From Work to Retirement—as Simply and Easily as Possible

Nobody dives head first into retirement. It's something we think carefully aboutand for many people it's a cause of worry! There are a number of things to take into account. Here are a few:

  • Longer and longer life expectancies (how do you make the money last?)
  • Fluctuating stock market (when will it rise or fall next?)
  • Changes in interest rates and inflation (how can anybody plan?)
  • The need to buy (and the temptation to spend too much!)
  • Rising government expenses, growing fiscal restraint, and the questioning of certain aspects of the social safety net that have always been considered untouchable (times are changing...)
  • The desire to seek continued self-fulfillment through work and not fall to the wayside
  • Financial insecurity (when you've been splurging!)

Essential Questions to Ask Yourself When Planning Your Retirement

  • What are my current financial needs?
  • How much will I and my family need after I retire?
  • How will I spend my free time?
  • What is the best age for me to retire?
  • Do I have a supplemental pension plan? What will my pension payments be when I retire?
  • How much have I saved? Where will my retirement income come from, and in what proportion?
  • How much debt do I have?
  • Do I have enough insurance coverage for myself and my family?
  • Do I have an up-to-date will and protection mandate?

Important Factors and Concerns

  • According to Retraite Québec, the percentage of elderly people is increasing  faster in Québec than anywhere else in North America. From a statistical standpoint, longer retirements mean more loss of physical and financial independence.
  • Recent rises in the housing market could create a false sense of security, and some homeowners may no longer deem it necessary to contribute to their registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs).
  • Whether by choice or by necessity, more and more retirees are returning to work on a part-time or full-time basis. Several laws have recently been modified to encourage older people to work (for instance, the increase in the age at which you are required to convert your RRSPs from 69 to 71, the increase in Québec Pension Plan benefits, phased retirement, etc.).

7 Practical Tips to Help Smooth the Transition into Retirement

  • Approach retirement planning from an overall perspective and consult a financial planner if needed.
  • Keep informed about retirement issues (through information sessions offered by your employer, financial institution, psychologist, Retraite Québec, etc.).
  • Think about how you can pass your professional experience on to younger generations, perhaps through mentorships or involvement in organizations.
  • Prepare for the unexpected (medical expenses, hospital fees, etc.), and remember that certain conditions usually apply in order to keep insurance premiums at a reasonable level.
  • Bring your family into the planning process.
  • Review your complete retirement plan regularly and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Be patient, perseverant, and realistic since some risks cannot be accounted for.

Other useful information