Who is this for?
Canadians entering or already in retirement – and especially those with RRSPs – should learn more about RRIFs. That’s because any Canadian with an RRSP is required to convert it to a retirement income option by Dec. 31 of the year in which they turn 71. One option is to transfer money from your RRSP to a RRIF.
With a RRIF you can invest your money in a range of options, such as mutual funds and segregated funds. However, with a RRIF you don’t make contributions like you do with an RRSP – instead, you’re required to make minimum withdrawals each year.
How will this help me?
Put simply, a RRIF provides you with income during your retirement years. RRIFs are flexible, too – you can make withdrawals when you need them. So, if a family emergency arises, you can withdraw additional money from your RRIF at any time.
When you convert your RRSP into a RRIF, your investments may continue to grow tax-free. That means you can continue to build your wealth after making the conversion. Aside from the mandatory minimum withdrawals, you have control over the amount and frequency of your withdrawals.* Additionally, you can pass on your RRIF investments to your spouse tax-free when you die.
What else do I need to know?
RRIF withdrawals are considered income, which means you’ll have to pay tax on the money you receive.
Keep in mind that only money from an RRSP can be used for a RRIF.
You can convert an RRSP to a RRIF at any time before Dec. 31 of the year in which you turn 71.
* Mandatory minimum withdrawals are determined at the beginning of each year by a formula that considers your age and the market value of your RRIF as of Dec. 31 of the previous year.
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