Q&A: When to take RRIF payments

Question: When is the best time of the year to ask for a RRIF payment(s)? I am turning 70 this year. I have no real need for that money. It’s simply that I don’t have a choice.

Are there any months of the year I should avoid, like January/ February/ March, where the market is aiming for the RRSP season? Any advantages to taking multiple payments instead of one a year, in the sense of averaging the market?

Thanks a lot for your precious help. We have (spouse and me) have been fans of yours for many, many years. – M.L.

Gordon Pape’s answer: Thanks for your kind words. To answer your question, since you don’t need the money you’re probably best to take one payment a year, in December. The rationale for this is to keep the money working in a tax-sheltered environment until the last possible moment. If you are worried about market fluctuations, you can always sell some assets at opportune times over the year to raise the needed cash, which can then be kept in an interest account or money market fund within the RRIF until the withdrawal date.

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