Give your clients a ‘retirement checkup’

By Camilla Cornell | June 16, 2016 | Last updated on June 16, 2016
2 min read

The dawn of retirement marks an excellent time for clients to reassess everything from spending habits to marital health. After all, they’re usually still healthy enough to make good decisions about the future, and yet they’re in transition – about to embark on a third phase of life and open to (perhaps even a little nervous about) the possibilities. This month’s Global View focuses on a checklist of things your clients will need to consider.

Are they ready to face retirement head on with a spouse? Retirement should be a time for hard-working couples to enjoy the fruits of their labours. But the reality is often different. This Forbes article by Robert Laura focuses on three real-life reasons why couples fail at retirement. And, although Alexandra Wlassowsky’s article in the North Bay Business Journal is geared to newlyweds, it nonetheless offers timeless financial tips for happy marriage.

Do they have a spending plan? What worked for your clients in the accumulation years doesn’t necessarily work in retirement. This CNBC article by Ron Carson looks at cash-flow planning before and during retirement. And MarketWatch’s Jillian Berman elaborates on the theme during an interview with Sarah Newcomb (author of Loaded: Money Psychology and How to Get Ahead Without Leaving Your Values Behind), who makes a compelling case that budgeting isn’t just about slashing expenses, but rather about finding ways to meet needs less expensively. It’s a good lesson to take into retirement.

Are they taking advantage of tax reduction strategies? Jonathan Chevreau of MoneySense points retirees toward tax credits and strategies for reducing the portion of their RRSP withdrawals that end up in the pocket of the taxman.

Do they have an estate plan in place that reflects their goals? Lawyers Suzana Popovic-Montag and Ian M. Hull put together a compelling piece for the Huffington Post about the need for modern estate planning to reflect a changing society. Good estate plans, they argue, must take into account the prevalence of common-law relationships and blended families, as well as the rising possibility of living with dementia.

Camilla Cornell