Essential Retirement Planning Steps for a Business Exit in Ontario

Essential Retirement Planning Steps for a Business Exit

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Exiting your business in Ontario not only marks the end of one chapter but also the beginning of another—your retirement. Proper retirement planning is critical to ensure that you can enjoy financial stability and maintain your desired lifestyle post-exit. This guide outlines the essential steps for effective retirement planning as you prepare to exit your business.

Setting Up Retirement Accounts

1. Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs):

  • RRSPs are a popular choice for retirement planning in Canada due to their tax-deferred growth. Contributions to an RRSP reduce your taxable income, and the investments within the plan grow tax-free until withdrawal.
  • Ensure you maximize your contributions to take full advantage of the tax benefits, and consider spousal RRSPs to split income and reduce tax liabilities in retirement​

2. Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs):

  • TFSAs offer another tax-efficient way to save for retirement. Unlike RRSPs, contributions to a TFSA are not tax-deductible, but withdrawals are tax-free, making it an excellent vehicle for managing your retirement savings and providing flexibility for unexpected expenses​

3. Pension Plans and Annuities:

  • Evaluate any existing pension plans and consider purchasing annuities, which can provide a steady income stream in retirement. Annuities are particularly useful for ensuring that you have a guaranteed income regardless of market fluctuations​

Estimating Retirement Expenses

1. Healthcare Costs:

  • Healthcare expenses can be significant in retirement. Plan for out-of-pocket costs not covered by provincial health insurance, including prescription drugs, dental care, and vision care.

2. Lifestyle and Leisure:

  • Consider your desired lifestyle and the associated costs, including travel, hobbies, and other leisure activities. Accurately estimating these expenses ensures you have sufficient funds to enjoy your retirement​.

3. Inflation and Longevity:

  • Account for inflation and the possibility of living longer than expected. Adjust your savings and investment strategies to ensure that your funds maintain their purchasing power over time​.

Diversifying Investments

1. Investment Portfolio:

  • Diversify your investments to reduce risk and increase the stability of your retirement income. A balanced portfolio of stocks, bonds, and other assets can help mitigate market volatility and protect against economic downturns​​.

2. Risk Management:

  • As you approach retirement, consider shifting to lower-risk investments to preserve your capital. This might include government bonds, high-quality corporate bonds, and other fixed-income securities that offer stable returns with less risk​.

3. Real Estate and Other Assets:

  • Consider including real estate and other tangible assets in your retirement portfolio. These can provide additional income streams and serve as a hedge against inflation​.


Proper retirement planning is essential for a successful business exit in Ontario. By setting up retirement accounts, accurately estimating your expenses, and diversifying your investments, you can ensure a stable and comfortable retirement. Engage with financial planners and advisors to tailor your retirement strategy to your specific needs and goals.

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