RETIREMENT OBJECTIVES AND RETIREMENT PLANNING PARAMETERS
- Is the client’s retirement objective realistic?
- Does the client have realistic retirement assumptions?
- Does the client understand the implications of early retirement?
- Have the client’s “best-case” and “worst-case” retirement objective been determined (expense level, retirement date, life expectancy, real rates of return)?
- Has the client adequately considered and prepared for his or her retirement lifestyle? Has the client provided a detailed net worth statement, cash flow statement, and projected retirement expense schedule (including quarterly tax instalments)?
- Have all retirement planning parameters been assessed and clearly communicated to the client?
- Can the client continue any employer-sponsored benefits during retirement?
RETIREMENT INCOME OPTIONS
Have all of the client’s retirement income options been thoroughly assessed (analysis of pension income amounts, timing, indexation, survivor benefits, investment management issues, etc.)?
- Government pensions: CPP and OAS. Is defined benefit pension (DBPP) integrated with CPP?
- Employer pensions: Current DBPP and/or deferred DBPP, defined contribution pension (DCPP).
- Personal sources:
- Registered investment assets: spousal and personal RRSPs (is there a retiring allowance?), group RRSPs (GRRSPs), locked-in RRSPs/LIRAs, or RRIFs and LIFs/LRIFs
- Non-registered investment assets: investments and other assets that can be used to provide retirement income (e.g., cottage, UL insurance policy, etc.)
Does the client have business assets that may affect the retirement plan and/or the estate plan?
DEVELOPING THE RETIREMENT PLAN
Has the client’s retirement plan been developed for both the “best-case” and “worst-case” retirement objective?
Has a “sensitivity analysis” been completed for a number of scenarios by assessing a range of retirement planning parameters (helps client to understand the range of potential plan outcomes)?
- Different rates of return (e.g., 6%, 8%, 10% nominal returns)
- Different inflation rates (e.g., 3%, 4%, 5%)
- Different income tax rates; indexation of tax credits and tax brackets (risk of “bracket creep”)
Has the retirement plan been completed for both spouses together, and for each spouse as a survivor?
If the client has Significant retirement assets, has the estate plan been developed in conjunction with the retirement plan?
Note for Quebec participants: Replace all references to the Canada pension plan (CPP) with references to the Quebec pension plan (QPP).