RDSP Statement of Grant Entitlement

Soon you will receive your annual Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) Statement of Grant Entitlement in the mail. For those of us too tired to calculate our annual contributions, the government does it for us. Of course this assume that you have an RDSP in the first place. For those of you who do not have an RDSP, I ask why not? Are you new to the world of autism or do you not like receiving free money from the government?

The RDSP letter will show what contribution you need to make to attract the maximum grant and/or bond for 2019.

I love to hate the government, but this really is a nice touch. They are all but begging to give you money.  

You could deposit more money than required to attract the maximum grant, but for most families I recommend limiting their contributions. There is a lifetime maximum contribution limit and once that is filled, there can be no further government grants.  

You can get more information about the RDSP from my website or RDSP.com.

My 2018 RDSP Report Card

Last year, my son’s Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) had a rate of return of -2.2%.

Is that bad?

No, not really. In fact it’s in line with the industry benchmark. My portfolio is based on the Canadian Couch Potato TD e-Series model portfolio . Last year, the model portfolio returned -2.1%.

It’s important to look at the long term picture. We opened the RDSP in 2013. The rate of return from then to the end of 2018 is 5.5%.

And we care because……?

The point is that anyone can manage RDSP investments without paying for a financial advisor or having any investment knowledge. All you have to do is setup a low cost portfolio (such as the one linked above), add money every year, let the government add the grants and bonds and in the long run, you will be well ahead of those who pay too much for financial advice.

My 2017 RDSP Report Card

Last year my Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) returned 8.2% and had an average rate of return of 7.9% since 2013.

Why is this important and why should you care?

The number of institutions offering the RDSP is rather limited.  Many of the banks that do offer the RDSP restrict the allowable investments to in-house products which either have very low yields or very high investment fees.

TD Direct Investing is one of the few banks which allow a self-directed account with few restrictions on the investment options.  I’m no investing genius, but I know enough that fees matter.  TD e series funds have a very low management fee and I follow the Canadian Couch Potato Balanced Portfolio recommendations.

I’m sure some of you investing geniuses can do much better, but if you are stuck with some lackluster products you may wish to consider this approach.

Read RDSP – Change of Financial Institution to see how I made the change.

Want a free $150?

Do you have an Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) for your child? If not, why not? The RDSP is the most generous saving plan for your child’s future.  The federal government is itching to give you free money for your account.  The savvy parents know all about the matching grants and the bonds which can set you on the path to saving over a million dollars for your child’s financial future.

If that is not enough, you can get a free $150 thanks to the support of the Vancouver Foundation. It used to be that this free gift was only available to families with an income under $25,000. In order to encourage the uptake of the fabulous RDSP, they are now making this gift available to any child who:

  • Is under the age of 18,
  • Lives in B.C. and
  • Has an RDSP

For more information and the online application visit the Endowment 150 website.

If you have more than more child with an RDSP, each one is eligible for the Endowment $150 gift.

My RDSP Report Card

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) for my child has performed well with a rate of return for 2016 of 5.5% and an average rate of return of 7.8% since 2012.

Why is this important and why should you care?

The RDSP is an incredibly valuable savings plan.  The federal government is ready to give you buckets of free money and you just have to be willing to accept it.

The financial institutions offering the RDSP unfortunately tend to limit the investment options to their “in-house” mutual funds and GICs, which have higher than average management fees.  I want to demonstrate that it is possible to invest wisely given the limited options available even if you have no investment experience.

How did I do it?

In 2012 I switched my child’s Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) from BMO to TD Waterhouse. I was fed up with the limited investment options at BMO and their outrageous pricing.

I decided that my investment choices would follow the recommendations of the Canadian Couch Potato using TD e-Series funds. For this account I chose the balanced approach.

I love the simplicity of the plan.

  • I make a contribution once a year
  • The government will advise you by letter of the contribution that will attract the maximum grant and bond.
  • Wait for the government to add their contribution.
  • Re-balance the account to the original asset allocation.
  • That’s it.  You are done for the year.

To make the switch refer to my post RDSP – Change of Financial Institution

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with any financial institution. I believe you should get the best deal possible, but the prime objective should be to open an RDSP and start collecting free money from the government. If you are more comfortable at a different bank, then by all means go there.

Tax Changes for 2015

There are a few minor tax changes for the 2015 tax year that parents with ASD kids need to be aware of. Some of the changes are cosmetic and others may have a more substantial impact on your family finances.

Some of the changes include:

  • The Family Caregiver Amount for children under the age of 18, is now claimed on line 367 of your tax return. This tax credit is $2,093 for 2015.
  • The Fitness Tax Credit used to be a non-refundable tax credit, but starting with the 2015 tax year becomes a refundable tax credit. In essence, this means your tax payable for the year can be reduced below zero. Unlike previous years, you may now claim up to $1,000 and if your child is eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) and provided you spend at least $100, you may add an additional $500 to the total. If you are using tax software (highly recommended), it will automatically add the $500 as long as it knows your child qualifies for the DTC.
  • The Child Tax Credit (this is the base tax credit for all children) has been replaced with an enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) which gives a new benefit of $720 per year for children ages 6 to 17. It’s important to note that this is taxable, so be ready for a tax bill (or a decreased tax refund).
  • For those of you with disabled teenagers, a gentle reminder that you should file tax returns on their behalf starting for the year that they turn 17 (and every year thereafter). This is vitally important for their Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) grants and bonds when they turn 19. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) considers the amount of income 2 years prior to the current tax year to calculate government contributions.
  • The Disability Tax Credit for 2015 is $7,899 and the disability supplement for persons under the age of 18 is $4,607. As in previous years, the supplement may be reduced if someone claimed Child Care or Attendant Care expenses. I strongly suggest that you use tax software for this calculation.
  • There are some changes to the T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate and how to claim for previous years. I will be expanding on this subject next week.

My RDSP Report Card

In 2012 I switched my child’s Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) from BMO to TD Waterhouse. I was fed up with the limited investment options at BMO and their outrageous pricing.

I decided that my investment choices would follow the recommendations of the Canadian Couch Potato using TD e-Series funds. For this account I chose the balanced approach.

How have things worked out so far?  Well, I’m pleased to say that the account has done very well with a rate of return for 2015 of 6.1% and an overall average annual return of 9%.

I love the simplicity of the plan.

  • I make a contribution once a year
  • The government will advise you by letter of the contribution that will attract the maximum grant and bond.
  • Wait for the government to add their contribution.
  • Re-balance the account to the original asset allocation.
  • That’s it.  You are done for the year.

To make the switch refer to my post RDSP – Change of Financial Institution

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with any financial institution. I believe you should get the best deal possible, but the prime objective should be to open an RDSP and start collecting free money from the government. If you are more comfortable at a different bank, then by all means go there.