What will you learn about?

  • Deal with the special considerations faced by aging clients
  • Determine the most optimal retirement savings structures
  • Recommend investment strategies that are tied to specific client goals and needs
  • Identify and recommend strategies to help minimize risks to a client’s wealth including the use of trusts
  • Calculate maximum and sustainable withdrawal rates to help ensure that clients do not outlive their wealth
  • Assess the benefits of gifting wealth to family members while the client is still living
  • Identify investment products that will help the client generate a steady income
  • Recommend strategies to minimize retiree’s taxes

How will you learn?

The course features are:

  • Consists of ten independent modules
  • Each module consists of PDF and E-Pub files (accessible on mobile devices) and an online quiz
  • Modules are completed when you pass the online quiz
  • Module completions result in CE credits being awarded, earn CE credits incrementally as you progress through the course
  • Once you complete all modules within the course, you will earn a Micro-Certificate generating a digital badge

What is the course syllabus?

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Module 1 - Understanding your Clients' Retirement (CIRO CE PD Credits: 3)

In this module, you will learn how to take a holistic approach to retirement discovery. We describe the process you should have in place to gather the information you need to understand what retirement means to your client. We also explain how to evaluate a client’s ability to fund their lifestyle goals and how much they can sustainably withdraw from their funds. Finally, we discuss the importance of positioning yourself as an advisor who cares about your clients and understands the issues they face in the current retirement environment.

Topics covered in this module are:

  • Explain the role that the advisor plays in developing and managing a client’s retirement plan
  • Compare the six key steps in the retirement discovery process
  • Evaluate the feasibility of a client’s retirement lifestyle goals given the client’s financial resources
  • Explain how the retirement discovery process positions the advisor

Module 2 - Asset Location Strategies (CIRO CE PD Credits: 1)

In this module, we discuss the various factors one must consider when determining the best location for a client’s assets. You will learn why certain account types are suitable in terms of tax efficiency for particular asset types. You will also learn about the characteristics of various types of investments that lend themselves to particular asset location strategies. Finally, you will learn why the effect of compounding can help to dictate the appropriate location for certain investment assets.

Topics covered in this module are:

  • Define the term asset location
  • Describe the different types of accounts in which assets can be located
  • Describe the different types of investments that can be used in an asset location strategy
  • Explain how expected return can be used to determine where assets are placed

Module 3 - Goals-Based Investing (CIRO CE PD Credits: 1.5)

In this module, you will learn about the concept of goals-based investing, in which the focus is on structuring different portfolios to meet different goals. You will learn about some biases and mental shortcuts that influence investors’ decisions, sometimes to the detriment of their short- and long-term goals. We explain how to help your clients overcome those behaviours by prioritizing their goals, setting different time horizons for each goal, and allocating assets appropriately. You will also learn how to de-risk a portfolio by using a phased approach to investing. Finally, you will learn the importance of a good process, one that recognizes and manages the different forms of regret to which investors are prone.

Topics covered in this module are:

  • Explain the rationale for goals-based investing
  • Compare the various investor bias
  • Differentiate between how risk is viewed in traditional and goals-based investing approaches
  • Explain a phased approach to goals-based investing
  • Explain the process of dynamic goals-based investing rebalancing

Module 4 - Protecting Family's Wealth (CIRO CE PD Credits: 4.5)

In this module, we discuss insurance as a wealth protection solution. We talk about the ability to generate income as an important asset that must be protected in case of death, disability, or job loss. We also explain how you can help your clients select the appropriate insurance products to meet their objectives of preserving their wealth.

Topics covered in this module are:

  • Compare the two categories of life insurance
  • Explain the options available to cover expenses in the event of job loss
  • Discuss disability income insurance
  • Discuss long-term care insurance
  • Discuss critical illness insurance

Module 5 - Trusts as an Asset Protection and Tax-Minimization Tool (CIRO CE PD Credits: 0.5)

In this module, you will learn how trusts can be used to protect assets and minimize taxation. First, we discuss strategies to segregate exempt property, safeguard family assets, and protect privacy using trusts. Then, we explain how family trusts can be used to fund education or allocate funds to family members in such a way that income from the trust is taxed at lower marginal rates. Finally, you will learn how recent changes to tax legislation have made it more difficult, but not impossible, to reduce the effect of taxes on a deceased person’s estate.

