How much has the pandemic hurt your retirement plans? We delve into the retirement portfolios of two couples hit hard by COVID-19 to see what damage was done + MORE Feb 16th

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Women, here’s how to save more for retirement — or you’ll live to regret it + MORE Mar 2nd

The right adviser and the right habits can impose discipline, writes Lesley-Anne Scorgie..... More »

How much real estate should you have in a balanced portfolio? May 11th

When investors talk about income-producing assets, the first that come to mind are dividends and interest, with capital gains a close third. But what about investment real estate? If you hold an asset allocation ETF, it will be chock full of stocks and bonds but offer little real estate exposure apa.... More »

Maximizing spousal RRSP contributions in your 70s + MORE Mar 23rd

Q. My wife will turn 71 in 2022. She has three spousal RRSPs that we will arrange to mature on the same day: Feb. 8, 2022. On that day, we will convert all the RRSPs into a RRIF. Between now and then, I wish to take full advantage of my ability to continue making contributions to spousal RRSPs. I am.... More »

Marriage or mortgage: Which is the better investment? Mar 30th

Weddings can be expensive, but so can many of the things that come after a wedding—like a home purchase, starting a family and saving for retirement. And so money is an important relationship issue even before a couple ties the knot.  Both weddings and home purchases can both cause people to thin.... More »
How much has the pandemic hurt your retirement plans? We delve into the retirement portfolios of two couples hit hard by COVID-19 to see what damage was doneWe start with Deborah and Daryl Burton, a Toronto twosome in their early 70s who both contracted COVID-19 early in the pandemic.

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When most people think about financial planning, they think about saving and investing for retirement. That is a part of it, but financial planning is much more holistic.
Here are a few financial planning strategies for those approaching or into their 70s. If you’re not there yet, bookmark this for Future You, or share with older family members. 
RRSPs
An account holder can only have a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) until December 31 of the year they turn 71. By that time, they must either convert their RRSP to a registered retirement income fund (RRIF) or purchase an annuity that provides a regular payment for life from an insurance company. 
The conversion age used to be 69, but was increased to the current age 71 in 2007. (I find in the course of my work as a Certified Financial Planner that some people still think it is 69.) It often makes sense to take RRSP withdrawals prior to age 72, and even convert your RRSP to a RRIF as early as age 65. 
Minimum RRIF withdrawals at age 72 are 5…

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