Gary, Judith, and Kevin are each 40 years old and put $3,600 into their RRSPs each year. Their savings grow 6% a year. The one thing different is that they contribute the money at different times. So who saves more by age 65 when they retire?
* Gary contributes early in the year
At the start of each year, Gary invests $3,600 in his RRSP. What will he have when he retires? His total savings: About $209,000.
* Judith contributes every month
Judith contributes $300 on the first of each month through regular payroll savings. The money comes right off her pay and goes into her RRSP. What will she have when she retires? Her total savings: About $204,000.
* Kevin contributes at the end of the year
Kevin does what many Canadians do: He waits until the RRSP deadline before he contributes. Will he have more or less than Gary and Judith when he retires? His total savings: About $194,000.
Lessons learned: As these examples show, saving early puts you ahead. Why? By contributing at the start of each year, Gary gives his money more time to grow. Judith’s plan of investing monthly through payroll comes out second, and might work better for some people. As we learn from Kevin’s example, waiting until the RRSP deadline can put you far behind in your savings.
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