The primary source of retirement income for the majority of Canadians who are nearing retirement will be personal savings. This is especially important because evidence is showing that government pensions will not be enough. But things haven’t been easy for investors because of the market turbulence of the last several years. It’s for this reason why it’s particularly important today to keep your emotions in check. Often creating a basic plan and staying the course is the best strategy.

Starting a basic strategy

If your retirement is 10 or more years away, now is a good time to put a plan in motion that will really pay off down the road, even though you might have other priorities. And if retirement is in a mere five years or less, it’s time to get serious because the clock is ticking. But don’t be discouraged. Depending on your own particular situation, you can make up time by following this simple action plan or applying some of these ideas to your current plan:

First, identify your retirement goals and financial needs based on:

  • Your target retirement age
  • Your activities: will you be travelling, buying a home in another country or helping to pay for your grandchildren’s education?
  • The annual income you’ll need to retire: the rule-of-thumb is about 70 per cent of your pre-retirement income

Second, identify your income sources and savings needs:

  • Employer pension, part-time work, government pensions (Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan)
  • Additional savings to meet your retirement needs and the other things you want to do

Third, know your risk tolerance

When you’re ready to start investing, your financial services advisor will have you fill out a questionnaire to identify your investment risk tolerance. Each year, it’s a good idea to revisit your risk tolerance level to ensure that your assets are properly balanced. If you identify some weaknesses, your advisor can then suggest ways to rebalance it.

For more tips in setting up your plan, speak to your financial services advisor.

Orlando Ali

Director, Sales and Business Development/ Life and Health Insurance Advisor/ Investment Fund Advisor*

Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network

Desjardins Financial Security Investments Inc.*

416-743-1239 ext. 232

155 Rexdale blvd, Suite 406, Etobicoke Ontario, M9W 5Z8


This article is for general information purposes only and should not be construed as insurance, investment or tax advice. The information contained herein is based on sources and materials believed to be reliable, but are not guaranteed.