Your secure retirement requires careful planning

August is a good time to plan for the coming fall and winter.

Students look ahead to the new school term, while those in the workforce may consider a career. If you’re retired, you probably have other goals — perhaps moving to new surroundings, taking up a hobby, volunteering for a good cause or just kicking-back and enjoying life.

This year, more than ever, there’s special reason to make plans for our future — the dawn of a new millenium. What better time to do some serious personal planning both for our own happiness and satisfaction, and for the benefit of our families?

As a financial planning consultant, my thoughts obviously first turn to money matters. I think everyone should have a financial plan for the rest of their life and I’d like to help CARPNews readers establish one — consider it, if you will, a millenium project.

Here’s how to get started:
First, take stock of where you are now. Make a list of your financial assets and liabilities, regular income and future sources of funds; ongoing and planned expenses (including taxes); existing savings and investment progms; disability and life insurance coverage, etc. List everything — it will help put your current affairs in perspective.

Next, try to determine your personal goals. Not just financial objectives but your personal plans. Many will have financial implications. Will you change jobs or seek further education? What major purchases are in store? Do you know when you’d like to retire? Do you have an estate plan and a will? Again, write it all down.

Based on your current situation you could attempt a written budget or cash flow projection for the future, monthly and annually. Of course, events will change as time passes and your projections will have to be revised and refined continually, but the important thing is to have a blueprint.

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I’m discontinuing my newsletter and replacing it with a new financial planning website, The objective of the site is to help everyone choose their best retirement planning strategy. We’ll research the best retirement savings and investment programs, including alternatives to RRSP’s and mutual funds; we’ll also discuss how to handle and make the best use of government programs for retirees, such as when to take CPP benefits and how to avoid the OAS clawback; and, we’ll also help you maximize your available retirement funds and standard of living by minimizing the taxes you pay now and later. <!—

My August Taxletter for Investors will look at a strategic approach to retirement planning and personal financial management as we approach the next century. For a copy, please send $5 to cover printing and mailing to: Donald I. Beach & Associates Inc., 2555 Highway 7, Greenwood, ON. L0H 1H0