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The Basics of RRSPs and Retirement Planning

A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is likely to be the single most important investment vehicle you will ever own, next to your home. While many people think that an RRSP is a specific type of investment, it's really just a piggy bank into which you can put most popular investments, like GICs, bonds, mutual funds and stocks.

To encourage you to save for retirement, the government allows you to put money, up to a predetermined limit, into your RRSP every year. A major benefit of investing in an RRSP is that you deduct the amount you put into your RRSP from your income before calculating your tax bill for the year. This will usually result in a tax refund.

In addition, any money you make on the investments inside your RRSP isn't included in your taxable income. All of the growth goes back into your RRSP investments - making you more money every year. This is known as tax-free compounding.

However, you do eventually have to pay taxes on your RRSPs. If you take money out of your RRSP, it is added to your income for that year and is taxed at your full marginal rate. You can keep your RRSP going until the end of the year in which you turn 71. At that point, you have to collapse the plan, but there are ways to continue sheltering your savings from the Canada Revenue Agency through Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs).

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Your first step is to calculate how much you may need to retire comfortably. Then you can decide on the type of retirement products that are best for you.

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Read through the information and if you have any specific questions send us an email and we would be pleased to help.


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