Special to the Financial Independence Hub
I’ll never forget when I was growing up hearing my parents talking about “buying RSPs” (I got excited about saving money. I know… I’m a weirdo).
In my mind, they were this magical investment that people bought so they could multiply their money to one day retire. This term, “buying RSPs” is still used today; however, I think it adds to the confusion of what a RRSP really is.
I’m here to explain in plain English the difference between the RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) and the TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account).
What are they?
The best way to think of an RRSP or a TFSA is simply as an account that has special tax benefits. Just like your chequing account, you are able to deposit and withdraw money into a RRSP or TFSA; however, the special tax benefits make it slightly more complicated.
RRSP: When you deposit money into an RRSP, you’re allowed to deduct this amount on your tax return, saving you tax and increasing your refund. However, when you withdraw money from your RRSP, you have to pay tax on this amount.
TFSA: When you deposit money into a TFSA you do not get a tax deduction, although when you withdraw from your TFSA, you do not have to pay any tax.
All growth within an RRSP and TFSA is tax free.
You can invest in many different ways inside the RRSP or TFSA, including: stocks, bonds, GIC’s, Mutual Funds, ETFs, and other more advanced options.