Sept 15: Best from the blogosphere

September 15, 2014

By Sheryl Smolkin

I’m back at my desk after a week in Orlando with my daughter’s family, including our two year old granddaughter. While Disney and pool time were lots of fun, I’m not sorry to return to late summer weather in Canada. In my book, clear skies and 20 degrees is as good as it gets.

As the new the business year kicks off,  Best from the Blogosphere gets back to some retirement basics. How much do you need to retire? When can you afford to retire? Where do you want to retire?

In How much you need to save for retirement, says how much you need to retire depends on your age, your lifestyle and the amounts you will receive from government benefits. There is a useful link to a calculator from Service Canada to estimate your income in retirement and seven tips for last minute savers.

While the best known vehicles for retirement savings are Registered Retirement Savings Plans and defined contribution plans like the Saskatchewan Pension Plan, for the last five years Canadians over18 have also been able to open tax free savings accounts.  My Own Advisor’s Mark Seed reminds us of some of the very best things about the TFSA.

Many people have been diligent about saving and accumulated significant amounts, but they are still apprehensive about retiring and dipping into their savings. Boomer & Echo’s Marie Engen answers the question Can I afford to retire? for one couple. She says their challenge is to shift from savings and asset gathering mode to spending mode  — something even the greatest savers have the most trouble doing.  As a result, they may needlessly deny themselves a pleasurable retirement.

Donna McCaw says on Retire Happy that delayed retirement is a retirement plan. In other words, larger numbers of Canadians are choosing to work longer because they like their jobs or they need the money. She quotes D. Banda of the American Association of Retired persons who claims, “Older workers are changing the workplace to an extent women did 30 years ago when they started entering the force in greater numbers.”

And finally, where you retire can have a significant impact on both your finances and quality of life. In his MoneySense blog Financial Independence, Jonathan Chevreau says you should test out the retirement lifestyle in your community to ensure it is a good fit. He concludes that where he lives in Long Branch, Ontario meant an hour commute each way when he worked in downtown Toronto, but it’s a perfect retirement haven.

Do you follow blogs with terrific ideas for saving money that haven’t been mentioned in our weekly “Best from the blogosphere?” Share the information with us on and your name will be entered in a quarterly draw for a gift card.

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