August 2018 – Many ask me how much they need to save for retirement without first having considered what their retirement needs and lifestyle over that typical 20 to 30 years will actually be. How much will you need for your fixed expenses (food, housing, insurance, tax, debt repayments, clothing, transportation, health care, etc.). How will you spend your time and what will it cost (travel, hobbies, entertainment, helping family, etc). How much guaranteed income will you have (CPP, OAS, employer defined benefit pensions, foreign pensions, annuities, etc.) If you have a shortfall, I can calculate how much you need to save to fill the gap, then plan how best to create secure income. You want to be sure you have at least enough guaranteed lifetime income to cover your ‘need to have’ fixed expenses, then we can review your best options to create additional income for your ‘nice to have’ lifestyle expenses. Fortunately there are many good options available to generate both guaranteed lifetime income and steady tax efficient income. The challenge is planning early enough to ensure you have enough time to achieve what you both need and want, so you don’t need to revise your retirement expectations.