Investing for Retirement

by Natalie MacLellan on January 18, 2011

in financial goals

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It’s getting to be that time of year again. The RRSP deadline is March 1, and people across the country are considering if they’ll make a contribution, how much it will be, and where they will invest it.

Retirement may be a long way off for you – or it might be right around the corner. No matter how near or far it is, you’ve absolutely got to start saving for it now. However, saving for retirement isn’t what it used to be. Fewer people have retirement plans provided by employers, and for those who do, they aren’t always going to be sufficient to cover all expected retirement costs.

Many Canadians do their retirement savings through Registered Retirement Savings Plan – RRSPs. RRSPs are quite popular because the money is not taxed until you withdraw the funds, and you can deduct your RRSP contribution from the taxes that you owe. RRSPs can be opened at most financial institutions, and can be used to invest in all sorts of products: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, GICs, and money market accounts. Not yet sure what to invest in? There is no harm in leaving it in cash for now, just don’t put off the decision too long.

Canadians also have the option of investing through Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs), to supplement their RRSP or pension savings. You cannot deduct your TFSA contribution, but you can contribute up to $5000 per year, which grows tax-free. The benefit: this money is not taxed when withdrawn.

In the next few blog posts we will look closer at RRSPs, TFSAs and other retirement savings options available to Canadians. But remember, whichever retirement investment you choose, just make sure you choose something. Be careful about depending on government pensions, company retirement plans, an inheritance that may or may not come through or lottery winnings. Take care of your financial future by investing in it today.

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