Retirement Strategies in the Pandemic Age


COVID-19 is impacting almost every area of our lives, and for many of us, unfortunately that also includes our personal savings, investments, and income. It’s a stressful and confusing time for so many reasons, and we’re bombarded with information about everything from infection stats to re-opening strategies on a daily basis. If you’re like most people, there is definitely some fatigue setting in as far as the deluge of pandemic information goes. It’s a lot to digest—and there seems to be so much to worry about.

But mixed in the with the doom and gloom there is reassuring news. Canada appears to finally be flattening the curve, there are protective measures at retail outlets that can help keep employees and customers safer, and vaccine trials have begun in labs all over the world. It may seem like everything is very fragile right now, but there are sound strategies in place to help ensure that we’re able to weather this current storm as safely as possible.

Fortunately, that also includes strategies to help protect our financial security, which is a huge concern, particularly for those who are in or approaching retirement.

For instance, as part of its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the federal government has reduced the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) and Life Income Funds (LIFs) by 25% for 2020.

The government has recognized that COVID-19 is contributing to market volatility, and unfortunately that volatility has a direct impact on the retirement savings of seniors. This new economic measure is designed to help ease the burden by offering flexibility, tax savings, and an extension on the length of time you have to withdraw from your RRIF.

For more details about this measure and how it impacts you, visit the Government of Canada website.

This is good news for a few reasons. First of all, if you can afford to only withdraw the minimum amount from your RRIF, more of your money remains in that RRIF to continue earning interest. Secondly, if you are holding products like a Harvest Equity Income ETF in your RRIF, it’s conceivable that the yield payments from that ETF could cover your withdrawal amount.

How is that even possible? Primarily because Harvest ETFs are designed to provide steady income and growth potential—it’s what they do. In fact, they are ideal for retirement income needs because they are focused on delivering consistent income while remaining invested in established, dividend-paying businesses. And because that income can be taken or invested back into the ETF, it’s a one-stop-shop for growing your retirement capital over time, while paying yourself a steady income.

In a nutshell, an ETF has the potential to help you earn more money than the amount you are required to withdraw from your RRIF each year, so it’s one way to keep steady income in your portfolio—particularly during volatile, low-interest rate times like these.

Finding alternative ways to generate income is critical at the best of times, and these are obviously not the best of times. But the fact is that we still need to provide for our income needs today while maintaining investment capital for what could potentially be an extended retirement regardless of what chaos is happening in the world around us. Harvest specializes in developing products that both meet income requirements and look to maintain or grow investment capital, so it’s worth exploring these solutions.

In the meantime, stay safe.

Talk to your financial advisor for more information and visit Harvest at

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