Kevin, 41, has been working for the co-op for three years as a truck driver and started contributing to the CSS Pension Plan two years ago. While he considers his investment knowledge to be quite limited, he knows what he wants his life to look like in retirement, complete with a cabin at the lake so he can fish every day.
“I know my CSS Pension is something like an RRSP,” says Kevin. “I like to keep an eye on the rates of return on the Plan’s website and check my balance with myCSSPEN so I can see if the markets are going down, because it’s hard for me to stomach a loss. I signed up for the Member E-Digest so that the quarterly return information automatically comes to me.”
After reading about the Basic Retirement Planner (available in myCSSPEN), Kevin decided to use the online tool to see if he was on track to reach his retirement savings goals. He was disappointed to learn that he was not likely to achieve his retirement goal using his current investment strategy. Kevin’s attempts to minimize investment losses in any given year led him to consider a moderate investor portfolio made up of 75% Balanced Fund and 25% Bond Fund.
Kevin did not want to give up on his retirement dream, so he decided to call a CSS Pension Plan Consultant to discuss his situation.
“I really want to live my retirement dream up at the lake, and I was willing to accept lower returns in exchange for reduced risk,” he says. “I’m glad I called a CSS Pension Plan Consultant and talked through my options. The Pension Plan Consultant explained that since retirement could be another 20 or more years away, investing the way I am could actually prevent me from saving enough to retire the way I want. But I learned that there are other important considerations than just investment risk and returns.”
With 20 years to retirement, Kevin has the ability to take on investment risk in pursuit of higher long-term returns; however, his desire to minimize the likelihood of investment losses in any given year is a key consideration.
“I need to able to sleep at night and not worry excessively about my investments,” laments Kevin.
Kevin learned that he could make additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) to the Plan and that he could adjust when he retired. Incorporating these adjustments into his retirement plan allowed him to continue to invest in a way that lets him sleep at night, while also increasing the likelihood that he will be able to obtain the retirement lifestyle he desires.
Kevin plans to revisit his retirement plan periodically to determine whether he needs to make changes as his circumstances change in the future.
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