Putting LIFE into your retirement plans

Retirement is so much more than the mathematics

By the time you reach your mid-fifties, a crude algorithm that calculates a savings target to reach or a spending limit to live within is not what you need. What you do need is a definitive answer to the question, “Am I going to be OK?”, which obviously requires some appreciation of what you would like your OK to look like. In other words, what do you want to do, when do you want to do it and how big do you plan to do it? Once those questions have been answered you have the ability to start designing your retirement in an environment where you can confidently explore the life events you are contemplating.

You are not a cartographer trying to draft a ‘set it and forget it’ map

You are starting a 20-to-30-year journey through unknown terrain where frequent course adjustments will be required. What you need is a navigation system – not a quick and dirty mathematical algorithm that sets an annual spending limit.

Yes, there are a multitude of important money choices that need to be made. However, the clues to determining the right money choices are often determined by the peaks and valleys of future cash flow requirements. If you want to determine the most tax-efficient withdrawal strategy, when to start your CPP, when to start your OAS, when to convert your RRSPs to RRIFs and/or how to optimize the power of income splitting in retirement, it’s best to start by charting your retirement life plan first.

Our choices determine our destiny

Good choices lead to good outcomes. Bad choices can lead to big mistakes. The key is knowing how to distinguish between the two, before you commit to the choice.

At Retirement Navigator, we believe you should approach retirement from the perspective of a designer, as opposed to a mathematician. As a designer, you build a model of the choices you hope to enjoy and then, through the process of prototyping your many choices, you thoroughly test these choices before you commit to them. This process of Design Thinking is one that allows for certainties to mix with guesses and outcomes to be modelled and assessed.

Design Thinking is the philosophy that sits at the heart of Retirement Navigator and most specifically our Retirement Designer app: enter what you know, make guesses about the future and then assess the outcomes.

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