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TFSA vs RRSP Calculator

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TaxTips.ca Calculators -> TFSA vs RRSP Calculator information  This calculator may retain data on your computer for the next time you use it, depending on your browser and settings. If you are using a public computer, click the reset button before closing the calculator.  If you are using Internet Explorer, use compatibility view to print properly.
Input page: is where you will input most of the information used by the calculator.
Results page: You can modify the RRSP withdrawal amount for any particular year on the Results page. It shows your Net Disposable Income (cash in your pocket), as well as ending balance of investments, for both the RRSP scenario and TFSA scenario, and the difference between the two. It also shows any clawback of Old Age Security, and shows an estimate of Guaranteed Income Supplement to which you may be entitled.
Use your browser print function to print the pages of the calculator - preview before printing.
Enter data in the yellow cells, from top to bottom. Recalculation is automatic when you move to another cell.
Warnings may appear (shown in red), for which you will have to make changes.
About you
Choose province or territory
Your age at prior year end (must be 17 or older)
Current and future income (Do not include CPP, OAS, RRSP/RRIF/TFSA, or eligible Pension income)
Current annual gross "earned" income (for RRSP contribution room calculation)
Current annual taxable income - including above "earned" income
Estimated annual gross income per year AFTER starting withdrawals from RRSP/RRIF or TFSA, excluding CPP, OAS and eligible pension income which is entered after CPP and OAS income:
- Include estimated withdrawals from already existing RRSPs/RRIFs
CPP and OAS income
CPP begins at age (minimum 60, maximum 70)
See your CPP statement of contributions for your estimated CPP retirement pension amount at age 65.
See our CPP Retirement Pension Calculator to determine what your CPP amount will be.
Eligible pension income from other sources (eligible for pension tax credit)
Don't forget that eligible pension income can be split with a spouse.
Estimated annual eligible pension income (e.g. company pension, RRIF)
Begins at age
RRSPs and RRIFs
Amount of annual RRSP contribution that will be made (may have to be reduced - see TFSA section below)
Age at which to convert RRSPs to RRIF (max is 71)
Although in reality contributions to an RRSP can be made until age 71, for purposes of this calculator no more deposits can be made after the RRSP is converted to a RRIF. The maximum number of years that contributions can be made is (age at which you convert to a RRIF, minus current age)
Number of years to make contributions
Estimated return on RRSP/RRIF or TFSA
The last deposit will be made in the year in which you turn (max 71)
Minimum withdrawals from your RRIF will begin in the year in which you turn
You can start your actual withdrawals earlier than this, but not until after your deposits are finished.
How many years do you want the RRSP/RRIF to last after withdrawals are started? (1 to 50)
If you would like to enter a different withdrawal amount in any year in which deposits are not being made, you can do this in the yellow input cells on the Results page. Remember to press the Calculate button after making your entries.
Note that if the desired withdrawal is less than the minimum withdrawal, the minimum withdrawal will be used.
Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
Annual deposits are calculated based on your RRSP contribution less your tax savings.
Your tax savings in first year is
Amount of TFSA deposit in first year (RRSP contribution less tax savings) - max $5,500
However, see our notes in red below re limitations of this calculator.
If you look at the "Results" page, you will see which type of account provides income for more years - the RRSP or the TFSA.
Note that if income is low enough, at age 65+, for Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) to be received by the taxpayer, it is very likely that there will be other benefits available that are not reflected by the calculator.  These benefits could include low-income tax reductions, health care benefits, etc.
Notes:
If you already have an RRSP that will be converted to a RRIF, the income from the RRIF after age 65 would be included in "eligible pension income from sources other than above RRIF".  This information is needed, because RRIF income is eligible for the pension income tax credit for age 65+.  For this reason, it may be helpful to convert at least a portion of your RRSPs to a RRIF at age 64 or 65.
Withdrawals from the TFSA are equal to the RRSP/RRIF withdrawal less tax on the withdrawal.
If the RRSP/RRIF is reduced to zero before the TFSA, the calculator shows a withdrawal of the remaining balance of the TFSA in the following year.  This just highlights how much is remaining in the TFSA at that time.
There are limitations to this calculator - it assumes your salary is not increasing over time, which is probably not correct.
Tax Tip:  If the result says TFSAs are better, maximize your TFSA and then also contribute to an RRSP!
Every person's financial situation is different, and it may be helpful to talk to a tax professional.
The tax calculation is for a single person with no dependents, using 2014 tax rates and credits known as of January 16, 2014.
Tax credits included in the calculation:
  - Basic personal amount
  - Age amount, and SK senior supplementary amount
  - Pension income amount
  - QC federal tax abatement
There are no low income tax credits or refundable tax credits included in the calculation.
For links to articles which provide information on many of the factors used above, go back to the TFSA vs RRSP Calculator information page, which should still be open in your browser.
RRSP/RRIF Scenario vs TFSA Scenario  - See our notes on Input page re limitations of this calculator.
If desired, input a revised withdrawal in yellow cells, in any year in which there is no deposit, then press Calculate button.
If the withdrawal that you enter is less than the minimum withdrawal, the minimum withdrawal will be used.
Print with your browser using landscape mode, reducing size as needed.  
RRSP/RRIF Scenario TFSA Scenario
RRSPs/RRIFs Net Disposable Income Calculation TFSA Net Disposable Income Calculation
Yr# Age prior
Dec 31
Age
this
tax yr
Income
Before
RRSP/RRIF
Withdrawals
Desired
withdrawal
- use positive
amount
Deposits/
(With-
drawals)
RRSP/
RRIF
Balance
OAS
Clawback
Taxable
Income
Tax
Payable
GIS Net
Disposable
Income
Deposits/
(With-
drawals)
TFSA
Balance
OAS
Clawback
Taxable
Income
Tax
Payable
GIS Net
Disposable
Income
Net
Disposable
Income
Difference
Beginning balances
1
The present value is the lump sum amount that would have to be invested today at the indicated rate, to generate the above net disposable income.
RRSP and RRIF Balances
Age at Dec 31 prior year end
Convert to RRIF in year in which you turn
Annual contribution amount per year for years
Start making withdrawals at age
Estimated rate of return
Make withdrawals over a period of years
Use your browser print function to print the pages of the calculator - reduce size as needed.
A "desired withdrawal" amount (enter as positive amount on Results page) can be entered to be used as the withdrawal amount in any year when no deposits are being made.
The desired withdrawal will only be used if it exceeds the minimum withdrawal amount, and if the deposit amount in that year is zero.  Otherwise, it will be ignored.
Age prior
Dec 31
 RRIF
factor 
Return on
investments
Deposit Minimum
withdrawal
Actual
withdrawal
Ending
balance
Beginning balance
0
Tax Free Savings Account Balances
Age at Dec 31 prior year end
Start making withdrawals at age
Estimated rate of return
Maximum withdrawal for the money to last years
Use your browser print function to print the pages of the calculator - reduce size as needed.  
All deposits and withdrawals are based on RRSP/RRIF deposits and withdrawals, less the tax saved by or paid on those withdrawals.  
Age prior
Dec 31
Return on
investments
Deposits Withdrawal Ending
balance
 
Beginning balance 0
 

 

 

 


Revised: January 19, 2014

 

 

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