Retirement was originally designed for people whose bodies wore out by age 65 due to a lifetime of physical labour. Today, most of us don’t work at physically demanding jobs. And, thanks to medical advances, many of us are living well into our nineties, and even beyond. As a result of these new realities it is now more important than ever before to have an Effective Retirement Game Plan.
Navigating retirement income can be complex as many government benefits seniors receive are tied to their income. It is in our best interests to ensure these benefits are not lost when they are most needed, and to maximize the amount of money retirees will have to live on. Dan Beyeart, Portfolio Manager and Certified Financial Planner® (CFP) professional at Investment Planning Counsel, understands this.
The 21-year financial services veteran, helps retired (and almost retired) clients create an Effective Retirement Game Plan. Like his father, Bob, also a retirement planner at IPC (now deceased), Dan is committed to teaching clients and members of the public about all of their retirement options.
Developing a Retirement Game Plan
A retiree may have several sources of retirement income, including government and company pensions, RRSPs, and personal investments like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real estate. “All of these sources are taxed differently. It is important to have a Game Plan around, for example, when and how much money to take out of your RRSP, as well as what financial products you purchase. The right choices minimize the amount of tax that is ultimately paid,” Dan explains.
“I used to think that a financial advisor’s job was to make people with money even more money. I have come to realize that, although growing wealth is important, it is only part of what we do. We also maximize income from government programs, minimize claw backs, point out the tax implications of clients’ choices, and help people plan for their estate tax obligations,” Dan adds.
A lot of advisors focus on high investment returns. Dan focuses on financial planning first. “My dad used to say that the stock market will lose money in two out of ten years. But, no one knows when those two years will be. Think of clients that retired in 2008; many that weren’t properly diversified are probably still working.”
“Investments are just a tool to get us from point A to point B. We focus a lot of time on taxation because what you keep is more important than what you earn. This includes how to withdraw from RRSPs in a tax efficient manner. In many cases it actually makes sense to withdraw from RRSP’s before mandatory ages at 72 and pay a little tax early. Doing so can avoid much higher estate taxes later on as well as reduce mandatory withdrawals in your 70’s which can trigger claw backs of senior benefits.”
“Some clients affectionately call us professional nags,” he says with a smile. “After every meeting we send a follow up letter about what was discussed and what needs to be done. We don’t expect clients to do everything at once and encourage them to chip away at the to-do list. For example, a lot of people don’t have up-to-date estate documents like wills, powers of attorney etc. I don’t think anyone believes the government, rather than themselves, should make estate decisions for their family,” he adds. If you want to receive Dan’s complimentary Estate Planning eBook, simply visit https://thehub.ipcc.ca/estate-planning
Even when they are retired, many clients still want to work part time. “We also provide coaching around how to plan for a “work optional” or a part-time work retirement lifestyle. We show clients the implications of taxation, investments, ROI, inflation, and if they are on track to be debt free by the time they are retired. Then, we tie everything together. Our objective is always the same; to create enough of a retirement pay cheque that clients have enough money to do everything they want and need it to do.”
“We only recommend strategies that are appropriate for clients’ age, stage of life, and risk tolerance. We want to put our clients in a position that they don’t have to worry about the impact of Donald Trump’s latest tweet, because rain or shine, they know the amount of their monthly retirement pay cheque.”
Dan runs everything, including the tax burden, inflation, and if the client will be debt free by retirement, through his retirement planning software. “We also run all investment statements through the software to identify risk and assumptions about rates of return. This gives clients peace of mind that they are on track and can safely start spending; if clients don’t know they are on track, they tend not to spend.”
Dan and his team are passionate about helping clients retire well. He has a team of specialists around him that he can draw upon any time. It must work, because he has worked with many of the same clients for the totality of his career. “I joined my dad’s practice in 1998 which means I have now worked with many of the same clients for my whole career. It is so gratifying to watch their lives evolve and their kids grow up."
Up Close & Personal
Dan is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) professional and was the first person at IPC to get his Portfolio Manager designation.
He is often asked by the media, like the Globe & Mail and CTV, for his opinion and he regularly speaks at company conferences. Like his father before him, several times each year, Dan also teaches a four-week, course on retirement planning to residents in and around Calgary for Airdrie, Bearspaw, Beiseker, Bragg Creek, Chestermere, Cochrane, Crossfield, Indus, Irricana, Kathyrn, Langdon, Redwood Meadows, and Springbank residents (https://adultlearning.rockyview.ab.ca/) on behalf of the Rocky View School Board. “The classes are always popular and people seem hungry for this information.”
Dan’s wife, Kristina, a nurse, is a cancer survivor. Every year, Dan participates in the Ride to Conquer Cancer. The couple has been married for 15 years and has two healthy and active children, daughter, Willow, (12) and son, Erik (10). Willow is a junior lifeguard and loves wrestling and baseball – dad was an umpire. Dan is Erik’s goalie coach and his soccer team’s assistant coach. Their Bichon Terrier, Cubby, and Princess, the corn snake, provide hours of entertainment and teach the children how to be responsible pet owners.”
As a last word, Dan says, “Babe Ruth, possibly the greatest home run hitter of all time, didn’t get to choose his retirement. He may have still loved the game, but because of the drop off in his game, it no longer loved him. An Effective Retirement Game Plan, ensures we have choices and options, which, allows us to retire on our own terms. In my opinion, this is the only home run that counts.”
Suzen Fromstein is the author of Suits and Ladders, Ten Proven Ways to Keep Your Job Safe - with a few jokes thrown in. Suits and Ladders was an Amazon Best Selling Book in the Career Guides Category
Dan Beyaert Portfolio Manager, CFP
Planning Professionals / IPC Securities Corporation
410-1100 8TH Ave. SW,
Calgary, Alberta, T2P-3T8