We are asking our retired clients to share their experiences as inspiration for those of you approaching retirement. Here is Joanne’s experience of finding new activities in retirement.
“When I was looking at setting a date for retirement, I needed to sort out a transition plan. I was moving from working full time to not working. I needed to make sure things were in order so that I could successfully do this.
I knew that my finances were in order because of the input from Kelley and Stephen and I knew my legal papers had all been completed so those items were done, but I needed to look at the activities that I could do.
“I needed to look at the activities that I could do”
I had lots of things that I could do in terms of crafts at home that would keep me busy forever. I could travel and I could golf, but those are time limited. So I needed to look at other things that would keep me busy and would get me out to meet new people.
“What I decided to do is to start running.”
What I decided to do is to start running. I took a learn to run class in the summer prior to my retirement. I persevered through that, meeting some new people, had a lot of support from my family and my coworkers at the time to keep on running. I completed that course, did the race, and another one at the end of the year.
One of the participants from the learn to run class got a hold of me the following winter and asked if I would join her in a 5k clinic. I did that and I’ve since taken the 5k, the 10k, and done a number of races.
“I’ve since taken the 5k, the 10k, and done a number of races.”
I’ve met a lot of people running and have actually developed a small group of people who run like I do, who are slower paced, who are out there just to keep active.
It’s not easy, it’s not something I’ll do by myself. I take my dog with me when we do run. And we set our own pace and our own distances now just to keep going. It’s interesting, it’s nice to have met a very different group of people.
I’m very glad that I did it and I hope to carry on doing my running. It’s one of those many things that keep me active. It’s got me back into swimming and back on the bike, and keeps me very active and happy in my retirement.”
“…and keeps me very active and happy in my retirement.”
This will serve as a friendly reminder of the contribution limits and cut-off dates for RRSP and TFSA contributions if you are planning to make one this year and have not already done so.
The cut-off date for your RRSP contributions to count toward reducing your income for 2022 is Wednesday, March 1, 2023. The contribution limit for the 2022 taxation year was 18% of your taxable income up to a maximum of $29,210, whichever is less. The contribution limit for the 2023 taxation year is a maximum of $30,780. If you have unused contribution room from previous years, you may utilize this room as well.
If you would like to contribute to a TFSA for 2023 the limit is $6,500 for the year, unless you have not maxed out your contributions. The maximum one could have deposited into their TFSA account since 2009 is $88,000 as of 2023.
Our clients can make contributions through one of the following methods:
Transfer from Non-Registered Account: If you have a Non-Registered account set-up with enough funds in it, you can simply send us an e-mail indicating the amount you would like transferred from this account to your RRSP or TFSA.
Online Banking Transfer (Bill Payment): Add your Custodian (“Credential Securities” or “National Bank Independent Network” / “NBIN” – note it may show up as either, depending on your bank) as a “Payee” through your online banking and enter your account number as the bill account number. If you need assistance finding your account number or are unsure who your Custodian is, please contact our office. If you choose this method, please also notify us with the amount you are contributing, so we can have your Portfolio Manager watch for it.
EFT from your Bank: You will just need to sign an EFT form if you have not already done so, which allows your Custodian (Credential or NBIN) to take the money directly out of your account with your consent. Once you have signed the form, we will require an email from you indicating the one-time amount you are authorizing them to withdraw from your bank account and which account (RRSP or TFSA) you would like it deposited to.
If you have any questions or would like to book a video or phone appointment to review your accounts, please contact our office at 780-490-4200.
Today we’re talking about another common question from clients – what is a RIF and how does it work?
A RIF is simply a conversion from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to a Registered Retirement Income Fund. So the income version of the tax sheltering that you receive from a registered account. A RIF is set up so you can continue to enjoy growth on your assets without paying tax as the assets grow.
Of course, you are going to be taxed when you take money out of your RIF. So how does that work?
You have to convert your RRSP to a RIF at age 71, and you must begin to draw income out of the RIF at age 72.
You can convert to a RIF prior to that if you choose to. You can also convert partially to a RIF from your RRSP account if you choose to, which can be a great way for you to use the pension tax credit for example.
So how much do you take out of a RIF when it’s time to convert? You have to take out a designated amount that’s specified by the Government as a percentage of your assets. Your assets will be calculated on December 31 of the previous calendar year and a percentage applied to it based on what CRA determines. This will give the minimum amount that you have to take out of your RIF once it’s in RIF format. You can always take more out of your RIF if you choose.
When you take money out of your RIF, it is taxed as ordinary income. The RIF minimum will not be taxed immediately, but you need to consider it in your tax planning for the year. Anything over and above RIF minimum will incur a withholding tax, and that portion will be taxed as you go. You can ask to have your RIF minimum taxed as you go as well, but it’s not automatic.
Another common question we get asked is whether you are taxed twice on a RIF? And the answer to that is absolutely not.
When you make a contribution to your RRSP in your working years, typically you are at a much higher income than you are in your retirement years. Often this means you get a great tax benefit throughout your working career to make those RRSP contributions. Following that up, you pay a much lower rate of tax when you draw that money out from your RIF.
So are you taxed on your RIF? Absolutely, but you’re certainly not double-taxed. And typically, you are seeing a significant benefit in terms of tax planning from your working career to your retirement years.
