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Take every opportunity to keep more of your hard-earned money and enjoy the journey ahead.

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Top Retirement FAQs

Taxes are an important part of income planning in retirement. That’s because you may be getting more of your income from personal savings and distributions from your investments, which can be taxed at different rates. This can have a big impact on the after-tax dollars that you have to spend in retirement.

The chart below shows the after-tax cash flow from different kinds of distributions.

It's not what you earn - it's what you keep. For every $1,000 in annual pre-tax cash flow, how much is left after tax? Interest: $650. Capital Gains: $825. Canadian Dividends: $862. Return of Capital: $1,000. Based on an investor with a 35% marginal tax rate. Note: Return of capital distributions are not taxable in the year they are received, but do lower your adjusted cost base, which could lead to a higher capital gain or smaller capital loss when the investment is eventually sold.

With careful planning, you may be able to reduce or delay paying tax on income from your personal savings. Ask an RBC Financial Planner to create a retirement income plan that gives you the income you need in the most tax-efficient way possible.

For many Canadians, health—and the cost of health care—becomes a prominent concern at some point in retirement. Many expenses may not be fully covered by provincial health insurance, resulting in additional out-of-pocket expenses you hadn’t planned on. To prepare for potential future health costs, it’s a good idea to ensure a portion of your investments are liquid and can be easily converted to income when and if you need additional funds. You can also set up an emergency savings account that offers easy access to cash.

Creating a plan that looks after your interests if you were to become physically or mentally incapacitated is also important, which includes deciding who will manage your affairs if you cannot (such as a Power of Attorney or Mandate in Quebec).

Also looking at lifestyle decisions, such as knowing whether to down-size your home, can help you be better prepared.

Retirement is a time of change. Working with an RBC Financial Planner can help you live your best retirement while preparing for potential health changes down the road.

For more on this topic, see Planning for Health Changes in Retirement.

Not at all! However, it is a common misconception that only the wealthy need estate planning. Without estate planning, there can be significant unnecessary costs to your estate and additional burdens for family members after you die. Just about everyone can benefit from creating an estate plan. Young or old, wealthy or middle class, an estate plan can reduce the taxes and expenses of your estate, simplify and speed up the passing of assets to your beneficiaries and make sure that your beneficiaries are protected.

For more information, see What is Estate Planning and Why Does it Matter?

Moving to the U.S. for part of the year is more complicated than packing your summer clothes and getting on a plane. There are important considerations to becoming a snowbird, including what items to bring, how long you are allowed to stay before you need to start paying U.S. taxes and the potential for losing your provincial health insurance coverage.

To see what you need to know, check out our Five Tips for Soon-To-Be Snowbirds.

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