Author Topic: Revised READER CASE STUDY: How best to incorporate a Registered Disability Savings Pl  (Read 4721 times)

Getting there!

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I've been reading absolutely everything on this site over the past couple of weeks, and I'm learning so much!  This is the first time I've submitted a post.

I am a Canadian desperately seeking some guidance as to how to move forward with our financial affairs.  This year I am 58 and my husband is 70. 
Current situation:
Husband retired 10 years ago and he has a combined net monthly income of $2,000 (defined benefit pension, CPP and OAS). 
Im receiving disability benefits from my employer and continue to contribute to defined pension plan ($462), and health benefit plan.  My net monthly income is $1,870 ($1,100 is from CPP-Disability, and the remainder of $800 is non-taxable from employer).
Rental Income:  $1,400
Total monthly income: $5,270
Expenses:
Our monthly expenses are running about $5,000 since January. Weve been withdrawing from RRSP/non-registered investments as needed.   Ive started tracking to really see where exactly the $$ is going.  This does cover the costs of our home away from home, vacations, medical expenses, gifts,  and we subsidize a rental property by about $400/month, as the $1,400 monthly rental income doesnt quite cover everything, although we are continually increasing equity. Otherwise no debts.
Investments:
Husband RRSP $100,000 in laddered GICs.  One just matured so $18,000 in RRSP Savings. TFSA $5,200 in a savings account Total: $105,200
Me RRSP $168,000 in 5 yr laddered GICs.  Some matured recently so have $85,000 in RRSP Savings as I havent known what to do. TFSA $10,000 (cant put anymore in this year) Non-registered Savings about $70,000 again in GICs/Savings Total: $248,000
We have an additional $10,000 spread out in accounts avoiding monthly account charges.
Our property consists of our 27 year old home valued at approximately $500,000 (recently updated roof, windows, interior, furnace, etc.).  We also have a vacation home valued approximately $300,000, and a rental condo with about $180,000 equity ($360,000-$180,000 mortgage). We have a 10 year old minivan (wheelchair accessible) valued about $30,000.
Total Assets:  $1,373,200
   My main dilemma is how to structure our investments (Registered Disability Savings Plan, Tax Free Savings Accounts, Registered Retirement Savings Plans and non-registered savings).  We are far too heavy in GICs and savings not earning any interest.  Until recently Ive felt our risk was in our real estate holdings.  I dont think Id withdraw money from my RRSP until Im 71 (13 years), as wed have income from husbands RRSP, non-registered investments, TFSAs and an RDSP.
   Im really feeling the crunch as next year is the deadline that I have to contribute a maximum of $200,000 to a Registered Disability Savings Plan as I will be 59 by the end of 2015.  My understanding is that tax is paid on the investment portion as its withdrawn and there are requirements to withdraw starting in the year in which the person turns 60 at the latest according to the formula (83-age)/30.  The RDSP is a under-utilized plan as Ive read recently that of about 500,000 Canadians eligible to open an RDSP, only 77,000 have.
Registered Disability Savings Plan www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/disability/savings/index.shtml
RDSP Resource Centre http://rdspresource.ca/ 
Note:  So far I have not come across anything about RDSPs, except on the Canadian government website, in any of the Canadian finance books released in recent years other than an excellent article in Moneysense in Spring 2014 www.moneysense.ca/save/rdsp-a-path-to-prosperity  I havent been able to get any advice from our bank as the plan is so new that staff only know about opening a plan, not how to incorporate the plan into the overall financial picture.  My investment advisor (where we get our GICs), doesnt deal with RDSPs.  Ive also approached a couple of other financial advisors and continue to receive the same information that no one is familiar with them.

An option to fund the RDSP would be to sell rental condo in 2015 and put the proceeds towards maxxing out the RDSP with $200,000.  Being that Id have to start withdrawing about $8,500 each year starting in 2016, what type of investments would be best in an RDSP.
   With my RRSP, Im considering using TD e-series investments as the GICs mature since I have a timeline of 13 years for money to grow before withdrawing.
   My husband will have to convert his RRSP to a RRIF by next year when hell be 71 and start making withdrawals.  He has the option to withdraw a lesser percentage based on my age instead 1(90 your current age),  or follow the prescribed table of percentages starting at age 71.  Other than GICs, Im not sure what would be best the best investments since hed be starting to draw money down in the next year.

