Planning for your Golden Years

Here are six tips to ensure that your retirement is financially secure

The transition from your working life into your retired life can be complicated. It’s not as easy as walking out of your workplace for the final time; there is a mental and financial shift that occurs and it is important to be prepared.

If you are a decade or two (or three) away from retirement, check out our other page in this section called “Start Your Retirement Planning Now” so that you can get a head-start on retirement finances.

If you are closing in on your “Golden Years,” Consolidated Credit has put together the following six tips to help ease the transition:

  1. Pay off your debts – Statistics Canada data shows that one-in-three Canadians retire with debt. That means that two-thirds of Canadians don’t have to deal with monthly loan payments and the interest rates that come with them – leaving more room in the budget to enjoy retirement. Check out our Debt Solutions section for educational information on how you can become debt-free as quickly as possible. If you think your debts are beyond your control, give us a call at and let a trained credit counsellor advise you on how to retire debt-free.
  2. Convert your savings to income – If you managed to save money, research the options on how you can get the most out of it. You can use a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) to generate income from the savings accumulated under your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). Annuities will lets you convert your savings into a guaranteed monthly income regardless of how the market performs.
  3. Consider a reduced schedule – Just because you hit “retirement age,” you do not have to retire. Some people prefer to stay active in their field, and may be able to negotiate a reduced schedule. This will mean a continued income stream as well as a great way to keep the mind and body engaged.
  4. Apply for government benefits – The Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) /Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) can take nine months to process, so you should apply well in advance of retirement. Look into requirements for Old Age Security (OAS) or Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) to make sure that the income stream is ready when you need it.
  5. Review your insurance policies – As you get older, your insurance needs may change. Having a lower debt load or fewer independents means you might not need as much life insurance. But, you may want to think about your health and think about critical illness insurance or long-term care insurance.
  6. Review your will and powers of attorney – When you retire, you will want to review and possibly update your will. You have worked hard to build your estate and you want to make sure that its dispersion will accurately reflect your intentions. It’s a good idea to update these important documents once every five years.

If you are worried that your upcoming retirement will be hampered by too much debt, give us a call today at and a trained credit counsellor will tell you how you can take care of your debts and enjoy a truly worry-free retirement. You can also get started online by taking our Free Debt Analysis and a counsellor will get in touch with you.

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AFCC (Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada) is a distinguished professional designation, indicating that a counsellor has successfully completed the program and has specialized knowledge, unique skills and expertise as a qualified Credit Counsellor.

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