How Much Money Do I Need To Retire in Canada?

There is a truism in this popular saying – Retirement is the only time in your life when time no longer equals money. This is because during this time you won’t have enough time and effort to make more money.

That’s why it expedient saving alot of money before your retirement age is the best and wisest way to prepare for retiremeent.

And for a place like Canada which is one of the best countries for retirement considering the many living choices the country provides its retirees, having a clue of how much you can keep aside can go a long way in making your retirement period worth living.

It’s on this note that we have made this article. This article tackles the question ‘How Much Money Do I Need To Retire in Canada?’.

It also provides detailed information about effective retirement plans in Canada and some other things you need to know about the retirement process in Canada.

Looking at the scenario…

This is the year 2021, and as a fall-out of the pandemic and the erosion of economic control, everybody has been forced to reconsider and rejig the way finances were done prior to covid 19.

Furthermore, we all witnessed the impact of last year’s events on retirees, including an increase in reliance on government handouts and a lack of alternative sources of income.

Such that employees who became suddenly unemployed attempted to withdraw their retirement savings, but due to statutory lock-in rules in pension legislation, withdrawals of pension entitlements were impossible.

Despite this, you are not in dire straits; after all, you have taken the first step toward greater enlightenment on how to call time on service without worrying about how it’s going to be.

Retirement is the removal from one’s job or profession, or from one’s active working life. On the flip side, semi-retirement means reducing work hours or workload. Many people want to retire because they are too old or unable to work.

People can also retire when they are eligible for private or public pension benefits, but some are forced to retire because their physical conditions no longer allow them to work.

Statistically, majority of Canadians say they would need $756K in savings to retire.

According to a CIBC survey conducted in February 2018, Is this, in fact, sufficient? You could need more money, maybe a half-million, a million, two million, or even more.

It is important to prepare for your retirement, which you can do by determining how much money you will need to be comfortable.

What is a Retirement Plan?

Retirement planning is the process of determining retirement income goals, risk tolerance, and the actions and decisions necessary to achieve those goals.

A well-executed retirement plan develops a mechanism to offset your missed income as you retire.

Having a lot of free time and no income can be a problem. This is where retirement preparation and planning comes into play.

Retirement planning, in its most basic form, is the preparation for life after paid employment ends, not only financially, but in all facets of life.

Non-financial considerations include lifestyle decisions such as how to spend time in retirement, where to live, when to stop working entirely, and so on.

A comprehensive approach to retirement planning takes into account all of these factors, The importance that people place on retirement planning shifts as they progress through life.

Early in a person’s working life, retirement preparation entails putting money away for retirement.

Setting clear income or asset goals and taking the measures to reach them can also be included throughout the middle of your career.

When you hit retirement age, you transition from the accumulation phase to the distribution phase, as described by financial planners.

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You are no longer contributing; rather, your decades of savings are paid out.

What is the Average Retirement Income in Canada?

According to, the average Canadian Pension Plan retirement pension is just $8,303 per year if no additional contributions are made.

In 2019, the average monthly CPP payout was $723.89, which was 37% less than the limit of $1,154.58.

This is due to the fact that many people do not make enough money during their careers to obtain the full reward.

As a result, the average Canadian does not have access to the limit, which is not a living wage to begin with.

Meanwhile, according to a 2016 report, the total living expenses in Canada for people over the age of 65 was just under $60,000.

That results in a significant gap between what they have and what they need to have in order to retire comfortably.

That is why it is important to decide where you will have income gaps and how much you will need to retire in Canada.

What are the Options for Retirement Planning?

There are several options for retirement planning, and they include:

1. Canadian Pension Plan (CPP)/Quebec Pension Plan (QPP)

You pay into CCP for the rest of your working life. When you retire, you will actually be able to enjoy the rewards of that.

When you retire, you can begin receiving monthly checks from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Payments are made dependent on how long you have contributed and how much you have contributed. After the age of 60, you will begin to cash in.

Regardless of how long or how much you contribute, I believe we should all agree that these monthly payments will not be enough to support a liveable existence.

Any type of supplemental retirement savings is required.

2. Old Age Security Pension (OAS)

This is a little-known benefit that everybody in Canada is eligible for once they reach the age of 65.

This applies whether or not you have already worked or are currently working. You do not contribute to the programme in the same way as you do to CPP.

And payments are dependent on the length of time you’ve lived in Canada.

3. Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)

GIS, in contrast to the previous two pension schemes, is designed exclusively for low-income people.

For those who need it, it is a complement to OAS. Your income tax returns decide whether you are eligible for GIS.

4. Pension Plans

Employee pension plans come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Others are self-directed, whereas others are funded by their employers, and still others are a combination of the two.

Whatever choice you choose, it is best to take advantage of every opportunity where your employer assists you in saving for retirement.

Employers can only contribute to a vested retirement plan in such arrangements. That is, after a certain number of years of service, you will take it with you when you leave.

For a certain amount of years of service, it pays out in full upon retirement.

Other plans allow you to set money aside for retirement each pay period. Your employer may or may not match a percentage or dollar amount to what you contribute.

Some employers do not contribute to a scheme, but they do encourage you to build forced savings by giving you the opportunity to put money into an RRSP before it is deducted from your paycheque

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5. Real Estate

One of the most significant advantages of homeownership is that it is an excellent opportunity for retirement savings.