I would so appreciate any comments/advice anyone might have.  Thank you.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2015, 06:43:17 PM by Getting there! »

RichMoose

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There are definitely a few issues here that are relatively easy fixes.
First of all, generally speaking you should be maximizing savings in registered account before investing in non-registered accounts.
Second, why are you investing in a rental property that doesn't cash flow? It's bad enough for anyone, but at your ages it's a definitely no-no. Sell it and put that equity to work for you.
Third, you are definitely your banks best customer. On the one hand you're heavily invested in GIC's and you also are carrying a relatively high amount of mortgage debt considering your age. Remember, GIC's are really just a safe way to loose a little bit of money on a steady basis. At today's rates they are not even keeping up with inflation.
Four, is the vacation property really necessary? It takes up $300,000 in equity plus maintenance costs. Reality is that in lost income (using 4% swr), property taxes, and maintenance its costing you well over $1200 per month, I would say up to $2000 per month. For that kind of money you could have a few nice weekly or monthly vacation rentals.

TD-e is a great option for investing in all your registered accounts. Check out the Canadian Couch Potato. Its very easy to manage.

daverobev

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Ok, a few things.

Sell/withdraw unregistered stuff first, ideally, and leave the RRSP alone.

What is your allocation to stocks? Your age as bonds or some variation is good, but GICs lose money, you are fighting a losing battle vs inflation.

Sell the investment property, and probably the second property (or even the first, downsize) - you are very very very overweight in housing. Condos are often horrid investments. Does it actually make financial sense to keep either (vs renting for the weeks you use the rec property for example?).

If you free up lots of money you can let your TFSA compound a bit too; again, sell unreg before pulling from a TFSA.

They always say - figure out your asset allocation first, then put those things in the right place, tax wise.

Just suggestions... Probably not that helpful as I'm not sure re the RDSP stuff.

scrubbyfish

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As I'm continually looking to folks like daverobev and TuxedoEagle for direction, I have nothing to add except empathy/commiseration re: lack of RDSP info. My son (age 10) has one, fully optimized, and I hope to be getting approved myself shortly. I, too, have found that advisers simply don't have info on its nuances. Like you said, it's so new, relatively few people are eligible for it (including heaps of people with disabilities), and of those, a relatively small number are accessing it.

In my journey, I'm working closely with at least two (free, bank-based) advisers and several disability advocacy agencies, and intentionally informing them of what I learn as I go along. Then they'll be able to help the next client! So, not an optimal situation for us, but I feel much better if I know my "RDSP pioneering" path will make it easier for the next "generation" of RDSPers. It's a slog, but worth it, with that government contribution!

RichMoose

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About the RDSP... to be honest, I don't really see much of a benefit to the plan other than the possibility of Government grants. However, you are over the age of 49, so you are ineligible for the grants. Contributions are not tax deductible and withdrawals are taxable. You are right that once you are 60 you must start receiving payments in the form of Lifetime Disablity Assistance Payments. So basically it's like a RRSP without the initial tax deduction that converts to a RRIF at age 60.

I would speak to a financial advisor knowledgeable about the specifics of these plans, but if I was in your shoes I would first maximize the TFSA and RRSP before rushing to start a RDSP at your age. Also, you should be able to contribute more than $10000, the annual limits are cumulative. You can get your contribution limit for TFSA by calling CRA or opening an account on the CRA website.

scrubbyfish, for your son I would definitely open an RDSP. If your income is less that $83000 you can get 200% government matching through the Canada Disability Savings Grant up to a lifetime limit of $70,000 until your son turns 49. That type of benefit can really help your son in the future!

scrubbyfish

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scrubbyfish, for your son I would definitely open an RDSP. If your income is less that $83000 you can get 200% government matching through the Canada Disability Savings Grant up to a lifetime limit of $70,000 until your son turns 49. That type of benefit can really help your son in the future!

