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Cashing out your RRSPs: it could cost you more than you think

The purpose of a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is to help you save for retirement. If you withdraw for anything other than retirement, you will lose the value of tax deferral.

If you need help developing a plan for retirement, contact DFS Investments.

However, there are two exceptions when you can take out money without any withholding tax or other tax consequences:

Lifelong Learning Plan

The Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) allows you to withdraw funds from your RRSP to finance qualifying full-time training or education for yourself, your spouse or your common-law partner. There are limitations and restrictions and you should always consider the effects of the loss of compounding growth. For more information, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.

Home Buyers’ Plan

The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 in a calendar year from your RRSP, without any tax penalties, to build or purchase a qualifying home for yourself or a related person with a disability.

Generally, the funds have to be paid back to your RRSP within a period of no more than 15 years, and you will lose compounding growth. Your RRSP should always be a last resort for current financing unless you are retired. For more information, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.

A costly temptation

Since RRSP contributions are tax deferred, withdrawals prior to retirement must be included as income in the year received and will be subject to tax withholding by your institution, unless they are made for the Home Buyers’ Plan or the Lifelong Learning Plan.

In addition, there are other fees and penalties which can add up quickly. But perhaps the most costly is the compounding interest and growth your money would have earned, had you left it in your retirement savings. RRSPs should be one of the last places you take money from during hardship.

Mutual Funds are not insurance products and are distributed through representatives of Desjardins Financial Security Investments Inc.

Please read the applicable Fund Facts before investing. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses may be associated with mutual fund investments.

Mutual Funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Mutual fund securities are not covered by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation or by any other government deposit insurer.

Neither Desjardins Insurance nor its agents provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax, legal or investment advisor regarding your specific circumstances


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