The Most Important Retirement Planning Questions to Ask

Good planning is about listening, asking questions and then offering suggestions – in that order.

If you are thinking about your families future, it’s likely time to ask new questions about your overall strategy.

“Have you contributed to an RRSP?” is an important consideration to start with, but not necessarily the only question to ask when it comes to retirement planning. An increasingly important question to ask is, “Do I have a comprehensive financial plan that addresses my unique life goals and needs, including retirement?”

Sixty-one per cent of Canadians who engage in comprehensive financial planning* feel confident they will be satisfied with their financial situation upon retirement, as compared with 27 per cent who receive no planning advice and 46 per cent who seek only limited advice, according to FPSC’sValue of Financial Planning¬†study.

Here are just a few of the many questions to reflect on and discuss with a financial planner:

  1. Do I have a comprehensive financial plan that addresses my unique life goals and needs, including retirement?
  2. How can I balance saving for retirement without sacrificing today’s priorities and goals?
  3. When do I plan to retire, and what will that lifestyle look like?
  4. Where will I live? Will I make changes in my primary residence? What about vacation properties?
  5. What are my expected sources of income in retirement (pensions, savings, inheritances, other sources)?
  6. What do I want to leave to my loved ones or favourite charities?
  7. How will I handle unforeseen health risks and/or other scenarios?
  8. What about the tax considerations of all my financial choices? How do I take advantage of government tax breaks and ensure my hard-earned savings don’t get eaten up by too much tax?
  9. Given all of the above, should I invest in RRSPs, TFSAs, and /or non-registered investments? What should the proportions be, and what kinds of investments in each? How does my investment strategy fit in with my overall comprehensive plan?
  10. Do I have the right financial planning professional to help me with all my unique financial planning needs? What questions should I be asking?

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