Here are planning for retirement checklists for different ages as you approach retirement.
If you have more than 10 years before retirement:
- Contact your retirement advisor to help lay the foundations for retirement. If you don’t have an advisor, it’s time to meet with one.
- Create some basic life plans: It’s not too early to think about where you might retire, how long you want to work, and some of the things you want to do in retirement, like “bucket list” items (you don’t have to wait for retirement to do these).
- Develop financial plans to ensure that you have an investment, income, and savings strategy in place.
- Start thinking about work/life balance. You’re likely in your peak earning years, and the tendency is often to sacrifice lifestyle for work advancement.
- Review your insurance coverage to ensure that you’ve done enough to protect your family’s lifestyle and income.
- Create an estate plan, and ensure that your will, directives, and trust documents are current.
- Make a healthy lifestyle and regular checkups part of your life.
If you have between five to 10 years before retirement:
- Revise plans based on any changing circumstances or how close you are to retirement.
- Determine if you would be financially stable in the event of involuntary retirement, and if not, take steps to ensure that you are.
- If you plan to move or downsize, research possible locales, prices, amenities, and other costs so you can budget properly.
- Consult with your spouse or partner on determining the general timing of your retirement.
- Think about the retirement activities you want to pursue and incorporate them into your life now.
- Figure out what financial resources that you’ll have when you start retirement.
If you have fewer than five years before retirement:
- Take stock in your savings, investments, and income sources in retirement.
- Discuss your plans with your employer.
- Reconsider the timing of your retirement, including working past your official retirement date if necessary.
- Think about work opportunities, new hobbies, or new careers. Start incorporating some of these into your life.
- Consider replacing or repairing items such as your car, home, or vacation home.
If you plan on retiring within one year:
- Review your situation based on your previous goals.
- Have a thorough health checkup and ensure that your health coverage is current and enough to cover your needs.
- You may be eligible for Old Age Security. Canada Revenue will send you an application prior to when you turn 65. Depending on your family income, OAS could be partially or fully clawed-back.
- Consider when to start your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits. Your advisor can help you determine if delaying the start CPP makes sense for your personal circumstances.