Many of us purchase family homes that we no longer need once our children have graduated.

Why sit on a sprawling estate with vacant rooms? Downsizing in retirement helps you to free up equity in your home and put it to use in retirement.

In addition, this lets you figure out how much extra money you’ll need to retire.


Consider your Registered Retirement Savings Plan when calculating how much money you’ll need to retire (RRSP).

An RRSP is a form of savings account designed to assist Canadians in saving for retirement.

Contributions to RRSPs are tax-deductible and can be invested in a variety of ways.

Any profits made from these assets are often tax-free for as long as they are invested. This helps you to build your portfolio and retire comfortably.

7. RIFs

A Retirement Income Fund (RIF) is the successor to the RRSP, which is a tax-deferred retirement account.

After the age of 55, you can open a RIF. After the age of 71, when you must close your RRSP, the whole balance of your RRSP is transferred to a RIF. The transfer to the RIF has no tax consequences.


A TFSA is similar to every other form of savings account. You can set aside any amount of money you want (up to a government-set maximum).

You can also delete it anytime you like, without consequence. When the money is in the account, it earns interest – more interest than a conventional savings account.

What distinguishes the TFSA is that the interest that would normally be taxed in an unsheltered account is not taxed in the TFSA.

Moreover, unlike a licensed savings account, funds are tax-free when withdrawn.

How Much Does one Need to Retire in Canada?

The sum you require in retirement is determined by how your income and expenses change as you age.

In general, you can strive for 70-80 percent of your pre-retirement income for each year of your retirement.

You can spend less on savings, taxes, and transportation in retirement and more on hobbies, services, and healthcare.

You could use a calculator to determine your optimal replacement ratio (refers to the proportion of your working income that you would need in retirement).

“When calculating the cost of retirement lifestyles, most people tend to preserve their standard of living, which typically peaks in your late 40s to mid-50s,” says Steve Feinschreiber, senior vice president of Fidelity Financial Solutions.

“Fortunately, many people who have saved sufficiently for retirement will realize their aspirations because their total expenditures in retirement are usually reduced save one significant category—health care.”

The 80 percent rule is a guideline for determining what you can afford in retirement.

Consider this figure to be a reasonable starting point, and then use your salary, expected lifestyle, and health expectations to help you produce an even more relevant estimate of retirement expenses.

“Each family’s retirement situation is special,” says Beau Zhao, Fidelity’s director of Financial Solutions.

Remember that life happens, and it can devastate your retirement plan. As a result, you can account for the following possibilities:

  • Health conditions that force you to retire sooner than anticipated or result in higher-than-expected medical bills early in retirement,
  • Children who are financially dependent on their parents in retirement,
  • Divorce, and Mortgage payments that are too big,
  • Runaway inflation, or a market collapse and much more.

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How Much Do You Need to Retire at 55 in Canada?

For most people, “freedom 55” is more of a marketing slogan than a fact, but can one really retire at 55 in Canada and still thrive and enjoy post-retirement?

Absolutely, says Evan Hickey, a financial planner with RBC Financial Planning in Halifax. The trick is to build a flexible financial plan.

“Get a plan, check that plan and follow it – ideally with a financial planner who can work with you, throughout the years, to help make your plan become a reality.”

Mr. Hickey suggests answering the following three questions to decide how much money you will need to survive on in retirement, particularly because your money will most likely have to last so much longer:

What will you definitely need to spend money on in retirement?

Make a list of life’s necessities, such as food, utilities, a cell phone, car insurance, clothes, and property taxes.

What will you not be spending money on in retirement?

If you’ve been contributing to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and your children have grown, are now using the funds while attending university, or have graduated, that’s one expense off your list.

The same is true for a mortgage that has already been paid in full. Don’t forget about the smaller expenses you won’t have to pay for, such as your work wardrobe and commuting costs.

What new expenses do you foresee in retirement?

Since you are thinking about retiring early, it’s probably not because you can sit back and binge-watch Netflix for the next 30 years.

Early retirees have interests or other life goals that they would like to fulfill while they are still in good health.

In reality, some expenses can be higher during the first few years of retirement, particularly if you travel a lot, even with potentially higher health-care costs factored in.

So consider what a peaceful, prolonged retirement would entail for you. If it requires international travel, a condo in Arizona, two days a week on the golf course, or even returning to school, be mindful that your retirement accounts and government benefits will have to cover those additional costs – as well as core living expenses.

Begin by creating a budget for your retirement plan.

Everyone’s financial needs are going to be different, according to Mr. Hickey, As a result, you can conduct a budgeting exercise to assess your individual retirement income requirements.

Then, as you approach retirement, your conversations with your financial advisor will shift to generating tax-efficient retirement income and determining how to ensure your assets will last during your retirement years.

The good news is… The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security will be part of the retirement savings (OAS).

Given that the average Canadian retiree receives approximately $14,865 per year* from these pensions ($29,730 per couple), early retirement may seem feasible for some baby boomers who are undecided about when to retire.

Bottom Line

When it comes to retirement plans in Canada, the key is to get started as soon as possible.

Now is the time to think about how you can handle your future fixed costs without the help of a paycheck.

If you are unsure how to prepare for retirement, you can consult with a financial planner. Assess your hopes, aspirations, and willingness to save for the future.

Compounding interest is your best mate, and being over-prepared is preferable to being under-prepared. What amount do you believe you would need in retirement?



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