This September: Review Your Retirement Goals

September isn't just a time for back-to-school for the kids, it's a time to start fresh with new goals and intentions. September is a great opportunity to take some time to review your retirement plans and goals!

To help you determine if you’re on track to meet your financial and lifestyle goals for retirement, here are a few things to consider:

What are your retirement goals?

Whether your retirement is five years away or 25 years down the road, the likelihood of achieving the retirement dreamed of is greatly increased by planning for it.

Different retirement lifestyles are associated with different costs – so consider how you would like to spend your retirement and the type of lifestyle you would want to lead. For example, if you plan to take a vacation once a year in retirement, think about what this trip would cost you. Repeat this process to create a budget, which includes all of your expenses in retirement. This gives you an idea of how much you will need to “pay yourself” each year during retirement in order to have the lifestyle you envision.

Are your savings on track?

Unfortunately, figuring out the price is only one part of the equation. If you are not saving in order to meet your retirement goals, the best planning in the world is still going to fall short. Remember that portions of your retirement income will come from government plans such as CPP/QPP and OAS, as well as company retirement savings plans such as pensions and group RRSPs. It will be up to you to make up the difference between what those sources provide and what your retirement expenses will be. While the price of your retirement can look like an overwhelming (and almost impossible) number at first, if you can save in regular amounts over a long period of time, you have a better chance of eventually reaching your retirement goal. The key to success lies in a continual cycle of planning, saving, and reviewing your plan regularly (and adjusting when necessary).

Your plan record-keeper provides access to a retirement planning calculator which can take you through an easy step-by-step calculation to estimate how much your retirement will cost and how much you will need to save to achieve your retirement income goals. As well, a qualified financial planner is an excellent resource who can help you determine, monitor and achieve your retirement goals.

Retirement planning does not need to be difficult. Even a simple plan is better then leaving everything to chance.