If you are unsure of how (and when) you will be able to retire, have no fear – here are 5 tips to help ease your mind and get you on the right track to retirement:

  1. There is no Right Age to Retire.

Although you may feel pressured to retire by a certain age, your personal situation may call for a later (or earlier) retirement.  If you are under 65, retirement may be impractical without the aid of OAS or CPP. Every extra year of work is an extra year of income, extra year of savings growth and an extra year without retirement expenses. A good way to decide when to retire is to know exactly how much you spend each year and once you can match that with your post-retirement income (OAS, CPP, pension, RRSP, etc.) – retire and enjoy the same quality of living. Remember to subtract any expenses that you may not incur upon retiring, i.e. commuting expenses, mortgage payments, a second vehicle etc.

  1. The Government Can Provide a Substantial Amount to Supplement Your Income.

If you have worked in Canada for your entire life and retire at the age of 65 or older, you can take full advantage of CPP and Old Age Security. This year, the CPP benefit amount has increased by $330, making the maximum CPP retirement benefit $13,110 per year. Add the Old Age Security ($6,846.24 per year) for a yearly maximum benefit of $19,956.24.

  1. Consider that Part-Time Job.

It may not be in your best interest to fully retire right away, even if it is within your means. This is especially the case if you do not have concrete retirement plans and are looking for something to fill your time. If you have not saved as much as you may have hoped, part time work can be just what you need to fill in the gap.

  1. You May be Missing Out on Free Money

Many employers have savings programs in which they contribute to your savings or retirement fund. Many publicly traded companies offer employee stock ownership programs. With these programs, if you buy $80 worth of stocks, the company might add $20 worth of stocks. Other companies offer retirement plans where they match your contributions, dollar for dollar! If your employer is offering any type of financial program – take full advantage of the free money. Your best bet is to speak with your human resources department and find out if there are any programs you are eligible for.

  1. The Possibilities are Endless

What you choose to do after retirement is really up to you! Maybe you will choose to live abroad, or buy a vacation home – (there are numerous countries around the world that enjoy a much lower cost of living and excellent weather throughout the year!). Whatever direction you choose, make sure to do your research and discuss your plans with your financial advisor to make sure it is a valid option for you.

Most importantly, do what is right for you. Only you know what your retirement years will look like. If selling your home is in your retirement plan, call me at 416-921-1112 and I will be happy to answer your questions and provide you with knowledgeable advice.