Checklist: Retirement income and expenses

February 29, 2016

Planning for retirement means having realistic expectations about how much you’ll earn and spend.

To achieve the retirement you want, you’ll need to arrive at an accurate estimate of how much you will earn - and how much you will spend. Use this simple checklist to figure out which income sources and expenses apply to you.

Retirement income sources

Group or individual Registered Retirement Savings Plan

Registered Pension Plan

Registered Retirement Income Fund

­­ Tax-Free Savings Account

Non-registered investments (e.g., mutual funds, guaranteed investment certificates, Canada Savings Bonds)

Savings or chequing account

Money invested in your home (if you plan to sell before you retire)

Government sources (e.g., Canada Pension Plan, Quebec Pension Plan, Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement)

Company pension plan

Post-retirement income (if you plan to work in retirement, earn rental income, etc.)

Post-retirement expenses


Property taxes

Utilities (e.g., gas, hydro, water/sewage)

Home services (e.g., phone, cable, satellite, internet)

Home maintenance

Home insurance


Car payments, including gas

Car insurance

Car maintenance

Other transportation costs

Health and dental insurance

Life insurance

Health care costs not covered by insurance (e.g., certain prescriptions, orthotics, eyeglasses)

Travel and leisure

Entertainment (e.g., dining out, books, magazines, movies, sporting events)

Income taxes

Charitable donations

Miscellaneous (e.g., clothing, personal care products, gifts)

Debt payments (including credit cards)

Once you’ve filled in this checklist, start thinking about how much you’re likely to earn or spend in each relevant category. Once you’ve done that, you can create an annual or monthly post-retirement budget.

You may spend 25 or more years in retirement, so remember to think about inflation, too. At an annual inflation rate of 3%, prices will double in 25 years.

This checklist may not cover all of your income sources or expenses. For more information, talk to your financial advisor and visit

The contents of this Web site are provided for informational and educational purposes, and are not intended to provide specific individual advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax. Please consult with your own professional advisor on your particular circumstances.

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