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You’ve got an RRSP account and a pension, but do you have a plan?

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 RRSP account are great tools, but they are not a customized retirement plan.

“Relying solely on contributions to an RRSP account, along with dependence on government or employer pension programs can leave you with a lower than expected income in retirement,” says Patricia Lovett-Reid, senior vice-president of TD Waterhouse. “We need to plan now in order to ensure that we can live out the retirement we always imagined for ourselves in the future.”

Lovett-Reid recommends working with a trusted financial adviser to help you clearly articulate your 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 plan considerations may be business succession if you’re a business owner, passing on an estate, tax planning strategies, or choosing an aggressive versus conservative investment portfolio. Retirement planning is different for everyone, and involves an integrated approach to ensure you grow into the retirement you’ve always envisioned.

RSP season is an ideal time to seek the help of an adviser who can work with you to ensure your savings and investment strategy is closely aligned with your financial goals. It’s possible to live happily ever after in retirement, but with some planning in between. For more information on retirement planning and how to get started, visit