Friday, February 27, 2015

Short Takes: Setting Your Retirement Clock Ahead, RRSP Withdrawal Troubles, and more

Here are my posts for this week:

How to Persuade People They’re Wrong about Monty Hall

Are Wealthy Canadians Double-Taxed?

TurboTax Giveaway

Here are some short takes and some weekend reading:

Tom Bradley at Steadyhand makes the interesting observation that most of their clients only get intensely interested in their portfolios and retirement planning in their 50s. He thinks people should turn their clocks ahead and get interested earlier.

The Blunt Bean Counter explains two ways you can get yourself into financial trouble with RRSP withdrawals.

Canadian Couch Potato explains the tax consequences of using Norbert’s Gambit to exchange currencies in a taxable account. To minimize this I use RRSPs and TFSAs as much as possible for U.S. dollar-denominated investments, and I keep my Canadian investments in taxable accounts. I’ve still had to perform a Norbert’s Gambit in the taxable accounts, but it doesn’t come up often.

Big Cajun Man says that once you dig yourself out of debt, it’s better to use your TFSA room first and RRSP room second.

Boomer and Echo recommend taking a long-term view of your finances. I agree. However, I prefer to think in real terms (after inflation) rather than nominal terms. Instead of trying to guess both my rate of return and the rate of inflation, I just guess my after-inflation (real) return. Another benefit is that my projected numbers are in today’s dollars instead of future inflated dollars. This helps me be more realistic about what I can expect in the future.


  1. Actually I think I said that it was better to max out your TFSA first, and then start worrying about your RRSP after that, but either way you aren't doing the wrong thing. Enjoy the warming temperatures, and thanks for the inclusion.

    1. @Alan: Sorry about that. I must have been reading too fast. I've fixed my summary.

  2. Michael, thx for the link. Good reply in your double tax blog.

    1. @Mark: Glad you liked it. I'm no fan of high taxes, but I prefer to stick to reality in my arguments.