#50by50ish #40 – Plan my retirement – b. Take a course — 6 Comments

  1. This is a great write up. I did the course a few years ago and agree that it is top notch, and that the second financial planning session is a real eye opener.

  2. Thanks for this post, I’ve been considering taking for a while and just not sure how to get enrolled. One big question I have had for along time is on RRSPs and whether or not to contribute. I am in a fortunate position in being able to max out an TFSA and RRSP while in the public service, but have not in my RRSP as I worry I will be in a higher marginal rate in retirement than I am now (I am still young–29). Have never been able to figure this one out.

    • The shortest answer is the course won’t tell you. 🙂 It’ll do basic overviews of the formulas but if you’re asking the question, you may already know the tradeoff. As someone noted on reddit, they found the investment portion quite basic, and that’s rather deliberate … they’re preaching about the pension, not the full range of investment vehicles available.

      As for getting enrolled, the RPI webpage will tell you when the next one is and usually you just fill out the regular training form to have it approved by your manager. Assuming of course they’ll approve it and there’s room in the training budget for your group, etc. It’s not cheap, and some managers push the free webinars and 1 day ones over the full three day ones, purely on cost. There’s really no comparison though…

  3. Thanks for the fantastic write up. I hoped you could possibly elaborate on whether the course offers info on quitting the public service, and what to do with your pension. I am considering leaving after 6-7 years in the service and not sure the many implications I need to consider: do I have RRSP room? Do I cash it out or leave in to retirement? etc.

    • Hi Jackie, glad you enjoyed the write-up. In short, no, there wasn’t much in there about what to do if you leave early, partly as that gets you in various investment vehicles, and they don’t really cover investment options (some people find that lacking in the course, but it’s not really the point of the course, in my opinion, so not surprised it’s not there). They do, however, offer investment / financial planning through their retirement institute options, and I think the first half-hour might be free (a lot of places it is).

      Based on what I’ve seen, the cynical side of me thinks that almost all retirement planners are going to tell you to leave it where it is — gold plated, guaranteed for life, blah blah blah. Investment planners are all going to say, “no way, give it to us, we’ll get better returns”. Based on the conversation about investment risk, I would have left it where it was as a risk-free long-term investment probably. But I’m a lifer, more or less, so was never a question for me. Equally, if you think you ever might go back, you definitely want to leave it there. I pulled eight months out back in ’93, and got a thousand or so, something like that. To buy back that time now will cost me almost 10K. Ouch.

      Your mileage may vary though, and I am far from an expert on investment options…


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