You don’t have an RRSP – Shame on You!

The Daily — Registered retirement savings plan contributions, 2011.

Click on the link above to see Statistics Canada’s latest accounting of RRSP contributions.  Turns out the median contribution in 2011 was $2,830.  This is not a huge median contribution but up from the previous year by a bit.  Twenty four percent of tax filers contributed to an RRSP in 2011.  That’s not what I would consider a big percentage. So what else are people doing to prepare for retirement?  Of course a certain percentage of taxpayers contributed to registered pension plans.  Just over 6 million contributed to pension plans, public and private sector (other than the CPP).  That means that a quarter of Canadians have a pension plan or RRSPs to help them survive in their retirement years.  That’s it!  We know that Canadians are also saving less and around 50% of Canadian households would be in significant financial trouble if they missed just one paycheque.  Doesn’t look good for us.

I write this because the TV ads for RRSPs this time of year make it seem as though everybody contributes to RRSPs and what’s wrong with you that you don’t.  Their aim is to use the old tried and true strategies of shame and guilt to increase RRSP business.  First we get urged to spend because if we don’t the economy will go for a crap.  If we haven’t got the money to spend, we need to borrow and the Bank of Canada has made it easy to do that so we dutifully borrow more and more money to buy things, things that we depend on to give our lives meaning.  Now we get berated for not saving enough and we hear on the radio that Canadians are further in debt than ever before.  Shame on us!  We don’t spend enough and we don’t save enough!  We borrow too much and we’re not productive enough.  We must be completely responsible for the poor performance of the economy.  We’re so fickle and untrustworthy.  Poor government, just trying to do what it can to help us out even though we’re hardly worth the effort.

The banks and the government along with their very well paid public relations firms have been playing us like a violin.  Maybe it’s time for all of us to really try to figure out what’s going on out there and to stop taking on the load of shame and guilt they want us to carry so that we blame ourselves for the problems in the Canadian economy and don’t look elsewhere, like at the banks and the government themselves.

4 thoughts on “You don’t have an RRSP – Shame on You!

  1. People at the bank are always trying to get me to do the RRSP thing. I have always said that as long as I have debt, there is no point. I need to pay down my debt. I don’t know what I am going to end up doing, because my debt is from dental work, eye exams, paying for glasses and frames, and car repairs. For the single woman, it’s not easy, unless you have a professional career – doctor, lawyer, or even teacher. For me, trying to save has been a real joke. It just doesn’t really work. I don’t spend to keep the economy going, but as you say, if you want any sort of quality of life, it costs money. I haven’t had a vacation in many years. I am intelligent, hard-working (until very recently, as I get close to 65) and try to buy things on sale, but even that can be a trap – buy it now! It’s on sale! Buy now, if you don’t, you will miss out…. etc etc etc. I have kicked myself. I have woken up in the middle of the night in a panic thinking I’m a nut case for spending so much money. But, for the most part, I just take things day by day. My only concern is that when I died, I will leave my sons, not with an inheritance, but with my debt. I don’t even know if they will be held responsible for my debt.

    I am just thankful for my four sons who I know would not leave me out in the cold.

    So, it is not the “average” Canadian’s fault. It is, as you say, the banks, the government, and the over-paid executives etc. that make if difficult for many of us to get by, let alone get ahead.

    Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy life, but I would love to have a vacation – just one trip to Hawaii or England, or even Ontario. I may go to my grave never having done that. Or I may be fortunate enough to get that trip, before my health makes it too difficult to travel.


    1. Thank you so much. I sincerely appreciate your nomination. I’m not that familiar with other blogs yet. I’m still a little now at this so I don’t believe I’m in a position to nominate others, except maybe you! Can we nominate just 2 or 3 other blogs instead of 10?


      1. Yes, I can’t see why not – I think the original number for this award was 20. I explained to my nominator I could only really nominate 10!! So, if you want to drop the number then, so what is best for you!!

        Thank you for your appreciation, I hoped you would be pleased.I sincerely thought your blog, and you deserved the award. I know you mentioned you were new to the blogsphere, but your posts are excellent and interest peices of work.

        Please, you don’t have to re-nominate me – honestly. Put forth those you think truly deserve it!!!!!

        All the best, Bex


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