The Real Retirement: Why You Could Be Better Off Than You Think, and How to Make That Happen
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More About This Title The Real Retirement: Why You Could Be Better Off Than You Think, and How to Make That Happen


Straight Talk and solid retirement advice for all Canadians

In the face of government changes, financial market volatility, and an aging workforce, Canadians are understandably concerned about the impact on their finances and their future retirement. This reassuring book debunks the generally-accepted claims about necessary savings rates, which can cause paranoia among those beginning to contemplate retirement. The authors offer greater insight into planning approaches that are not widely understood, demystifies retirement targets (age, savings, income), and outlines concrete approaches to maximizing retirement savings.

  • Offers practical advice for dealing with the changes to Canada's retirement system
  • Includes advice for calculating your Neutral Retirement Income Target
  • Contains solid financial advice in accessible language
  • Written by the Executive Chairman and Chief Actuary of Morneau Shepell Canada's national actuarial consulting firm

The Real Retirement offers a down-to-earth guide for preparing for comfortable retirement and shows what it takes to achieve it.


Fred Vettese has been Chief Actuary of Morneau Shepell for the past 21 years; has over 30 years of experience with national actuarial consulting firms; and is editor of, and primary contributor to, Morneau Shepell's newsletter, Vision. He has written op-eds for the National Post and Globe and Mail and is frequently quoted in both newspapers. He has appeared on various radio programs including CBC's The Current. He has written many pension articles for other journals, speaks regularly at national conferences such as the Conference Board of Canada, and is a member of the C.D. Howe Pension Policy Board.

Bill Morneau is Executive Chairman of Morneau Shepell. Under his leadership, the firm has grown from 150 to 2,500 employees. He is actively engaged with clients across the entire spectrum of Canadian business and government in their pension and benefit management. He sits on, and is chair of, several boards, including St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, the C.D. Howe Institute, AGF Management Ltd. and AGF Trust Company. He holds a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario, an M.Sc. (Econ.) from the London School of Economics, and an M.B.A. from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.


Chapter 1: Crisis? What Crisis? 1

Chapter 2: Understanding the Foundation—Pensions 13

Chapter 3: Understanding the Foundation—Health Care 31

Chapter 4: Our Best Days Are Behind Us 43

Chapter 5: When Can We Retire? 55

Chapter 6: How Workers Will Respond 65

Chapter 7: Deciding When to Retire 75

Chapter 8: The Three Phases of Retirement 85

Chapter 9: We Are Better Prepared than We Thought 93

Chapter 10: Your Retirement Income Target—Why You

Don’t Need 70 Per Cent 103

Chapter 11: The Neutral Retirement Income Target 115

Chapter 12: Arriving at Your Own Retirement Income Target 127

Chapter 13: Investment Basics 135

Chapter 14: Managing Your Portfolio 153

Chapter 15: Your Expected Return 165

Chapter 16: Choosing Your Savings Vehicle 173

Chapter 17: Should You Buy an Annuity? 185

Chapter 18: When You Can No Longer Cope on Your Own 193

Chapter 19: Tackling the Big Unknowns 201

Chapter 20: Ending on an Optimistic Note 211

Appendix A: Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 Benefi ts 219

Appendix B: Income by Source 223

Appendix C: NRIT Charts 225

Appendix D: A Guide to Retirement Programs in Canada 231

Glossary 241

Endnotes 253

Acknowledgements 257

About the Authors 259

Index 261