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Retirement . . . Ready or Not!

If you’re retired, or soon to be, you’re likely a Canadian baby-boomer.  You are seeking more information about your retirement beyond merely finances, and advisors are uniquely positioned to provide you with additional retirement insight and planning.

Currently, Canadians aged 65 years old, can expect to live an additional 22 to 24 years, on average.  Not only are people living longer, they are leading more active retirements.  Achieving success in retirement no longer requires the bills to be paid, and to sit at home awaiting the arrival of the grim-reaper!

To gain access to the investable assets today, and manage them into retirement, advisors should examine their clients in a broader, more complete perspective.

What you need to know

Retirement ElementReady to RetireNot Ready
Vision*Unified view of retirement by both partners
*Active/equal trade-offs
*No Surprises
*Guided decision-making for all Retirement Elements
    *Costly and scattered decision-making for other elements (below)
    *Delayed decision-making for investments and accounts
    *Anxiety over end-of-work
    Health*Health considerations not informing Interests, Social or Lifestyle elements
    *Critical Illness, healthcare benefits and/or savings in-place
    *Successful and active retirement unattainable if health matters are not addressed, fitness promoted
    *Unpredictable and high healthcare costs could financially cripple retirement
    Interests and Social*Activities and friends independent from work, or maintained by choice
    *Increasing curiosity for hobbies and relationships
    *Little or no plans to fill approximately 2,000 hours per year previously spent at-work
    *Boredom leading to increased health risks
    Lifestyle*Activities of daily living planned for all life-stages
    *Living integrated with family and friends, along with mutual activities and family events
    *Days passing from one to the next without purpose, interaction or accomplishment
    Home*Accommodation needs understood for various phases of retirement, mobility and wellness
    *Costs anticipated, free capital identified
    *Vacation home transfer planned, with life insurance if necessary
    *Home does not match Interests, Social or Lifestyle needs
    *Costly modifications avoided that could improve quality of life
    *Inexpensive modifications not planned, destroying peace of mind and quality of life
    Legacy*Final wishes to be followed
    *Tax liability at time of transfer accounted for with insurance, for example, and/or planned
    *Wills, Powers of Attorney considered and constructed to fulfill final wishes precisely
    *Unequal or missed distribution of assets and heirlooms
    *Tax surprises require disposition of assets (like family cottages) to pay terminal return
    *Tax bill nominally higher without planned giving while alive

    The Bottom Line

    Without planning that includes more elements than just finances, retirement and the years leading up to it can be anxiety laden.  The period that should be relatively carefree will be the opposite.

    Financial planning is a critical element of all retirement plans, but an analysis that focuses solely on money will not prepare you for a successful retirement.  Additional items like those mentioned above must also be addressed.

    Opening an Investment – What to Expect

    By: Natalie Thornhill Pirro, Supervisor – Wealth & Client Experience

    As an investor you will, no doubt, have a lot of questions for your advisor.  How much money do I need?  How do I get started?  What are the best investment strategies? What type of investment should I open?

    When you meet with your advisor, they will ask you to provide information so that they can better understand your unique situation as well as your immediate and long-term financial needs.  With this information, they will be able to come up with “a plan”, recommend investments that are suitable for you, and answer all your questions.  Securities legislation and regulations require that each recommendation your advisor makes be suitable for you in relation to your investment objectives, risk tolerance and other personal circumstances.  This is referred to as the “Know-Your-Client” (KYC) Rule under securities law. This Rule requires your firm and advisor to collect the following information from you.  Your advisor may be restricted from opening your account if you do not provide this information.

