Financial Consumer Agency of Canada Launches New Senior Resource

November 7, 2013 · Print This Article

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has just launched Living in Retirement, a website which seniors can use to help plan their finances in retirement. The Minister of State for Seniors, Alison Wong, stated: “Our government is committed to improving the lives of seniors in many ways, including financial literacy. It is a critical life skill for all Canadians and particularly for Canadian seniors – who often face unique financial challenges.”

The goal of the site is to increase the financial literacy of seniors by giving them unbiased advice on topics like:

  • Retirement budgeting
  • Income sources in retirement
  • Federal tax credits and other tax advice for seniors
  • Financial abuse and fraud
  • Housing options for seniors

Great Online Tools for Seniors or Anyone Planning Retirement
There are a number of convenient tools for anyone planning for retirement, including a retirement budgeting tool, links to provincial and territorial benefit programs, and links to programs to help out seniors who want to work in retirement.

Where it Could Do More
While the tool is really good at explaining a number of financial factors affecting the lives of seniors, the one major area missing is health care, which can account for a large percentage of any elderly person’s budget. While it may seem like a completely separate topic, access to home care, information about medical insurance, and more are hopefully tools they are planning to add down the road. If you want to find out more about health care in your senior years, your municipality and province will usually have resources available to you.

Where it Hits the Mark
Besides being an unbiased, plain-language resource, the advice given on the website is obviously carefully researched and presented in the best interests of seniors. For example, they warn that commission-based financial advisors may not give you the best advice, while fee-based financial advisors are working specifically for your interests. All of the advice given on the site is presented in an unbiased, seniors-first way that is very helpful.

Traveling and Living Abroad
Another great thing the site does is to give excellent tax and financial advice for seniors who plan to travel or live abroad in retirement. They clearly outline how long you have to stay in Canada to maintain medical coverage, and provide links and resources for how extended stays may also affect your taxes. This is much clearer and easy to understand than trying to find out this information through the Canadian Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA).

Retirement Checklist
One of the most useful resources on the site is the Retirement Checklist. It gives you an extensive list of items to consider when planning or if you’re in retirement, including projecting future living arrangements, their associated costs, and more. This is important as many Canadians tend to consider their retirement as having fixed costs that won’t change or fluctuate substantially; the reality is that there may be health care costs, assisted living facility costs, and more that need to be built into every Canadian’s retirement plan.

If you’re wondering about how to finance your retirement, contact us about reverse mortgages for information you can take to a financial advisor.