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My son's in university. Is it too soon for him to contribute to an RRSP?

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Dear Nancy

My son is a full-time university student but he has a regular summer job.  He is a good saver and wants to start putting money into an RRSP.  Does it make sense since he has a low income level?


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Dear Greg,

It is never too early for someone to start saving for their retirement. Your son not only has time on his side, but the self-motivation to save. He can contribute to an RRSP within the limit noted on his tax assessment; however he can choose when to use the associated tax-deduction.

You may contribute to an RRSP as long as there is allowable room, but don't have to actually claim the deduction. It then grows inside the tax sheltered account, and when the person has a higher income, in a future year, it will make more sense to claim the deduction. This way, his contributions are growing tax-free and he has begun to save for his retirement.

He should also consider opening up a Tax-Free Savings Account. Depending when he turned 18 he will be able to make up for any past years that he did not contribute the maximum.

Any unused contribution room is carried forward for both RRSPs and TFSAs.

Nancy Woods is an associate portfolio manager and investment adviser with RBC Dominion Securities Inc. Visit her website or send an email request to You can send your questions to as well.

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About the Author

Nancy Woods, CIM, FCSI, is an associate portfolio manager and investment adviser with RBC Dominion Securities Inc. More


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