By Sheryl Smolkin
You are 26 years old and at the end of 2009, you completed your first year of full-time work, earning $50,000. Your 2010 tax assessment form said you have $9,000 in Registered Retirement Savings Plan room for 2011. You know saving for retirement is a good idea, but it seems so far away.
Why start saving early for retirement?
Government benefits like Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Security currently pay about $18,000/yr. These amounts will increase by the time you retire but so will your income. If at the end of your career you are earning $150,000/year you will need about $2 million in tax-assisted savings to buy a pension equal to 60 per cent or 70 per cent of your final earnings.
But if you start saving a small amount each month now, you will have a substantial chunk of retirement savings available to you when you need it. As long as you have sufficient RRSP room, the Saskatchewan Pension Plan (SPP) allows you to contribute $2,500/year. You can also transfer in an additional $10,000 each year from your RRSP.
The following example show how much money you can accumulate by saving regularly in the SPP.
You begin saving at age 26, with 39 years until you retire at age 65. You contribute $2,500 yr. and your retirement savings earn an average of 5%* each year.
Retirement savings at age 65: $299, 499.44
Starting at age 45, you also transfer in $10,000/yr. from your RRSP, which earns an average of 5% each year until retirement at age 65.
Additional retirement savings: $347,192.52
Total retirement savings: $646, 691.96
You can easily join by filling out a form on our website and providing a photocopy of your birth certificate or passport. Anyone ages 18 to 71 is eligible, whether or not they are Saskatchewan residents.
SPP also makes it simple to contribute to your account by allowing you to choose from any of the following methods:
- By mail.
- In person or by telebanking at your financial institution.
- By phone using your credit card.
On the long and winding road to retirement you will encounter many detours including raising a family, buying a house and contributing to the cost of your children’s education. However, by joining SPP at an early age and saving regularly, you can look forward to a more secure retirement.
*The SPP average rate of return over 25 years has been 8.2%. All calculations are approximate and do not in any way warrant future returns.