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IMPORTANT NOTICE: As of Jan. 1, 2020, The Great-West Life Assurance Company, London Life Insurance Company and The Canada Life Assurance Company became one company – The Canada Life Assurance Company. Learn moreOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window

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Retirement roadmap

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Check out these tips for a smooth journey

There’s a lot to think about when it comes time to retire. Connect with us or your advisor before your retirement date to understand when you can expect to start receiving retirement income and more. You’re not alone, we’re here to help.

3-5 years from retirement

  • Sign in to mycanadalifeatwork.comOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window and update your retirement goal on the home page to see if you’re on track.
  • Consider moving to lower-risk investments, increasing contributions and paying down debt.
  • Learn how plan rules, income tax and government legislation will affect your income.
  • Write down how you expect your lifestyle to change, such as travel, moving to a new home, part-time work.
  • Track current spending to create a budget for retirement. Don’t forget inflationOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window .
  • Estimate your cash flow from personal savings, company retirement plans and government benefits.
  • Talk with your spouse and family about your plans. Take advantage of income splitting with your partner by opening up a spousal registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) account.

1 year from retirement

  • Go over your budget to see if it will meet your needs.
  • Ensure you meet age requirements for receiving income.
  • Review your will, powers of attorney, investments. Do you have enough health and life insurance?
  • Combine your retirement savings for generally higher interest rates and lower investment fees.
  • Find out what your retirement income could be. Our Income wizardOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window can help.
  • Speak with an advisor or investment and retirement specialist for personal guidance. We can help you through the transition.

6 months from retirement

  • Choose your income options.
  • Review beneficiaries for your company and personal savings plans.
  • Let your benefits administrator know you’re retiring and complete paperwork.
  • Apply for government benefits. Contact Service Canada for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and old age security (OAS). Contact Retraite Québec for Quebec Pension Plan (QPP).
  • Remember your mental health during this life change. The Workplace Strategies for Mental Health websiteOpens a new website in a new window - Opens in a new window has resources related to retirement that can help.

Turn your savings into retirement income

Planning for the road ahead

You have a wide range of retirement income options. Depending on what you choose, many factors will affect how much income you may get, such as your age or your spouse’s age, your savings’ value, rates of return and government legislation. The Income wizard can give a general idea of what your savings may look like as a monthly income. However, you should speak with your financial advisor or one of our investment and retirement specialists.

Two popular options are: registered retirement income funds (RRIFs) and annuities. If you want to choose – and change – your income, RRIFs can help you to do that (subject to minimums). To cover your basic living expenses for the rest of your life, an annuity can help. You could also choose both an RRIF and an annuity.

Income wizard

Enter your information such as your desired retirement date and current savings plan(s) to see graphs and charts of your results. You get a report showing the estimated income from a registered retirement income fund (RRIF), a prescribed registered retirement income fund (PRRIF) and a life income fund (LIF).

Income wizard  - Opens in a new window

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Next lesson: How long will your retirement money last?

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