      • Annual Income – Your approximate annual income from all sources.
      • Net Worth – An estimate of the value of your assets less your liabilities.
      • Investment Objectives – The specific characteristics of investment products and how they relate to the achievement of your investment goals.
      • Time Horizon – This is the period from now to when you will need to access a significant portion of the money you invest in the account.
      • Investment Knowledge – This is your understanding of investing, investment products, and their associated risks.
      • Risk Tolerance – This is your willingness to accept risk and your ability to withstand financial losses.
      • Full Legal Name and Date of Birth – This is required by the Proceeds of Crime (Anti-Money Laundering) and Terrorist. Financing Act. This legislation is designed to prevent the use of the financial system for hiding proceeds of criminal activity or financial terrorist activity.
      • Proof of Identity – This is required for certain accounts by Anti-Money Laundering legislation. To verify your identity, you may be asked to provide a driver’s license, citizenship card, passport, or birth certificate.
      • Residential Address and Contact Information – This is required by Anti-Money Laundering legislation. This information will allow your firm to contact you to provide investment advice or notify you of any changes with respect to your investments. This information is also required for account reporting.
      • Citizenship – This is required for tax reporting and may be used to determine if you are permitted to purchase certain types of securities.
      • Social Insurance Number – This is required for tax reporting.
      • Signature – This is required by Anti-Money Laundering legislation.
      • Employment Information – This is required by Anti-Money Laundering legislation to help your firm and advisor determine suitable investments for you.
      • Number of Dependents – This is required by regulation to help your firm and advisor determine suitable investments for you.
      • Politically Exposed Persons – This is required to meet requirements under Anti-Money Laundering legislation. Your firm will need to determine whether you or a member of your immediate family have ever held a position with a foreign government that qualifies any of you as a “Politically Exposed Person”. You can find more information on this requirement HERE.
      • Other Persons with Trading Authorization on the Account/Financial Interest in the Account – This is required by Anti-Money Laundering legislation. Your firm is required to maintain the names, dates of birth, employment information and the relationship of any individuals with trading authority or a financial interest in your account.
      • Source of Funds – This is required to meet requirements under Anti-Money Laundering legislation. (banking information will be required for Electronic Funds Transfers “EFT”)
      • Trusted Contact Person – (“TCP”). A TCP acts like an emergency contact for your account, although they cannot make financial decisions or account changes.

    Important To Know

    Your advisor is required to keep this information current. Depending on the type of account you have, your advisor may check in with you every one to three years to confirm your information remains accurate and update your KYC. As your circumstances may change over time, you should keep your advisor up to date on any changes to the information above, such as:

    • Changes to marital status
    • Relocation to another province or territory
    • New job or job loss
    • Long-term illness
    • New debt financing
    • Major increase or decrease in your financial resources (for example: due to inheritance)

    In Conclusion

    While this may seem like a lot of personal information, it allows your advisor to recommend investments suitable to your present circumstances and your financial goals.  Whenever you are scheduled to meet with your advisor, whether you are setting up a new investment or discussing current investments, you should always have your list of questions for the advisor; and be prepared to have a list of any, or all, of the above information.  If you use this Blog as a checklist, you will be ready-to-go!

    Happy Investing!!!

    Estate Planning Checklist

    While uncomfortable to think about, effectively planning ahead for when you are no longer here can save your loved ones a great deal of time, money, and emotional hardship.  Estate planning can be complicated, but there are some basic “must-do’s” that should be regularly updated and reviewed. Below is a simple checklist for making sure your estate plan is up to date.

    What You Need to Know


    • Have you created a will?
    • Is it updated and current?
    • Have you experienced any major life changes since the will was created? This could be a new marriage, divorce, child, death in the family, etc.

    Wills should be created with the guidance of an estate lawyer to ensure that your final wishes are correctly documented and carried out. It is vital that a will be regularly updated as it acts as the foundation of your estate plan.


    • Do all your registered investments have a named beneficiary? This includes RRSP, RDSP, RESP, TFSA, Pension Plans, and Segregated Funds.
    • Do all your life insurance policies have a named beneficiary?
    • Have you recently reviewed your beneficiaries? Has there been a major life changes such as a marriage or divorce that could warrant a change to your beneficiary appointment?

    Beneficiary designations allow for assets to bypass probate (in most cases) and be passed directly to your beneficiary. This is a great money and time saver.


    • Do you have a family member that you wish to provide an income to after your death?
    • Do you have family members that you wish to fund an education for after your death?
    • Do you have any family members that have special psychological or physical needs that you would like to provide financial support for?
    • Do you have a parent or other relative that you wish to ensure is taken care of financially if you die prematurely?

    There are a variety of different financial and legal tools available to Canadians that can help them provide income or support for their dependents when they are gone. Keeping your dependents updated in your will is important as they may change throughout your lifetime.


    • Have you named an Executor of your will?
    • Is the Executor up to date? Have you named an alternate Executor in the event your first choice is unable to fulfill the position?
    • Has your Executor been made aware of their appointment and been briefed on your final wishes?

    An Executor is someone you appoint in your will that will be responsible for administering your estate. An Executor should be someone you trust and also someone who is capable of dealing with the potentially complex responsibilities involved with administering an estate.

