Are you ready for a long retirement?

An automatic retirement savings plan is easy and painless.

Sarah Twomey | Desjardins Group

As we often hear in the media, Canadians are living longer. Although there's been a significant increase in men's life expectancy, women still have the edge. On average, retirement could last 29 years for women compared to 25 years for men.

The fact is, we're all living longer than past generations and we have to make sure that our retirement savings don't run out. Even though it's sometimes hard to do, we need to save more during our working years.

We also hear of Canadians who believe that they'll top up their savings by working through retirement. That's not always a realistic option because of unforeseeable events like illness, for example. 

The best option is to create a financial plan that includes an automatic retirement savings component, with the help of a financial planner. The advisor will be able to help you visualize what your retirement will look like to help determine your ideal cash flow during retirement. 

Once this part is done, the rest is pretty easy. Consider setting up automatic transfers to your retirement savings account to coincide with payday. This is a fast, easy and painless way to quickly grow your nest-egg. Another way is to contribute to your employer's group retirement plan. This has many benefits, including lower management and investment fees than with individual plans, which can help to increase your returns.

*Source: Life expectancy at birth and at age 65, Canada, Ontario and Quebec, 2009 to 2011. Statistics Canada, Demography Division. (

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