Leaving police service, needs RRSP advice

Question: I am retiring from the police service in the next few months. I will be getting about $63,000 in a retiring allowance from unused sick time. I can protect $54,000 from taxes by putting it in an RRSP but I want to be able to cash some of it for some debts and some work around the house. What the best kind of RRSP to put it in? As you can tell, I don’t know anything when it comes to RRSPs having never owned one before. – K.B.

Gordon’s answer:  You should choose a plan that will give you maximum flexibility. A self-directed RRSP with a broker or financial institution will do the job nicely. You’ll pay about $125 a year in administration fees but it’s worth it.

This kind of plan allows you to invest in all types of securities and to make withdrawals as needed. Just don’t make the mistake of putting all the money into a locked-in GIC or you won’t be able to get at it until the certificate matures.

If you don’t know much about investing, you should get help from a financial advisor. Shop around for someone who uses a conservative style and who understands the needs of retired people. Ask friends for recommendations and interview ree or four advisors before deciding.

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