How to Build a Retirement Plan You Can Bank On

It used to be that you could work for 20 to 30 years or more and know that when you retire you will have access to a corporate pension that can support you and your spouse in your golden years. That was then, this is now and the reality is much different. Most companies, NGOs and governments have opted for offering retirement investment plans in lieu of pensions, which means you will need to become savvy about understanding the issues relevant to your specific retirement plan.

It’s true that in Trinidad and Tobago, people who are about to retire may not need as much money as they did when working, since the Social Welfare Ministry offers a senior citizen grant. In addition, seniors receive other benefits like a pension or one-off grant from the National Insurance Board, free transportation and C-DAP. But that’s only a part of the picture. With the rate of inflation and cost of living increasing from one year to the next, it’s important to learn how to build a retirement plan you can bank on. Below we’ll share three critical components to discuss with your financial advisor in order to ensure that you have a balanced plan that can support the lifestyle you dream about having in your retirement years.


While putting money into an investment account through your job is a great first step if it’s available, it’s important to also consider some of the savings products that can provide additional retirement income. While many long-term investment strategies can fair well — even with the ups and downs of the market, consider the more recent market crashes and corrections, then think about how your retirement account would look if you had to retire in the last five to seven years. Many would-be retirees were forced to continue working in order to rebuild some of those depleted funds.

Of course, there is always some risk involved with investments. You should talk with your financial advisor to make the best determination as to your risk profile. Beyond investments, in order to build the best retirement plan for your specific needs, it’s important to put money into an interest-bearing savings account.

At the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service Credit Union, we offer a Premium Savings Plan (PSP) with high-yielding interest rates that increase as your balance grows, making it an ideal addition to your retirement plan.


Most retirement plan discussions revolve around investments and cash; however, it’s just as important to consider your level and types of insurance coverage. Many financial advisors recommend adding life insurance, short and long-term disability coverage, and possibly long-term care insurance to your retirement plan portfolio.

Some people are reluctant to obtain insurance because they  think of it as throwing much-needed money away. The purpose of planning for retirement is so that you can try to mitigate some of the issues that you may have as you age and leave the workforce. No one will be able to predict all of the concerns you will face as you head into your retirement years, however, there are some common concerns that are easily addressed with a plan. When you have a plan in place to address the most common issues related to aging and retirement, it clears the way to focus on enjoying your golden years. It also ensures that you have more time to address any unforeseen issues, knowing that you aren’t worrying about the common concerns as well.

We offer many insurance products, including the CUNA Family Indemnity Plan to cover the funeral cost for yourself and eligible family members

Part-Time Employment

Many retirees now take on part-time jobs or pursue second careers in a field or area of interest. Nowadays, retirement isn’t all about playing golf or watching soap operas. Older adults are just as active, if not more in some cases, than their younger working counterparts.

Retirement is a time when many active adults get involved in their community and volunteer projects. Spending time on activities and projects you are passionate about can lead to part-time job opportunities. Not to mention the growing world of freelancing opportunities, where companies all over the globe seek out talented workers to assist with virtual projects. This makes experienced seniors an invaluable resource. The best part is you can work according to a schedule that best suits your needs and lifestyle.

Planning for part-time employment, starting a business or launching a second career during your retirement years means additional income to offset some of your living costs. Talk with your financial advisor about some of the projects you might be interested in undertaking to get an idea of how much you might be able to earn and what, if any, costs you might need to incur to get started.

Annual and Quarterly Bills Should Have a Line Item in Your Monthly Budget

Some bills are meant to be paid once per year or every quarter. Things like property taxes, homeowners association and condo fees, or even subscription payments. It’s a good idea to plan for annual or quarterly expenses within your monthly budget.

In other words, you don’t want to wait until you receive an annual or quarterly bill to try and squeeze that money from your monthly budget to pay it. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, this can be an impossible task and many times this is where people fall behind on bills and accumulate late payments.

Once you determine the amount for your annual or quarterly payment, then you’ll want to divide that amount by 11 for annual payments or by two for quarterly payments and put the divided amount into your monthly budget. It may help to move this allocated money into a savings account for your annual expenses so that you don’t forget and spend it.

Retirement has become a time of rebirth for many, and with the average person living longer than ever now, there are more years to plan for. With pensions shrinking, diversifying your retirement portfolio is critical to ensuring that you can maintain your lifestyle and cover the cost for some of those common issues in aging. Talk with your financial advisor about incorporating savings and insurance coverage into your retirement portfolio, and start thinking about projects that you would enjoy taking on as part-time employment. These three components will help you to build a retirement plan you can bank on.

If you have questions about adding a savings account or insurance to your retirement portfolio, please feel free to contact us for more information.