Retirement planning: How much do you involve your children?

With the boomer generation of Canadians reaching retirement age, CBC News speaks to investment advisors about how to best plan for retirement and whether or not parents should divulge their plans to their children.

Financial advisors say it's important to involve your kids in retirement planning in case something goes wrong

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When should you start planning for retirement?

That's the question millions of Canadians face, and while there's no exact science, many experts say the earlier the better, and make sure you don't retire with any debt.

Rob Rongve is an investment advisor in Saskatchewan. He suggested planning for your retirement should start no later than your 50s or 60s, since you're getting closer to retirement. That's also the time retirees should consider having the hard talk with their children about their retirement.

"It's important to have discussions about money and if there is money, because if the money's not there, what happens at that point?" Rongve said, adding parents might not be too eager to share their financial picture with their children.

But it's important to have the retirement talk with their children in case they need to foot a hefty medical bill or pay for home care, or if parents end up running out of money during their retirement.

"Who is going to pay the bills? Where is the person going to live? So it's important to look at that ahead, about five years ahead, it takes some stress away," he said.

For those approaching retirement looking for a safety net, Rongve recommends looking into a reverse mortgage on a home that's already paid off.

A reverse mortgage takes that home equity and turns it into income. Rongve said that's an ideal way for retirees to bring some extra income during retirement because of a rise in property values in Saskatchewan.

Property investment vs. cashing out

Marilyn Schiller at the Regina Seniors Centre said she and her husband retired in 2004. She told CBC News that if she had the chance to invest for her retirement again, she would've invested more into rental properties, rather than putting her money in the bank.

"13 years retired and retirement looks great; we're still busy," she said.

The couple owned their own business and made a decent income while investing into RSPs and savings accounts for more than 40 years preparing for retirement.

The one regret she has is that they didn't re-invest the money after selling off their assets.

"When we retired instead of putting money in the bank, we should've invested it like another property to rent, because property values have gone up but money in the bank hasn't."


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