This article is provided by Intuit Canada and is for general information only. You are encouraged to seek professional tax advice if you have questions.
Retirement may seem like a lifetime away and that's why so many Canadians wait to plan ahead, but there's no reason to delay. The first step to properly preparing is setting up a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), though that's just the beginning; you can easily go further. Once you have an RRSP, the following tips will show you how to make the most of it:
Feed your RRSP, not your mortgage
Of course, this is contingent on a couple of factors, not the least of which is owning a home. If you are a home owner and your mortgage rate is particularly low, consider putting more money into your RRSP and less into your mortgage. The tax savings this generates will outweigh the money you would save by taking care of your mortgage early.
Work with your spouse
Oftentimes, married couples overlook the advantages of a spousal RRSP. With this type of savings plan, the spouse with the higher income can contribute and, in turn, lower the income taxes that will be payable when retirement arrives.
Get a bonus for your bonus
Everyone loves getting a bonus at work. Your RRSP can allow you to increase the benefit even further. For instance, by putting your bonus toward your RRSP, you can lower the tax you will have to pay while strengthening your investment. It's a win-win situation.
Timing is everything
Here's a little-known fact: You don't have to claim your RRSP contributions in the same tax year that you make them. Instead, claim them in a year that will do more for your tax savings.
If you already have an RRSP, you're ahead of the game. But that doesn't mean you can't do more to save for your retirement. Have a chat with your financial advisor to learn more about RRSP and optimization strategies.