Almost there. Your guide to approaching retirement

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1 Almost there Your guide to approaching retirement

2 Contents 02 Approaching retirement 03 What can get between you and a financially sound retirement? 04 Develop a solid plan Step 1: Set your goals Step 2: Estimate your income Step 3: Perform a check-up Step 4: Invest wisely Monitor your plan 17 Beyond your group plan 18 Learn more Risks in retirement Payout options 25 Resources

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4 Approaching retirement Congratulations! The best years of your life are around the corner a time when all your hard work and diligent savings will pay off. But like many Canadians, your excitement may be tempered by anxiety about the unknowns of retirement. Will your savings last? Can you afford the lifestyle you want? How should you invest your funds? Can you leave a legacy? These are among the many legitimate concerns that you can put to rest with knowledge and a solid retirement income plan. This brochure is an introduction to some important financial aspects of retirement, and how to address them with a customized retirement income plan. Did you know? 85% of employees within 10 years of retirement said it is important to have a formal, written financial plan that includes savings and investment strategies that will help meet income needs and expenses in retirement Source: Crunch Research Insights & Advice conducted for The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada, Retirement transition needs, August Almost there

5 Financially sound retirement? What can get between you and a financially sound retirement? When you were accumulating savings for retirement, you probably thought about the risks related to investment returns. As retirement approaches, you face a whole new set of risks that can potentially be managed with proper planning. Inflation Longevity risk is both the good news and bad news of retirement planning. You will probably live longer than previous generations but you may outlive your savings. Inflation risk refers to on-going and sometimes unpredictable increases in the cost of living. Withdrawal rate risk refers to the fact that your assets will deplete too soon if you withdraw too large a proportion each year. Sequence of returns risk is all about the timing of your investment returns. For instance, poor market performance early in retirement can make you run out of money faster than if the same market fluctuation occurred later. Longevity Risks Withdrawal Return You ll face a whole new set of risks in retirement but there are solutions to help address them. A combination of good income planning, sound advice and the right retirement products is the foundation to meet these retirement challenges. To learn more about risks in retirement, see page 18 Almost there 03

6 Develop a solid plan Four steps to a successful retirement With a good strategy and proper planning, you will minimize risks and look at your financial future with more confidence. Learn the four steps of retirement income planning so you can: Define your income goals and legacy objectives Ensure dependable income for the duration of your retirement Decide how best to convert your savings into retirement income Diversify your portfolio for sustainability and growth Stay on track during your retirement years Your best tool for managing financial risks in retirement is a solid retirement income plan. 04 Almost there

7 Articulate your goals, taking into account key factors such as age, risk, and debt. Step 1 Goals Estimate your retirement income and identify preferred payout options. Step 2 Income Monitor Repeat four steps and adjust plan accordingly Step 3 Check-up Step 4 Investments Match estimated income from step 2 to goals from step 1 and make adjustments to close any gaps. Choose investments to suit your unique situation. Almost there 05

8 Step 1 2 Step 1 Set your goals M 4 3 The first step in building your retirement plan is to decide what your goals are. How much longer do you intend to work? At retirement, do you want to simply meet your basic living needs or do you dream of travel to exotic, far-away places? Perhaps you want to leave something behind for loved ones or for cherished causes. This section will help you set your goals, identify your priorities and consider trade-offs. Retirement age To build your income plan, you ll need to decide at what age you wish to retire. People approaching retirement often ask what others are doing. The Statistics Canada table below shows that average retirement age has decreased steadily in Canada for many years but is now increasing slowly. Longer life expectancy means retirement savings will have to last longer than in the past. This may keep people in the workforce longer. Another growing trend in Canada is phased retirement. More and more Canadians are contemplating or working part time in retirement. This option could reduce the strain on your savings and ease the transition into full retirement. Factors to consider Here are some factors to consider when deciding your retirement age: Finances: One of the biggest factors you ll want to look at is whether you are financially ready to retire. Health: If you are in excellent health, you might still enjoy working and not yet feel ready to retire, even if you are eligible. On the other hand, if you have health issues, retirement and more time to relax might help you regain vitality and health. How you want to spend your time: This is another major factor in determining your retirement age. Some grandparents choose to retire earlier to care for or spend time with their grandchildren. Perhaps you want to travel, pursue hobbies and interests, or start up your own small business. Average retirement age Age Year Source: Statistics Canada, Table In the past few years, the average retirement age in Canada has been: 66 years old for self-employed workers 63 years old for private sector employees 61 years old for public sector employees Source: Statistics Canada, Table Selfemployed Private sector employees Public sector employees 06 Almost there

