If we were living in normal times, it would have been past the peak of the tax season by now. However, given the situation with the virus and the extension of tax filing deadlines by the government, I am now getting busier with filing of tax returns for the majority of my clients.
After tax season, one of the things I recommend to my clients is to set aside time to review their tax return and start thinking about opportunities to improve their tax situation in the months and years ahead. I often encourage them to start making plans to ensure they are using all legal strategies available to minimize or defer taxes. If you make the connection, you will realize that a dollar saved in taxes can have a positive impact on your financial and retirement planning.
When it comes to retirement planning, majority of Canadians don’t even know where they stand and some don’t even realize that saving for retirement is not an option, it is a must-do! The reason is simple, you need to know if you will have enough money to eat and to take care of your most basic needs like housing.
No matter your age or your current financial situation, it is critical to do an assessment now and determine where you are today and where you need to be when you retire. This assessment will determine the gap you need to address. In a 2017 article published in the Toronto Star that I read a while ago, Gail Vaz-Oxlade writes if you don’t know where to start, or if you’ve been putting it off because you’re not sure of all you need to consider, it’s time to start figuring it out. She concludes that if you use “I don’t know” as an excuse, you’re a fool!
Don’t be a fool. If you don’t know where to start, consider consulting a professional to help you get started. From my research and discussions with some of my clients, here are some of the common reasons why most people don’t plan or don’t take retirement planning seriously:
- They don’t know where to start
- They lack knowledge of financial/retirement planning
- They think financial/retirement planning is only for the rich and wealthy
- They think they are too young or too old to start
- They don’t trust financial planners
- They think government benefits will be sufficient to take care of their retirement
- For those who contribute to a work pension plan, they think the pension will be enough for their retirement even when they have no idea what the monthly pension income will be when they retire
- For those who have a financial/retirement plan, there is no accountability or periodic monitoring to ensure they are on track to a successful retirement
One of the things I do is help you get started and dispel some of these misconceptions about financial/retirement planning. This is one reason I started blogging on this platform to educate people on managing their finances, taxes and wealth.
Given my unique position as a Chartered Professional Accountant, Tax Advisor and business owner, I get the opportunity to work with a variety of clients at different stages in their financial/retirement journey. It is a unique opportunity that offers insight and provides me with knowledge to help others on their way to financial independence.
In the coming weeks, I will be releasing my first eBook where I go into a lot of details on this subject and outline a blueprint on how you can build, grow and accelerate your wealth on a tax-efficient manner so you can retire tax-free, if you so desire. Prior to that, I will be sharing insights from the book in some of my upcoming blogs.
My goal in working with my clients is to ensure that they have enough, not only to meet their most basic needs when they retire, but to meet their desired retirement objectives, whatever that may be.