Almost There: A Special Report on Retirement

By Staff | September 8, 2011 | Last updated on September 8, 2011
4 min read

The first Canadian baby boomers have hit official retirement age; soon their ranks will swell. Many advisors built their practices around accumulating wealth for these clients. Now comes the tricky part: planning for the actual retirement phase.

Risks must be assessed, an income plan needs to be put into place, and debt paid off. Meanwhile assets will be drawn down, potentially reducing your revenues.

Who said retirement was a time to relax?

Timing retirement The first Canadian baby boomers have hit official retirement age. Some may have retired early and later cohorts will wonder if they can follow suit. They all face the same questions: Is time on their side, or will they have to delay retirement? Will they have enough to live on?

Know your client’s retirement needs As fresh market warbles hit worldwide stock indexes, many investors slammed down the brakes—or at least flinched—as their portfolios took a tumble. Most exposed to a sudden decline were those nearing retirement, with little time left to recover losses.

Balance clients’ risk into retirement With risk rising again to the forefront of investors’ minds, it’s hard not to worry whether retirement assets are as safe as they could—and should—be. While all investors struggle with how much risk to take on, retired investors especially have a lot at stake in making sure their portfolios manage risk well, lest they see their lifestyle directly worsened by plunging markets.

Your Practice

Dealing with the big draw down Financial advisors spend decades helping clients accumulate wealth, knowing that eventually those clients will draw down their portfolio to finance retirement years. Keeping that client book as dynamic as possible is important for advisors.

Prepare for the retirement wave The upcoming baby boomer/zoomer wave could significantly impact advisors’ profitability, and should change the way we do business.

Income Planning

Canadians concerned about retirement income Ongoing market volatility and global unrest continue to leave Canadians feeling unsettled about retirement.

Making retirement income reliable To look at some of the marketing material, retirement may be the new 40. That may well be true, but retirees’ savings accounts don’t have the same elasticity as they did at 40. There are wrinkles—some deeply etched ones, in fact.

Clients don’t spend less in retirement Many advisors have built their practice on accumulating wealth, not depleting it. However, numerous studies have revealed that advisors who are perceived as experts in retirement planning and estate planning are often the ones the client consolidates their assets into, not away from, as they approach retirement.

Annuities help create income stream Set it up and leave it alone. That’s the dream of every investor: a low-risk, high-yield investment that provides a guaranteed payment. Thanks to prescribed taxation, the power of arbitrage, and low interest rates, there is such an investment: the back-to-back annuity.

Using TFSAs to mitigate income risk Retirement is idealized in advertisements as a time of comfort and leisure. It is when the physical and psychological stresses of work life are laid aside, replaced by an enriched personal life underpinned by financial security. But like any other stage of life, retirement has key financial risks.

Risk Management

Five risks to retirement income Financial advisors can play a crucial role in helping Canadians understand that their retirement planning choices must not only reflect the longer lives we are now living and the volatility of capital markets, but also changes to Canada’s retirement income system.

Risks to retirement income In all parts of life, there are things that we can control and there are things that we cannot, and financial planning is no different. Showing your clients how to differentiate between the two helps move the conversation from questions to solutions.

How to retire in debt Nearly half of Canada’s baby boomers are still paying down their mortgage while trying to build retirement savings, according to one poll.

Inflation-proofing retirement plans Choppy economic waters are rocking the retirement boat forcing an ever increasing number of Canadian retirees to return to the workforce. And a higher-than-expected inflation rate of 3.3%, as reported by Statistics Canada, doesn’t help matters.

GMWBs can help with longevity risk Even after reaching retirement, investors need to continue managing their finances prudently to ensure a healthy retirement stream.

Boomers still shaken by market rout In broad strokes, boomers have spent much of their lives embracing risk. This generation was one of the most entrepreneurial, allowing many to accumulate substantial wealth. They embraced professional advice to manage their personal finances, and all was supposed to be well as they passed into retirement.


Advised investors retire better There is yet more proof, for those still in denial, that professional financial advice paves the way for a fulfilling retirement. staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.