9 Step 1 2 M 4 3 Retirement income needs How much will you need in retirement? You ve probably heard experts say you will need 70% of your pre-retirement income to maintain your standard of living. While this is a good rule of thumb, it s not necessarily right for you. A retirement budget will help you set income goals that are suited to your particular situation. Look at whether your current expenses will increase, decrease or stay the same once you re retired. Expenses that may decrease Work-related costs commuting, parking, lunches, professional dues, business clothing, dry cleaning Car purchase and maintenance Home maintenance costs Savings you don t need to save for retirement any more Income taxes Expenses that may stay the same Groceries Property taxes and insurance Utility bills Rent Expenses that may increase Recreational and social activities Travel Medical expenses Personal insurance Prioritize your needs You ll also need to assess living expenses, lifestyle expenses, emergency funds and legacy goals. Legacy Emergency health care, repairs Lifestyle expenses travel, entertainment, hobbies Basic living expenses rent or mortgage, food, clothing, car Source: Andrew Dorrington and Paulette Filion 2012 copyright Almost there 07

10 Step 1 M With a good retirement income plan, you can choose the balance that s right for you. 08 Almost there

11 Step 1 2 M 4 3 Trade-offs When it comes to defining your goals in retirement, it is important to understand that you can t have all the benefits without sacrificing something in return. Here are some of the trade-offs associated with retirement income planning. Is one benefit more important to you than the other? Or would a trade-off between the two be what you would be looking for? Your preferences will determine what income options are best for you in retirement. Fixed payments guaranteed for life Flexible payments but no guarantee of lifetime income You can invest in products that guarantee income for life but they offer little or no flexibility to increase or decrease payments. If you receive higher income, you will likely have less to transfer to your legacy. Higher income for me Legacy for next generation Preserving my capital Higher investment return with some risk Retirees often want to invest in safe products with high returns. Unfortunately, such investments do not exist. You can have guaranteed but lower returns, or higher potential for return with a higher risk of loss. Almost there 09

12 Step 1 M Step 2 Estimate your income With a clear vision of your retirement goals, you re ready to estimate your income which is typically generated by a combination of government benefits, group plans and personal savings. Government benefits Government benefits will likely give you only a portion of the income you ll need in retirement. There are two main government benefits: Old Age Security (OAS), which includes the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Québec Pension Plan (QPP) for Québec residents Government benefit Related to employment Reduced if earnings too high Taxable When payments start 1 Starting in April 2023 to January 2029, the eligibility age of the OAS and GIS will increase from 65 to 67. OAS Yes Yes Age 65 1 GIS Yes Age 65 1 CPP/QPP Yes Yes As early as age 60 with a reduced amount After age 65 with an increased amount Group plans and personal savings Before you can estimate your income from a group plan, you need to know what type of plan you belong to. A defined benefit pension plan pays you a monthly lifetime income based on your level of earnings, the length of time you worked and other factors. Once you ve applied for your pension, it is your employer s responsibility to make sure that you receive these payments from your plan. In a defined contribution pension plan or group savings plan, you (and maybe your employer) contribute into an account where you choose how to invest it. The value of the account will move with your investments and at retirement, you will generate income by selecting a payout option (also known as a retirement income product). You do not automatically receive government benefits. You have to apply for them up to six months before your retirement. To learn more about CPP, OAS or GIS: Call Or visit To learn more about QPP: Call Or visit: 10 Almost there

