Between the kids' homework, laundry, housework, grocery shopping, cooking, commuting, working and sleeping, Quebec families lead busy lives. With such hectic schedules, it can be easy to forget that your highly anticipated retirement will be a reality sooner than you think. You'll want to be prepared when the time comes. In the midst of your busy daily routine, have you thought about your RRSPs?

Between January 7 and 9, 2014, National Bank's research team polled 1,000 Quebec Internet users aged 18 and over. Some 53% of the poll's respondents said they did not plan to contribute to their RRSPs in the next three years. In fact, only 36% said that they planned to do so.*

The benefits of an RRSPHowever, RRSPs can be particularly advantageous when saving for retirement as they enable you to shelter your income and capital gains from taxes until you withdraw them.

They are an excellent way to save a portion of your salary in order to make up for any shortfall in income after you retire. Also, RRSP contributions can be deducted from your taxable income, which may lead to a tax refund.

“An RRSP is especially beneficial if the amount withdrawn is taxed at a lower rate than the rate in effect when the amount was initially deposited. This is the case for most people who contribute to an RRSP because their income at retirement is usually lower than when they were working. In addition, an RRSP may qualify for other related programs, such as the Home Buyers' Plan (HBP), which helps families become homeowners,” says Christian Gelinas, Financial Planner at National Bank in Laval.

Who can contribute to an RRSP?
Any individual aged 71 or younger who has earned income in Canada is eligible to contribute to an RRSP. During the year in which you turn 71, the savings accumulated in your RRSP must be transferred to a registered retirement income fund (RRIF), which will pay you an annual pension.

Is an RRSP loan a good solution?
An RRSP loan is often recommended in order to obtain a tax deduction during RRSP season (i.e., in January and February). This strategy may be particularly attractive to individuals who have accumulated a significant amount of unused contribution room.

“However, while the intention to save for retirement is commendable, several factors need to be taken into account when opting for an RRSP loan. For example, in order to minimize your debt, you should first consider contributing any accumulated non-registered investments to your RRSP. We also recommend that an RRSP loan have a maximum term of one year, as a longer-term commitment to repay the loan could become a burden should you encounter any unexpected but necessary expenses. Furthermore, any tax refund due to an RRSP contribution should be used to speed up the repayment of an RRSP loan,” says Martin Pouliot, Branch Manager in Laval.

Need help?
Every family's situation is unique. To determine the best financial solutions to help you attain peace of mind regarding your retirement, be sure to consult a National Bank advisor. You will also find a host of information on this topic at clearfacts.ca.

*http://www.clearfacts.ca/survey-54-of-investors-need-a-minimum-amount-to-make-an-rrsp-contribution
The information provided in this article is not exhaustive and is intended for information purposes only. For financial advice or to learn more about how RRSPs can benefit your personal situation, please consult your National Bank advisor or an industry professional (e.g., accountant, tax specialist or lawyer).

Martin Pouliot
Branch Manager
2175 boul. Des Laurentides , Laval
450 669-9208

Christian Gélinas
Financial Planner
2175 boul. Des Laurentides , Laval
450 669-9208