There are so many variations of retirement we see now. Some people come to a “full stop” but often with mixed feelings. Others transition to parttime and sometimes to something completely different. Others start their own business or continue one they started before retirement. At the end of the day though, there are five super important elements to a successful retirement plan. I have developed a “Self Assessment of Your Retirement Plan” that is helpful to get a feel of how you are doing. If you want a copy, let us know. Here are five big elements:
- Clear communication with spouses or partners and a financial planner makes things much easier. Having someone competant, objective and confidential makes a big difference. As a CFP (certified financial planner) I have an obligation and fidicuiary duty to clients to be confidential and objective. Like the successful business owner who does NOT rely on him or herself for all the ideas, a near retired who engages with a financial planner has greater chances of success since the ideas are now objective.
- A clear understanding of your finances now and in the future is crucial to know what you will be able to do financially for retirement such as monthly expenses now and in the future, types of investing, time horizon, rates of return, retirement income sources. Your financial planner will help with this.
- Efficient tax strategies implemented now can make a huge impact in the future. Tax Free Savings Accounts for example, are a great tax shelter. RRSPs on the other hand are tax “deferrals” and could be counter-productive. Permanent, cash value life insurance is another great long term tax strategy for some.
- Estate planning, even in basic form, like updated wills and enduring powers of attorney are very important.
- Lastly and just as important, a powerhouse health plan is highly recommended. As a holistic financial planner, I consider both the financial and non-financial aspects of retirement planning like health planning. For example, a good health plan is necessary as well as taking care of your health, being mindful of health prevention strategies.
Remember to request your “Self Assessment of Your Retirement Plan” to get a sense of where you stand. Also, set up a complimentary introductory discussion as well. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out, firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Wright is a CFP financial planner and president of Wiltshire Financial in Dartmouth Nova Scotia.