The majority of Canadians work hard to accumulate a retirement fund and many are averse to exposing savings to unnecessary market risk after they retire.
In today’s prolonged low interest rate environment, immediate annuities are often dismissed or overlooked as a viable vehicle for providing retirement income. Perhaps they shouldn’t be.
An annuity is an investment that provides a guaranteed income stream for a set period of time or for the lifetime of the annuitant. While annuities may not be for everyone, for those trying to find a way to guarantee income in retirement Immediate Annuities may be the answer.
3 Retirement Risks to Avoid Read more
The new rules governing CPP were introduced in 2012 and they take full effect in 2016. The earliest you can take your CPP Pension is age 60, the latest is 70. The standard question regarding CPP remains the same – should I take it early or wait?
While you can elect to start receiving CPP at age 60, the discount rate under the new rules has increased. Starting in 2016, your CPP income will be reduced by 0.6% each month you receive your benefit prior to age 65. In other words, electing to take your CPP at age 60 will provide an income of 36% less than if you waited until age 65.
CPP benefits may also be delayed until age 70 so conversely, as of 2016, delaying your CPP benefits after age 65 will result in an increased income of 0.7% for each month of deferral. At age 70, the retiree would have additional monthly income of 42% over that what he or she would have had at 65 and approximately 120% more than taking the benefit at age 60. The question now becomes, “how long do you think you will live?” Read more
If you have been accumulating wealth in a Registered Savings Plan and are turning 71 this year or next, you should be aware of the decisions you have to make. The Income Tax Act says that you have to terminate your RSP’s by December 31st in the year you turn age 71. In doing so, you basically have three options:
- You can withdraw all the funds in your RSP in one lump sum. Unless you have a negligible amount in your registered plan this is not a good option.
- You can transfer the balance of your Registered Savings Plan into a Retirement Income Fund (RIF). This is a simple process involving the transfer of the assets. You can keep the same investments you had before the transfer and nothing really changes except for the fact you will now be drawing income from the RIF, but the remaining funds will continue to accumulate tax-deferred.
Lately, one question clients are asking me is whether they should contribute to a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) or a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)? Personally, I really like the TFSA, however it doesn’t have to be an either or choice. Why not do both? If both, in what proportion should you divide your contributions? In order to make an informed decision, let’s quickly review the main features of each program. I will use bullets to illustrate the features as nothing gets people’s attention more than bullets.
TAX FREE SAVINGS ACCOUNT
- Any Canadian resident age 18 or over may open a TFSA. Contribution is not based on earned income. There is no maximum age for contribution.
- Maximum contribution is $5,000 for each year from 2009 to 2012 and must be made by December 31st of the year of contribution. For 2013, due to indexing the maximum contribution is $5,500.
- There is carry forward room for each year in which the maximum contribution was not made.
- The deposit is not tax deductible, but the funds accumulate with no income tax payable on growth.
- Withdrawals may be made at any time on an income tax free basis. Withdrawals create additional deposit room commencing in the year after withdrawal.