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Q. When does it make sense to withdraw money from a TFSA and move it to an RRSP? I am in my late 50s and considering doing this as I have a fairly high income and not much cash on hand to make RRSP contributions. Is that a good move for me? – Deirdre T.
I like that you are thinking about ways to reduce tax, Deirdre, and if you’re careful it may be a good move; if not, it could be a big mistake.
There are two things to think about:
Will your tax rate in retirement be lower than it is now? If so this could be a good strategy. Also think about things like the OAS clawback, the age credit, GIS, GST credit etc…
A TFSA contribution is an after-tax contribution and an RRSP contribution is a pre-tax contribution. A $5,000 contribution to a TFSA is not the same as a $5,000 contribution to an RRSP. If your marginal tax rate is 40% and you draw $5,000 from your TFSA you’ll have $5,000. The same $5,000 withdrawal from your RRSP will leave you with $3,000, and that’s where you could make your mistake…