Yes, that is done! He has had his for a couple of years, and was deemed to have been eligible several years previously. We have all backdating options fully optimized/contributed to now. I've been absolutely firm that all money goes there first, until it's maximized. Even when my life went to crap, and my banker asked, "Are you sure you want to designate the full amount to the RDSP?", I was absolutely certain. There is no one other thing I could possibly to do better ensure his future financial security (well, besides teaching him money management, smart career moves, etc).

We're very low income, and received not 200% but 300% govt contributions! It's been an absolute blessing, and a huge relief for me, knowing he'll have this in his adulthood. I spent thousands and thousands on his disability stuff before we started receiving any help with it, and the RDSP makes up for those costs.

I am 42 so can contribute for another seven years for mine. Hopefully I'll be approved. I'll know in a few weeks.

RichMoose

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scrubbyfish, for your son I would definitely open an RDSP. If your income is less that $83000 you can get 200% government matching through the Canada Disability Savings Grant up to a lifetime limit of $70,000 until your son turns 49. That type of benefit can really help your son in the future!

Yes, that is done! He has had his for a couple of years, and was deemed to have been eligible several years previously. We have all backdating options fully optimized/contributed to now. I've been absolutely firm that all money goes there first, until it's maximized. Even when my life went to crap, and my banker asked, "Are you sure you want to designate the full amount to the RDSP?", I was absolutely certain. There is no one other thing I could possibly to do better ensure his future financial security (well, besides teaching him money management, smart career moves, etc).

We're very low income, and received not 200% but 300% govt contributions! It's been an absolute blessing, and a huge relief for me, knowing he'll have this in his adulthood. I spent thousands and thousands on his disability stuff before we started receiving any help with it, and the RDSP makes up for those costs.

I am 42 so can contribute for another seven years for mine. Hopefully I'll be approved. I'll know in a few weeks.

Yes the 300% goes a long way for low-income families. I hope your approval goes through and you can benefit from the grants as well.

Getting there!

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Thanks so much everyone for all the great comments.  Ive given a lot of thought to the suggestions made thus far.
Since I am turning 59 next year, if Im going to contribute to a Registered Disability Savings Plan, it has to be by the end of 2015.  Being over 49, Im not eligible for the grants and bonds, but there are a couple of advantages that I think still make contributing worthwhile.  I would be putting in the full $200,000 and then the investment portion of a withdrawal is taxed. There is a mandatory withdrawal rate according to a formula starting when I turn 60 in 2016.  Should I at some point be eligible for any senior provincial or federal supplements, such as Guaranteed Income Supplement, then the withdrawals from an RDSP dont affect eligibility.
The withdrawals from the RDSP would be approximately $8,500/year, therefore I am going to suggest that my husband make the withdrawals from his RRIF, that will start the same year, based on my age instead of his since I am younger.  That way the withdrawals from the RRIF will be at a lesser amount as well have enough income with the annual RDSP withdrawals.
For someone younger with an RDSP plan, there are grants and bonds available, others can make contributions to the plan for a beneficiary, and there could be several decades for the investments to grow. 
We plan to sell our rental condo in 2015 as we near the time that our mortgage is up for renewal so we don't incur a penalty.  Then the funds generated from the sale would fund the RDSP. Originally we purchased the condo in another city as we thought wed move there, but since then we've decided not to.  Weve had a great tenant and property manager for the past several years, so it's been a pretty carefree arrangement.
I am meeting with TD Bank tomorrow to set up accounts for e-series for RDSP (already have a plan set up but havent made any deposits), TFSA, RRSP, and non-registered investments.  Then Ill be able to figure out how best to allocate investments with all of the plans.  As GICs mature over the next four years, I will move the funds to more appropriate investments. 
I am going to ask too for an appointment to be set up while with a financial planner at the bank.  I was considering going with a fee only financial planner, but I understand fees can run about $1,000.  With the banks financial planner along with the incredible resources through this website, Im confident well make the right decisions.
We are looking for a condo for ourselves, but we havent been able to find anything to meet our needs just yet.  We live in a very central location close to all amenities, and wed like to remain within a relatively central region.  We are exploring housing cooperatives and a life lease development also. When we find something and sell our current home, any money remaining would be invested in non-registered investments if our TFSAs were maxed.
We really enjoy our vacation home and we were very fortunate to have had the opportunity to make the purchase in the US in 2010. Well reassess each year whether we should sell or not. Currently we feel quite confident when we sell wed recover the expenses weve incurred so far.
Our RRSPs are maxxed out, and in January 2016 we will be able to max each of our TFSAs.
In the meantime Ill figure out the best asset allocations for structuring the e-series investments in the RDSP, TFSA, RRSP and non-registered plans to work towards. I will be looking at the Couch Potatos recommended portfolios and continue reading and learning through the website.
Thanks again.

RichMoose

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Getting there, I'm happy we could give you some direction. I would advise you to be very careful using a financial planner at the bank. They make their money off commissions and in my experience the bad ones are outright swindlers and the good ones subtly sell you products and advice that's only moderately beneficial to you. A fee-only planner may cost $1000 up front, but the good ones truly have your interests at heart and will not profit at all from any commissions or other hidden fees.
As far as asset allocation goes, I would recommend the following because it's the easiest to do with TD-e funds. There are more tax advantageous methods but they're a little more complicated and use ETF's instead of TD-e.

RRSP: TDB900 (20%), TDB902 (30%), TDB911 (20%), TDB909 (30%).
TFSA: same as above
RDSP: same as above

For the non-registered, go with the following ETF's because it's the easiest way for you to take advantage of the dividend tax credits without incurring too much capital gains tax. Then take only the dividends as income (avoid selling the share units themselves). If you just purchase the ETF's on a few occasions such as after the sale of a house or condo, I would stick with TD Waterhouse so that you can nicely keep all your accounts in 1 place. The commissions won't kill you if you don't purchase small amounts regularly.
Non-registered: ZDV.TO (50%), XRE.TO (50%).

I'm not sure where your home is in the US, but consider this... two winters ago I got together with a couple buddies and rented a palace on a golf course south of Phoenix (Ocotillo in Chandler to be exact) for $900/week. I don't know how much time you spend down in the States, but is the feeling of being able to call it your own worth the cost?

Getting there!

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Thank you very much for the suggestions on how best to allocate available money and in what funds.  I just got the documentation for the e-series today so now I can go ahead and set that up.  I have also been doing some research re: fee only planners and getting together information I would need for an appointment. The issues around the RRSP, TFSA and RDSP and how to most effectively draw them down continues to be my biggest concern.

As far as the vacation home, I hear what you are saying and renting would be a fabulous way to go if it weren't for the accessibility issues that resulted in us purchasing a place.  One option could be for us to rent it out when we aren't there, so we'll likely give that some further thought over the coming winter.

In the meantime I'll continue reading and learning to make the best decisions possible.

Getting there!

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Update on the Reader Case Study:
The rental property is in the process of being sold. Signed off on the offer and closing date is in a couple of weeks, and we'll be making a tidy profit.
Meeting with a fee only planner this week for an assessment and we're looking forward to the recommendations particularly with regard to  starting a RRIF and RDSP by the end of this year.  Then we'll have a strategy to work with the bank on to start moving away from so much in GICs.
Bought a new van which will last the rest of our days, and in the process of selling the ten year old one.
It's all coming together and by summer's end, our revised plans should be in place.  For the time being we'll keep and use the vacation home as we can.[/font][/size]

RichMoose

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Update on the Reader Case Study:
The rental property is in the process of being sold. Signed off on the offer and closing date is in a couple of weeks, and we'll be making a tidy profit.
Meeting with a fee only planner this week for an assessment and we're looking forward to the recommendations particularly with regard to  starting a RRIF and RDSP by the end of this year.  Then we'll have a strategy to work with the bank on to start moving away from so much in GICs.
Bought a new van which will last the rest of our days, and in the process of selling the ten year old one.
It's all coming together and by summer's end, our revised plans should be in place.  For the time being we'll keep and use the vacation home as we can.[/font][/size]

Thanks for the update! Sounds like you are making great progress with your financial situation. Hopefully the planner you use can help continue pushing you in the right direction.

