5 Tips to Help You Reach Your Retirement Goals

Many of us have lofty goals for retirement. We want to live in comfort, but to do that, it’s important to build up a nest egg. Reaching your retirement goals requires planning and persistence. If you want a better chance of reaching your goals for retirement, here are five tips to consider:

1. Start as Soon as Possible

The most important thing is to start saving for retirement as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter if you think you are too young, or if you think you don’t have enough money to begin. It’s often possible to start investing for retirement with as little as $50 a month. The earlier you start investing for retirement, the longer your money has to benefit from the effects of compound interest. Start now, and your chances of meeting your goals will be improved.

2. Use as Much of Your RRSP Contribution Room as Possible

One of the ways to save for retirement is to use your RRSP. There are tax advantages associated with contributing to your RRSP, and this provides you with an opportunity to make the most of your money. While you might not be able to use your contribution room at first, it carries over, and you can add more as you become better able. Contribute as much as you can to your RRSP so that more of your money grows with greater tax efficiency.

3. Make it Automatic

Sometimes, remembering to contribute the money to your retirement portfolio is difficult. Instead of relying on your own memory, make your contributions automatic. Doing it automatically can help you ensure that a contribution is made each month. On top of that, your automatic contribution can be set in your budget. That way, the money comes out first, and you don’t have a chance to spend it. Make it a regular part of your budget, and you won’t be so tempted to skip your contribution each month.

4. Rebalance Your Portfolio

It’s important to double check your portfolio regularly. Consider your goals and your needs. That way, you can figure out which assets in your portfolio are most likely to help you reach your retirement goals. However, it’s important to periodically review your portfolio so that you know whether or not its composition is continuing to help you toward your retirement goals. While you don’t want to always be changing your asset allocation (it can be very efficient), you do need to occasionally rebalance your portfolio, though, to make sure that you are track.

5. Increase Your Contributions

Even after you run out of RRSP contribution room for the year, it’s still a good idea to continue working to shore up your retirement. As you earn more money, it’s a good idea to increase your retirement contributions. And, when you run out of room in your RRSP, you can employ other tactics. The TFSA makes a good place for retirement savings, and you can also use extra income you have to establish alternative income sources. If you make an effort to start a business, or use income investments over time, you’ll have more revenue sources later on, in retirement.

Written by Tom Drake

Tom Drake is the owner and head writer of Canadian Finance Blog. While you’re here, consider signing up for the RSS feed or email subscription. Both deliver the latest articles directly to you everyday! Have a Twitter account? Then follow me for all the latest posts or to send me any comments or questions!

4 Responses to 5 Tips to Help You Reach Your Retirement Goals

  1. Starting as soon as possible is huge and if you automate it you won’t miss it nearly as much! Those two are huge and should at least get you on track if you can set aside a decent amount of your salary. I use a target date fund so re-balancing is taken care of for me.

  2. Tom great post. The ideas presented here transcend borders, change RRSP (I think) to 401(k) and so forth and this applies equally to retirement savers here in the US

  3. Virata Gamany says:

    A lot of people forget about the mortgage/RRSP relationship and the possibilities there, too. If you have enough if your account, you can hold your mortgage there, use the money to pay off the higher-rate-of-interest loan to the bank, then pay the RRSP account back at a predetermined rate each month. The savings you encounter in a reduced monthly payment can then be used to increase your RRSP savings or even used for further investments (like rental properties) to increase wealth and better position yourself for the future.

  4. TheMoneyGuide.ca says:

    Tom

    Another great article.

    I think the one strategy that would most benefit those looking to save would definitely have to be #3 – Make it automatic. Human beings emotional creatures and we make emotional decisions e.g. spending more than we make.

    The best thing you can do for your future is to set an automatic payment from your bank directly to your RRSP/Investment account.

    DO NOT leave it up to yourself to make the transfer…it will often not happen.

    Phil

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