13 Step 1 2 M 4 3 Payout options There are various payout options and retirement income products available to you. Your choice will depend on the conversion rules that apply to your plans, and on your particular needs and situation. Use this chart to learn which options are available to you. Retirement plan conversion rules 1 In this guide, any reference to LIF as well as a Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA) or Locked-in RRSP also includes any other similar plans that are governed by pension legislation 2 Provincial legislation and plan provisions may vary 3 Some legislation allows for part or all of the assets to be unlocked at retirement Registered Pension Plan (RPP) or Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA) 1 or Locked-in RRSP 1 Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and Deferred Profit Sharing Plan (DPSP) Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) Annuity Between age 55 2 and the end of the year you turn age 71 Before the end of the year you turn age 71 RRIF (Registered Retirement Income Fund) n/a unless unlocking is allowed 3 Before the end of the year you turn age 71 LIF 1 (Life Income Fund) Between age 55 2 and the end of the year you turn age 71 Anytime n/a n/a Anytime Non-registered savings Anytime n/a n/a Anytime For example, to generate income from an RRSP, you can buy an annuity no later than the end of the year you turn age 71 transfer to a RRIF no later than the end of the year you turn age 71 make flexible withdrawals whenever you want before the end of the year you turn age 71 Unlocking n/a SWP (Systematic Withdrawal Plan) n/a Flexible withdrawals (before the end of the year you turn age 71) If you have money in a pension plan or money that was transferred from a pension plan, it is likely locked-in which means you cannot withdraw the money except under certain conditions determined by pension legislation. Locking-in restrictions will limit retirement income flexibility. Over the past few years, some provinces have started to introduce unlocking rules that allow individuals to unlock a portion of their locked-in savings without losing the benefit of tax-sheltered investment growth. This allows retirees to use funds when the need arises, without maximum withdrawal restrictions. Almost there 11

14 Step 1 2 M 4 3 Once you know what options are available to you, use the chart below to determine which payout option best meets your needs. You are not limited to a single payout option. You can choose several and benefit from their respective advantages. Your payout options (Retirement income products) Features Benefits Potential for income growth through market exposure Income not affected by volatility of markets Flexibility regarding level of income Guaranteed lifetime income Value on death or death benefit Option to have a guaranteed lifetime income for spouse after death Annuity A contract you purchase from an insurance company which provides regular guaranteed payments for life Yes Yes RRIF Your RRSP must be converted to a RRIF by the end of year you turn age 71 at the latest to generate income Minimum annual withdrawal but no maximum LIF Similar to a RRIF Varies by province Minimum, and generally maximum, annual withdrawals Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Note 1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Note 2 Note 2 Note 2 SWP You withdraw money when you need it, like a bank account Typically for TFSAs and other non-registered assets Note 1 When buying an annuity, payments can be guaranteed for a fixed number of years whether or not you are alive. Note 2 At time of death, the balance of the account is still available for the spouse, a beneficiary or the estate as the case may be. Learn more about payout options on page Almost there

15 Step 1 M Step 3 Perform a check-up Once you ve determined your retirement goals (Step 1) and estimated your income (Step 2), you re in a position to compare the two. If they match or you have a surplus, you re all set. If there is a gap between your goal and your projected income, you can make adjustments before or in retirement to address the shortfall. Here are some solutions you may want to consider: Solution Description Reduce income needs Reduce lifestyle expenses, allocation for emergencies and legacy Downsize to a smaller house, eliminate one vehicle Increase contributions Contribute more to your plan prior to retirement Delay retirement Retire later so your assets can grow for a few extra years and you reduce the number of years you will need retirement income Sell personal assets Sell assets such as your house, recreational property, or car to free up significant income-generating capital and lower expenses Adopt smart tax strategies Use tax-sheltered plans like TFSAs and RRSPs Withdraw income wisely to avoid overtaxing Take advantage of income splitting Reduce your fees Get informed about investment management fees. A small reduction in fees can translate into more income for you in retirement. See page 15 to learn more Change investment strategy Part-time work in retirement Approach this option carefully as it is often considered when no other options are available. For example, getting more exposure to markets may result in higher returns and income but there is more risk of being affected by poor investment performance Working part-time in retirement will allow you to reduce the strain on your assets while remaining active Did you know? Delaying your retirement by two years could increase your retirement income by 15%* * Based on a retirement age of 63 and 65 years old, life expectancy of 90 years old and net investment return of 5%. Almost there 13

