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StateFarm Canada is now Desjardins Insurance

State Farm® Canada is now Desjardins Insurance and your local State Farm Agent will now be known as your Desjardins Agent.

Please visit desjardinsagents.com/change-from-state-farm-canada for more details.

Looking for the State Farm USA site? Visit it here: statefarm.com.

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Planning for retirement

Saving for retirement may not seem like an urgent task if your golden years are far off, but the sooner you start saving, the better, because your money can have more time to work for you and potentially grow.

Need help preparing for retirement? Contact DFS Investments.

Simple tips

Set a goal of saving 10% of your income every year.

If that seems unrealistic, start small and make saving a habit.

Pay yourself first.

To accomplish this, look at what's left over each month after paying bills and decide how much you can add to your savings. The exact amount is up to you, but keep in mind your end goal of saving 10% per year.

Schedule a date once or twice a year to reassess and possibly raise your savings contribution again.

If you're easily meeting the goal you set and not feeling a pinch from setting that money aside, consider boosting your contribution by 1%.

Eliminate unnecessary spending, if possible.

Paying bills and saving for your future should trump eating out, premium cable or designer denim. Plus, these expenses may mean more when they're a reward you give yourself and not the norm.

Establish an emergency fund.

Financial experts recommend setting aside the equivalent of three to six months of your take-home pay or expenses. Store this money in a separate interest-bearing savings, chequing or money market account to make sure the money is easy to access if you need it quickly.

Start now.

Whatever your savings plan, don't put it off. The sooner you start saving, the more money you'll likely have for retirement and the easier it will be to make saving a priority.

Where to save

There are many tax-advantaged ways to save for retirement, with Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP) and Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) being more top of mind. Another great option is a universal life policy. These policies build cash value that can be drawn on later in life.

Employer-sponsored retirement plan

Most companies will allow you to have contributions deducted directly from your paycheque, making regular investing easy. In addition, some employers will match RRSP contributions, up to a certain percentage of your compensation or a specific dollar amount. If your employer provides a match, work diligently to contribute the maximum amount that your employer will match. Otherwise, you're essentially turning down free money for your retirement.

Tax-Free Savings Account

If you are maximizing your annual RRSP contributions, or if you have a lower income or want to reduce taxes on your investments, a TFSA might be a better option. Your investments will compound over time and any earnings from investments are sheltered from tax, even upon withdrawal. Over 20 or 30 years, this could potentially add up to significant savings.

Registered Retirement Savings Plan

If you really have a handle on your savings, open both an RRSP and a TFSA. You can contribute up to the allowable annual limits to a TFSA, even if you also participate in a retirement program through work (although contributions to a TFSA are not tax deductible). You'll want to contact a tax advisor regarding your personal situation.

Life insurance

Life insurance is always an important part of your finances that should never be overlooked. Life changes and so do your life insurance needs. Universal life insurance is a flexible policy that allows you to adjust your coverage and your premiums to meet your needs1. A universal life policy is a flexible way to help protect your loved ones and build tax-deferred cash value. Premiums are deposited into your account (after a premium expense charge), where they earn the current interest rate (which will never be less than two per cent). Every month, various deductions, such as the cost of insurance, are made from your account. If sufficient funds are available you can also take loans or make withdrawals.

This is only a general description of coverages and is not a statement of contract. For more details on coverage, costs and restrictions, or to apply for coverage, contact a Desjardins Agent.

1 With Universal Life, it is possible that coverage will expire when either no premiums are paid following the initial premium or subsequent premiums are insufficient to continue coverage. Changes in policy coverage amounts are subject to policy limits. Increases are subject to underwriting and may require additional premiums.

Unpaid loans and withdrawals will reduce the death benefit and policy cash value. Loans also accrue interest.

Insurance policies and/or associated riders and features may not be available in all provinces, and policy terms and conditions may vary by province.

* Mutual Funds are not insurance products and are distributed through representatives of Desjardins Financial Security Investments Inc.

Please read the applicable Fund Facts before investing. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses may be associated with mutual fund investments.

Mutual Funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Mutual fund securities are not covered by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation or by any other government deposit insurer.

Neither Desjardins Insurance nor its agents provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax, legal or investment advisor regarding your specific circumstances.

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