As the year draws to a close, it’s important to remember that RRSPs are still one of the best ways to invest and save. You won’t be taxed on the money you shelter in an RRSP until you take it out, and for 2012 you can put away as much as $22, 970. To help you get started, we’ve put together this nine point RRSP checklist for you:
- If you haven’t started saving, start now. It’s never too late to invest in your future.
- Invest early and often to take advantage of the “time value of money.” Because your investments are allowed to compound tax-free, there are significant advantages to investing on a monthly basis rather than at the end of the year.
- Choose mutual funds and put your money in the hands of professionals who have the investment know-how to help you reach your retirement dreams.
- Maximize your RRSP contribution to take advantage of your single greatest opportunity to save for retirement and defer taxes.
- Don’t be too cautious and choose low-risk investments only. A diversified portfolio should include a variety of assets to minimize risk and maximize return.
- Think long-term instead of letting short-term market volatility sway your investment decisions.
- Take advantage of dollar-cost averaging with a pre-authorized chequing plan that spreads your mutual fund purchases over time and gives you greater long-term returns.
- If you don’t have the cash available, consider moving non-registered investments to your RRSP in kind.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to meet the March 1 deadline – investment decisions shouldn’t be rushed.
One of the investment companies that we use, Mackenzie Investments, has some excellent resources available online for free, such as their Retirement U site. If you’ve never taken a close look at your retirement plan, I recommend you start with their Retirement U Guidebook. It’s an excellent resource for helping you make sense of your long-term financial picture, and where you should start today.
Photo Credit: “Checkmark” by Allen McGregor on Flickr