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Government Benefits Can Boost Retirement Income

In a 2010 report to the Minister of Finance, it was found that approximately 160,000 Canadian seniors were not aware of the full range of benefits they were entitled to in their retirement years. In fact, nearly $1 billion in retirement benefits from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) have not been paid out to eligible recipients.

According to the Service Canada website, seniors may qualify for a number of income supplement programs that would help them make ends meet, including:

TFSAs: Flexible Wealth Building Strategy

The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) was introduced in the February 2008 Federal Budget and became available January 1, 2009. It is touted by the Government of Canada as 'the single most important personal savings vehicle since the introduction of the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).'

Planning Required to Overcome Retirement Obstacles

A bleak picture is painted by the findings of the second annual survey about 'growing into retirement,' commissioned by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Most retirees' outlook has worsened in just one year, and the so-called 'golden years' are beginning to look tarnished. Just one year ago, 39 per cent of Canadians expected to still have debt in retirement; more than half of those questioned now (54 per cent) think that they will not have paid off everything.

Don't Give Up on Growth

If you are a prudent investor, then you have a financial retirement plan that will ensure you have sufficient funds for the lifestyle you envision after you stop working. What constitutes sufficient depends on your ambitions and your hobbies, and also on how long you live. People are living longer, and it's not unreasonable to think that you could live into your 90s.

Optimizing Your RRIF

Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) are one method of drawing an income from Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) in retirement. There are a few things to consider to get the best value from your retirement savings with RRIFs.

For many Canadians, RRSP savings will be the major source of their retirement income. The main concern for most is the risk
of outliving their money. Another priority for many retirees is minimizing income taxes.

Turning Fear into Opportunity

During any given time period, either greed or fear drive investment prices up or down depending on the mood of the majority of investors. During 2011, various global events have continued to weigh on investor confidence as the world watches and waits for the U.S. economy to regain it's prominence as the world's primary engine of growth.

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