March 2nd, 2015 has come and gone. For most people, the stress of this day has been lifted from your shoulders, and you don’t even realize it. Come April 30th you might feel some regret about ignoring this date when you have to settle up your taxes for 2014.
March 2nd was the last date you could have made a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) contribution and have it applied against your 2014 taxes.
The advertising this year was just as intense as any other year but for some reason the message isn’t getting through. There is much discussion on why this is. Some people suggest reasons anywhere from over saturation on advertising, unforeseen consequences of the do not call list, confusion about the differences of RRSPs and tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), to the standard answer, “I don’t have any extra money”.
According to Investor Education Fund, only 52% of Canadians made a contribution to their savings*. Not contributing to your RRSP is always easy to justify. Retirement is three, five, 10, 20, or even 40 years in the future. “I still have time to save. Even if I don’t have time I can always just work an extra year or two and all will be put right”.
Or maybe the answer is much simpler. Did anyone take the time to personally ask you to contribute to your RRSP?
Who asked you? They did their part to help you and your future. Did you drop the ball and let March 2nd, 2015 pass without contributing to your RRSP? Saturation advertising makes us aware of the problem, but most people just block it out after a while and fail to realize that the solution is educated advice. With social media, 500+ channels of 24-hour television, radio, newspapers, and magazines one simple ingredient is missing. The missing ingredient is the value of face-to-face advice. Too many people are talking at as us and not enough people are talking to us.
As I’m writing this, there are approximately 12 months until the next RRSP deadline of Feb 29th, 2016. The ball, “retirement planning” is in your hands. You have the time to contact an advisor of your choice to sort out your understanding of RRSPs and TFSAs. By making monthly or weekly contributions you will not be scrambling to find money at the deadline and will not get caught up in the last minute saturation advertising, and you certainly will not fall through the cracks created by the do not call list.
For many financial advisors, March and April are not nearly as busy as January and February. Scheduling your review now could allow extra time in your meeting to give you a different perspective on all forms of financial planning for the future.
Remember, your financial advisor should be there to help you reach your goals.
I hope to talk to your before February 29th, 2016 so that by April 30th, 2016, you are not feeling guilty about missing another year of getting ready for retirement.
So the ball is in your hands. Will you drop it again, or pass it to your financial advisor now, for a slam dunk.
* Investor Education Fund omnibus survey question regarding respondents’ own finances, retirement, children’s education and big ticket items, conducted by Ipsos Reid from August 7 to 13, 2012.