Skip to main content

Make the Most of What You've Got: The Canadian Guide to Managing Retirement Income

Make the Most of What You've Got: The Canadian Guide to Managing Retirement Income

Sandra E. Foster

ISBN: 978-0-471-64281-7

Sep 1999

328 pages

Select type: Paperback


Product not available for purchase


You can retire but your money can't!

For much of your adult life, the question is "How much do I have to save to fund my retirement?" But as you approach retirement, or if you're already retired, the question becomes "How can I make the most of what I have saved?" Many Canadians live for over twenty years in retirement — that's a long time to make your nest-egg last. If you're not working, then your money had better be!

Make the Most of What You've Got is the comprehensive, common-sense guide for everyone who wants to make the most of their retirement, whether you're already retired, or just approaching the threshold:

  • Helps you maximize your retirement income and minimize your tax bill.
  • Explains how to plan for a dependable retirement income, turn your investments into income, and manage your investment portfolio in retirement.
  • Alerts you to the top ten retirement planning mistakes.
  • Covers the complex decisions you need to make about your nest-egg: dealing with maturing RRSPs, deciding whether a RRIF or an annuity is right for you, determining if you can afford to retire early, and much more.
  • Prepares you for working with your financial advisor or planner.
  • Features practical examples, checklists, forms, tips, and Q&As.
Retirement Checklist

Chapter 1. What is Retirement Planning?
What Retirement Planning Means Today
Six Steps to a Successful Retirement
Step 1. Assess Your Sources of Retirement Income
Step 2. Calculate How Much Income You Need

  • What are Your Expenses?
  • Life Expectancy
Step 3. Develop an Investment Strategy to Pay You the Income You Need
  • How Much Does Your Portfolio Need to Earn?
  • Is it Time to Redesign Your Portfolio?
    Step 4. Integrate Your Retirement Income Plan with a Tax and Estate Strategy
  • Tax Planning
  • Estate Planning
    Step 5. Review the Plan Periodically
  • Continue to Do Tax Planning, Not Tax Filing
  • Review Your Annual Performance
    Step 6. Build a Life For Yourself
  • Retirement (From a Child's View)

Chapter 2. How Much Is Enough?
The Retirement Income Projection

  • Using Assumptions
  • What Return Should You Use in Your Projection?
  • Too Good To Be True?
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
    The Reality Check
  • Got Enough?
  • Not Got Enough?
  • It's Ongoing

Chapter 3. Government Benefits
Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

  • Starting CPP Benefits Early
  • Starting CPP Benefits After Age 65
  • Managing CPP Benefits
    Old Age Security (OAS)
  • Basic OAS
  • Strategies to Help You Keep More OAS
  • Federal Supplemental Benefits
  • Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
  • Spouses' Allowance
  • Provincial Supplemental Pensions

Chapter 4. Your Company Pension Plan
Your Annual Pension Statement
Contributory or Non-contributory?
Types of Company Pension Plans

  • Defined Benefit Plan
  • Defined Contribution Plan or Money Purchase
  • Deferred Profit Sharing Plan (DPSP)
    Selecting Your Retirment Date
  • Retiring Early
    Is the Purchasing Power of Your Pension Protected?
    Paperwork at Retirement
    Basic Pension Options
  • Life Only
  • Joint and Survivor
  • Opting Out of the Joint and Survivor Benefit
  • Minimum Guarantee Period
    Should You Opt Out of Your Company Pension Plan?

Chapter 5. Converting Your RRSP
Revenue Canada's Rules May Not Be Good for You

  • Planned Withdrawals
    Maturing your RRSP
  • Cashing in the RRSP
  • Cash = Tax?
  • Purchase a Registered Annuity
  • Convert your RRSP to a RRIF
  • Combine Two or More Options
    Making the Right Decision
    Last-Minute Planning Opportunities
  • Make Your Final Contribution
  • Claim Your Overcontribution
  • Are You Still Earning RRSP Contribution Room?

Chapter 6. The Annuity
The Types of Annuities for Tax Purposes
Basic Types of Annuities

  • Term Certain Annuity
  • Life Annuity
    Guarantees Available With an Annuity
  • Guarantee Period of Life Annuities
  • Indexing
    Six Steps for Getting the Best Annuity
    How Much Annuity Will Your Money Buy?
    Advantages of an Annuity
    Disadvantages of an Annuity

Chapter 7. The RRIF and LIF

  • The Different Types of RRIFs
  • RRIF Withdrawal Rules
  • Calculating the Minimum Payment
  • Should You Take Out More than the Minimum Required?
  • Withholding Tax
  • Ways to Minimize the Tax on Your RRIF Withdrawal
  • Converting Your RRSP to a RRIF
  • Naming a Beneficiary
  • Naming a Successor Annuitant
  • Transferring a RRIF From One Financial Institution to Another
  • The Spousal RRIF
  • Should You Continue to Have a RRIF?
    Advantages of a RRIF
    Disadvantages of a RRIF
    Life Income Fund (LIF)
  • A LIF is Similar to a RRIF
  • The Maximum Withdrawal
  • The Annuity Option

