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Balancing act: saving for the future, but enjoying the life you want now

It’s hard to find a balance between keeping money in your wallet now, leading the lifestyle you enjoy, and also saving for the future.  There are many considerations when determining the savings plan that’s right for you: one option is a Retirement Savings Plan (RSP).  The deadline for making RSP contributions for the 2011 tax year is February 29, 2012.

Other options for working towards a financially-secure future include: paying down your debt or mortgage, contributing to a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for your children’s education, or other investments (such as mutual funds, equities, etc.).

“RSPs are a great way to start saving for your retirement,” said Kathryn Del Greco, Vice President, Investment Advisor, TD Waterhouse Private Investment Advice.  “However, ensure that you carefully weigh all the alternatives and find the right mix of investments tools that will help you achieve your short, medium and long-term goals.”

Here are some tips to help you get started – or help with your current investments:

  • Evaluate your investment portfolio regularly.  Analyze your asset allocation and assess if it’s appropriate for your required return, time horizon and risk tolerance, as well as if you’re on track to meet your goals.
  • Make sure you have a plan.  Know what your goals are and determine what financial steps are needed to get there. An experienced financial advisor could help you build a custom plan suited for your personal situation as well as help you manage it.
  • If short of funds, consider a loan for your RSP contributions.  The tax-deferred compound growth on your investments could potentially outweigh the interest costs. 
  • Contribute regularly.  Monthly contributions can help you reach your total annual contribution goal.  Investigate taking advantage of payroll deductions for your RSP if offered by your employer.
  • Be mindful of the limits.  Review your Notice of Assessment statement provided by the Canada Revenue Agency to check the maximum you can contribute to your RSP.  You will pay a penalty if you over-contribute.

For more information about how to make the most of your retirement savings or how to start investing in RSPs, please visit: