Feel like retirement is years away? Too busy to think about it? Financial experts note that it takes just a few simple steps — now — to begin charting a comfortable retirement.
"Many Canadians feel overwhelmed by retirement planning so they delay taking the first step to securing their future," observes Ian Filderman, Director of Mutual Funds at Scotiabank. "You really just need to spend some time thinking about it earlier than later, and follow a few simple steps, to head in the right direction."
The first step is setting up a Retirement Savings Plan (RSP). The RSP is a very important vehicle for most Canadians to grow their retirement savings, as investments grow and compound on a tax sheltered basis. Once the RSP is established, and the contribution made, the next step is deciding how to invest it.
"A qualified financial advisor can explain the basics and help you plan your investments," says Filderman, adding that a novice investor just needs to consider three basic principles.
First, invest early. It’s better to establish a savings and investing pattern today since time, and the magic of compound interest, will allow your savings to grow over your working life.
Second, invest regularly. By setting up a pre-authorized contribution, a set amount of money is automatically withdrawn from your bank account every month and directed into the investment of your choice. And the payback? Assuming you invest $100 a month and earn a modest 7 per cent return compounded annually, after 25 years, you’ll have accumulated over $78,000.
Third, stay invested. Seasoned investors know that, while the value of your investments may fluctuate with markets in the short term, with a diversified portfolio you can weather market uncertainty and enjoy long-term growth.