Ten RRSP tips

A Vancity investment expert can help you with all your investing and retirement planning needs. To speak with an investment expert contact us at 604-877-7000, visit your local branch or find an investment expert in your neighborhood.

Here are 10 ideas to keep your retirement plans on track. You could enjoy the benefits for decades to come.

  1. Start early
    When is early enough? Well, today would be nice.
  2. Start small if you have to
    Even if money is tight, small amounts make a big difference given enough time, the right investment mix and the tax-deferred environment of an RRSP.
  3. Pay yourself first
    Set aside a fixed dollar amount or percentage of your paycheque every month. That way you pay yourself first, which gives you a better chance of building your savings. Read more about our . We’ll help you make your savings automatic.
  4. Maximize your contributions
    Put away as much as you can each year. The earnings on your contributions will enjoy tax-deferred compound growth for years to come. And you can hang onto your RRSP tax deduction to use when it'll provide the maximum tax break. Just check first if RRSPs are a better financial solution than TFSAs for your situation.
  5. Borrow to make your contribution
    If you can't quite make your maximum annual RRSP contribution, an RRSP loan can help. See more on RRSP loans.
  6. Mix it up a bit
    When making investments, don’t keep all your eggs in one basket. Diversify instead. Your holdings should have a suitable mix of equity, fixed-income and secure investments. What’s the right amount of risk? There’s no right answer, only the amount that you’re comfortable with and that matches your objectives. Geographic diversification is also important. So review your RRSP’s foreign content to be sure it’s appropriate for you.
  7. Name a Beneficiary
    One of the advantages offered by RRSPs is your ability to name someone to receive your plan value, after you're gone. Naming a beneficiary may save your estate probate fees. And naming certain beneficiaries may even delay them or you paying tax on the plan, until withdrawals from it are made. Review your RRSP beneficiary regularly, to see if it matches your current wishes.
  8. Know how much you’ll need
    Don’t guesstimate how much money you’ll need when you retire. We’re all living longer these days. And our standard of living keeps rising. So take the time to figure out if your retirement savings will give you the lifestyle you want when you call it a day.
  9. Plan as a couple
    A plan that coordinates your and your spouse's income needs in retirement can save you both a lot of tax. Paying less tax means you both could save less while enjoying the retirement lifestyle you want. Our investment experts can help explain how income splitting and spousal RRSPs can help you both enjoy a tax-efficient retirement.
  10. Get professional advice
    Few people have the time, training or desire to understand the intricacies of retirement planning, along with its tax and estate considerations. Speak to one of our advisors to get the financial advice you need.