Nervous about protecting your retirement savings? Here’s what you shouldn’t do + MORE Apr 20th

How to go about securing the best Retirement Plan in Canada.
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 retirement savings

Is it best to own a first home as an income property or primary residence? + MORE Jun 1st

 Q. I would like to know whether it is better, financially speaking, to own my first house as an income property, or as my primary residence in Ontario. I am single, living with my parents, earn a steady income and have $80,000 in savings. I’ve already purchased a new-construction freehold townho.... More »

Mapping out a clear path for your investments at retirement May 11th

Q. I retired last year at age 60 and am fortunate to have defined benefit pension, which I can live off comfortably. I have accumulated some savings, which I am now looking to invest more productively. My risk tolerance is on the low end—a 2 out of 5 based on an online survey I completed. My goal .... More »
 registered retirement savings plan

How retirees can continue living their best life when investments have taken a hit Apr 27th

Modest cuts without great sacrifice can go a long way toward ensuring your retirement lifestyle continues to keep you socially engaged, physically fit, well-nourished and mentally stimulated..... More »

How the coronavirus pandemic could change the way we think about retirement in Canada + MORE May 4th

Over the past few decades, the concept of retirement has grown increasingly more sophisticated. Canadians preparing for retirement have been able to contemplate a variety of highly personalized approaches—from early (or even very early) retirement; to active, phased, or working retirement; and mor.... More »
Nervous about protecting your retirement savings? Here’s what you shouldn’t doAs the stock markets tumble in the time of pandemic, it’s difficult to know what steps to take to protect savings.

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Q. I am still working, and also receive Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) benefits. If I get laid off from work, as it appears will happen soon, would I qualify for the government COVID-19 income? I am 69 years old.
A. The Canadian government has unveiled massive financial support for workers and businesses in the wake of COVID-19. Working retirees are not excluded, Tom.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is meant for both employed and self-employed Canadian residents. It is payable to recipients who have involuntarily stopped or who will involuntarily stop working for at least 14 days consecutively.
For seniors, receiving Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Old Age Security (OAS) benefits does not rule out receiving CERB.
The benefit is $500 per week and is currently payable for up to 16 weeks, payable in four-week periods. That is the equivalent of $26,000 annualized, payable for approximately four months. It is certainly possible the government could extend this benefit past the initial 16 weeks, but this remains to be seen…

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In an earlier column, we looked at how to optimize the timing for taking your Canada Pension Plan benefits—early or late. We also touched on the issue of “survivorship,” mentioning retired advisor Warren Baldwin, who decided to take his own CPP at age 66, in part because of limited options for a surviving partner. He said: “If you die, the pension stops or only a limited amount continues to a surviving spouse/partner; more limited if the spouse/partner has a decent amount of CPP of their own.” I followed suit myself.
Because the matter is far from simple, Baldwin suggested we get some annuity quotes to better compare the value of CPP to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), while considering the fact that most or even all CPP’s value might be lost if a partner dies prematurely. (I hate to say it, but the coronavirus pandemic does make this a slightly more probable event, especially for seniors.)
For example, say your CPP is worth $350,000, and you also have a $350,000 RRSP…

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