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RRSP Vs. TFSA: Which is Better?

With the lifetime contribution room of a TFSA now at $52,000 for most people, TFSAs are now a serious portfolio and investment planning alternative to making RRSP contributions. So which is better you ask? Well, it depends…

If you are a Canadian with significant assets and savings then maximizing your TFSA makes sense as a retirement income planning strategy. The income from it during your retirement years is non-taxable and will not trigger any Old Age Security clawback which starts at $74,780 in 2017.

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Getting the Most from your RRSP

Since its inception several decades ago, the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) has become the most widely used retirement savings vehicle in Canada. In order to get the most from an RRSP, it is essential to plan ahead for future investments to avoid panicked deadline decisions or taking action without fully understanding the long-term impact.

In this article we examine a number of different RRSP savings strategies:

"Just-In-Time" Living

Multiple media reports note that almost 50% of Canadians have no emergency savings and are unable to cover the cost of an unexpected expense of $500 - $1000, let alone deal with an unexpected job loss. Other reports from credit agencies such as Equifax state that even a 0.25% increase in mortgage rates will cause cash flow stress for some Canadians. The good news is that changing this "just-in-time" living IS possible!

The Three Levels of Retirement Resources

A survey conducted by one of the big banks some years ago revealed that about 18% of Canadians were hoping for a lottery win to fund their retirement. This raises the question, 'If you were to paint a picture of your retirement, what would it look like?' Many would let dreams take over and envision lots of travel, a vacation home in an exotic location, spoiling their grandchildren, perhaps several year-long world cruises.

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