It’s RRSP season – the same as it is every year at this time – but this year, things feel very different for many Canadians. This year, there’s more stress. And for many Canadians, there’s a whole LOT of stress. At a time when Canadians should be thinking about saving for retirement, many are instead feeling like they must choose between investing money for their futures and keeping extra cash on hand to help with managing inflation and the ongoing after-effects of a financially devastating global pandemic.
There’s no denying this very challenging reality. For most Canadians, retirement is still a distant consideration but the need to cover increasing costs is an immediate and heightened concern. Under the circumstances, some individuals have paused or reduced their RRSP contributions to help themselves get by. But opting to tap the brakes on saving for retirement now will likely only increase financial stress later because the less you invest while working now, the less you will likely have when it comes time to retire. If you CAN continue investing in your RRSP the same – or more – as before, it will likely serve you well in the long run.
You should also consider the impact to your income tax return of pausing your RRSP contributions. If current financial pressures lead you to pause or reduce your RRSP contributions this tax season, you’ll miss out on potentially significant tax benefits. By contrast, if you contribute to your RRSP by the March 1st deadline, you’ll reduce your income taxes owing, and quite possibly bolster a healthy and helpful income tax return.
All that said, everyone’s financial situation is unique. There is simply no one-size-fits-all financial advice that can serve everyone’s needs well. This is why it’s so helpful to speak with a financial advisor who can assess your situation, understand your goals, and provide guidance on how you can live – and afford – your best life, however that looks to you. If you’re not already working with a financial advisor you trust, I encourage you to find one by asking friends and family for recommendations, and by reading trusted online reviews. Good help is out there. You needn’t navigate these and other financial stresses on your own, and the right advisor will help steer you in the best possible direction to your goals.
Clifford Wiegers, CFP, TEP, CH.F.C., CLU, B.Comm.
Insurance Representative, Wiegers Financial and Insurance Planning Services ltd.
Financial Planner, Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc.