Skip to main content

Google Canada has produced this list of the most common searches related to registered retirement savings plans over the past 10 years:

Google Canada's list of the most-searched RRSP questions.

Kudos to everyone using the internet to get answers to basic questions like these. It means you’re actively engaged with your finances and taking steps to move forward. But that second-ranked search about RRSP withdrawals? Ouch.

Some statistics on early RRSP withdrawals were presented in a recent edition of Carrick on Money. Roughly one-third of people with RRSPs made early withdrawals, many of them to pay debts or cover emergency expenses. In a dire financial situation, you do what you have to survive. But is it possible people are too casual about taking money out of RRSPs?

Story continues below advertisement

The government allows you to withdraw money from RRSPs to buy a first home or return to school, but their main purpose is to provide funds for you to use in retirement to cover your spending needs. Withdrawing money from an RRSP now is taking money away from your future, retired self. Be very cautious about doing that.

As for those basic questions people are asking about RRSPs, try the Ontario Securities Commission’s GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca website for a good overview. Also try The Globe and Mail’s Retirement Centre – it includes a lot of RRSP coverage.

Subscribe to Carrick on Money

Are you reading this newsletter on the web or did someone forward the e-mail version to you? If so, you can sign up for Carrick on Money here.

Rob’s personal finance reading list…

Why your next splurge should be for a new bed

A well-argued case for splurging on things you use a lot rather than toys or one-time experiences. So a new bed, for example, rather than a cruise.

Avoiding ‘bored boomer’ syndrome

Tips to help prevent baby boomers heading into retirement from becoming “a casualty of an off-the-cliff leap from labor-to-leisure, vocation-to-vacation.”

How to cut your coffee costs

All about the latest in reusable-coffee-cup technology. Many coffee places will discount your purchase if you bring in a reusable cup, but the main benefit is producing less garbage. This is a U.S. article, but I have confirmed the cups talked about here are available in Canada.

Investment tips for Americans living in Canada

The focus here is on tax reporting, particularly with respect to tax-free savings accounts and registered education savings plans.

Story continues below advertisement

Today’s financial tool

A Globe and Mail guide to retirement: How to save smarter and not outlive your savings (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)

Ask Rob

Q: I asked my financial advisor to purchase 520 shares of an ETF. When I got the purchase confirmations, it showed that three transactions of smaller amounts adding up to 520 shares had taken place, instead of a single transaction. Each transaction had a commission charged to me. Is this normal?

A: I asked someone in the brokerage business about this and he said that as long as the three trades happened on the same day, “it would be fair to be treated as one [trade] and with one commission.” There might be justification for multiple commissions if the trade was executed in parts over two days. This matter is worth taking to your broker for a full explanation of the charges and the firm’s policy on commissions. Try complaining – they may reimburse you for part of the cost.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.

Story continues below advertisement

In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance-related stories

More Carrick and money coverage For more money stories, follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group. Send us an e-mail to let us know what you think of my newsletter. Want to subscribe? Click here to sign up.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter