Back to: February 2020

Are You Ready for RRSP Season?
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RRSP season is upon us! Time to go through the couch covers and scrounge up the last of our savings to make that all-important contribution. Let’s look at some fundamental concepts of RRSPs.

What are RRSPs?

RRSP, or Registered Retirement Savings Plan, is a vehicle created by the Federal government to allow you to save and invest your hard-earned dollars in a tax-deferred account. Notice the term “tax-deferred”. It is NOT tax-free; any money entered into the plan is allowed to accumulate tax-free until the time you are required to pull it out.


What can I buy within an RRSP?

Practically all investable assets such as money, guaranteed investment certificates, government and corporate bonds, mutual funds, and securities listed on a designated stock exchange. An RRSP is NOT an investment. It is simply a plan in which you BUY investments and defer your tax on them.


Where can I buy investments for my RRSPs?

Banks, investment companies, insurance companies and stockbrokers are some places you can use to buy investments within your RRSP.


When can I contribute to the current year?

March 2, 2020, is the deadline for contributing to an RRSP for the 2019 tax year.

The RRSP contribution period usually stretches from March 2nd of the current year to March 1st of the following year (first 60 days). These dates are important, especially the first 60 days of the following year. These latter contributions can only be declared in the previous year’s tax return. Let’s see an example:

John contributes $3,000 to his RRSP on February 24, 2020. Because the contribution is made within the first 60 days of the year, John must declare the contributions on his 2019 tax return. John can choose not to use the contributions and carry them forward to the following year. However, the contributions need to be declared on the 2019 return.

Can I put as much money as I want in the plan?

Not quite. You’re limited to the lesser of 18% percent of your earned* income, or the set maximum, which is indexed every year ($26,500 for income earned in 2019). This amount is what is called your RRSP limit. You can find out your limit by looking at your previous year’s Notice of Assessment, or by going to the My Account website of the CRA. Any unused room accumulates to future years.

*Earned income to the CRA means employment income, net self-employment income, net rental income, taxable support payments, etc. This means not all income is “earned” income to the CRA, especially interest income, dividends and capital gains.

So my money grows in a tax-deferred way, is there any other advantage to contributing to an RRSP?

Now RRSPs get really interesting! Not only does your money grow without interference from the taxman until your required withdrawal, but you also get a tax deduction to boot! Any contributions you make to your RRSP during the year get deducted from your total income when determining your net income. That’s an instant return on your investment even before your money has had time to work for you!

Not only do you get the tax deferral and the reduction in taxes, but you also get the increase in certain benefits and credits, such as the GST credit, Canada Child Benefit and medical expense credit!  Benefits such as the GST and Canada Child Benefit are based on your net income; since your RRSP contributions reduce your net income, you will be able to claim more of those amounts. Credits on your tax return, such as the medical expense credit, are also based on your net income; the lower your net income, the more credits you will be able to claim!

RRSP contributions really provide a big return on your investment. Not many other plans can claim that.


You keep mentioning tax deferral, when does the party end?

Unfortunately, the party starts winding down at age 71, when the CRA requires you to start withdrawing from your RRSP at set percentages which increase as you age. At that age, your RRSP converts into a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF). The withdrawals are taxable income on your return. Just remember though that your money has been growing for many years without interference from the taxman, and any money not withdrawn continues to accumulate tax-free.




With Compliments of

Michele Vyge-Fraser
Real Estate Agent/ Associate Broker/ CNE®

Red Door Realty
1314 Martello Road
Chapter House
Halifax, Nova Scotia,
T: 902-830-6397

I hope this newsletter finds you healthy, safe and hopeful. What a world we are living in right now. Remarkable in the way that the actual earth is in a state of extraordinary renewal, and stunning in the way that Covid19 has mobilized every aspect of our lives in such an unimaginably short period time. Our life balance, our priorities, our goals and our plans have been shifted drastically. Our values, our ethics and our basic understanding of the circle of life is being challenged in ways only experienced by people who have lived through wars, famine and turmoil. Over the years I have heard survival stories of courage and of eternal gratitude that always seem to be rooted in memories of nurtured kindness, support and of love for and from each other, from family, from friends and from total strangers. Lessons for today for sure.

I am grateful to be living in Nova Scotia. I am grateful for family, for friends and clients and for acquaintances and strangers alike. I am grateful that we all have homes to keep us safe. I am grateful to everyone, to many of you receiving this newsletter, who are working essential services who are supporting us through these extraordinary times. Thank you! I am grateful for the courage, for the selfless service and for the amazing kindness. Humanity can be and is so beautiful. I am truly grateful for all of our blessings.

Please stay safe, please stay healthy, please stay well.

With Sincere Gratitude,

Term Posted
6 Months 3.34% 3.30%
1 Year 3.59% 3.04%
2 Years 3.74% 2.89%
3 Years 3.89% 2.79%
4 Years 3.95% 2.95%
5 Years 5.34% 2.69%
7 Years 5.80% 2.99%
10 Years 6.10% 3.04%
Variable Rate 2.90%
Prime Rate ** 3.95%
*last updated: Feb 18,2020

Halifax Mortgage Specialist Bruce Lusby 

(902) 210-0515

Halifax, Nova Scotia - updated Oct 6, 2015


5yr @ Prime - .65% (2.05%)

HELOC @ Prime +.25% (2.95%)

1yr 2.29%
2yr 2.09%
3yr 2.24%
4yr 2.54%
5yr 2.54%
6yr 3.39%
7yr 3.44%
10yr 3.84%

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