The CARP Financial Planning Guide

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is the golden rule of successful financial planning. But when it comes to retired persons, or the nearly-retired, a diversified strategy is too often disregarded in the desire to switch to “safe” investments. The truth is, no single investment protects against all risks. The best hedge for seniors against what lies ahead is a diversified portfolio of investments.

“Should I sell the family home?” Eventually, many retired persons arrive at this difficult and emotional question. There are numerous factors to be considered, but ultimately, the decision comes down to a financial choice. How much will the home cost to keep up? How much will I spend monthly for rent? Can I afford to move into a retirement home? Making the right choice means finding answers to these and other questions.

Retiring someplace warm is a dream for many. Turning this into reality, however, involves careful financial planning. Taxation, healthcare costs, and other factors must be taken into account before heading off to a “carefree” existence.

These are a sampling of the topics covered in the newly released 5th edition of the C.A.R.P. Financial Planningide, by authors Warren MacKenzie, C.A., C.F.P., and Graham Byron, C.F.P.

Not just another book about financial planning, the authors have zeroed in on the financial questions and concerns of persons over the age of 50, and have produced a guide that helps provide some answers.

“As we listened to hundreds of questions about financial planning at the scores of workshops we have conducted, the need for a well-focused planning guide for seniors became more evident,” the authors write.

Mr. MacKenzie and Mr. Byron are Certified Financial Planners and both work as Financial Advisors at Merrill Lynch Canada Inc., in Toronto. These experts have led over 130 financial planning workshops on CARP’s behalf.

Tax saving strategies, estate planning, steps to building a balanced portfolio, handling pensions, mortgage options — these and many other areas are covered in the 5th edition of the C.A.R.P. Financial Planning Guide. Written in easy-to-understand language, there’s no scrimping on good advice. The 5th edition even includes a new section on top picks of mutual funds for the mature investor. Even though past performance doesn’t guarantee future success, it’s one of the factors the authors review when assessing a fund.

“In financial planning, as in rowing, there are different strokes for different folks. We believe each person has to find his or her own comfort level. It’s a matter of setting goals and then deciding what’s best for you”, say the authors.