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52 Ways to Wreck Your Retirement: ...And How to Rescue It

ISBN: 978-1-118-07609-5
320 pages
October 2011
52 Ways to Wreck Your Retirement: ...And How to Rescue It (1118076095) cover image
Retirement planning isn't something that happens at a specific point in time or at a specific age - we are all affecting our retirement plans every day with every decision we do or don't make. Canadians are living longer, and the average retiree in the future may have as much as 30 years of retirement to plan for, and there are many simple things that will impact our eventual retirement life.

52 Ways to Wreck Your Retirement identifies 52 things we do that could wreck our retirement, explains why it puts your retirement at risk, and provides the strategy to correct the mistake, or better still, avoid it entirely. The book is organized under several key areas of the planning process, including:

  • Starting to Plan for Retirement
  • Mistakes around Investing
  • Mistakes around Debt
  • Saving for Retirement
  • Pensions
  • Living in Retirement
  • Spending in Retirement
  • New Realities about Retirement

52 Ways to Wreck Your Retirement is not a feel-good book about how wonderful retirement will be or an alarming fear-mongering book about dying broke, nor is it a get-rich-late-retirement solution. Quite simply, it is an easily-accessible and practical guide written for Canadians of all ages that gives you the tools you need to better manage the financial and personal aspects of your retirement.

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Introduction 1

PART 1: STARTING TO PLAN FOR RETIREMENT 5

1. Thinking You Have a Retirement Plan When You Don't 7

2. Being Fooled by Feeling and Looking Younger than You Are 12

3. Not Using Your Common Sense 16

4. Living for Today Rather than Saving for Tomorrow 20

5. Not Paying Attention to What's in All Your Statements 24

6. Not Knowing Where You Stand 29

7. Not Knowing Where Your Money Is Going 33

PART 2: MISTAKES AROUND INVESTING 39

8. Not Knowing How Your Money Is Invested 41

9. Not Knowing How Much Risk You Can Tolerate 48

10. Th inking You'd Rather Be Safe than Sorry 52

11. Putting All Your Eggs in One Basket 57

12. Th inking That Retiring Means You Stop Investing 61

13. Watching Your Investments Too Closely 64

14. Looking for Th at Magic Pill to Boost Your Savings 68

PART 3: MISTAKES AROUND DEBT 73

15. Th inking Th at All Debt Is Created Equal 75

16. Taking Too Long to Pay Off Your Mortgage 82

17. Misuse of Credit Cards 89

PART 4: SAVING FOR RETIREMENT 95

18. Leaving Too Much Free Money on the Table 97

19. Ignoring the Eff ects of Infl ation 102

20. Feeling Th at There' s No Way You Can Ever Save Enough 108

PART 5: PENSIONS 113

21. Overestimating CPP/QPP Pensions 115

22. Th inking You're Entitled to the Maximum Old Age Security (OAS) Pension 122

23. Relying Too Heavily on Your Company Pension 126

24. Making the Wrong Choices with Your Defined Benefi t Pension on Retirement 132

25. Not Considering All the Maturity Options for a Registered Retirement Savings Plan 138

PART 6: LIVING IN RETIREMENT 147

26. Making Too Many Big Changes to Your Life as Soon as You Retire 149

27. Fearing Retirement 154

28. Failing to Talk to Your Partner or Others About Retirement 159

29. Retiring Outside the Country Without First Doing Your Homework 163

30. Downsizing the Family Home Too Late 169

31. Not Doing Some Research Before Starting a Business in Retirement 174

PART 7: SPENDING IN RETIREMENT 179

32. Spending Too Much Money Too Early in Retirement 181

33. Giving Away Too Much Money During Your Life 185

34. Being Afraid to Spend Your Savings 189

PART 8: PAYING TOO MUCH TAX 195

35. Wanting to Keep the Money All to Yourself 197

36. Giving Back Your OAS 205

37. Not Taking Advantage of Tax Gift s Such As the Tax Free Savings Account 210

38. Failing to Plan for U.S. Estate Taxes 215

39. Paying Too Much Tax on Investments 220

PART 9: NEW REALITIES ABOUT RETIREMENT 225

40. Not Being Prepared to Be Single in Retirement 227

41. Believing in Freedom 55 232

42. Believing Th at You Have Only One Retirement Date 236

43. Th inking Retirement Is All About You 241

PART 10: PROTECTION PLANNING 247

44. Not Protecting Your Most Important Asset — You! 249

45. Bad Decisions Around Joint Accounts 254

46. Th inking Your Family Can Automatically Make Decisions for You When You Can't 258

47. Avoiding Estate Planning 262

48. Choosing the Wrong Benefi ciary for Your RRSP, RRIF, or TFSA 267

49. Sharing Too Much Personal and Financial Information 274

PART 11: NOT ASKING FOR HELP 279

50. Not Doing the Math: Mortgage Versus RRSP Versus TFSA 281

51. Wanting to Do It All Yourself 285

52. Substituting a Retirement Calculator for Retirement Advice 292

Acknowledgements 297

About the Author 299

Index 301

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TINA DI VITO is a Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP), and Fellow of FPSC. She is a member of the Canadian Tax Foundation, Women in Capital Markets, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario.  With more than 20 years of experience helping Canadians plan for and live in retirement, Tina has worked with families and small business owners and runs workshops and seminars for Canadians of all levels of prosperity. She is a sought-after speaker and is widely quoted in national and  international media such as the Globe and Mail, the Financial Post, the Toronto Star, the Wall Street Journal and has been on Canada AM, Global Television, BNN, and CNBC. She has also been consulted by Canadian Parliamentary committees as an expert on a variety of wealth-management topics. She volunteers her time and financial expertise to the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE) to help bring financial literacy to older Canadians. She has lead research resulting in the creation of industry-leading, white paper reports on retirement and estate and tax planning issues facing Canadians.

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