Canadian Money Forum banner

How much of your gross income do you put into your RRSPs?

  • >15%

    Votes: 17 47.2%
  • 11-15%

    Votes: 10 27.8%
  • 6-10%

    Votes: 7 19.4%
  • 0-5%

    Votes: 2 5.6%
  • What's an RRSP?

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    36
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,626 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Over at MDJ today: The State of Canadian Family Finances - 2008

I am always amazed by the low RRSP contribution rates - everybody seems to talk about it, at the lunch room, at coffee, but I suppose there are only a few people actually talking about contributions - many will just go quiet - I guess they're the ones that don't contribute.

I've been contributing since I started working at 13. I contributed a decent amount - as much as a teen could, then through Undergrad and Grad school, I continued, but earned so little income.

Then 'first' job - I caught up right away, and I've always maxed out my contributions every year, as has my wife.

18% for me
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
701 Posts
My contribution amount varies year to year depending on other factors such as corporate pension plan contributions etc.

For example, my company automatically places $5,000 into my pension. If I contribute $5,000 they will match it with another $5,000 for a total annual pension contribution of $15,000. This amount affects my RRSP contribution room.

A more relevant question is what % of your available RRSP space do you maximize every year; for me that would be 100%; or the poll should include the option "it depends".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,626 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
My contribution amount varies .... depending on ... corporate pension plan contributions ...
A more relevant question is what % of your available RRSP space do you maximize every year.
Agreed. It ran across my head when I was thinking about it - this is my first year on a pension plan so I haven't really incorporated it into my thinking.

Maybe subsequent readers can include pension contributions so if you have 5% pension contributions and subsequently put 5% of gross income into RRSPs, we'll call that 10%.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Well, I guess I'm the odd duck out :) When I first started working I maxxed out my RRSPs for a couple years so that there was enough to tap the HBP, and I quickly bought my first house, which I could barely afford (only got the mortgage through cosigning). As my income grew, I increased my mortgage payments rather than pay into the RRSP, as both the equity in my house and the funds in my RRSP would grow tax free, but the equity in the house could be tapped for emergencies as time went on.

After getting married, two moves, and finishing my post grad I have gotten to the point where now I make accellerated payments on the mortgage, fill up the TFSA each year for both me and my spouse, and then hopefully have a bit extra on top to throw into the RRSP, but that's only about 0-5% for now. In a few years when the mortgage is paid off, I'll boost that up to about 25% just by taking what were mortgage payments and saving them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,455 Posts
Great question. My wife contributes to a DBP, so she has very little RRSP room. I max out my employer based RRSP (matched), then contribute the rest to my self directed RRSP up to 18%.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
Stephen & FT, it all depends on your personal circumstances as well as the ability to even put one-dollar into an RRSP (some are not so lucky)

Some folks have the luck of the draw like FT & his spouse, others are not so lucky

As a 62 year old my suggestion to the younger posters is to get rid of that mortgage in the quickest fast time possible and forget for now the RRSP, unless you really have excess cash or the ability to do it.

I can only imagine those that contribute every year to RRSP's & TFSA's and take 25-years to pay off their mortgages

I'd prefer to pay off the mortgage in half that time then take the next 12 years maxing on missed RRSP's & TFSA's - the contribution room never goes away

For what its worth:rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
333 Posts
Stephen & FT, it all depends on your personal circumstances as well as the ability to even put one-dollar into an RRSP (some are not so lucky)

Some folks have the luck of the draw like FT & his spouse, others are not so lucky

As a 62 year old my suggestion to the younger posters is to get rid of that mortgage in the quickest fast time possible and forget for now the RRSP, unless you really have excess cash or the ability to do it.

I can only imagine those that contribute every year to RRSP's & TFSA's and take 25-years to pay off their mortgages

I'd prefer to pay off the mortgage in half that time then take the next 12 years maxing on missed RRSP's & TFSA's - the contribution room never goes away

For what its worth:rolleyes:
I believe it depends on the individual's situation.
There are online calculators to assist people with this process.
https://www.retirementadvisor.ca/retadv/apps/mortrrsp/mortgrrsp.jsp?toolsSubMenu=family
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
465 Posts
When I was working, I used to contribute the max, give or take $100. It wasn't that much/year because of the pension adjustment. When I retired, I took a year off to settle into retirement income. Now that I have a seasonal job, I put in $1000/year to offset the increased tax bill. Once I leave that job in 3-4 years, I will make a final contribution before turning it over to a RIF.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
I believe it depends on the individual's situation.
There are online calculators to assist people with this process.
https://www.retirementadvisor.ca/retadv/apps/mortrrsp/mortgrrsp.jsp?toolsSubMenu=family
indeed & I did

the numbers that I plugged was $18,000 available cash to put into the mortgage or RRSP

