Act 318

Re-open your RRSP

I say re-open because I know that I’m not the only one who has committed the most foolish financial offense of all, cashing in RRSPs. Big big mistake. And I admit I’ve done it more than once. Once to go back to school and once to help save my sorry butt. Life happens. And I wasn’t even in a drunken stupor at the time.

A few months ago I spent some time with a local, independent and well-respected financial advisor. This time I didn’t just go to my financial institution and get it all done in one place – that too was a big mistake. Anyway, he, unlike the staff at my credit union, actually spent some time getting to know me rather than just having me sign papers to take money out of my account. This was instrumental in setting the course for a rationale and respected approach to my new relationship with money which I hadn’t previously had.

He helped me understand why I can’t just pay down debt and not save because I’ll never make up the time I’ve lost saving. It’s not about the amount (well, it sorta is), it’s about the commitment to it as a part of my forever budget. So we agreed on a monthly sum, less than he’d recommended and not as much as I wish I could contribute, but still, seven months in, I have money I did not have this time last year and I hardly even notice its automatic withdrawl.

I used to put much more in, when I had it. But I didn’t really respect it as much, obviously. I don’t think I’ll make that mistake again.

If you miss the days where you too had savings, don’t rob yourself. Set up a small monthly contribution. It really adds up. I added it up today and I won’t lie, I’d like to put a little gold star back in my financial book. And if you have the ear and respect of young people, encourage them to start now too.

If only, if only… No time for regrets. Too many mistakes to make up for.

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