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Get caught up on how to catch up

Beginning with the end (your ideal retirement!) in mind will help you map out a realistic, actionable plan to get you there

January 2021  2 min read

Unless you are in the ever-shrinking group of Canadians with a defined-benefit pension, you have probably wondered about how you will be able to afford retirement. In fact, the only thing you may know for certain about saving for retirement is that you probably have not done enough.

That’s not good, but you may take some comfort in knowing you are not alone: nearly half of Canadians say they don’t have a plan. And most of those with a plan say they have not actually written it down. Knowing that may help keep you from beating yourself up, or worse, giving up. But there’s no time for any of that—let’s talk instead about catching up.

The most important thing you can do to catch up? Figure out where you want to get to. If you don't have a realistic idea of what you want your retirement to look like, you won't know which steps are in the right direction. And having a clear goal in mind will help you make every money decision you'll need to make between now and your retirement. Whether it's an online tool, a printed workbook, or a conversation with a trusted financial planner, once you have written down a clear, detailed picture of you and your finances in retirement, you can start on the "when?" and "how?"

There are a lot of ways to catch up on savings, such as RRSPs, TFSAs, and automated deposits. But knowing your goal will make it much easier to decide which ones are right for you. So, start there, and take heart: doing something is always better than doing nothing. And since you haven't retired yet, there's still time to do something.