RRSP savings: 5 fresh tips for success

An RRSP can be one of the best ways to save for retirement. Not only do you benefit from tax-sheltered savings, you also get a tax break each year you make a contribution.

Remember, the key to successfully saving for retirement is simply to start! Here are five fresh ideas to start saving in an RRSP. Find the ones that work best for you. 

Start small

It's better to start saving small amounts regularly and gradually increase them, than to put off saving. It's never too late to start saving. Small wins build confidence and help make saving a healthy habit. Another great benefit of making regular contributions is dollar-cost averaging which can lower the total cost of your investments over time. If available, take advantage of workplace financial wellness programs to better understand your money and learn more about how an RRSP can benefit you.

Let your employer help

If your employer offers a group RRSP, sign up to benefit from immediate tax breaks. A group RRSP contribution from your payroll immediately reduces the tax you pay because your employer deducts the RRSP contribution from your income before deducting tax.  And, if your employer also offers a matching program— which is basically free money— use it to build up your nest egg. The more you save, the more you get. Plus, group RRSPs typically offer more competitive investment fees compared to individual RRSPs, so your savings go even further.

Stop budget tracking, start saving

One of the great advantages of contributing to an RRSP regularly, especially through payroll deductions, is the money comes off your pay and you don't see it. This can simplify your budget tracking. 

Goals-based savings

Instead of trying to use one savings account to do it all, organize your savings buckets (accounts) by goals. Some goals are short-term, like saving for a vacation, while others are long or even very long-term, like saving for retirement.

Decide what percentage of your earnings should go into each bucket, then automate the process to make saving even easier. Group RRSPs with payroll deductions are an easy way to pay yourself first when saving for retirement. It's easy to spend money when it's sitting in our bank accounts. Paying ourselves first, by automating our savings, helps us resist our natural inclination to splurge now and to put off saving. Reduce your temptation to overspend (and under save) by setting up automatic transfers to your RRSP. 

Team up with a PlanRight® Advisor

Maintaining a regular savings and budgeting plan can be difficult. Having the right support from a financial advisor can help you stay on track in meeting your retirement goals. Your group plan may include access to PlanRight® advisors at no additional cost to you. Check with your employer to see if this benefit is part of your group plan. Having an expert champion to help you stay focused on your goals makes financial decision-making easier. 

Remember it's not too late to contribute to your RRSP. No amount is too small to kickstart your savings. Your future self will thank you! To learn more, visit the Manulife Group RRSP page

Ready to contribute to your RRSP today?