RDSP Tips and Resources
We signed up for a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) when our son was born and sometimes life does not go as planned. As the saying goes, “life is what happens when you are busy making plans”. After getting an autism diagnosis at the age of three, we learned about the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) we quickly learned that this could be a great savings vehicle. The person with the disability has to be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit in order to qualify for an RDSP. Let me share some tips and lessons learned over the years as a parent and Regional Coordinator at AutismBC!
Tip 1: Your RSDP will require some TLC
Do your due diligence, ask questions, and look at statements. This is an important asset for your loved one(s) and deserves some TLC. When we first started our RDSP, our banking institution was new to all of it too and did not invest the money in any fund, so our contribution along with the government’s just sat and did not gain any interest. Our financial advisor soon clued us into this. I could not blame the bank as it was a new program, and they were learning the ropes as we were. I am sure banking institutions are now better versed in growing RDSPs. After moving the RDSP over to our financial advisor’s capable hands, our son’s RDSP began to grow with contributions from us and the government.
Tip 2: It’s Okay to Start with Small Contributions
I am aware that not everyone can make regular contributions to their loved one’s RDSP, but keep in mind that even if the contribution is small, it will still grow. Look at programs like Endowment 150 that starts with a one-time grant of $150 to help kickstart the growth of one’s RDSP.
Also, find out how Erin’s RDSP has grown from $15,000 to $90,000 over ten years.
Tip 3: Check out PLAN/DABC’s Websites
As a parent (caregiver) you already have a lot on your plate. This can be a challenge to figure out on your own. Plan Institute can help you. They have experts in the field, online tutorials, web resources, and a toll-free help number 1-844-311-7526.
Disability Alliance BC is another great resource that will help walk you through the process
Tip 4: Be Mindful of Restrictions
RDSPs are for the long term. These are savings vehicles that are meant for when your loved one is well into adulthood, not necessarily for that trip to Hawaii they may want. There are specific restrictions surrounding withdrawals and the timing of withdrawals from an RDSP.
Tip 5: Deal with Your RESP
If there is already an RESP in place, check with a financial advisor about whether it should be left as is or if there are other options. A professional should be able to provide you with answers and options.
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