Creating your retirement income plan

Writing your own retirement paycheque takes considerable pre-planning and specialized knowledge. With the help of your advisor, you can navigate the various tax issues, regulatory requirements, pension options, government benefits and investment considerations that will shape your retirement income and develop the plan that is best for you.

Understanding your choices
During your working years, receiving an income is usually pretty straightforward – your employer deposits your pay directly into your bank account. But in retirement, income can come from a variety of sources, so receiving income can be much more complex.

With in-depth knowledge of the various sources of retirement income, your advisor can help you understand the options available to you and the implications of your choices. For example, he or she can explain the most advantageous time to begin taking CPP/QPP payments, help you select the most suitable income option for your pension plan, explain the requirements for locked-in RRSPs and show you how to minimize taxes on your registered investments.

With your advisor’s expertise, you can develop a retirement income plan that

  • provides you with the income you need, when you need it, for as long as you need it
  • minimizes income taxes and maximizes the benefits you receive

Information your advisor will need
In addition to understanding your income preferences and needs, your advisor will need detailed information about your sources of retirement income. If you’ve been working together for some time, you may have already provided this information.

Review the following list to make sure you’ve provided your advisor with everything he or she may need to create your income plan:

  • all employer pension plan statements, including any supplementary pension plans, and pension assets vested with previous employers
  • group RRSP statements
  • RRSP account statements
  • non-registered investment account statements
  • savings accounts
  • life insurance statements showing cash value
  • business income statements (if continuing the business)
  • rental income
  • projected earned income if continuing to work
  • other income
  • most recent income-tax return


Identify your sources of income PDF document

Take stock of all the sources available to you for covering your expenses and generating income during retirement. You may be anticipating income from the Canadian government’s income security programs, employment, employer pension plans and from assets in registered retirement savings plans and non-registered investment accounts. You may also have tangible assets such as real estate that could be converted into income if needed.

Getting good advice