Retirement & Savings

A Conversation About Retirement Income Planning and Being Realistic About Goals

How can you make that abrupt shift from saving to retirement spending? What can you do to make sure the CRA isn’t your biggest beneficiary? Do Canadians in retirement really go hog-wild, or is the change in spending habits a bit more nuanced?


I talked about all this and much more in my recent Q&A interview with Jon Chevreau. If you didn’t know, Jon is one of Canada’s most renowned financial journalists. He is also the creator of Financial Independence Hub. If you’ve ever been interested in money or investing, you’ve probably seen him or read his stuff in the Financial Post, Moneysense, CBC, etc.


(But what you also might not know is that he’s just a delightful person to talk with. Thanks, Jon!)

Are you getting the financial planning help that you really need?

One part of the Q&A that I particularly enjoyed was being able to talk about how our financial planning works. For new clients, the unlimited financial planning that we offer is pretty reassuring.


Here, I was able to outline how our financial planning process works differently from the cookie-cutter approach that some investors get from the banks:


“Once a client who is accumulating assets decides that retirement is on the horizon and they let us know, we lead them into the retirement transition process. At this stage, they probably have a pretty good idea as to what they would like to spend after taxes. Their goal is to understand now if their savings and all their sources of income will be enough to fund their retirement years.


“The conventional wisdom is to collect all the sources of income that the client will have and analyze it year by year. This step is essential to make sure that the goals are met. That includes the monthly cash flow for basic expenses, the annual travel budgets and one-off purchases as well as any legacies that they may desire.


“We then make sure their savings can meet all those goals. If there are shortfalls, we adjust the savings rate to meet the goals by the time they want to stop working. Then, we iterate this every six months or so, both before and after the retirement date. We do this to make sure the transition is smooth and that routines are appropriately established.”