If you have any questions about how your RIF fits into your financial plan, please contact your advisor or give us a call.
If you or someone you know is caring for a senior you may find this list helpful. The National Institute of Aging (NIA) has created a list of current programs and services that seniors can benefit from. You can view the list here.
The list is organized by province and territory, along with nationwide resources under 4 key categories:
1. Promoting Preventive Health and Better Chronic Disease Management
2. Strengthening Home and Community-Based Care and Supports for Unpaid Caregivers
3. Developing More Accessible and Safer Living Environments
4. Improving Social Connections to Reduce Loneliness and Social Isolation
This is a common question that most start to consider as they approach their retirement years. There are typically 3 phases of retirement spending that one will age through. Watch this video to learn more.
Today we’re going to talk about how much you need to retire, which is a very common question that everyone eventually asks when they’re thinking about their future years. And the answer is really not simple. However, a good gauge is how much you’re currently spending.
Most retirees find that they don’t spend a whole lot less from their working years to their retirement years. Especially in the early stages of retirement. So a good planning strategy is to make sure that you’ve got enough of a retirement income when you’re starting retirement to approximate what you’re spending in your working years.
None of us know when our expiry date is, which is a factor in understanding how much you’ll need to save to provide you with that income for a lifetime. If we knew, it would be a lot easier to plan. But what you can do is make sure that you’re looking at where all of your assets are going to be coming from. Some people have pensions through work, and of course, all of the dollars that we save for our retirement will be added together to provide that income in retirement.
Having a proper financial plan completed along with projections to ensure you know where your income is going to be coming from in your retirement, how that’s going to be taxed, and what your net result will be is very important.
When you enter retirement, we find that there tends to be three phases of retirement income needs. In your early years of retirement, you’re going to need an income quite similar to your working years as this is typically when you are in your best health and interested in pursuing some of the hobbies and activities that you didn’t have time to pursue when you were working. That typically lasts from the time that you retire until maybe 75 or 80.
Once you hit your 80s, for most people they’re going to slow down and so will your spending. Oftentimes, the spending shifts from things that you might want to buy or do to being able to shift some of your wealth to the next generation. You might be thinking about giving money to children or grandkids. And you may be just done with travel and some of the major expenditures that people tend to pursue in their early retirement years. You will still spend money, and you want to make sure you have enough income to meet the needs of those years, but it will change.
The final phase of retirement spending is the later years of retirement. That third phase tends to be a lot of a slower spend, however, the challenge with the third phase of retirement is that sometimes there are healthcare costs. Healthcare costs can be really difficult to predict. We don’t know if somebody is going to need care, and it can be particularly challenging for couples. If one person needs care while the other is able to remain at home, you can end up having double the costs of living at this stage of life.
It is really important to build a buffer into your retirement plan so that if need be, you have assets available for that phase of life and potential healthcare costs that could arise.
If you haven’t done a projection, please reach out to your advisor so that you have a good understanding of what your retirement income is going to look like and that you have everything you need to make your retirement comfortable. You can learn more about our retirement planning services and approach here.
If you have a Defined Benefit Pension Plan (DB Pension), you likely have questions about how it works and how it interacts with your overall financial plan. In our latest Question From Clients video, Kelley Doerksen, CFP® explains some of the key information you need to know about these plans.
It’s common to have a pension from your employer that you contribute to and know very little about! Especially if you contribute to a “Defined Benefit” pension (often referred to simply as a DB pension). While each pension is unique, let’s look at 6 similarities:
1. Predictable Income for a Lifetime
Once retired and your pension begins, a DB pension will pay you a set amount of income for your lifetime. Some pensions also offer indexing, which will increase your income by some percentage of inflation.
2. Income for spouse or partner on death
Many DB pensions allow you to choose if your pension will continue to be paid to a spouse or partner in full upon the death of one of the pensioners, or if it will continue at a reduced rate. The choice you make at retirement will influence the amount of pension income you receive for life.
Most DB plans allow you to choose a guarantee period. This is not related to how much time you will receive your pension income for (remember, these plans pay for life), but relates to how long a death benefit would be made available to your beneficiaries upon death of the pensioner(s).
4. Commuted Value (lump sum transfer) is an option
When you leave the plan, either due to retirement or leaving the employer, most plans allow you to take a commuted value (lump sum). This lump sum can be transferred in part without immediate tax penalty to a LIRA (Locked-in Retirement Account), however often there is also a taxable portion to consider. You should always make sure that any immediate tax hit does not erode the assets available to you in such a way that you cannot equal your predicted pension income. This is a complex decision, and assistance from your financial planner will be valuable.
5. You are making contributions
Nearly all Defined Benefit pensions require a contribution from the employee as well as the employer. In fact, most DB pensions have relatively large contribution requirements of their employees in the range of 10 – 11% of your gross salary. You can be assured that the employer contributes at least as much as you do.
6. Limited Reporting
Many DB pension holders receive a statement only once annually. This is different than what you may be used to with your investment reporting. Since your value from a DB pension comes from the income you will be provided with at retirement, there is little need to receive more frequent statements as the ‘value’ is related to your years of service (and other factors), not specifically investment returns.