There has been much doom and gloom surrounding the discussion of retirement in Canada recently. As Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz puts it, “the difficult reality is that savers must adjust their plans” to the new low-interest-rate reality.

But amidst the moaning over low returns and the pessimism about Canadians’ ability to save enough for their retirement, it can be easy for clients to forget that they do, in fact, have a great deal of control over their own futures. This month’s tips focus on how they can survive and thrive.

  1. Look for ways to save more. Cutting back isn’t rocket science. In this CNBC article by Kathleen Elkins, a couple that saved enough to retire at age 43 share their top money-saving tip. And in USA Today, Jeff Reeves offers tips on how to quit stressing about saving for retirement and start doing it.
  2. Make sure investments are working hard. Writing for the Globe and Mail, David Israelson makes the case that clients should implement practical strategies to ensure their investments are doing what they should. Suggestions include complementing interest and dividend streams with capital gains, reducing tax bills by sequencing cash flow wisely, and keeping an eye on global trends that can affect portfolios.
  3. Maximize CPP payouts. How soon clients opt to take CPP can have a definite impact on their long-term income security. Moneysense columnist Jonathan Chevreau offers tips for deciding whether to take those government payments early or hold off for higher payouts.
  4. Consider retirement communities that can maintain vitality. This Canadian Business story by Sissi Wang looks at how developers are reinventing retirement communities. And in Digital Trends, Lulu Chang features a U.S. developer’s attempt to recreate the small town atmosphere of times past with planned communities that attract all ages, yet include the latest technology.