Ready to Retire

If you are within 5 years of retirement, do this now!

Excerpts from the Book – Preserving Wealth – written by Jack Lumsden, MBA, CFP®

Track your expenses!! 

If you are thinking about retiring within the next 5 years, you need to determine how much you spend in a year.

Your day to day living expenses is the starting point to determine if you are on-track, or even in the ballpark to be able to retire and live the lifestyle that you want. You can’t even begin to work out if you are on-track without your expenses, and those need to be somewhat close to accurate.

Your spending is the starting point to determine if you can create a strategy to address the common concerns of soon to be retirees:

  • Making sure they can do the things they want in retirement,
  •  Maintaining consistent income for life,
  • Paying less tax,
  • Providing financial security for loved ones, and
  • Transferring family wealth successfully to the next generation.


2020 was a great year to use as a baseline to determine your day-to-day living expenses, as most people basically stayed at home for the year.

The bank we use has a financial tracking package, where I can track expenses from our bank account and credit cards and allocate them into categories. If your bank doesn’t have a software program, you can email me at and I can send you an excel document to use.

One thing you will have to remember is to remove items you won’t have once you stop working, such as RRSP savings, child expenses (hopefully!!), and maybe no more mortgage or debt payments.

The following is an excerpt that describes how much income you need in retirement. 


Uncle Wayne got up, walked to the counter, and poured another glass of orange juice. “I like to break it down into day-to-day expenses, which are your normal daily living expenses and what I call ‘do what you want when you want’ spending, which is really your fun money. This could be travel, bird watching, writing a novel, and perhaps your bucket list items. For this spending, I’d suggest you plan to do that in your first ten to fifteen years of retirement, when you’re healthy.

“Other costs to consider would be replacement costs for things such as a new roof, furnace, or car. Also, you have contingencies that may occur, such as helping grandkids with their education, or health care expenses, such as funds for a retirement home or a long-term care facility, or extra help at home if required.”

“That’s a lot of stuff to think of,” Mark commented. “Where do we start?” 

“I’d suggest the starting point is to determine how much you want to spend each year, so look at your current expenses and then deduct what expenses you may no longer have once you stop working. Next, determine your sources of guaranteed income, such as Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan, and company pension plans like Sally has. The difference between your guaranteed sources of income and what you want to spend is how much income or cash flow you’ll require from your own investments. Once you find this out, you can see if conservative investments such as GICs or bonds will provide you the income you require for the rest of your lives. If not, you’ll have to look at other options.” Uncle Wayne sorted through his papers and gave each of us a sheet. “I had thought that you might ask this question, Mark, as you’ve hinted at retiring over the last several months, so I printed this out yesterday for you to review.”

“The Wayner is always thinking ahead,” I added.

A further article is HERE

For more information you can refer to Preserving Wealth: The Next Generation – The definitive guide to protecting, investing and transferring wealth by Jack Lumsden, MBA, CFP®


For your free retirement readiness assessment CLICK HERE

Jack Lumsden, MBA CFP®   Financial Advisor, Assante Financial Management

This material is provided for general information and is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to compile this material from reliable sources however no warranty can be made as to its accuracy or completeness. Before acting on any of the above, please make sure to see me for individual financial advice based on your personal circumstances. The information provided is for illustrative purposes only. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses, may all be associated with mutual fund investments. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently, and past performance may not be repeated. Please read the Fund Facts and consult your Assante Advisor before investing.

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