No matter what your age, retirement planning should be a part of your financial plan so that you’re prepared to make the most of this rewarding phase of life. In this overview of the “Navigating retirement” series, Douglas Lamb, CPA, CA, CFP® and Elder Planning Counselor, a Financial Advisor with Investia Financial Services Inc. in Toronto, outlines the most common priorities to focus on—and missteps to avoid—when planning for your post-work years. 

Planning makes perfect

A happy and fulfilling retirement starts with the right financial plan . With your financial planner, create a detailed and realistic plan by:

  • Determining your financial and other life goals

  • Understanding the cost of meeting your goals, taking into account your other life expenses and the resources you anticipate having

  • Creating a plan that addresses every aspect of your financial situation, to meet your changing needs through all the years of your retirement

If your goals and projections are at odds (for example, if you’re not sure you’ll have enough money to meet your goals), talk to your planner about considering adjustments such as:

  • Working longer prior to retirement

  • Working part-time in retirement

  • Saving more prior to retirement

  • Spending less in retirement

Even in retirement, your financial situation isn’t static. Review regularly with your planner to be sure your plan is still addressing your current and future needs.


Make the most of each phase of retirement

Once a viable plan is in place and the time is right, make the most of each phase of retirement: 


Avoiding missteps

Planning ahead is your best strategy for realizing the retirement you’ve envisioned. Waiting until you retire to realize you lack the resources to fulfil your wishes can make for a disappointing future. To enjoy every stage of your life, keep these guidelines in mind: 

  • Plan for retirement with the help of a professional financial planner.

  • Check in with your planner often to be sure you’re on track and make adjustments as needed.

  • Feel confident in your plan and enjoy yourself.


Get the right advice

A Certified Financial Planner® professional who’s experienced in elder planning can help you navigate the economic, emotional and practical issues associated with the various phases of retirement you may experience

Planning today will help ensure you have the resources to indulge your short-term desires while providing for long-term needs. Making your future health care wishes known will also provide peace of mind to your loved ones if medical issues become critical or your ability to communicate is diminished.

To find a Certified Financial Planner® professional in your area that will help guide you financially, use our Find Your Planner tool.

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For more on how financial planning can help you navigate through all the stages of your life, read The sandwich generation―are you caught in the middle?, 5 tips for loaning money to family and  Women and retirement: How to retire on your own terms,