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FINANCIAL RISK AREAS TO AVOID

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There are many risk areas that could affect your financial net worth, cash flow, quality of retirement, and lifestyle. In many cases, you can eliminate, minimize, or control each of these risk areas by knowing about them, doing research, and making prudent decisions. Statistically, if you retire at 55 years of age, you can expect to live to 85 and have 30 years of retirement–almost as long as your working life. Planning to have enough funds to meet your lifestyle needs is obviously very important. Some of the following potential risk areas are interrelated, but they are considered separately because they should be specifically identified as risks. They all have financial implications, directly or indirectly. By obtaining customized financial planning advice from objective and qualified tax professionals, you should be able to anticipate and neutralize many of the following risks.

Currency risk
This is a particularly important issue if you are a Snowbird or travel a lot. If the Canadian dollar drops in value relative to the U.S. dollar, you will obviously notice an increase in the cost of living due to the reduced purchasing power of your Canadian money when you convert it to U.S. currency. The value of the Canadian dollar is dependent on many variables, both national and international. If it goes down five per cent, you have lost five per cent of your purchasing power in the United States.

Inflation risk
This is one of the most serious financial risks to those in retirement. Although both Canada and the United States currently enjoy very low inflation rates, that can quickly change. As you are probably aware, inflation eats away at your purchasing power. Inflation at five per cent will reduce your purchasing power by 50 per cent in less than 15 years. If you have investments that have interest rates or value that changes with the rate of inflation, or if you have annuities or RRIFs indexed for inflation, then your purchasing power would at least remain constant. If you have a fixed income, the inflation issue is especially critical.

MORE HELPFUL INFO FOR YOUR RESEARCH !

To help your research and save you time and hassle, check out our free checklists and forms on our "Worksheet" section, as well as the stats, surveys, and reports, useful links, etc, on our "Helpful Info" section, both shown on the index on your left.

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