(NC) For many of us, the deadline for Registered Savings Plan (RSP) contributions is a source of unwanted stress. But personal finance experts say that the deadline is no reason to be intimidated. Even if you haven't been making regular contributions, you can still make a difference in your retirement savings plan.
“While it is much better to have a personalized financial plan with regular contributions being made to an RSP over a longer term, making a last-minute RSP contribution is still a step in the right direction,” says Wade Stayzer, vice president of sales and service at Meridian. “Additionally, taking the opportunity to set up a pre-authorized contribution that allows you to invest smaller amounts on a regular basis will save you a lot of stress in the future.”
Meridian, Ontario's largest credit union, offers tips for last-minute RSP contributions.
Get going now: Many financial institutions will have extended hours to meet the needs of last-minute contributors but don't wait until the last minute; make an appointment as soon as possible. You can also consider phone or online banking. No matter how you chose to contribute, you'll need your account information and social insurance number.
Don't over-contribute: Due to contribution limits, be sure to only invest your allowable amount, as over-contributions are subject to tax penalties. You can find your current limit on your most recent Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency.
Get a short term plan: Most last-minute contributors “park” their money for the short-term and then decide later where to invest for the long haul. Working with a trusted financial advisor can help you choose the best option given your circumstances.
Plan ahead: Make next RSP season less stressful and set up a pre-authorized contribution (PAC) now. While the deadline for contributing to a RSP is the same every year, you might not be able to make your maximum contribution in one lump sum. Creating a PAC allows you to invest regular and smaller contributions on a weekly or monthly basis, allowing you to save for your dream retirement automatically.
Visit www.meridiancu.ca to learn more about RSPs.