It's difficult to say exactly how much money you will need once you retire — lifestyles, circumstances and needs vary — but it is estimated that Canadians require around $1M to retire comfortably. This is a little worrying when we consider that 32% of Canadians between 45 and 64 years old have no retirement savings, and 43% of women over 55 have no retirement plan.
On the other hand, according to a 2017 study, around 53% of pre-retirees in Canada, the US, the UK and Australia said they were satisfied with their financial situation. In the same study, 65% of recent retirees mentioned that they were also satisfied with their financial situation.
These figures tell us two very important things. The first — retirement anxiety is a legitimate concern and we are right to take our future financial situation seriously. The second — it's never too early to start planning for retirement.
The bottom line is, if you want peace of mind about your financial future, start working on your retirement plan right now, no matter what age you are.
How to start retirement planning
At a young age, planning for retirement should be more about forming the habits that are going to help you later in life. At this stage, you don't need a grand investment plan or a set amount to save each year; you simply need to be engaged. Look for an employer who pledges to match your retirement contributions, for example, or use Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) to maximize the amount you can put away.
If you are a little older than this, or perhaps even approaching retirement age yourself, don't panic. Just like you are never too young to start retirement planning, you are never too old either. You just need the right approach and the right guidance.
No matter when you start retirement planning, you need to diversify your investments. There are plenty of options open to you, from steady investments designed for long-term stability to those geared toward active growth. Relying on only a single source of income post-retirement puts you at risk and makes it difficult to achieve income growth.
Speak to the Bellwether team and start planning for retirement
To find out more about how you can make the most of your retirement, no matter which stage you're currently at, reach out to the Bellwether Investment Management team. Speak to one of our advisors or arrange a free portfolio review.