Saving for Retirement in Manitoba

To save for retirement in Manitoba, it is important to get familiar with different sources of income such as investments and personal savings, Old Age Security, the Canada Pension Plan, and employer-sponsored pension plans.

Investments and Personal Savings

Contributing to a tax-free savings account or a Registered Retirement Savings Plan is one option. The main advantage of getting a RRSP is that taxes are due only after money is withdrawn. Thus holders make contributions when they are employed and in a higher tax bracket, and they are allowed to withdraw funds when they retire. Some employers also opt for group RRSPs for their employees, with conditions regarding the withdrawal of contributions, amounts to contribute, eligible employees, etc. Both group and individual RRSPs are not subject to The Pension Benefits Act of Manitoba.

Stocks, bonds, and other investments can also help increase retirement income. Safe investment options to look into include annuities, low volatility funds, money market funds, guaranteed investment certificates, and high-interest savings accounts. Other options are more on the risky side, including initial public offerings, futures, foreign emerging markets, and venture capital.

Old Age Security

Manitoba residents are entitled to receive a monthly benefit whether they have worked or not. All residents and citizens who have resided in Canada for 10 years or longer receive an Old Age Security pension.

Canada Pension Plan

Everyone who made contributions prior to retirement is entitled to receive a taxable benefit. The monthly benefit is based on age, amounts contributed, and average earnings. Persons retiring at the age of 65 receive $1,154.58. The longer one worked, the larger the amount and vice versa.

Employer-Sponsored Plans

These are also known as registered, workplace, and employer pension plans and pension funds. Employer contributions are used to sponsor the plan partially or fully. There are multiple provisions that define the maximum benefit, investment limitations, death benefits, membership and eligibility, form of pension, and others.

Manitoba introduced amendments to the Pension Benefits Act in 2010 to ensure more protection for employees. Employers and members are now allowed to choose how surplus is distributed. Members can also opt for flexible benefits such as cost-of-living adjustments. In addition prior to retirement, members are allowed to make contributions while working fewer hours.

All employees participate in registered plans in Manitoba provided that such are offered. About 46 percent of the workforce belongs to a plan compared to 39 percent for Canada. This makes it the province with the second-highest coverage.

Factors to Consider

When saving for retirement, the main factor to consider is expenses that will increase, decrease, and remain the same. Expenses that normally go down include RRSP contributions, personal taxes, work-related expenses, mortgage payments, and tuition. Retirees, however, pay more for elder care, medications, dental care, and hobbies and leisure activities. Rent, utility bills, homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, and groceries stay about the same.


In general, what to save depends on the extent to which expenses and income change post-retirement. According to experts, Canadians should ideally aim at 70 or 80 percent of their monthly earnings. It also pays to compare monthly costs while working and post-retirement. These can include items such as debt and credit card payments, car and home insurance, health and life insurance, public transportation, and medical and dental care. You may also compare leisure expenses such as hobbies, magazine subscriptions, and travel. Finally, if you have dependents, whether parents or children, look at expenses such as financial help, university tuition, and room and board.

Healthy Living for Canadian Seniors

Seniors can live healthier and longer lives by eating a balanced diet, staying physically active, and maintaining social connections. Self-care and a supportive environment ensure that older people live quality lives.Age-Friendly Environment

A brief released by the Healthy Aging and Wellness Working Group highlights the importance of a supportive environment for seniors. To this end, initiatives, programs, services, and policies can help ensure that older Canadians enjoy a safe and age-friendly environment. Key players in drafting policies and developing, implementing, and assessing measures include long-term care facilities, hospitals, universities, employers, non-governmental organizations, and the federal, provincial, and territorial governments. Such policies help improve social and economic position, examples being age-friendly dining and shopping venues and accessible transportation.


Self-care refers to making healthy choices such as quitting smoking, staying physically active, eating nutritious food, and joining a community organization or centre to maintain social connections.

Staying Physically Active

Moderate physical activity for seniors includes gardening, walking, golf, water aerobics, swimming, and dancing. Depending on age and condition, other examples are aerobic exercise classes, jogging, and bicycle riding. Balance activities are also beneficial and help reduce the risk of falls and injury. Such activities are toe, heel, sideways, and backward walking.  Falls prevention is important as it helps preserve mobility and autonomy. Flexibility activities help improve health and include stretching exercises and dancing.

According to experts, exercise not only helps prevent falls but also reduces chronic pain and the risk of dementia and improves sleep quality. It also helps boost immunity.

Eating Healthy

Eating a balanced diet is also essential to get the needed nutrients and reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions. Healthy eating is important in light of the fact that more and more elderly Canadians are overweight or obese. This is a more serious problem among older and middle-aged men and increases the risk for injuries and chronic and serious conditions. Malnutrition is also a problem that can result in malabsorption of nutrients and chronic diseases.

Maintaining Social Connections

There are different options for seniors to stay connected, including community centres and age-friendly communities. Such centres are found across Canada and in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and elsewhere. Communities offer services and facilities designed to meet the needs of older people, including civic and social participation and community support. Services include medical care, community services, and accessible transportation. Buildings are equipped with accessibility features such as non-slip flooring, ramps for wheelchair users, and accessible washrooms. There are different housing options for seniors to choose from, including family homes, condominiums, independent living, and apartments.

To help stay connected, seniors are welcome to join a variety of activities and events such as gatherings, church and spectator sporting events, and indoor games like cards and bingo.

Active living centres also offer seniors an opportunity to meet new people, socialize, and join different activities. Examples of activities include seminars, arts sessions, travel opportunities, and lifelong learning classes. They also offer fun activities and games such as urban pole walking, shuffleboard, gentle fitness classes, and billiards. Many centres feature facilities that encourage active living, including lending library and gaming and lounge areas. Seniors are welcome to visit, take part in activities, access resources, master new skills, and make connections.