Chapter 8. Building a Retirement Income Portfolio
The Well Thought-out Portfolio
Selecting the Asset Mix

  • Your Goals and Objectives
  • The Emergency Fund
  • What Are Your Objectives?
    Designing Your Portfolio
  • Understanding Market Behaviour
  • Selecting the Mix Between Canadian and International Equities
  • Foreign Content inside Your RRSP/RRIF
  • Stay on Track— Rebalancing Your Portfolio

Chapter 9. Getting the Most From Your Cash
Bank Accounts
Canada Savings Bonds (CSBs)

  • Just Like Cash?
    Redeemable GICs
    Money Market Investments
    Money Market Funds

Chapter 10. Getting the Most from Your Fixed Income Investments
Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) or Term Deposits

  • Traditional GICs
  • Non-Redeemable GICs
  • Tracking your GICs
  • Escalating GICs
  • Equity-linked GICs
    Bonds and Mortgages
  • Types of Bonds
  • Building Income with a Portfolio of Bonds
  • Bond Quotes
  • Accrued Interest
  • Strip Bonds
  • Mortgage-Backed Securities
    Reducing Risk When Investing in Fixed
  • Income Investments
  • Laddering the Maturity Dates of Your Fixed Income Investments
  • Use Compounded GICs or Strip Bonds
  • Select Quality Issuers
  • Reducing the Risk of Long-term Bonds

Chapter 11. Getting Income From Other Investments
Getting Income from Stocks

  • Dividend Payments
  • The Dividend Yield
  • Selling Stock Holdings
    Getting Income From Mutual Funds
  • Taking the Distributions in Cash
  • 10% Free Redemption Privilege
  • Selling Your Units
  • Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP)
  • SWPs are Tax Effective
  • Making SWPs Work
    Getting Income from Segregated Funds
  • How They Work
  • The Reset Option
  • Making Withdrawals
  • Selecting Segregated Funds
    Other Ideas for Income
  • Private Mortgages
  • Royalty or Income Trusts
  • Prescribed Annuities
  • More After-tax Income
  • Insuring an Annuity to Protect the Value of Your Estate
  • Charitable Annuity
    Ways to Protect Your Investments and Savings

Chapter 12. Using Your Home for Income
Sell Your Home and Pocket the Profit Tax-free
The Reverse Mortgage
Borrowing Against Your Home

  • Setting up a Line of Credit
  • Borrowing to Invest
    Earning Rental Income
  • Putting an Apartment Unit in Your Home
  • Taking in Students

Chapter 13. Don't Pay More in Tax Than You Have To
Factors that Affect the Amount of Tax You Pay
The Basic Tax Rules
How Different Types of Income Are Taxed

  • Interest Income
  • Dividend Income
  • Capital Gains
  • Tax Deferral with Capital Gains
  • Capital Losses
  • What Types of Income Should You Have?
    File Your Quarterly Taxes Instalments on Time
    Watch Transactions that Increase Your Tax Bill
  • Annual Mutual Fund Distributions
    Organize Your Portfolio to Make it More
  • Tax Effective
    Even Out Your Income to Reduce Your Lifetime Tax Bill
    Techniques to Deduct, Divide, and Defer Taxes
  • Deduct
  • Make the Most of Your Tax Credits
  • Pension Income
  • Choose the Spouse Who Can Make the Best Use of the Tax Credit
  • Defer
  • Retiring Allowance
  • Alternate Minimum Tax
  • Divide
  • Which Spouse Should Do the Investing?
  • Split Canada Pension Plan Benefits
  • Gifts and Loans to Adult Children
  • Loan Your Spouse Money to Invest

Chapter 14. You Can't Take It With You
What's Important to You?
Death and Taxes

  • Taxes on the RRSP/RRIF
  • Capital Gains
  • How Much Tax?
  • Ways to Reduce the Tax Bill
  • Transfer Assets to Spouse
  • Spend Money Now
  • Buy Life Insurance
  • Making Planned Gifts
  • Set Up a Testamentary Trust
  • Incapacity
  • Dealing With the Death of a Spouse
  • Common Death Benefits
    Canada Pension Plan
  • Other Benefits

Chapter 15. Do You Need Professional Advice?
Selecting an Advisor
Designations to Look For
The Initial Meeting
Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor
The Different Ways to Pay for Financial Advice
Transferring Your Account

  • Beware of Transfer Fees
  • Redemption Fees
  • Watch the Tax Costs
    Are You Getting What You Pay For?
    Not Getting What You Expected?

Chapter 16. Make the Most of What You've Got
Your Retirement Countdown
Retirement Checklist

Sources of Income
Expenses in Retirement
Assets that Could Be Turned Into Income
Cash Flow Projection
Portfolio Asset Mix


Suggestions and Seminars