Canada Day is the perfect opportunity to consider all the good reasons why living in Canada and being a Canadian is so terrific. One you may not have considered is that Canada is a great place to retire! A comfortable retirement is something we too often take for granted but when you look at the benefits available to Canadian retirees – benefits not available to retirees in other countries – it’s clear that Canada rocks retirement, here’s some reasons why:
- All wage earning and self-employed Canadians are eligible to receive either Canada Pension Plan or the Québec Pension Plan (CPP/QPP) retirement benefits, which are indexed for inflation. A couple can choose to share CPP/QPP benefits for tax purposes.
- Those who have lived in Canada for at least 40 years after age 18 will receive the full monthly Old Age Security (OAS) benefit, which is indexed for inflation. Canadian residents who have lived in Canada for at least 10 years after age 18 will receive a prorated OAS monthly payment.
- Seniors with a lower income may be eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), a tax-free monthly payment, which is indexed for inflation.
- Every tax-eligible Canadian gets the Basic Personal Tax Credit and those over age 65 also receive an Age Credit. Other tax credits that can benefit retirees include the Medical Expense Credit, the Dependent Credit, the Disability Credit, and the Caregivers Credit. There are also generous tax credits for those making charitable donations.
- Canadians can take advantage of the tax-deferred, compound growth benefits of investments in Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs).
- Any Canadian resident who receives periodic payments from a registered pension plan can potentially reduce their taxes by splitting pension income with a spouse/common-law partner.
- Those over age 65 who receive Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) income are also eligible for the federal and provincial Pension Income Credit and can allocate up to 50% of their RRIF income to a spouse for tax purposes.
- Canadians can invest in Tax-free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) that generate tax-free investment income that does not affect income-tested federal benefits.
- And, of course, Canadian retirees have access to a wide range of health care services at little or no direct cost.
Canada is a great place to retire! But to make your retirement all it can be, you need a plan that includes retirement income from other sources such as your company or personal pension plan and your own investments. Your professional advisor can help make sure you have everything in place for a great retirement in a great country.
This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Québec – a Financial Services Firm), and Investors Group Securities Inc. (in Québec, a firm in Financial Planning) presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Contact your own advisor for specific advice about your circumstances. For more information on this topic please contact your Investors Group Consultant.