Planning for Retirement

Planning at Every Stage in Your Life

Learn to differentiate the bumps in the road from the real obstacles to retirement. Start with focusing on your dreams for life after work, then leave it to our advisors to help you get there.


Late Teens to Mid 30s

If you're a millenial, retirement may seem eons away, but strategically this is the time to start saving. It gives your nest egg more time to grow, a huge advantage you'll never see again.  Being in your lowest income-earning years, a TFSA may be better for you than an RRSP becaue the amount you sock away isn't tied to your income.  TFSAs are more flexible for withdrawing funds and paying them back without losing tax and contribution room, too.

From a senior's perspective, a twenty-something is young, flexible and able to spring back from anything. This is true physically and financially. A twenty-something could have invested in stocks and weathered the 2008 market decline and easily be back on their feet today

Having said that, most 20 year olds don’t have big portfolios. Their challenges lie in weathering today’s tough job market rather than the stock market. So what should they do? Say no to frivolous expenses. Become a disciplined saver. Pay off your credit cards every month. And siphon something off of every pay cheque for your future Then, when the time is right, you can deploy your cash into the markets and set yourself up for the future. With 40 plus years ahead of you for investing, you’ve got more than enough time to plan for and realize your dreams.


Mid 30s to 50s

Let’s jump ahead. Married. Children. And aging parents. It’s a busy time and easy to find priorities other than saving. But it’s also the age when you realize time is finite and so you need to shift some focus on your goals.

Generation X has a lot of demands placed on their pay cheques – mortgages, day care, insurance, saving for their kids’ education, maybe still paying off their own. First, don’t let it overwhelm you. Second, prioritize.

Cut back on pointless expenses like extra cable channels and expensive phone packages, for example. Even negotiating better interest rates on everything from your mortgage to your credit card can net you the extra cash you need for investing.

Remember to look backwards and forwards. When we examine the stock market since 1926, there was not a single rolling 20-year period in that time when the S&P 500 (including dividends) lost money. And that’s true in inflation-adjusted terms as well. You’re not a kid anymore, so remember to think critically and analytically about where and how to invest. And seek out professional advice—don’t do it alone.


50s & 60s

No one likes a recession or bear market in housing or stocks but people in their 60s feel especially nervous about the regular gyrations of the economy. That’s because at this age, you can pretty well see how much money you’ll have to retire on—or not.

Much has been said about the Baby Boomers’ wealth, but we know you aren’t all in the same boat. Some of you are in your peak earning years; some are not. Some of you are financially ready for retirement; others are scrambling to make up for lost time. But one thing applies to all of you: it’s time to get your ducks in a row.

It’s the time of big questions. How much do I need to live on if I stop working now, or in 5 or 7 years? You may have always thought the answers would be straight forward, perhaps an online calculator could just let you know? Unfortunately not.

A professional Financial Advisor can help you maximize your savings through smart tax planning, creating new income streams, investment ideas that lower your taxes, and a whole host of other strategies made to synch your investments with your needs. 

Age 70+

People today are living longer and healthier lives than ever before. But enjoying that life takes means. No one wants to outlive their money. Longer life expectancy means Canadians may have to consider investing longer than their parent’s generation did.

If you didn’t start living the dream at 65, now is the time the good life begins. Retirement today is anything but boring. Your days are free to travel, volunteer in the community, take up new sports or hobbies or maybe even a new career. Sheltering income from taxation takes on new importance now and your TFSA can be your most valuable ally.  Registered Education Savings Plans are another friend. The money you put into an RESP for your grandchildren benefits you and them, not the taxman.

Mutual funds and securities related financial planning services are offered through Qtrade Asset Management Inc., Member MFDA.