During the early months of the pandemic, the North American stock markets dropped more than 30 percent from their record highs in 2019. While stocks have rebounded since then, there is still plenty of uncertainty. But what does this mean for those nearing retirement?
COVID-19 and retirement planning — What you should know
The current economic climate is far from predictable, but that doesn’t mean you should worry about your future if you’re nearing retirement age. There are always risks with stock investing. What we’re seeing right now is a period of higher-than-normal uncertainty because the pandemic is a large event impacting all industries all over the world.
Rather than being a cause of panic and a surefire reason to sell, COVID-19 —or any other event that causes disruption—is a time to revisit your financial plan.
Here are some factors worth considering when assessing where you are right now, and where you want to be, financially in the next few years:
Look at ways to rebalance your portfolio. After the strong stock performance of 2019, if you were like many investors, you may have been overly exposed to equity risk. 2021 may be a time to identify how you can rebalance to ensure your portfolio is aligned with your risk appetite.
Did your financial situation change during the pandemic? From job changes to deciding to retire early, you may have different needs and goals than you did a year ago. Is your retirement plan designed to support your current goals? How can you readjust your asset allocation to better suit your goals?
Will you need to access the money in your portfolio in the next couple of years, or can you comfortably wait until North America experiences a sustained recovery?
If you have decided to retire, have you developed a tax-efficient withdrawal plan between your RRSPs, TFSAs, and taxable accounts? If done correctly, this can help your retirement savings last longer and potentially reduce the taxes your estate will pay to CRA.
How do I prepare for retirement in times of uncertainty?
Focus on you. The decisions you make should be based on your risk tolerance, financial situation, and current retirement goals — not on what’s going on in the stock markets, nor on how dire the news cycle appears.
The world has been shaken by the pandemic. But, that doesn’t mean we don’t have a bright future ahead. Get in touch — we'll help you make sound financial decisions for your retirement.
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