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Re: READER CASE STUDY: How best to incorporate a Registered Disability Savings Pl
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2015, 05:15:29 PM »
Now that summer has clipped by, I need to finish up with some investment planning which I would appreciate some advice on.

We met with a fee only financial planner in June and he gave us some very good unbiased advice.  At that time we were waiting to finalize the sale of a rental condo.  Since meeting with him, the condo sale was finalized and the proceeds are in the bank waiting to be invested. We plan to meet with the fee only planner next week for a follow-up appointment.

Current investments
   RRSP
o   $120,000 in 5 year laddered GICs with long time financial planner
o   $50,000 cash transferred from matured GIC to brokerage account waiting to invest

   RDSP (Registered Disability Savings Plan) - $200,000 cash at bank waiting to invest which has to be done by the end of this year.  $200,000 is the maximum lifetime contribution that can be made.

   TFSA - $40,000 cash at bank waiting to invest

Ive opened a brokerage account with TD so Im ready to make start making investments.  I just have to decide what the best approach is and I would appreciate any and all input. 

RRSP I wont have to start withdrawing from RRSP for 12 years, so I thought for now I would invest the $50,000 in cash available split between VXC and VUN. Then as other GICs mature, I could invest more into the market, but not until next year.

RDSP When I saw the fee only planner, he advised of the $200,000 to keep most of it in 5 year laddered GICs and then invest about $50,000 in the market.  What Im thinking is to put $42,500 into 5 laddered GICs as I need to withdraw about $8,500/year starting in a year according to the government regulations http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/rdsp-reei/pmnts/typsmd-eng.html#spfdyr   Then either put $67,500 in either 5 year laddered GICs or in Canadian bond fund VAB, and then $30,000 each in VXC, VUN, and VCN.

My husband has about $100,000 in his RRSP in 5 year laddered GICs and he has to convert to a RRIF by the end of this year and start making withdrawals next year.  He has decided hed just as soon stay with GICs which the fee only planner concurred with.  Given that, I thought I could be more aggressive with mine, since I have another 12 years before having to start making withdrawals from the RRSP.

Currently we have no debt, and both our home and US vacation home is paid for.  We are concerned about the US exchange rate and the increase in the ongoing costs of maintaining the property, and think well reluctantly lean towards selling over the winter

RichMoose

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Hi Getting there! Again, looks like you've made some significant progress since you last posted.

Based on the advice you're being given, I would assume you are taking a cautious approach to investing. Certainly not unwise given both your stages in life.

Even with a cautious approach, I think a split of 50/50 between stocks and bonds is a very safe mix. To keep things simple, the 3 ETF portfolio is probably the way to go. This consists of VXC, VCE, and VAB. (No need to invest with VCN because VXC already is made up of about 55% US stocks).

I'd be interested to know why your advisor is stuck on GICs, interest rates are horrible and lower than inflation. In my opinion VAB is much better.

Just make sure your TFSA is for sure invested in stocks. After that it's probably advantageous to invest in RDSP for the balance of stocks as they don't affect other benefits.

Good luck!

P.S. I think selling the US property will be a smart long term move. The value there will help shore up your retirement savings significantly.

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Thanks Tuxedo for your comments.  I always appreciate your input.
I think the fee only advisor's approach on keeping a larger number of GICs is why take the risk if it's not required.  Currently we're okay for monthly income, but as other GICs mature I may very well decide to put additional amounts into the market. We'll meet with the advisor next week so we can discuss further the actual details of investments.  At the first meeting in June, we covered all aspects of our financial life and what our goals are, so this meeting will be more specific on making specific investments.  I will definitely incorporate your advice.
I'm still a little leery on getting into the RDSP, primarily because I will only be able to make withdrawals according to a formula which will limit annual withdrawals to about $8,500.  So if for some reason I wanted to take out $50,000 I wouldn't be able to.  I don't anticipate that I would, but once I've put the money in, there's no changing or cancelling the plan.  So it would be almost like an annuity, but any money remaining would go to my estate when I die.

