top of page

Retirment and Estate Planning

For most Canadians, retirement is a major financial goal that requires a considerable financial commitment. 49% of Canadians hope to retire before the age of 60.* Whether you have already established a Retirement Savings Plan or are just beginning, it is never too late to begin saving.


Retirement Planning Done Right

1. Determine Your Retirement Income Needs

Retirement Planning is a primary financial goal for most Canadians. Whether you have a savings program in place or are interested in one now, the first step is to determine how much will be available to you at your retirement.

Contact our office for a DETAILED ANALYSIS of your retirement income needs and opportunities.

2. Remember the Three "S"s

Save now, Start now and Stay invested. Begin by investing what you can and try to increase this amount every few months. Using a pre-authorized deposit plan allows you to make regular contributions to your retirement savings plan. Remember, small amounts can accumulate significantly over time. No matter when you start investing, the key is to stay invested as long as you can. The longer you hold your investments, the more they will benefit from compound growth.

3. The Importance of Diversification

Diversification is the financial equivalent of not putting all your eggs in one basket. You spread your risk by investing in several different investments, therefore reducing the impact of one poor performer in our portfolio. Experts agree that the asset mix of your investments - safety, income, and growth, account for more than 80% of your portfolio's return.

Retirement planning involves setting aside enough money during one's working years to provide income during retirement. A simple concept, but a complicated activity once investment choices and taxes are taken into account.

We all start to prepare for our retirement years at different stages in our lives. The most effective strategy is to begin in your 20s or 30s with the purchase of your first Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA).

A good strategy will carry you right through retirement - confident in the knowledge that your finances will last you for a lifetime. Regardless of your age, the key to a financially secure retirement is to start now!

While it's impossible to estimate exactly how much you'll need for retirement 30 or 40 years from now, it's important to start saving for it today. By contributing to an RRSP/TFSA while you're young, you put time on your side and watch your savings grow tax-free over the long term.

4. Start Early

It doesn't take a lot of money to build a nest egg if you start early enough and let time work for you. Make your first contribution as early as possible in your working career to benefit from compound interest.

5. Contribute Regularly

Taking a slow and steady approach to building your RRSP/TFSA, setting aside small amounts regularly is the best way to ensure your success.

Freeing up a large sum of money at year-end is often difficult and is the most common reason people fail to maximize or sometimes even make their annual RRSP/TFSA contribution.

6. Contribute the Maximum

Make a point to contribute your maximum RRSP/TFSA amount whenever possible. Make sure to determine whether an RRSP, TFSA or both are best to help build your nest-egg.

7. Consider Your RRSP/TFSA Untouchable

While it can be a valuable safety net in times of financial crisis, don't tap into your RRSP/TFSA unless you absolutely have to, unless it is part your planned strategy. Funds you withdraw today will not be there when you need them at retirement.

Estate Planning

Why estate planning is important

Having plans in place not only helps protect what matters most and supports an efficient wealth transfer, it will also ease the burden on your loved ones.

“Things will be very messy if one doesn't have an estate plan," Kiang says.

"What happens when there isn't a plan? It will be up to the family members left behind to pick up the pieces," Brennan explains. They will then try to piece together the deceased's financial affairs, which may be a difficult and traumatic time for the family.

One important thing to note is understanding the impact of taxes on assets controlled by an individual at death. A comprehensive estate plan generally aims to set up tax-efficient ways to transfer assets to beneficiaries. Without a plan, additional legal fees may be required to settle your estate.

How to set up an estate plan

Tthe initial step in the process involves accepting the fact that your estate needs to be sorted and a plan needs to be created.

That awareness is very important, You need to consider what a responsible estate plan looks like and why you need it. Having just a will might not solve everything.

Before deciding what makes sense for your estate plan and whom to pass it to, you'll need to know your specific assets and liabilities and where they are located.

As a start, an individual should compile a list of anything they own that's of financial value such as bank account deposits, property ownership, life insurance policies etc., 

This information, together with key persons of contact, should be saved securely with access to this information shared with only trusted individuals.

This list is going to provide the family with a base to work from, giving them an overview of the asset locations and an opportunity to check on any potential tax issues that may come into play if different jurisdictions are involved.

The elements of an estate plan

A common misconception of estate planning is that it is equivalent to drawing up a will. While a will is a good place to begin, it's only part of the bigger picture.

In addition to establishing a will, here are some key steps to consider when it comes to estate planning:

Preparing an inventory of your assets and liabilities.

  1. Drafting a list of your estate-planning objectives.
  2. Determining the actions needed to achieve your objectives.
  3. Consulting with appropriate advisors to support and help implement components of your plan.
  4. Conducting periodic reviews of your plan.
  5. Designating your beneficiaries and the executors of your estate is also important. 

In addition,  it's vital that the executor you choose is capable of handling estate settlements and ensuring that your wishes are carried out after your death.

Transferring assets

There are a variety of approaches to transferring wealth; the choice will depend on your specific goals and circumstances. You'll want to consult qualified advisors to find the best methods for achieving your individual and family objectives.

Methods of asset transfer include:

  1. Wills
  2. Trusts
  3. Single-name or joint-name structures
  4. Private investment corporations
  5. Outright gifts and inheritances

The will represents the most common means of estate asset transfer, but the use of the above methods may occur in conjunction with a valid will.

Estate plans should be tailored to the individual depending on the type of assets you have and the needs of your family.

For instance, if you own many asset classes, and have complex family dynamics, you'll need a more sophisticated and robust estate plan. Setting up a trust structure is a good option to consider and may provide more flexibility and benefits than what a will may offer.

Planning for incapacity

It's important that your estate plan also addresses the possibility of your becoming physically or mentally incapacitated.

An enduring power of attorney is a document that gives one or more persons the authority to manage your financial affairs if you lose mental capacity. Without this document in place, there may not be anyone with the legal authority to manage your financial affairs if you become unable to do so.

Handling the emotional aspects

Estate planning is not merely a financial process; it's also an emotional one. And many of life's experiences and events serve as reminders of the importance of planning for the future, from both a personal and a family perspective.

Communication plays a huge role in ensuring the success of intergenerational wealth transfer. Leaving your children to decide what's next after your death is a strain that can be avoided. As a responsible parent, the least you can do is protect your children after your life as well, Family input makes for a better estate. Have conversations with your loved ones before making key decisions about your executor, guardians for minor children and the assets you plan to leave to each person. A thorough and effective estate plan ensures the protection of you and your assets – it also provides peace of mind for you and your family, no matter what life may bring, an estate is everything you own or owe at the time of your death. And an estate plan is a written record that will help ensure an individual's assets and finances are properly managed, according to their wishes.

“The planning is a process of organizing one's estate, where the part about passing it on to somebody is very important,"

bottom of page