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Nearly half of Canadian homeowners over 50 believe they will run out of their savings within the first 10 years of retirement, according to an investor education report.¹ Considering that retirement may last 20 to 30 years, a shortfall in retirement savings is becoming an increasingly important financial challenge to address.²

1. Create a retirement budget

Start by identifying your spending and lifestyle expectations in retirement. What is essential to you, and what can you do without? Then, list the expenses you know you will have in retirement versus how much income you will receive (taking all sources into consideration). There will be unpredictable situations that come up, but this will help provide you with a good starting point in your planning. Building a retirement budget is an important first step to ensure your savings last.

2. Save more money

If retirement is still in the distant future, the best thing you can do is to accumulate more savings while you are working, and let the power of compounding grow your savings. This will help offset the chances of running out later. A larger pool of savings provides more comfort and flexibility to deal with any unanticipated expenses.

3. Consider how long you will need your retirement savings to last

The average Canadian life expectancy is 81 years and the average age of retirement is 64. These are crucial numbers to take into consideration when creating your retirement plan.

4. Manage income

You want to withdraw enough to cover basic expenses, but you also want to maintain a certain lifestyle in retirement. Everyone’s circumstances differ, but in retirement you will need to manage income from a variety of different sources. Having a plan designed to provide you with sustainable scheduled withdrawals is a step in the right direction.

5. Work in retirement

Another factor to consider is continuing to work in retirement. Retirement isn’t always a clean break from paid work. In fact, one in eight people over the age of 65 still works³, whether it be for financial or personal reasons. Additional cash flow could mean delaying withdrawals from your retirement accounts, therefore adding to your growth potential and extending how long these savings will last. Keep in mind that there are possible financial implications to working in retirement. The retirement benefits you are eligible to receive from the government, for example, can be impacted.

Talk to your financial advisor to ensure your retirement plan addresses these challenges and sets you up for success.

1. Investor Education Fund, Home Equity as a Source of Retirement Income, 2013
2. Statistics Canada. Table 102-0512 - Life expectancy, at birth and at age 65, by sex, Canada, provinces and territories, annual (years).
3. Stats Canada Labour force characteristics


Last reviewed: January 1, 2023

This has been provided by RBC Global Asset Management Inc. (RBC GAM) and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal, accounting, tax, investment, financial or other advice and such information should not be relied upon for providing such advice. RBC GAM takes reasonable steps to provide up-to-date, accurate and reliable information, and believes the information to be so when provided. Information obtained from third parties is believed to be reliable but RBC GAM and its affiliates assume no responsibility for any errors or omissions or for any loss or damage suffered. RBC GAM reserves the right at any time and without notice to change, amend or cease publication of the information.