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Prepare for a stress-free retirement

(NC) No matter where you are in your life or career, retirement will arrive faster than you think. Once you stop working, maintaining your standard of living means replacing about 70 per cent of your annual income every year. Achieving that requires far more than strategic saving and smart investments. It also means planning for the unexpected.

The following steps will help you prepare for an enjoyable, stress-free retirement:

• Set your retirement goals now. Many adults leave this until very late, creating unnecessary headaches. Yes, the plan you make today will look different from what transpires, but by looking ahead early, you can create a flexible strategy that will let you meet your objectives even when surprises happen.

• Consider these questions:

How will inflation impact my savings?

What are my spending habits and how will they evolve?

What is my life expectancy or, in other words, how long will I need my retirement savings to last?

• Determine how much you are projected to receive from the Canada Pension Plan. This is simply done using online tools that are readily available from Service Canada. It will directly impact your income going forward.

• Expect the unexpected. Sudden illness, critical health issues, or disability can drastically change your financial situation, both during your career and once you have retired. “Health issues lead to 60 per cent of early retirements, with unforeseen circumstances derailing long-term plans. There are ways to safeguard against this and they start with insurance,” says Rob Stier, the marketing and product distribution manager at Western Life Assurance. “Different policies take care of disability and critical illness and they fall outside typical plans. You should talk to your insurance advisor to see which one is right for you. The younger you are when deciding on a policy reduces costs and allows for greater availability.”

You can retire on your own terms, even in the event of a change in your well-being or financial situation. Planning ahead, using a flexible, foresighted approach, and protecting yourself against surprises will ensure peace of mind and overall happiness.

If you have questions about your existing policy or what kind of additional coverage you might need, more information is available at www.westernfinancialgroup.ca.

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