    Powers of Attorney

    • Have you appointed a Power of Attorney for Property? This person will be able to help you with your finances and personal property in the event you are unable to do so yourself.
    • Have you appointed a Power of Attorney for Personal Care (Health)?  This person will be responsible for making medical and personal care decisions for you if you become unable to act on your own.
    • Are you POA’s aware of their appointment and willing/capable to perform the tasks that will be required of them?

    Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to help you with your finances and personal care in the event that you feel unable to do so or become mentally incapable.

    Financial Planning

    • Have you spoken to your financial advisor about structuring your assets in the most tax efficient way to minimize estate taxes and probate fees?
    • Have you set aside enough money to cover final expenses, estate taxes, probate fees, and funeral arrangements?
    • If you own a business, have you worked with your professional team of advisors to develop a succession plan?
    • Have you recently taken the time to calculate your final expenses and potential estate taxes?
    • Have you addressed any permanent insurance needs you may have?
    • Have you spoken to your advisor about your wishes to make a charitable donation before/after your death?

    Your financial advisor will play a significant role in helping you prepare your estate. The above questions are only some of the issues that you may want to bring up to your financial advisor so that they can help you make your estate as efficient as possible.

    Your Personal Financial Inventory

    Prepare an Inventory of Assets and Liabilities

    • Real Estate
    • Investments
    • Bank Accounts
    • Annuities/Life Insurance
    • Personal Property (Art, Jewelry etc.)
    • Pensions
    • Value of Any Businesses You Own and Their Structure
    • Digital Assets

    Make Sure You Indicate the Location of the Following

    • Will and Power of Attorney
    • Birth and Marriage Certificates
    • Divorce/Separation Agreements
    • Insurance Policies
    • Deeds
    • Safety Deposit Box
    • Preplanned Funeral Arrangements
    • Trust Documents
    • Names and Contact of Personal Advisors (lawyers, accountants, financial planners)
    • Executors, liquidators, and trustees

    Far too often family members are left scrambling to find important documents and information. Your financial advisor and lawyer can help you collect the above information and organize it for your beneficiaries and executors.

    The Bottom Line

    Estate planning has a reputation for being complicated, but for most people all it takes is some thoughtful pre-planning. Working with a lawyer and financial professional will ensure all of your bases are covered and your final wishes are carried out. Estate plans should be reviewed and updated regularly.

    Book an appointment with us – Click Here

    Financial Planning Checklist

    It is always a good day to review your financial plan! Knowing what you have and haven’t accomplished is vital to reaching both your long and short-term goals. Below is a list of financial planning priorities that should be reviewed regularly.

    What You Need to Know


    • Did you buy a new house?
    • Did you have a baby or add to your family?
    • Did you get married?
    • Did you take on new debt?
    • Did you get a new job or have a change in income?
    • Did you experience a marriage breakdown or divorce?

    Liabilities (new or changed)

    • Mortgage
    • Business Loan
    • Student Loan
    • Line of Credit
    • Credit Card Debt
    • Car Loan
    • Any other liabilities?

    Assets (new or changed)

    • Art
    • Jewelry
    • Cash
    • Real Estate
    • Land
    • Stocks
    • Bond
    • Life Insurance Policies

    Short Term Goals (New or Changed)

    • Save for a House
    • Save for Vacation
    • Pay off High Interest Debt
    • Start Emergency Fund
    • Major House Repair or Renovation

    Long Term Goals

    • Retirement Dates
    • Education Savings
    • Mortgage Elimination


    • Adjusting Risk Tolerance
    • Reviewing Asset Allocation
    • Savings Strategies
    • TFSA
    • RRSP
    • RESP
    • RDSP
    • Un-Registered Accounts

    Accounting for Big Changes

    • Did You Move?
    • Did You Sell Major Assets?
    • Did You Change Jobs?
    • Did You Take on More Debt?
    • Did Your Family Grow?
    • Did You Lose a Loved One?
    • Is There a Critical Illness in the Family?
    • Did You Receive a Gift or Inheritance?
    • Was Someone in Your Family Diagnosed with a Disability?

    The Bottom Line

    Your advisor is here to help you and guide you through each step of the financial planning process. The above list should be used as a starting point to address basic financial planning needs.

    Book an Appointment with us today – CLICK HERE