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Checklist: Getting Ready to Retire


You plan, dream and talk about it for decades – and now it's finally within sight: retirement. Now that your vision is about to become a reality, there are lots of details to take care of. In addition to talking to your Edward Jones advisor, this checklist can help you get started.

Coming down the home stretch

  • Take stock of your income, expenses, assets and other financial obligations. Your assets include:
    • Retirement savings: registered plans and employer-sponsored plans
    • Equity in your home and other real estate
    • Cash value of life insurance
    • Investments
    • Bank accounts
  • Work with your financial advisor to identify a specific goal for the amount of savings you want to have at retirement – and develop a strategy to reach it.
  • If you still have a few years to retire, ramp up your retirement plan contributions, including your Tax-free Savings Account and savings as much as possible.
  • Work to pay off all your debts, including mortgage, car loans, credit cards and line of credit.

Determine what to expect

  • Think about when you'd like to retire and weigh the options of when to take your government retirement benefits i.e. CPP/QPP and OAS. Work with your advisor to estimate how much income you think you'll need in retirement. Take into consideration that some expenses (such as health care) may be higher in retirement, while others will be lower.
  • What other financial obligations do you have? Are you caring for parents or supporting children? Do you want to help children or grandchildren with their education or leave an inheritance? Do you wish to make donations to charity?
  • Estimate how many years you may spend in retirement based on average life expectancy. If your family has a history of living well into the 90s or longer, expect that you'll live that long, too! 

Put your plan into action

  • Learn about the rules pertaining to your retirement plans – how long can I continue making contributions, when should I convert my Registered Retirement Savings Plan to a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) , when must I begin withdrawing my funds.
  • Review the beneficiaries listed on your retirement accounts, life insurance policies, annuities and trusts, and make sure they're up-to-date.
  • Consider purchasing long-term care insurance.
  • Meet with an estate-planning professional to ensure you have a strategy in place that will carry out your wishes. Review and, if necessary, update your:
    • Will(s)
    • Living will
    • Power of Attorney for Property (or Mandate in Quebec)
    • Power of Attorney for Personal Care (or Mandate in Quebec)
    • Trust

Consider your lifestyle

  • Think about – and discuss with your loved ones – how you'd like to spend your time. Do you plan to earn income in any way, such as a part-time job or consulting? Or are you ready to leave the workforce altogether?
  • Be sure to think about the nonfinancial considerations and discuss them with your loved ones. It's important to have a plan for how you'll spend your newfound free time. 

How we can help

You've been working for retirement your whole life. First, talk to your Edward Jones advisor to make sure you're on track according to your goals ‒ and then start living the life you've been planning for.

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