RichMoose

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I wouldn't complete ignore the RDSP given your circumstances. However with $200,000 the limit is a little more than 4%. With a mixed portfolio this means it's likely you may never draw down the capital in the account in your lifetime. It may be more prudent to invest just $150,000 so your withdrawal rate bumps up to ~6%. This means your RDSP will be depleted in about 20 years making max withdrawals.

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The US vacation property has been listed for just over a month, but no offers as of yet.

I only have two days left to invest the maximum of $200,000 in a Registered Disability Savings Plan, so I have spent the evening trying to determine what the investments will be.  I will be working with TD brokerage and completing the transactions tomorrow.

I thought I would split $100,000 between VCN and VXC with the rest in VAB and/or laddered GICs.

I would appreciate any comments/feedback before I finalize the plan.  If I don't complete the transactions by the 31st, then I won't be able to invest in the RDSP as I will have reached the maximum age to do so.



RichMoose

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The US vacation property has been listed for just over a month, but no offers as of yet.

I only have two days left to invest the maximum of $200,000 in a Registered Disability Savings Plan, so I have spent the evening trying to determine what the investments will be.  I will be working with TD brokerage and completing the transactions tomorrow.

I thought I would split $100,000 between VCN and VXC with the rest in VAB and/or laddered GICs.

I would appreciate any comments/feedback before I finalize the plan.  If I don't complete the transactions by the 31st, then I won't be able to invest in the RDSP as I will have reached the maximum age to do so.

Just invest it as part of your total desired asset allocation. There are no specific benefits to holding any one type of security in an RDSP.

If this is still your current savings total....
Current investments
   RRSP
o   $120,000 in 5 year laddered GICs with long time financial planner
o   $50,000 cash transferred from matured GIC to brokerage account waiting to invest
   RDSP (Registered Disability Savings Plan) - $200,000 cash at bank waiting to invest which has to be done by the end of this year.  $200,000 is the maximum lifetime contribution that can be made.
   TFSA - $40,000 cash at bank waiting to invest

Put TFSA in all stocks and the rest don't matter. So for example if your desired asset allocation in 25% Canada, 25% World, 50% bonds your portfolio would theoretically look something close to this.
Total: $410,000
TFSA: $40,000 VXC
RRSP: $120,000 GIC (already committed) + $50,000 VXC
RDSP: $10,000 VXC + $105,000 VCN + $85,000 VSB

Hope this helps and have a good holiday season!

Getting there!

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Thank you again Tuxedo for your response and excellent suggestions!  I did put the $200,000 in the RDSP the day before year end, and it remains in cash.  A couple of the GICs in my RRSP have matured this month so there's now a total of $80,000 cash available to invest leaving another $92,000 in GICs.  I'm am just finalizing how I'm going to invest what's available and leave the TFSA for now between the Vanguard funds (VSB/VCN/VXC).  We sold our rental property in 2015 and we'll have capital gains for 2015, so we may need to use some of the TFSA for taxes, but not sure yet.  Our vacation home has not sold as of yet, but when it does then we'll be able to use the proceeds to max both my husband's and my TFSAs.

As of this afternoon I have made some Vanguard investments and it wasn't that difficult on-line with a bit of telephone support:
RRSP ($172,000)
Laddered GICs  $117,447 ($48,500 will mature this year that I can then invest in stocks)
Money Market $6,945
VXC  $47,932
Cash $484
I wont start withdrawing until age 71 in 12 years.

RDSP ($200,000)
Cash $89,714
VXC $10,178
VCN $99,973
Planning to invest cash to VAB/VSB next week.  Will have to withdraw approximately $8,500 this year according to government regulated formula.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2016, 03:50:53 PM by Getting there! »