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Will they have to forego a fishing trip and two weeks in the south when they retire?

Roger and Carmen retired in 2022 after working hard throughout their lives and raising three children. Today they long for peace and quiet, but still want to be pampered a little. Will they make it?

Roger worked in construction and was earning $70,000 a year plus $15,000 in overtime when he retired at age 62. Today he can count on his state pensions (QPP and pension plans) as well as his employer's pension plan. He's proud that he's managed to save $135,000 in RRSPs over his career, although he says he's “never deprived himself of anything.” He also treats himself to a fishing trip every year, which costs him around $3,000, and he and his wife go south for a week every winter. Now that they have free time, the couple wants to afford two weeks a year in the sun.

For her part, Carmen worked in healthcare, although with irregular hours as she cared for her family and children. Like her husband, she retired at the age of 62. She receives a pension from her employer's pension plan as well as retirement savings. She also wonders whether she should also claim her QPP pension. For her part, she contributed $45,000 to her RRSP and saved $33,000 in a TFSA.

Unexpected renovation costs

Their house, which they bought and paid off more than 35 years ago, recently needed renovations. Since they did not have the necessary liquidity, they had to draw an amount of $22,000 from their line of credit, for which the interest rate is 9%.

“The cost of living has also driven up their cost of living and they are seeing the bills piling up. They fear having to sacrifice their two weeks in the south,” explains financial security advisor Jean-François Rémillard of Sequito Asset Management, who reviewed their file and offered them possible solutions.

Fighting debt as a priority

“Retirement is a significant change in one’s financial life. “That’s why you have to prepare well, stick to a budget and expect to have to make decisions,” says Jean-François Rémillard. He first recommended that the couple tackle the debt and reduce it as quickly as possible due to the high interest rates.

To that end, he suggested using a portion of the TFSA to repay margin and keeping the remaining $8,000 in a high-interest savings account or investing it in a TFSA.

For her part, Carmen is wondering whether she should apply for her QPP pension immediately or whether it would be better to wait. Since she was in good health, Jean-François Rémillard recommended that she wait until she was 65. “This means she can increase her pension by almost 25% in three years,” he explains.

A retirement plan that lasts

The couple wants to have a retirement income of $70,000 per year for the next 15 years, and $65,000 thereafter. Is it feasible? “In this scenario, their capital will be exhausted by the age of 85. They still have the full value of their house, but we cannot require or force the sale of a property at a certain age,” says Jean-François Rémillard.

He repeated the exercise by subtracting $3,000 per year – so a budget of $67,000, then $62,000 – and based on the same mortgage yield, the forecast is valid until her 95th birthday. “They even have $50,000 left in their RRSP and their house,” the advisor adds.

Where do I find this $3000? Roger immediately thought about canceling his annual fishing trip, but the expert advised him to reconsider. “By cutting several small amounts of $250 per month, for example subscriptions to streaming platforms, phone plans, take-out meals, etc., they can easily reduce their expenses by $3,000 per year,” he points out . So you don't have to miss out on the fishing trip or the two weeks in the south!



  • MSRP: $135,000
  • Employer pension plan: $46,000
  • QPP: $8811


  • MSRP: $45,000
  • TFSA: $33,000
  • Employer pension plan: $17,000
  • QPP (age 65 and over): $5,076

Jean-François Rémillard's calculations assumed a return of 4% for RRSPs and an average inflation rate of 2.5%.

Would you like an expert opinion on your retirement planning? Write us a detailed message and we will refer your situation to a professional. The answer will then be published in The Montreal Journal And The Quebec Journal.

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