One of the many challenges faced by business owners is learning how to balance how much to reinvest into the business and how much to set aside for personal savings. Knowing that retirement is in the future and with fewer employer-sponsored pension plans available, it is important to have a retirement plan in place.

We've put together an infographic checklist that can help you get started on your retirement plans.  We know this can be a difficult conversation so we're here to help and provide guidance to help you achieve your retirement dreams.

Income Needs

  • Determine how much income you will need in retirement.
  • Make sure you account for inflation in your calculations.


  • You should try to pay off your debts as soon as you can; preferably, before you retire.


  • As you age, your insurance needs change. Make sure to review your insurance needs; in particular, your medical and dental insurance because a lot of plans do not provide health plans to retirees.
  • Review your life insurance coverage. You may not necessarily need as much life insurance as when you had dependents and a mortgage, but you may still need to review your estate and final expense needs.
  • Prepare for the unexpected, such as a critical illness or a need for long-term care.

Government Benefits

  • Check what benefits are available to you upon retirement.
  • Canada Pension Plan - decide when it would be ideal to apply for, and receive CPP payments. Business owners are in a unique position to control how much can be contributed to CPP by deciding to pay salary or dividends (dividends don’t trigger CPP contributions).
  • Old Age Security - check pension amounts and see if there’s a possibility of clawback (reducing your OAS benefit payments).
  • Guaranteed Income Supplement - depending on your level of income, you could apply for GIS.


  • Are you a candidate for an individual pension plan (IPP)? IPP’s can provide higher contributions than typically permitted for an RRSP, allowing you to create a lifelong pension.
  • Consider creating a group RRSP or company pension plan. This is a great way for you to build retirement savings and provide benefits for your employees and business.
  • Make sure you are regularly putting aside savings towards your retirement, whether it is in an RRSP, TFSA, or non-registered investments.
  • Ensure your investment mix makes sense for your situation.
  • Don’t forget to check if there are any other income sources (eg., rental income, etc.)


  • The sale of your business can be part of your retirement nest egg; therefore, you should be aware of the valuation of your business and whether you plan to sell the business to your family, employees, partners or a third party.
  • Are you planning to use the sale of your home or other assets to fund your retirement?
  • Will you be receiving an inheritance?

One other consideration that is not discussed in the checklist is divorce. This can be an uncomfortable topic; however, divorce amongst adults ages 50 and over is on the rise and this can affect your retirement goals.

Next steps...
Contact us about helping you get your retirement plan in order so your retirement dreams can be achieved.