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9 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Retirement

One of the most common questions most people ask themselves when preparing for their future is how much money they will need to retire.

While most financial experts predict you will need approximately 75 percent of pre-retirement income, this figure is hard to nail down, primarily due to a variety of issues which affect each of us differently.

While long-term planning, with the assistance of a financial advisor, is probably your best option for determining the amount, there are several financial matters to be considered.

Key Questions

  1. At what age do you plan to retire? The earlier you retire, the more money is required and greater attention must be paid to all the numbers.
  2. Do you plan to still have substantial debt going into retirement? Paying off debt while on a fixed income can be challenging. You'll need to ensure there will still be there will be sufficient cash flow to cover day to day expenses, emergencies, and other unexpected costs.
  3. Will your kids require continuing financial support? With more of us having children later in life, our kids are often entering college or university when mom and dad are contemplating retirement.
  4. Will your employee benefits continue to be subsidized in retirement? Many pension plans provide only income, not medical, dental and prescription coverage. Have some idea what your health care coverage will be and where this money will come from.
  5. Should you take your Canada Pension Plan as early as possible? Consider that you will be penalized for doing so.
  6. Will your pension be indexed to full or even partial inflation? Inflation is the elephant in the living room for those contemplating retirement. This is a huge issue which we don't adequately address or know how to prepare for.
  7. Should you wait until the mandatory age of 71 to withdraw money from your RRSP? For the most part, it's good advice to take the income when you need it, keeping in your mind your other income sources, tax implications, total amount of your RRSP and how long your parents survived.
  8. How much employment income will you need or like to earn in retirement? Rather than stop working, retirement could be an excellent time to pursue new career opportunities, turn a hobby into income or even start a small business venture.
  9. What will your retirement pursuits cost? Travel, golf, skiing, gardening, etc. Consider these costs carefully or you could wind up unable to afford the very things you've waited years to pursue with gusto.

Retirement for some is ensuring the basics are covered; for others it is an opportunity to see the world and enjoy some long-delayed hobbies and luxuries.

Mutual funds are offered through Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc. Insurance products and services are offered through Seguin Financial Group Ltd. Seguin Financial Group is a trade name used for both mutual fund & Insurance business activities. Banking products and services are offered through referral.