Q&A: Larger RRSP withdrawals?

Question: I am 57 and a female widow. I receive a fixed pension
of $24,000 a year. I have liquid savings and am comfortable. I am considering
yearly withdrawals on my $80,000 RRSP in order to save my son and only heir the
bigger tax hit when I die. Your opinion please. – Fay C.

Gordon Pape answers: Given the average life expectancy for
women in Canada, you probably have more than 20 years left. Don’t you
think it’s a little early to start worrying about tax on your RRSP (or
RRIF) when your time is finally up? I think it’s more important to ensure that you can live comfortably during those years. Your income may be adequate now but you say your pension is fixed. Over time, even modest inflation will erode your purchasing power and that RRSP money may come in handy. I suggest you give this more thought.

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