For those in the accumulation phase of their financial plan, withdrawals are not even on the radar yet, they’re entirely focused on contributions.
But for those getting close to retirement and the decumulation phase, their mindset starts to shift from contributions to withdrawals. They’ve been adding to these accounts for so long that they’re probably now wondering “how do I get my money out?”.
One unexpected realization people often have as they enter the decumulation phase is that it costs money to withdraw from an RRSP, sometimes a lot of money.
That’s right, withdrawing from an RRSP costs money. There is typically a fee charged on every RRSP withdrawal. These RRSP withdrawal fees are called “partial deregistration fees” and they can range anywhere from $50 to $100+ depending on the financial institution.
Finding out about these partial deregistration fees is a shock for those entering early retirement and for those who aren’t aware that these fees exist… or how to avoid them.
GIS Allowance is one of those unique government benefits. It applies only in very specific situations, but when it does apply, it can be very large.
GIS stands for the Guaranteed Income Supplement and it’s a government benefit for low- and moderate-income retirees. It is available after the age of 65 if OAS benefits have begun and if taxable income (line 23600 on your tax return) is below a certain threshold.
Allowance is another government benefit tied to GIS. Allowance is only available in very specific situations but it’s worth over $1,200 per month or $14,000 per year!
Given the size of GIS Allowance it can be very beneficial to understand how it works and when it applies. But, because it’s so rare, its often not considered when creating a retirement drawdown strategy. Unfortunately, not adjusting a financial plan for GIS Allowance will make retirement unnecessarily difficult for lower-income couples.
GIS Allowance is a government benefit that applies in only a few situations, but it is a benefit that is extremely large, and therefore it’s important to understand if and when you may qualify.
When it comes to retirement there is a lot of focus put on the RRSP. The Registered Retirement Savings Plan seems like an obvious choice for retirement (it even has retirement in the name after all!). But for many of us an RRSP isn’t necessary, and it might even be counterproductive!
There’s a new retirement account on the block and it’s called the TFSA. Just over 10 years old, the TFSA is relatively new to the retirement savings game. Starting in 2009, it changed the way we look at retirement savings.
If you’re new to RRSP vs TFSA debate, it’s important to know that there are pros and cons for each account. RRSP’s do have the advantage in a few different areas, especially if you have high income or have a family and receive child benefits (either the Canada Child Benefit or a provincial child benefit). TFSA’s also have their share of benefits too. For low- and middle-income households, the TFSA has a few big advantages.
When deciding which is the right one for you need to look at multiple factors. Factors like income taxes, government benefits, creditor protection, and even human behaviour.
When deciding between the TFSA or the RRSP the key thing to remember is that you don’t actually NEED an RRSP to retire. Someone can easily retire with only a TFSA.
There are four things you need to know if you’re going to avoid the RRSP and only use the TFSA for retirement…
In a world filled with uncertainty a financial plan has this amazing ability to predict the future.
It can help predict future income, expenses, assets, and debts. It can help predict if you’ll be financially secure in the future or if you’ll be eating cat food. It can help predict if you need to save more to achieve your goals or if you can spend more now and enjoy today. In can help predict if you’ll run out of money in retirement or if you’ll end up with millions.
A financial plan isn’t a perfect prediction of course. It’s based on certain assumptions. But good assumptions can create a good prediction. There will still be some chance of the future working out differently than planned, but with a path mapped out the future becomes very real and very achievable.
They say that “failing to plan is planning to fail”. A financial plan will help you know where you’re going. It will help you create a clear roadmap to follow. If you can hit the milestones on the roadmap then success is all but guaranteed.
Here are just a few ways that a financial plan can help you predict the future and make it a reality.
After reaching age 65 there are a couple of tax credits that we become eligible for. These tax credits vary in the amount of tax they save, but in general they help decrease income tax payable for those over the age of 65, and they can be very helpful to lower taxes in retirement.
But with some of these tax credits, they only apply if you have certain types of retirement income, and the pension income tax credit is one of those tax credits.
The pension income tax credit is one of a couple of tax credits that become available to everyone after age 65 (there is also the Age Amount Credit) but some people can access the pension income tax credit earlier than age 65 if they have certain types of retirement income.
All of these tax credits add up to provide a significant amount of tax savings in retirement, so it pays to understand the various credits and how to qualify for them.
The pension income tax credit provides a tax credit of $2,000 federally and between $1,000 to $2,000 depending on the province.
What do you prefer to spend your money on? Cars, houses, vacations? Everyone spends their money differently. Some people enjoy nice cars, large houses, the latest clothes or gadgets, luxurious vacations, food, wine, restaurants, the list is endless.
But for some of us, we like to spend our money a different way. Some of us like to slowly buy more and more freedom, flexibility, and time.
Like other ways to spend money, buying freedom is a personal choice, but it’s the right trade-off for us. We don’t value expensive cars, or large houses, or expensive clothes, but what we do value is freedom, flexibility, and time.