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Make up missed RRSP contribution
Every year, thousands of Canadians miss making an RRSP contribution. Thousands more cannot make the full amount. The RRSP season falls right after Christmas, when money is tight in many families. And far too many people wait until the last minute to contribute.

How to carry forward
If you missed the deadline for this year's RRSP payment, you've missed out on both a significant tax break and the opportunity to let your retirement money grow tax-free. You can't catch up on that time, but you can put the money in later.

You can carry forward unused contribution room. For every year that you do not contribute the full amount, the unused contribution room accumulates. Look at the assessment notice for last year's income tax return – it will tell you the full amount. But as that number gets bigger, the chances of ever making it up get slimmer.

Reassess your goals

The best solution? Don't let the same thing happen next year! Start planning next year's RRSP contribution now. But first, it's time to do some serious financial planning.

Spring and fall are good times to reassess your financial goals and look at the asset mix of your entire portfolio. You may have more time, and so do financial planners now that they're not rushed off their feet by RRSP queries. You should seek out a qualified financial advisor who is a member of Advocis. Your advisor should assess your "money personality" and show you how to gain control of your savings.

Start saving
Once you have set your goals, you can begin saving toward a full RRSP contribution. It's difficult to find $2,000 in the first two months of the year, for example, but it's easier to put aside $200 a month for 10 months. If your income is irregular and you expect a bonus or commission, figure those into the equation. Pay yourself first, before you spend on anything else.

“A bull market begins on pessimism, grows on skepticism, matures on optimism and dies on Euphoria.”

Raymond E. Jackson

Simon J. Jackson, CFP, CPCA
Senior Financial Advisor,
Life Insurance Advisor
Manulife Securities Incorporated,
Manulife Securities Insurance Inc.

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Stocks, bonds and mutual funds are offered through Manulife Securities Incorporated. Jackson Financial Planning Group is a trade name used for dealer business only. Insurance products and services are offered through Manulife Securities Insurance Inc. Banking products and services are offered by referral arrangements through our related company Manulife Bank of Canada, additional disclosure information will be provided upon referral.

* Manulife Securities related companies are 100% owned by The Manufactures Life Insurance Company (MLI) which is 100% owned by the Manulife Financial Corporation a publicly traded company. Details regarding all affiliated companies of MLI can be found on the Manulife Securities website www.manulifesecurities.ca. Please confirm with your advisor which company you are dealing with for each of your products and services.