Retirement savings. The two dreaded words we’re all forced to embrace. No matter where you turn, another article promising the best retirement savings advice stares back at you. Do I invest? How much risk do I take? What if I want to pass on my money? There’s no cookie cutter formula out there that will apply to you, your neighbour, and your boss simultaneously. All you need to know when (and if!) that last day of work rolls around, is that your money will last- no matter what your golden days look like. Whether you plan to live it up, or lay low- remember the 4 L’s:
Lifestyle & Longevity
Before starting off asking how much you need to save, what are you even saving for? Step 1 is to think of your lifestyle goals for your post-work years. Do you plan to travel the world? Would you rather lay low and live simply? All of this, in conjunction with your current resources, has to be considered to determined how long your money will last and where it can take you. Step 2 is to see an advisor so they can help manage the run-up phase (accumulation) and the de-accumulation phase of your money’s life cycle.
If you want your money to last beyond your lifetime, typical low-risk strategy doesn’t apply. You may
look to adapt more aggressive investments that carry higher risk, yet likely greater returns.
With this goal in mind, you have to stop thinking of the money as yours; think of it as theirs and what
you could be doing to maximize it for their future benefit.
Retirement is like a big vacation; you can never know what to fully expect. Liquidity goals are about
maintaining additional assets that can be tapped into quickly no matter what the situation, whether it
be supporting family members, major repairs or unexpected illness. Keeping a nest egg of easy cash is
always a good idea, but there’s also clever ways to create liquidity from “non-liquid” items. For example,
the laddering strategy involves purchasing GICs varying in maturity, which gives you staggered access to
your money every few years.
Do you have an advisor you trust? Learn how to choose the right one.