Mortgage rate was set at 5% the RRSP investment rate was set to 4%

mortgage has 25 years to go & that I had 35 years to retirement

Result was 'pay off the mortgage first' & not to contribute to the RRSP

Each case is different, but that calculator was useful
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
I still have unused room from when I was in school. This year I contributed $21k to try and used some of the room. Unfortunately this was a good year income wise so my unused contribution room increase by $20,500 for 2008. That means I only used $500 of my previous contribution room. In total I have $28k in contribution room for 2009. I plan on contributing another $21k. It seems like an odd thing to be disappointed about but it feels a little dirty having unused room.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
I think I contributed about 10% of my gross income to my RRSP accounts and pension plan for 2008, and I still have contribution room left over from prior years. This year and last year I was paying down student loan debt relatively aggressively, plus, I have been trying to accumulate some emergency savings and save for some more immediate priorities than retirement; so, I haven't been maxing out my contributions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
My hubby and I always maxed out. Where I work now we have a group plan (no matching) but I can put my bonus in there pre tax. Also, we have a share option plan so I purchase discounted company shares in the plan, which reduces my room a little.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
In percentage terms I'm below 10%, but that's deceiving because I'm in a good pension plan. For the past few years I've maximized my RRSP contribution every year, and I've already maxed out my TFSA room for 2009.

For the time being any extra cash above and beyond RRSP/TFSA/RESP contributions will be going toward our mortgage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
305 Posts
Our RRSP room is currently maxed out. Normally we would continue to contribute 18% each and direct additional funds to the mortgage, but this financial uncertaintly has caused us to pull in the horns a little bit and concentrate on reducing risk in the here and now, rather than on long-term wealth.

We both have company matches for RRSP contributions to a certain low level, and are currently putting the minimum contribution to receive the maximum employer taxable benefit. The additional cashflow freed up by lower RRSP contributions (about 10% now, combined) has been building up in a couple of savings accounts / TFSA's until it reaches a certain "magic" number that I consider completely recession-proof. Will be there in a few months, and then additional cashflow beyond that will go back to paying down the mortgage.

Once this financial uncertainty begins to ease a bit (job market and economic outlook, mainly), then we'll look at reducing the cash buffer in the savings accounts and putting it to work on the mortgage, catching up on the amounts of RRSP room that have built up since October when we instituted the "recession plan", and increasing RRSP contributions/deductions directly from paycheque back up to 18%.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
I can only imagine those that contribute every year to RRSP's & TFSA's and take 25-years to pay off their mortgages
That is part of what I love about the TFSA. Theoretically I have 10 years left on my mortgage, which is 1.5% at the moment and has 4 years left before renewal. If I put the $10k per year into the mortgage as extra payments, it would be about 7 years total. But by putting it into the TFSA and getting 1.65% interest at the moment, I have the option of just renewing for a year at a time at the end of this term and using the TFSA to pay off the mortgage in year 7 if everything goes according to plan, but if something terrible happens, I've got a nice big emergency fund in the TFSA to help tide through. Before the TFSA, I'd have paid off the mortgage and relied on a line of credit for a big emergency.

The only reason I'm putting some excess into the RRSP right now is to cover the home buyer plan repayments... it's either put the money into savings or pay taxes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
333 Posts
indeed & I did

the numbers that I plugged was $18,000 available cash to put into the mortgage or RRSP

Mortgage rate was set at 5% the RRSP investment rate was set to 4%

mortgage has 25 years to go & that I had 35 years to retirement

Result was 'pay off the mortgage first' & not to contribute to the RRSP

Each case is different, but that calculator was useful
4% investment rate seems awfully low for someone who has 35yrs till retirement. :confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
4% investment rate seems awfully low for someone who has 35yrs till retirement. :confused:
relative to todays rate of return & mortgage rates

That is why I advocate paying off the mortgage ASAP instead of trying to do everything at once and spreading money around paying mortage, TFSA & RRSP

Does it not make sense to get rid of debt first then take the future years beyond that to do the retirement investing & save - or should it be the reverse to max on RRSP & TFSA's then any money left pay the mortage?

No one knows what the future holds, it may have 12 % mortgage rates and 10% average investment return rate * * it all depends on each persons individual case, needs & wants
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
We have only a small amount of room left between us as I am now retired 2 years so we have been depositing less than we used to in order to utilize the tax savings. Our focus has become contributing to our TFSA's.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top