Procrastinators’ Portfolio

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When saving for retirement, it’s never too late.

It’s a situation stressful enough to send most people’s anxiety levels sky-high. You wake up one morning, you’re 50, and you have no retirement savings. Unfortunately, many Canadians are heading toward that scenario or, worse, are living it. According to two Ipsos-Reid polls released earlier this year, six out of 10 adults feel they began saving for retirement much too late in life, and nearly 30% of investors do not own an RRSP. “Retirement is catching a lot of people by surprise,” says Diane McCurdy, a certified financial planner and author of How Much is Enough? “And they’re either panicking or burying their heads in the sand.”

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Smart spending: Learn your financial disposition.

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According to financial planner and author Diane McCurdy, people have “financial attitudes” unique to them, and these attitudes shape how we should go about planning for retirement. “There are strengths and weaknesses in each; the problem is that if you take that weakness of the financial personality too far, you could get into financial trouble,” McCurdy said. McCurdy compiled her expertise in a book called How Much Is Enough? In her book, McCurdy includes a 14-question quiz to help determine if you are a builder, saver, giver or spender.

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Twenty Key Strategies for Making Enough

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Peace of mind is your reward for following the How Much Is Enough? program. If you’re on track for your Enough Number, enjoy today’s pleasures without worry. If you’re not on track, you’ll know your choices for doing what you have to do. It may be as easy as saving a few more dollars a month.

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How can I save when just living takes all the money I’ve got?

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It’s very tough when you’re stretched to the limit. If your situation will probably change in a few years, you might be able to make up for not saving now. But if you think you’ll be at this same level for some time, you really need to create a cushion for yourself. First, be very clear what is a want and what is a need. One of your needs is to save 10% of your earnings. If you can have that taken off your paycheque before your get it, you won’t notice it so much. Allocate enough money to cover your needs, then plan what you want to do with the rest.

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I’ll be forced to retire in ten years, but I only have a few thousand put away. If I start saving like mad now, will I have enough?

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How much is enough in retirement depends entirely on the individual. Use the Retirement Savings Calculator to determine your own Enough Number. You can see where you’ll be if you save at different rates, retire earlier or later or adjust your projected retirement income up or down.

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