At $499, the course does represent a major investment, but the outlay could be considered a bargain if it helps some DIY retirees escape the clutches of conflicting securities salespersons who actually do care more about their own retirement than that of their clients.
Consider some of the impressive testimonials. Long-time consumer advocate and former Toronto Star personal finance columnist Ellen Roseman asked Prevost “Where have you been all this time?! … Most of us need guidance on taking money out of our savings without depleting our resources once we leave work—and I suspect this interactive multimedia approach to learning will be far more interesting and memorable than simply reading a book. Kyle has done his research and provides plain-spoken views about what’s good and what’s bad in the process of making our retirement income last as long as we do.”
Fee-only financial planner and financial columnist Jason Heath (of Objective Financial Partners) says “Kyle’s course is a great resource for someone preparing for retirement or already retired … His background as a teacher definitely comes across in the course. Too many financial industry people do a poor job of conveying financial topics in a way that makes sense. The approach of the course is meant to teach and empower, and it definitely does just that.”
My review of Worry-Free Retirement
So, let’s take a closer look at the course, which I dipped into in a few weeks in order to write this review. It comprises 16 units, each starting with a short audio-visual overview, followed by more in-depth backgrounders, videos and links to other content. I’d suggest focusing on a single unit per session, as there’s plenty to digest.
The first unit takes you through how much money you’ll probably need to retire in Canada. Subsequent units are devoted to the major government programs like the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS), and employer-sponsored pension plans, including both defined benefit and defined contribution plans. Later the course also tackles that perennial retirement chestnut, the 4% safe withdrawal rule (to which Prevost isn’t married but sees as a good starting point for guest-imating retirement income).
I’m particularly partial to unit six, titled “Working for a Playcheck,” as that term was coined by Michael Drak and myself in our jointly authored 2014 book, Victory Lap Retirement. Units seven and eight go into some depth in investing: what to invest in and how to buy and sell securities.
Units nine and 10 go into depth on registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), then handles the whole topic of decumulation and the crucial transition (at the end of the year you turn 71) from RRSPs to RRIFs. No doubt, I will personally revisit that module at the end of next year!
Unit 11 examines how you can create your own pension through annuities. Units 12 and 13 look at mortgages: whether one should retire with one (spoiler: one shouldn’t) and deciding between downsizing and reverse mortgages or home equity line of credits (HELOCs).