, life insurance, testamentary trusts, etc.  Estate Planning includes a long list of considerations to be discussed with both your family and an estate planning professional.

 

6.    Other considerations – Healthcare costs and management, foreign travel considerations, emergency fund planning, travel insurance, charitable planning, being an executor, asset consolidation and many more.

 

This checklist may serve as a handy tool to make sure you have considered important strategies for maximizing your retirement income. The checklist also provides a number of items for you to consider when estate planning. Although there are too many pages to include in the pages of Tonic, we would be happy to e-mail you a copy of the full checklist, upon request.


Susan Gottlieb is VP and Wealth Advisor with RBC Dominion Securities Inc. She offers a prioritized view of financial goals and recommends personalized solutions for achieving them. Please consult with a professional advisor before taking any action based on information in this article.  susan.gottlieb@rbc.com;  www.susangottlieb.com