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Retirement / Estate Planning

For clients moving towards retirement, our focus shifts from a phase of accumulating assets to a new phase where this money starts to get used.  When talking to our retired clients, we spend a lot time evaluating their needs during retirement to make sure that they can enjoy retirement without worrying about their finances.   To do this well, we have both a Will and Estate Specialist and an Insurance Specialist on our team and also draw on the expertise of external accountants and lawyers.  The specific areas that we cover are:

Conversion to Income based Investments – for clients who are retired, a greater emphasis is placed on looking for investments that can produce a predictable monthly income.  We have access to hundreds of choices that we hand pick based on our clients’ tax situation, specific income requirement and past investment experience.  We will customize a solution for each client using the best investment choices available.

Principal Guaranteed Investments – for many of our clients, entering the retirement phase brings with it extra concerns about market volatility and security of income.  To alleviate those concerns, we introduce to our clients programs such as Manulife IncomePlus that offer very valuable principal and income guarantees.  There are many advantages to programs such as these which we explain when designing retirement plans for our clients.

Will Planning – as part of getting to know you better, we will ask you about your Will and talk about any concerns we might have.  If you do not have a Will, don’t worry – we will either have our Will specialist speak to you or introduce you to a Will and Estate Lawyer in your area to help you complete one.  Before we do that, however, we will walk you through the elements of a Will and the choices you have.

Trusts – for clients looking to control their assets after passing on, we have the ability to assist you in the creation of a number of different trusts.  Our Trust expert will educate you on the benefits of different types of trusts and how these can be a part of your Will or a completely separate document.  There are many different forms of Trusts and you will learn which one(s) could work for you without any pressure.

Minimizing Tax – this is a key consideration when funding retirement needs.  Since retirement funds can be pulled from various sources such as RRSPs, Locked-in RRSPs, and open (non registered) money, we need to be strategic in terms of how we draw from each of those pools of money.  Our recommendations will keep this in mind as well as other issues such as asset allocation per account, annual pension credits, old age security clawbacks, guaranteed income supplements, tax withholding on registered payments and tax due on death.

Charitable Giving – for many of our clients, giving to charities is as important a part of the retirement plan as giving to the next generation.  We have the ability to help our clients create charitable gifts in single lump sum gifts or annual gifts extending years and decades beyond ones passing.  There are many options in this area and one of our specialists will walk you through the various choices you have to support the causes that are important to you.

Insurance Strategies – with any complete retirement plan, there is no way to escape the fact that that plan will come to an end one day when we pass on.  Although Wills and Trusts allow you to deal with the control of your assets at death, there are very specific insurance strategies that we use to deal with complex issues that can come up before and after passing away:

  • Tax deferral of interest income
  • Caring for child/grandchild with a disability
  • Dealing with tax liability from the deregistration of an RRSP
  • Dealing with tax liability from the sale of real estate
  • Asset distribution in blended families (2nd marriages)

In these specialized situation, we will bring in both our Will and Estate specialist as well as our Insurance specialist to create a series of choices that give the control and outcome you are looking for.


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