Give Me Back My Five Bucks

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$25k RRSP portfolio!

Hoorah! I’ve met my RRSP goal for this year of $25k (check out the sidebar). Currently I’m contributing $150 bi-weekly, and I want to increase that to $200 bi-weekly … or ideally $250. But I don’t think I can do that right now, and achieve the rest of my financial goals for the year. So instead of stopping my contributions now that I’ve reached my goal, I’ll keep going with $150 and see where that takes me.

Question: Lifelong Learning Plan & Home Buyer’s Plan

Dear GMBMFB Readers:

I’ve been sifting through websites, but can’t find the answer.

Can I withdraw from my RRSPs for the First Time Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP) and the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP)?

Not necessarily at the same time.

Thanks!

Almost at my $25k RRSP goal

Okay, so the book value of my RRSPs are sitting at $24,440. The market value is $23,350. That’s not a good sign. I think that being out only $1,090 in this kind of market means that my portfolio has been way too conservative. I’ve done a lot to re-allocate my funds over the past month and I think I’ve got a good balance now. But that’s a whole other story. Right now, I want to focus on what I’m going to do when I hit my $25k RRSP goal for the year.

I am $560 away from my $25k goal (based on book value, because I don’t have any control over what the market does). My original plan was to stop contributing to retirement and re-focus that $150/bi-weekly into my Emergency Fund. That would ensure my 2009 goal of a $5,000 EF would be met.

But … the idea of not contributing to my RRSP makes me a little anxious. Especially because if you think about it, I wouldn’t be contributing to my RRSPs again until 2011. That’s a long time. Basically I’d be losing 2 years. So now, I’m not too sure what to do.

If I keep contributing, I’m not sure I’ll be able to make my $5k EF goal. And really, having cash when we come back from traveling is a must. Spending saved money while we try to find work is a more important immediate goal than saving for 30 years from now. I hate to say it, but it’s true. Because if I have to go into debt trying to support myself when we get back, then that sets me back on all of my personal finance goals.

I think a good balance might be to scale back my RRSP contributions to $100/month once I meet my goal. That’s barely anything, but it’s better than nothing. And that should free up $200/month to put into my Emergency Fund, along with my regular EF contributions of between $50-200/month.

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A beginner's guide for Canadians looking to get their financial life in order. Get great info on budgeting and saving, RRSP's and pensions, investing types, insurance, and where to go for additional resources.

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