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A comprehensive retirement financial plan requires more than just a pension or RSP

You dream about living happily ever after in retirement, but are you taking the right steps to get there? Too often, the urgency to start thinking about retirement kicks in late. This leaves many Canadians facing the hard truth that, in order to maintain their current lifestyle as well as enjoy the retirement of their dreams, they should have started thinking about it a lot sooner.

Savings vehicles like a pension or RSP account are important tools, but they are not a customized financial plan that addresses retirement needs.

“Relying solely on contributions you have made to an RSP account, along with dependence on government or employer pension programs, can mean you don’t have the income you need to lead the lifestyle you’re accustomed to in retirement,” says Lee Bennett, Senior Vice President, TD Waterhouse Financial Planning.

Bennett recommends working with an advisor to help you define personal financial goals that work best with your lifestyle. “Together, through ongoing discussions, you can lay out an action plan to reach your short, medium and long-term financial aspirations for you and your family.”

Other retirement considerations may include estate planning, trust and will decisions, or tax-planning strategies. Retirement planning is different for everyone, and involves an integrated approach to ensure you grow into the retirement you’ve always envisioned.

“What’s really important is to make sure that once you have your financial plan, you continue to review and update it – to ensure that as your family, income, or circumstances change in any way, these changes are reflected in your plan. You also want to continue to monitor your plan to ensure you’re on track for your retirement savings goal,” adds Bennett.

The start of a new year is an ideal time to seek the help of an advisor who can work with you to ensure your savings and investment strategy is closely aligned with your financial goals. It’s possible to live your retirement dreams, but a financial plan is a necessary step to ensure you can get there. For more information on retirement planning and how to get started, visit