16 Step 1 Step 4 Invest wisely 2 M 4 3 A good investment strategy is the cornerstone of a solid retirement income plan. As you approach retirement, it s more important than ever to invest your assets in a way that will help you meet your goals while taking into account your tolerance for risk. Asset class risk Generally, higher risk investments offer the potential for higher returns but greater losses, whereas lower risk investments offer smaller returns but greater security. Asset allocation So how should you allocate your assets? The old rule of thumb is that your portfolio s percentage in equities should be about 100 minus your age. However, this may not necessarily be what s best for your particular situation. Risk and return comparison Canadian equity funds Foreign equity funds Experts agree that you can reduce your overall investment risk by diversifying, i.e., allocating assets among diverse asset classes. You ll need to balance risk and reward to suit your particular risk tolerance, goals and overall financial situation. Some of the factors to consider are: How much risk can you tolerate and how much return do you need to generate? How many years of income will you need? How much of your income is already guaranteed by the government, a pension or an annuity? Do you need to take into account taxation issues because you have non-registered as well as registered investments? Risk Fixed income funds Money market funds Balanced/ Diversified funds Return For every dollar of retirement income: 20 cents is from contributions made before retirement 30 cents is from investment return before retirement 50 cents is from investment return after retirement Summary of main assumptions: savings start at age 25, retirement at 65, 5% return net of fees, contributions increase at 4%, withdrawals over 30 years and indexed at 2% 14 Almost there

17 Step 1 2 M 4 3 The impact of fees Fees can be a hidden pitfall for investors. Typically, fees are expressed as an annual percentage of assets under management and they vary considerably across asset classes and companies. Consider the impact of fees when making decisions about where you invest your money. The graphic below shows how fees can impact the retirement income of group plan member, Daniel. He will retire with $100,000 which he intends to receive in income over 25 years. With a constant 6% return and fees at 2%, he can receive $6,266 per year. 2% fees Income of $6,266 and $0 left after 25 years 1% fees Income of $6,266 and $30,000 left after 25 years Or Income of $6,266 for 31 years (instead of 25) Or Income of $6,910 for 25 years (10% increase) If fees are reduced by a mere 1%, he can increase his income substantially, receive payment for more years or have money left over after 25 years. Almost there 15

18 Step 1 Monitor your plan 2 M 4 3 Your plan is done! But life is unpredictable. Your health could change. Your lifestyle needs could evolve. You may have new sources of income or your investments could underperform expectations. Anytime there is a significant event in your life or every three to five years, it s a good idea to monitor your retirement income plan to make sure you re on track. The best way to do this is to repeat the four-step process. You may need a new retirement income plan when Goals: Your income goals change (e.g. new expenses, death of spouse) Your life expectancy changes (health) Income: You have a new source of income You want to have a larger proportion of your income secured for life Check-up: You want to explore different solutions to meet your goals Investments: Your portfolio has performed significantly above or below expectations Your tolerance to investment risk changes 16 Almost there

19 Beyond your group plan Assets and income are key aspects of retirement planning, but there are other issues you need to consider in order to be fully prepared. We believe these are best addressed with professionals who specialize in the various disciplines. Retirement issues Estate planning Life insurance Home equity Health and long-term care Travel insurance Marital status As you approach retirement, you should ensure that you ve done proper estate planning. For example, having an updated will is a good start. Life insurance may also be an important element of your plan. However, it s important to fully understand your needs in order to determine if it may be beneficial. When they feel like their pension may not hold up, some retirees rely on the value of their house to make up for the shortfall. There are a number of ways you can tap into your home s equity including a mortgage, a reverse mortgage and a home equity line of credit. Get informed as all of these options carry certain risks for the older homeowner. Although Canada has great health programs, you might have specific additional needs. Get informed about your coverage. For instance, will you have adequate prescription drug, dental or health coverage in retirement? If you intend to travel in retirement, you will need to ensure that you have appropriate travel insurance. A separation or divorce may have a major impact on your retirement income planning since pension and retirement savings are generally considered family assets that are subject to division. 1 Starting in April 2023 to January 2029, the eligibility age of the OAS and GIS will increase from 65 to 67. Important dates Between ages 60 and 70 Six months before you turn 65 1 When you turn 65 December 31 of the year you turn 71 December 31 of the year you turn 72 Apply for CPP (QPP) benefits up to six months before you want benefits to start Apply for OAS Start claiming the pension income federal tax credit for your RRIF Last day to convert your RRSPs to RRIF, annuity or cash Start annual minimum required LIF and RRIF withdrawals Almost there 17

