Valley First

A Simple Guide To RRSPs For Every Decade

Here is a simple guide so you can maximize your RRSP depending on your stage in life.


Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP) can be complicated, but they don’t have to be. One of the reasons why is because an RRSP can play a different role in your financial picture depending on your life stage.

So we thought we’d give you a quick cheat sheet breaking down how you should be using RRSPs for every decade.

In your 20’s

  • Start saving. Now is the time to build good financial habits. During this stage, many people are still paying down debt, starting to find their career footing and often times their income can be lower. Figure out what you can afford and begin to save some money, even if it’s $10 per paycheque.
  • Learning. Invest some time in your own financial literacy. Advisors are here to help. This is also a great time to consider investing in further education. If you are considering going back to school and have already invested in your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) is an option that allows you to withdraw amounts from your RRSPs to finance your education.

In your 30’s

  • Stay on track. In your 30’s, your expenses will likely start to increase as your family grows and you consider home ownership. Although it may be tempting to dip into your retirement savings to pay for costly expenses; stay the course with your savings plan.
  • Buying a home? If you are planning on purchasing a home and have RRSPs, the Homebuyers Plan (HBP) may be an option. This program allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 in a calendar year from your RRSPs to buy or build a qualifying home.

In your 40’s

  • Resist the urge. Now is a time when your income may increase as you begin to advance in your career and expenses are reduced. It can be tough, we get it. Your neighbour just bought a new boat which looks pretty cool. You know what’s even cooler? Retiring comfortably!
  • Ask an expert. Having a trusted advisor is important at any stage of your life, but especially now. If you are in a position to save more for retirement, you want to ensure that you have a plan in place to take advantage of the savings you’ve worked so hard to build.

In your 50’s

  • You can see the light. All of your hard work is about to be rewarded. Now is the time to build your team of experts to help you with the transition. Tax, estate and insurance planning will all need to be considered at this point. Surround yourself with a team that has your best interests in mind. How you strategize your RRSPs will look different whether you are in your 20’s or your 50’s. If you’re in your early 30’s, it might not be helpful to compare your priorities to someone who’s 46. This simple guide is a starting point. Get your full financial picture by booking an appointment with a financial expert near you.

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We encourage you to visit an investment advisor at any of our branches for more advice on how to reach your goals!