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What to do 6 months before retirement

  1. Establish a retirement budget
  2. Take the necessary measures
  3. Get expert advice

After a busy professional life, your retirement is now fast approaching!

These last few months before moving to a new stage in your life are important. Of course, you want to end your career on a high note! But you also need to devote some time to finalizing the details of your retirement.

This action plan gives you the steps you need to take in the months before retirement.

When you were on the job market, your employer paid you a regular salary, provided you with a group insurance plan and paid into your pension fund.

Now those tasks will be up to you. You will need to make decisions about:

  • managing your income
  • life and health insurance coverage
  • eventually transferring your assets to your heirs

The first thing to do is get a complete picture of your situation by establishing your retirement budget.

In doing so, you'll:

  • calculate your monthly income (from the government and your own investments)
  • evaluate your expenses and financial needs
  • determine if your income will be sufficient to retire
  • consider, if the results of your calculations aren't as high as you'd like, whether to close the gap using your savings, investments or some of your personal assets

Once you have a budget, you'll be able to work with a financial advisor to plan a financial strategy that suits your situation.

Tools and tips

Your retirement budget

Assess your retirement income and expenses.

Do the math - Your retirement budget

Knowing your financial health

A list of your assets and debts gives an accurate picture of your financial situation.

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5 essential questions about retirement

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My budget tool

Available exclusively to Desjardins caisse members, the My budget management tool gives you an accurate picture of your everyday income and expenses.

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If you haven't already done so, there are a number of decisions you need to make regarding your estate planning.

Here's how:

Make a will

The purpose of a will is to bequeath your property to your heirs in accordance with your wishes. A will can be written by anyone 18 years of age or older, said to be "of sound mind." Ideally, this should be done before a notary.

Have a mandate in case of incapacity (proxy)

The proxy or mandate in case of incapacity is a legal document in which a person is given the right to act on behalf of another person in case of terminal illness, a permanent state of unconsciousness or inability to make decisions.

Write a living will

The living will is a legal document not to be confused with a will. The living will simply sets forth to the family and doctors the care a person wishes to receive or not in the event of an illness or disabling injury.

It takes effect only when the person cannot express their own wishes.

Appoint a liquidator

The liquidator (formerly called executor) is the person named in a will to settle an estate. This person will be responsible to perform the following tasks, among others:

  • Pay debts and taxes.
  • Notify various government agencies of death.
  • Cancel credit cards, subscriptions to magazines, etc.
  • Close bank accounts.
  • Distribute property according to the deceased's wishes.

Useful links

  • Ministère de la Justice du Québec: Wills
  • Éducaloi: Testaments (in French only)

Are you having trouble understanding one or more aspects of your retirement? That's normal, no one can know everything. The good thing is that you can always get advice from the various professionals who know the answers to your questions.

For example:

Consult a financial advisor or financial planner to:

  • prepare your savings withdrawal strategy
  • acquire a disbursement plan such as an annuity or a guaranteed investment fund
  • take out the necessary insurance to replace group insurance coverage you lose when you retire

Consult your employer to:

  • obtain an assessment of the income you can expect to receive from your group retirement savings plan
  • find out what group insurance coverage you can keep after you retire

Contact government agencies

  • See the Régie des rentes du Québec (RRQ) and Service Canada websites to apply for benefits online.
  • Contact the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) or the government agency responsible for the health care system in your province of residence to change your status and register for the appropriate programs.

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