With low income and little savings, selling rental property this couple’s best bet on road to retirement


Situation: Low earned income, low investment returns and hefty disability payments keep couple afloat.

Solution: Raise investment income, extend husband’s work part time to build savings, cut spending.

In Alberta, a couple we’ll call Phil, 65, and Celeste, 56, are moving toward retirement, pushed by age and health issues.

Phil, a financial services manager, wants to work part time to bolster family income. Celeste has awaited an organ transplant for years. If it works, she could return to work as a health care professional. Ironically, return to work might be a financial challenge. Her disability benefits, most of which aren’t taxable, provide substantial income.

“We came to Canada a few decades ago for a better life,” Celeste says. “We have that, but we have not had a lot of time to build our savings. We worry about what happens when we are both retired.”

They have $9,433 monthly take home income made up of Phil’s $4,583 monthly net income and $4,850 of Celeste’s mostly non-taxable disability income. They have a rental property which produces $1,400 gross rent per month but nothing after expenses. They make ends meet, but their future is far from secure.


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