20 Learn more Risks in retirement As discussed on page 3, there are certain factors that can get between you and an adequate retirement income. Longevity: Will you outlive your savings? Remarkable advances in modern medicine and the fact that most Canadians are taking better care of themselves add up to increased life expectancy. This means you re no longer looking at a 10 to 15- year retirement period, but one that may last as long as 35 years. In the absence of proper planning, this could mean your savings won t last as long as you ll need them. In order to properly plan your retirement income, you ll need to estimate your life expectancy. The following table can help you assess your life expectancy, assuming you are in relatively good health today. If your estimate is in the light zone, you are not very likely to outlive it. On the other hand, if you choose an age in the dark zone, there is a greater chance you ll live past that. Estimating life expectancy (for a 65 year old in 2012) Couple Women Men Dark zone Medium zone Light zone Mortality table: Society of Actuaries, RP 2000 mortality table (Combined healthy) projected 10 years with scale AA Dark zone corresponds to survival probability of 50% 70% Medium zone corresponds to survival probability of 30% 50% Light zone corresponds to survival probability of 10% 30% Did you know? 50% of men aged 65 will live until age 84 50% of women aged 65 will live until age 87 For a couple aged 65, there is a 50% chance that one of them will live to age 90. Source: Society of Actuaries, RP 2000 mortality table (combined healthy) projected 10 years with scale AA 18 Almost there

21 Inflation: How much will it cost you to live? Inflation refers to how the cost of goods and services rises over time. It is therefore an important factor to consider when you budget for income needs in your retirement plan. The question is at what rate will prices rise? In fact, inflation rates change over time. In the 1990 s and early 2000 s, Canadian inflation rates were usually 1% to 3% But in the 1980 s, inflation was higher than 10% per year Based on long-term historical averages, 2% to 3% is generally considered a reasonable estimate This chart shows the purchasing power of $100 in To buy the same basket of goods in 2014, after 33 years of inflation, you d need $266. Rising cost of a basket of goods ($) Year Source: Bank of Canada. Total CPI percentage change over 1 year ago (unadjusted) Be aware that the cost of goods will increase in the future so take this into account when projecting retirement income needs. Almost there 19

22 Withdrawal rate: How much can you withdraw each year? The withdrawal rate is the percentage of your assets accumulated at retirement that you withdraw each year. This amount is usually adjusted each year for inflation. For example, a person who retires with $100,000 and selects a 5% withdrawal rate would withdraw: $5,000 the first year (5% of $100,000) A higher withdrawal rate increases the chance that you ll run out of money sooner: that s the withdrawal rate risk. The following graph illustrates the case of seven people who retired in 1974 with savings of $100,000. All factors are equal except for their withdrawal rates. It is clear that withdrawal rate has a significant impact on the ability to sustain income for many years. $5,100 the second year (a 2% inflation increase from $5,000) $5,202 the third year (a 2% inflation increase from previous year) Life of a hypothetical retirement portfolio Withdrawal rate (%) Years of income before assets are depleted Portfolio value $ (000 s) Year 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% 9% 10% Assumptions Portfolio: 25% Canadian equity 15% Global equity 30% Canadian bonds 30% Money market Average investment management fees of 1.4% Historical performance of indices net of fees Consumer Price Index (CPI) - Bank of Canada DEX Long-term bonds, S&P TSX, MSCI World and T-Bills 91 days Income adjusted annually to increase with CPI Even a mere 1% decrease in your withdrawal rate can make all the difference in the world. 20 Almost there

