Retirement: Myth or a Manageable Reality?

May 11, 2016

 

With talks of the ORPP (Ontario Retirement Pension Plan) rolling out in early 2017, retirement planning has never been a more popular topic in Ontario. And whether you’re an avid follower of the hot topic, or a casual observer, one thing is inevitable; we all retire at some point. The matter in question however, is whether or not you’re ready.

 

As with many popular and current topics in the news, the subject of retirement comes with common misconceptions, misunderstandings and misinformation. Much like a game of broken telephone, you’ll hear different things from different people. But no need to fret; we’re giving you the details straight from the source. Below you will find the breakdown of some of the most common myths and facts about retirement in Canada.

 

Myth #1: You need about $1,000,000 to retire comfortably in Canada.

Fact:  Although there is no “mythical” or “magic” number when it comes to a comfortable retirement, most Canadians find that $1,000,000 seems to hit that sweet spot. Comfort means different things to different people and in reality, you really only need to replace 50-60% (families) or 60-70% (singles) of your peak earning salary to retire comfortably.

 

Myth #2: If you have less than 10 years until retirement, it may be too late to join a company sponsored Group Retirement Plan.

Fact: It’s never too late to join into a company sponsored Group Retirement Plan. Your company plan is part of your compensation package, and your employer’s way of investing in your future and well-being. Say you contribute $500 a month and your employer matches that amount. Over 10 years that adds up to $120,000, and that’s not even including investment gains. Between personal contributions, employer contributions and the return on investment, those last 10 years may just be the thing to help you catch up.

 

Myth #3: It’s too soon to start saving for retirement; paying off debts is the top priority.

Fact: You can’t lose by paying down your debts. Or can you? Paying down debts is almost always the top priority on everybody’s list, but focusing strictly on those debts will boil down to two major losses. The first loss being the loss of your employer’s contribution to your savings and second loss being the loss of the return of investment. Our suggestion? Focus on both. It is manageable if you try. No matter how great or small your retirement contribution, you can rest assured knowing that your employer will match that contribution up to a percentage of your salary, and the return on investment will help grow your savings in the long run, while you focus on reducing your debts.

Planning for retirement should be an instinctual habit. With the growing expenses and demands of our daily lives, it’s easy to overlook the truth and feed into the misconceptions. Do you have any myths or facts about saving for retirement? Are they mythical states of being or a manageable reality? Share your story with us, contact Open Access today and we’ll  help you sort the reality from the myth. 

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