Well, isn’t that a loaded question?
Today, there are so many Canadians that have emailed me asking the exact same thing. They don’t want to go back to the pre-COVID work situation of 9 to 5 in the office with the added drudgery of commuting every day. Many people are now wanting to retire earlier or at least change their work situation after COVID. So, can you retire now?
Having the financial means to retire earlier will be different for everyone. Basically, you will need to ensure you can be financially comfortable and provide for your security, freedom, and independence as you age. You will want a long-term savings plan that you can draw on through the years in addition to your government pensions. If you have an employee pension fund together with government benefits, you may not need to have an investment portfolio. Of course, it would be great to have both, but one thing is for sure: you should have absolutely no debt when you do your hard-stop to working. If that means you need to downsize to get rid of your mortgage or change your lifestyle to eliminate your debt load, then that is what you must do. Fear for your financial stability has no place in your future, especially when you retire.
The basic benchmark to retire fits into two scenarios. This is the essential amounts needed to retire comfortably and remember you cannot have any consumer debt, a mortgage, or line of credit debt and also no personal or car loans.
Retirement Basic Option One:
- You have an employee pension plan that is indexed for inflation.
- You will have full government pension benefits, CPP + OAS.
- You have no debt.
- You have no other retirement savings.
Retirement Basic Option Two:
- You do not have an employee pension plan.
- You only have government pension benefits, CPP + OAS.
- You have no debt.
- You have a retirement invested savings portfolio worth $500,000 invested conservatively.
The above retirement benchmarks are considered minimums for a retiring couple in today’s dollars and any savings should be invested for long-term compound growth to account for future inflation and taxation. Even though these amounts are based on two people retiring together and sharing expenses; it is not much different if you are retiring as a single, on your own.
Unfortunately, a retirement for one, is just as expensive as a couple in today’s economic environment.
Good Luck & Best Wishes,