- Summarize all your retirement income sources. These can include personal savings and investments, company retirement plans and government benefits, such as Canada Pension Plan (CPP)/Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) and Old Age Security (OAS). To verify your eligibility for CPP/QPP and OAS, contact Service Canada1 (or contact the Quebec Pension Plan2). For workplace plans, contact your benefits administrator when you’d like to start receiving retirement income.
There are many steps to consider when nearing retirement. Use this checklist to help prepare.
- Estimate your living expenses. Track your current spending and use this information to project how much retirement income you’ll need. Factor in any lifestyle changes that may occur upon your retirement – you’ll want to consider wellness, travel, part-time work or downsizing your home.
- Review your investment portfolio. Work with your financial security advisor to revisit your investment strategy and consider shifting to lower-risk options to slowly and safely grow your money.
- Update your beneficiary information. Ensure your company benefit/pension plan(s), personal savings plans and insurance have updated beneficiary information.
- Ensure your estate plan is up to date. Now is the time for the important task of reviewing your will and powers of attorney.
Timeline to retirement
Three to five years to go:
- Estimate how much guaranteed income you’ll receive from the government and employers
- Project your living expenses and lifestyle needs
- Review your investment portfolio with your financial security advisor
One year to go:
- Lock down eligibility and amount of retirement income from all sources
- Review your estate plan
- Work with your financial security advisor to put the final touches on your retirement plan
Six months to go:
- Update your beneficiary information
- Apply for government benefits
- Apply for retirement income from your workplace plans
Now switch off your alarm – yes, permanently. Well, except when you have an early tee time.