Monday, August 24, 2020

Top 10 Practical Tips For Canadian Retirees in 2020

I'm breaking down 10 of my favourite practical tips for Canadian Retirees in 2020. Use the suggestions below to save money and prepare for the unexpected in retirement.



1. Take Advantage of the Best Senior's Discounts Available:

Depending on your city of residence, many businesses and restaurants offer discounts to their senior clientele.  The following resource provides a listing of all the top senior's discounts available in Canada.


2. Learn Fun New Skills for FREE:

Many libraries are connected to Lynda.com, a free learning platform from Linkedin. Taking an online course is a great way to keep busy and learn valuable new skills. 


3. Apply for FREE Drug Benefit Card:

 RX help provides discounts on brand name prescription drugs through their discount card program. These discount programs were created by pharmaceutical companies in order to compete with generic brands on price. After registering for the free RxHelp card, present it when purchasing your included brand-name prescriptions at a participating pharmacy and you will receive payment assistance instantly. 


4. Opt Out of OAS if you are still working and earning over $79,000 past age 65:


For 2020 the clawback on your OAS payments begins when your net income (line 23600 on your income tax return) reaches $79,054. Once you reach $123,137 in net income the entire amount of OAS will be clawed back.  If you are still working there is a benefit to delaying your OAS application as you receive a .60% increase to your OAS benefit per month for every month you delay receiving OAS after 65. 


5. Become Well Versed in Scams Targeting Seniors:

Older Canadians are increasingly becoming targets for fraud. According to the Canadian Department of Justice, approximately 10% of Canadian seniors are victims of consumer fraud each year. You can take action by understanding how con artists will try and take advantage of you. Take the necessary steps to protect your PIN and passwords. For a complete list of well known senior scams and a comprehensive list of tips and safeguards visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/seniors/forum/fraud-scams.html


6. Take a Proactive Approach to Retirement Income Planning:

Reactive income planning in retirement can lead to overpaying tax and less income available for you to do the things you want. You can maximize your income in retirement by delaying when you receive CPP, timing the withdrawals from your RRSP investments, and taking advantage of income splitting where possible. All of these strategies require Proactive planning steps and guidance from a professional CFP can be well worth the investment.


7. Remove Low Earning Years From Your CPP Benefit Calculation:

If you took time off of work to rear children you can apply to have these years removed from the calculation of your CPP benefits. Removing the lowest-earning years from your CPP calculation typically results in a higher monthly benefit for you.


8. Lower Your Investment Management Fees:

Moving from the savings phase to the income phase of retirement offers the perfect opportunity to reduce the investment management fees (MERS) associated with your investment accounts. Don't be afraid to ask for a second opinion from Fee-Only Financial Planner to make sure you are getting the most value for the fees you pay. Directory of fee only financial planners can help you find a great planner in your area that offers advice only.


9. Get Your Estate Affairs in Order:

Take the time to make sure your wills and powers of attorney are up-to-date and structured with your final wishes in mind. Be open with your family on where everything is and what to do if something unexpected were to happen to you. Keep a complete list of assets, insurance policies, and passwords with your will documents.


10. Discuss your Long Term Care Wishes With Your Family Members:

Establish a long term care plan while you are of sound mind and communicate this plan with your family members.  For a complete list of conversation starters, planning tools and resources visit:

https://www.ltcplanningnetwork.com/

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