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You saved it - you can spend it too

(NC)-Saving and investing for retirement is important. But how and when to spend what you have worked so hard to accumulate is just as important, if not more so. Retirement planning expert Debbie Ammeter of Investors Group suggests that there are several key considerations:

Retirement date - If you decide to retire before age 65, each extra year will be one less year of saving and investing. If you retire after 65, you can continue the tax-saving, income-building advantages of your RRSP until the end of the year in which you turn 71.

Retirement lifestyle - You may decide to keep working full-time or part-time, perhaps start a business. If so, you can afford to save less in advance because even a modest amount of extra employment income can go a long way.

Retirement income - Include all income -ranging from your personal savings, company pensions, investments held within RRSPs or TFSAs and non-registered investments to government sources including the Canada Pension Plan/Qu├ębec Pension Plan (CPP/QPP) and Old Age Security. Retirement paycheque - Identify your continuing costs and expenses. Take inflation into account and the happy fact that you could need that income for 40 plus years. Establish a mix of investments that will bridge the gap and deliver the cash flow you will need without depleting your underlying assets.

Taxes - Minimize taxes with a withdrawal plan for your registered and other income-producing investments that takes full advantage of all the tax benefits available to you, such as age and pension income credits, while avoiding OAS clawbacks.

More information on this topic is available from the Investors Group, or contact a financial advisor to get specific advice about your circumstances.

Editor Note: This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Quebec-a Financial Services Firm), presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments.

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