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Design Your Unique Retirement

Have some fun with our interactive Your Future by Design® tool and think about how you want to spend your time in retirement.

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Get Ready to Use Your RRSP Savings

When you're ready to use the money you've saved, one option is to convert your RRSP to a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF).

Understanding RRIF

Top Retirement FAQs

Timing your Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) conversion is very important as this decision can impact the amount of taxes you pay and your government benefits.

You must convert your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to a RRIF or an annuity—or cash it out (not typically recommended)—by December 31 of the year you turn 71. You can also make the switch before then if you need the income.

Since RRIF payments are considered taxable income in the year you take the money out, these amounts are added to your “other income” for tax purposes. Once you convert to a RRIF, you have to withdraw a minimum amount each year and that money will be taxed. Your withdrawals can also reduce certain government benefits such as Old Age Security (OAS).

For help knowing when to convert your RRSP, talk to an RBC Financial Planner. He or she can help you understand your options and suggest strategies to help you make the most of your income.

When you retire, your income could come from at least four different sources:

  • Government benefits such as Old Age Security (OAS) and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP)/Quebec Pension Plan (QPP)
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs)/Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs)
  • Work pension plan(s)
  • Other personal savings and investments you may have

For advice on making the most of your income in retirtement, check out the following resources:

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) benefits are designed to start when you're 65, but you can also take payments early or late (up to age 70), depending on your lifestyle and income needs in retirement. See this article for some key considerations on timing your payments: How Do I Know When to Take My CPP/QPP?

The amount of Old Age Security (OAS) you receive is based on how long you have lived in Canada after age 18 and may be partially or fully clawed back if you earn above a certain amount. If you are still employed or expecting significant income from other sources at this point in your life, you may want to postpone taking your OAS.

To make the most of all your sources of retirement income, talk to an RBC Financial Planner today.

Knowing whether to down-size or sell your home is not always an easy decision. Before you decide, make sure you have a good reason and really think through the impact to your lifestyle, what you want out of retirement, and all the potential costs of selling and moving.

For more on this important topic, check out our Downsizing Case Study and Things to Think About Before Selling Your Home.

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