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Debating & Delaying CPP

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June 20, 2017

My last few blogs have been very personal, and I want to thank you for reading. One of my goals when I started this newsletter was to be in more regular touch with my clients, and to share my thoughts on the financial markets. I knew I also wanted to share my thoughts on living a fulfilling life, and many of my letters have touched on what’s really at the heart of that – family.

This month though, I’m turning my attention back to financial matters.

One of my favourite things is when the same newspaper runs two articles on the same financial planning topic with completely opposite conclusions. And in the case of a recent debate about when to take the Canada Pension Plan, the Financial Post published these articles just two days apart!

In the first article Lisa Bjornson and Fred Vettese argued that most Canadians should delay starting CPP until 65 or 70, and that it could worth $72,000 if you do. (For an even more detailed breakdown by Mr. Vettese, who loves to take a contrarian view of the financial planning industry, check out this Globe article he published in March.)

The very next day, Ted Rechtshaffen responded, saying that taking the CPP at 60 can make sense, because the value of a dollar can change as you age. I don’t know about that, but he does include a very thorough list of questions he goes over with his clients, and I have a similar approach when I’m asked this question.

As much fun as it is (am I being sarcastic? You decide!) to read these kinds of debates, the decision about when to start taking CPP can’t be made in isolation. It’s going to be part of a bigger plan that takes many things into consideration – assets, savings, OAS, and what kind of legacy you want leave. Your financial planner (and if you’re reading this, it’s probably me) can take you through the math and respond to that emotional element Ted mentions in his article.

One thing I will say is, many of my clients underestimate their life expectancy. I encourage you to look at my last blog, Happy Life Expectancy Day, if you haven’t already.

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Michael.

Last summer, a client shared this great image with me. While getting ready for a wedding, the photographer snapped this still life with shoes, watch and snazzy pink socks – and check out those sunglasses! Guess what? Those are Caldwell Advisory sunglasses, and I have more to give away. Next time you’re in the office, just ask me or Grace for a pair. And if you happen to have a great picture of the sunglasses “in the wild” I’d love to see it.

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About

Principal | Financial Planner
Michael Caldwell has been helping people sort through their money issues since the early 1970s. He has a way of talking numbers that just makes sense. Combined with wry humour and a curious mind, Michael writes about current topics of interest to the clients that he works with in his practice at Caldwell Wealth & Estate Advisory.

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