If you’re well on your way to climbing to the top of your own financial step ladder you already know how important it is to plan for your retirement. RRSPs (registered retirement savings plan) are a great tool to help you save for your retirement as well as being a tax saving incentive while you’re still working. So whether you’re an old hack or a newbie when it comes to RRSPs there are still a few things to consider and be made aware of before the March 1st contribution deadline arrives.
HOW MUCH TO CONTRIBUTE
You’ve probably been asked if you know what your contribution room is or you’ve heard this term and are not sure what it means. If you’re working with a financial adviser he/she will be able to help you determine this. For 2018 the contribution room is up to 18% of your income to a maximum of $26,230. However, the good news is that if you’re a newbie to the RRSP game – meaning you’ve been working for some time but have never socked any savings into a registered retirement savings plan the contribution room number will likely be larger for you because unused RRSP contribution room accumulates and carries forward.
Earlier I mentioned tax incentives. The money that you contribute to an RRSP lowers your net income. Essentially, it lowers your tax payable saving you money on taxes. And that’s not all. A considerable RRSP contribution will also increase your tax refund allowing you to put the extra money towards paying down debt or adding it to an emergency fund.
SAVINGS FOR THE LONG TERM
RRSP and tax season is a good time to take inventory of your finances. Have you saved as much as you would have liked in the past year? Were you blind-sided by unexpected expenses? By creating a budget for yourself that includes a monthly RRSP contribution you’ll be in a better position to achieve your long-term goals. Starting a savings plan (whether it’s for your retirement, your child’s education or a new home) is a solid step forward towards reaching the top of your financial summit.
If you feel overwhelmed and can’t see the forest for the trees when it comes to your retirement it may help to write your goals down on paper. With your goals down in black and white and a plan to help get you there you’ll soon be climbing your way up the financial step ladder with your best foot forward.
DO YOU HAVE YOUR T4?
Your T4 slip will generally note your taxable income, benefits, allowances, deductions, and pension plan contributions. Remember, if you changed jobs or had multiple employers last year, you’ll need to make sure that you have T4 slips from all of them. You may have already received your T4. If you have it, bring it with you when making your RRSP contribution with your adviser. It can help in calculating the optimal RRSP contribution for 2018. While RRSP season generally means planning for retirement it’s also part of the whole financial spectrum that includes tax planning, tax preparation and tax savings. If you don’t yet have your T4 and are already a WEALTHplan or TAXplan client then we can request your T4 on your behalf from the Canada Revenue Agency.