Financial Library

Government Benefits Can Boost Retirement Income

In a 2010 report to the Minister of Finance, it was found that approximately 160,000 Canadian seniors were not aware of the full range of benefits they were entitled to in their retirement years. In fact, nearly $1 billion in retirement benefits from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) have not been paid out to eligible recipients.

According to the Service Canada website, seniors may qualify for a number of income supplement programs that would help them make ends meet, including:

TFSAs: Flexible Wealth Building Strategy

The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) was introduced in the February 2008 Federal Budget and became available January 1, 2009. It is touted by the Government of Canada as 'the single most important personal savings vehicle since the introduction of the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).'

Planning Required to Overcome Retirement Obstacles

A bleak picture is painted by the findings of the second annual survey about 'growing into retirement,' commissioned by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Most retirees' outlook has worsened in just one year, and the so-called 'golden years' are beginning to look tarnished. Just one year ago, 39 per cent of Canadians expected to still have debt in retirement; more than half of those questioned now (54 per cent) think that they will not have paid off everything.

Don't Give Up on Growth

If you are a prudent investor, then you have a financial retirement plan that will ensure you have sufficient funds for the lifestyle you envision after you stop working. What constitutes sufficient depends on your ambitions and your hobbies, and also on how long you live. People are living longer, and it's not unreasonable to think that you could live into your 90s.

Turning Fear into Opportunity

During any given time period, either greed or fear drive investment prices up or down depending on the mood of the majority of investors. During 2011, various global events have continued to weigh on investor confidence as the world watches and waits for the U.S. economy to regain it's prominence as the world's primary engine of growth.

RDSP offers a bonus

Starting in 2011, the registered disabled savings plan (RDSP), which is open to Canadians who qualify for the disability tax credit, offers a tremendous bonus to those who are eligible.

The RDSP is a savings plan that you contribute to after-tax, with earnings and growth accumulating tax-deferred. The maximum amount that you can invest is up to $200,000. Contributions can be taken out tax-free, with the growth and other funds when withdrawn being reckoned as part of your income for tax purposes.

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