Are you thinking about retiring soon? As your career comes to an end and a new phase of your life begins, you want to ensure that you’re prepared to make the most of the new opportunities and experiences that retirement brings. Follow these five tips to make sure you’re on track for a fulfilling retirement:
1. Make a retirement lifestyle plan unique to your goals and expectations.
It’s important to have an idea of what your ideal retirement looks like so that you can start planning accordingly, even if it’s just a ballpark estimate. Think about what your ideal retirement looks like. For example, do you see yourself travelling, or settling down somewhere remote? Do you want to stay in the same home, or move somewhere new?
It’s also important to think about what your goals after retirement are. Do you want to pick up a new hobby, or develop a new skill? What about buying that cottage you’ve been thinking about for the past few years? These are all considerations you need to make in advance of your retirement so that you can follow the appropriate steps to make your retirement lifestyle dream a reality.
2. Draft a budget and start saving.
Once you’ve given some thought to what your ideal retirement looks like, your next step is to draft a budget to help you meet your savings goals faster. Consider your current financial situation, including your savings account, non-registered and registered investments. Then think about the investments and income sources you will have available after retiring, including Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement. This should give you an idea of what your pre-retirement savings goal should be and how close you are to reaching it.
To reach your savings goal faster, try looking for places to cut down on expenses and consider downsizing where necessary. If you’re still finding it difficult to live off of the budget you set for yourself, you may need to adjust some of your retirement lifestyle plan goals.
3. Minimize your debt.
Having to make debt payments can make it hard to build your savings. Now’s the time to play catch-up and get yourself debt-free. It’s worth meeting with a financial advisor to discuss your debt options, and whether or not you should focus on paying off your mortgage before retirement.
4. Research your insurance options.
Before heading into retirement, you’ll need to consider what your current insurance needs are along with other forms of coverage that may become necessary later in your life – including health, dental and vision care plans, prescription drug coverage and travel insurance.
You should also think about having a life insurance policy in place to ensure your family is protected once your group coverage ends.
5. Attend a retirement planning workshop.
You only retire once, so it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed and unprepared. Retirement planning workshops provide you with an in-depth overview of valuable information you need to know before heading into retirement. They also give you the opportunity to ask specific questions and have them answered on the spot by an industry professional.
OTIP offers free retirement workshops to all members of the education community – including educators and support staff. These workshops can help you learn about health insurance benefits, tax and estate planning, RRSP and investment preparations, and more. Find out more about OTIP’s Retirement Workshops and sign up for a free workshop near you.
If you have any questions about your retirement preparation, life insurance or the RTIP health and dental plans, please contact a Life and Living Benefits Representative at 1-800-267-6847 or view RTIP Health and dental plans available to you.