Topics covered in this module are:

  • Explain how trusts are used for control and asset protection
  • Give examples of how a trust is used to minimize tax

Module 6 - Protecting Wealth Against Divorce (CIRO CE PD Credits: 1)

In this module, we discuss the financial issues that arise when a marriage breaks down, including support obligations and the division of net family property. You will learn about the different types of domestic contracts and their legal repercussions for both parties, as well as the factors that can make a domestic contract invalid. You will also learn about the factors that determine spousal support amounts and the different types of spousal support that may be considered. Finally, you will learn about the legislation governing child support, the mandatory nature of child support payments, and the factors that could affect child support amounts and duration.

Topics covered in this module are:

  • Explain the risks of divorce
  • Discuss financial disclosure arising from separation and divorce
  • Explain the treatment of property on relationship breakdown
  • Describe cohabitation agreements, marriage contracts, and separation Agreements
  • Discuss when a domestic contract becomes invalid
  • Provide examples of the different types of spousal support
  • Explain the factors that could affect child support

Module 7 - Longevity of Retirement Portfolios (CIRO CE PD Credits: 1.5)

In this module, you will learn how to determine the amounts retirees can withdraw from their portfolio during retirement while retaining enough value to last through their retirement years. First, we discuss the effects of market trends on the longevity of a retirement portfolio and the way market risk relates to fluctuations in the portfolio market. We then explain the effect of dividends on a retirement distribution portfolio and address some common misconceptions in this regard. We also describe the factors that can cause distribution portfolio to suffer permanent losses if they are not considered when making retirement projections. Finally, we explain how to calculate the percentage by which a portfolio will have to increase in value in order to recover from setbacks.

Topics covered in this module are:

  • Explain the impact of potential market movements on your clients’ retirement plans, based on past trends
  • Explain the misconceptions about dividends
  • Identify and explain the causes of time value of fluctuations
  • Illustrate the effects of the time value of fluctuations on the income generated by a portfolio in retirement and its capital value
  • Assess the growth or gains required to recover from losses within a client’s investment portfolio during retirement

Module 8 - Gifting to Family Members (CIRO CE PD Credits: 1)

In this module, we discuss the taxation of gifted assets in the context of estate planning. You will learn how certain situations can give rise to deemed disposition at fair market value and the impact of attribution rules. You will also learn to recognize when there is the potential for double taxation of an asset. Furthermore, we explain some strategies you can use to correctly arrange a gift for maximum tax efficiency, including changing the nature of the gift to retain control and taking advantage of the capital gains reserve mechanism.

Topics covered in this module are:

  • Explain the challenges involved in gifting assets
  • Demonstrate the impact of attribution rules on the gifting of assets to family members while alive
  • Identify some gift interest options in the family business
  • Describe how to gift assets in a tax-efficient manner
  • Explain how to retain control over the property after making the gift

Module 9 - Tax Strategies During Retirement (CIRO CE PD Credits: 2.5)

In this module, you will learn about fundamental strategies implemented during retirement in order to minimize taxation and help retirees maximize their wealth. We will look at the various options available to retirees with regard to planning their sources of income, including company pension plans, government benefits, and registered and non-registered investments. We also explain how and when a registered savings account should be converted into an income fund. Finally, we explain the tax impact on different types of income (interest, dividends or capital gains) from non-registered investments.

Topics covered in this module are:

  • Explain the impact of taxes at retirement
  • Show the implications of RRSP conversion options and the cashing of an RRSP
  • Describe the tax efficiency of different types of investment income
  • Explain the tax efficiency of various investment products
  • Explain what the OAS clawback is, how it works and strategies to achieve maximum OAS benefits
  • Recommend strategies that take advantage of the tax regime to reduce retirees’ taxes
  • Explain how to achieve financial security in retirement

Module 10 - Income Producing Investments (CIRO CE PD Credits: 3.5)

In this module, we discuss income-producing investment options suitable for clients who are planning their retirement. You will learn about a wide range of options in financial products and strategies that are available for their portfolios leading up to and during retirement. Our discussion includes products designed to produce retirement income, reduce risk, and provide tax advantages. You will learn about the features, benefits, and risks of annuities, guaranteed income certificates, mortgage-backed securities, and other products and strategies suitable for retirement portfolios. We also explain the appropriate use of income products that are customized for specific purposes within the retirement investment sector.

Topics covered in this module are:

  • Discuss the purposes of investment products designed for retirement income
  • Explain the features, benefits, and risks of annuities
  • Explain the features, benefits, and risks of guaranteed investment certificates
  • Explain the features, benefits, and risks of mortgage-backed securities
  • Explain fixed income risks and strategies for a retirement portfolio
  • Explain what covered call writing is
  • Explain how equities can be used for income generating retirement portfolios
  • Explain how reverse mortgages and other strategies monetize debt
  • Explain the appropriate use of income products that are customized for specific purposes