I need to know the income this couple is targeting at retirement—what they’re spending now, what they expect to spend in retirement and their survivor cash flow because Shadan is making significantly less than her husband. I also want to know if Reza has disability, critical illness and life insurance. He’s the main income earner in the family, and his income will drive the couple’s financial and retirement planning, so it’s really important to protect that income during these critical saving years.

Incorporation for medical doctors makes a lot of sense. Reza can start accumulating extra cash within the corporation and investing it in corporate class mutual funds or a universal life policy that insures him and provides a tax-sheltered vehicle for asset growth. CPP and OAS won’t add up to that much, although the couple have been in Canada long enough to be entitled to nearly the full OAS. They will need to save a lot in the next 19 years.

This couple’s main challenges will be cash flow management and being disciplined with savings. With many baby boomer professionals, income levels are good but spending is high. It’s a matter of managing their lifestyle so they enjoy it right now and, at the same time, focus on long-term goals. Retirement has not been their top priority, but their kids are not dependent on them anymore and they have whittled down their mortgage so they are in a position to get very serious about retirement planning.

It’s important to realize that immigrants have extreme motivation. Many lost a good decade of savings because they immigrated and often suffered setbacks in their careers, so they have a lot of catching up to do. That said, they shouldn’t take on too much risk because they feel they’re behind others in their age bracket. Advisors can help put things in perspective and keep them on track.

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