23 Sequence of returns: Can your portfolio withstand market volatility around the time you retire? The well-known mantra invest for the long-term is based on the sound investment practice of taking market fluctuations into account. When you were accumulating your savings, periods of poor returns were usually offset by good periods so you were encouraged to consider the long-term performance of your investments. However, the impact of market volatility increases as you enter retirement. The timing of good or poor performance can have a profound effect on your savings. This is known as sequence of returns risk. The impact of timing In the example below, each of three investors withdraws $5,000 per year from a $100,000 investment: Investment return in retirement Investor Payout years Average return Balance A % $100,000 B % $108,335 C % $89,654 Even though all three investors have an average return of 5% over ten years, Investor C ends up with a lot less cash because of the losses sustained in the first two years of payout. Did you know? A typical reaction to market volatility is to invest solely in guaranteed instruments. This does, however, carry the risk of generating insufficient returns to sustain your desired income. A well thought-out retirement income plan can help you achieve the balance that suits your particular situation. Almost there 21

24 Payout options Here are more details on your payout options at retirement. Payout option Annuity RRIF (Registered Retirement Income Fund) Features and benefits Characteristics An annuity is a contract with a life insurance company that provides regular income for as long as you live (life annuity) or for a fixed period of time (term certain annuity) in exchange for a lump sum cash payment from your savings. You have a number of options to choose from: A guaranteed period: payments will be made for the guaranteed period of time regardless of whether you or your spouse are alive Joint life annuity: when the person who receives the annuity dies, payments continue to the spouse for the rest of their life Income is taxable Characteristics This option turns the accumulated value of a registered savings plan typically an RRSP into retirement income You must transfer your RRSP savings into a RRIF by December 31 st of the year you turn 71 Income is taxable Income Income is not flexible The amount that you ll receive depends on these factors: Amount of money used to purchase the annuity The more money you convert, the higher your income will be Your age The later you buy an annuity, the higher your income will be Type of annuity Annuities with additional protection (guaranteed period, joint life) will provide a lower income in exchange for the additional protection Interest rates Higher interest rates will result in higher income With a traditional annuity, income you ll receive once you ve elected an annuity is not affected by interest rates Income Income is flexible You must withdraw a minimum every year There is no maximum and you can vary your income from one year to the next Money available is based on the market value of your investments 22 Almost there

25 Payout option LIF (Life Income Fund) Features and benefits Characteristics This option turns the accumulated value of locked-in pension savings into retirement income. Locked-in savings include registered pension plans (RPP), Locked-in RRSPs, and Locked-in Retirement Accounts (LIRA). You must convert your locked-in savings before December 31 st of the year you turn 71 Income is taxable Income Rules vary by province Income offers some flexibility You must withdraw a minimum every year There is a maximum amount you can withdraw every year In Newfoundland and Labrador, you must purchase a life annuity by December 31 st of the year you turn 80 In Saskatchewan, there is no maximum withdrawal Money available depends on the market value of your investments Combination You can divide your registered assets between RRIFs/LIFs and traditional annuities. This provides a good balance of income, long-term security and some protection against inflation. SWP (Systematic Withdrawal Plan) or Cashing out Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and non-registered savings have no restrictions on withdrawing funds. Funds don t have to be used to provide retirement income. In some cases, you may be able to take your savings in cash. The amount will be added to your income for the year when you file your tax return and will be taxed accordingly. You can choose one or a combination of eligible payout options to best meet your specific retirement goals. Almost there 23

26 You ve gotten yourself this far. Now take the next steps to ensure you have a comfortable retirement. 24 Almost there

27 Resources Your VIP room Check out your current balance, asset breakdown and most recent transactions or view your investment instructions and fund performance. Go through educational programs, videos and tools such as the Retirement Calculator to get practical suggestions based on your personal retirement goals. Government of Canada For information on CPP, OAS or GIS: Government of Québec For information on QPP: calcul_rente.aspx

28 Find out more Contact us at On July 1, 2015, The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada s plans and policies were assumed by Manulife. Over the next several months, you will see a gradual transition to the Manulife brand on the materials you receive from us. Group Retirement Solutions, group retirement and savings products and services are offered through Manulife (The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company). GE11225F GS

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