Is economic uncertainty making your head spin? Can you still save money when you don’t know what tomorrow has in store? In a word: yes. Here’s how. 

Inflation, market volatility, politics and world events: These forces have transformed our finances and investments. They might also have shaken up our financial habits.

Are you worried about your investments and your retirement savings? You aren’t alone. Times are difficult, life is expensive and you may be putting less of your money towards your savings than you’d like. Now is a good time to speak with a licensed Financial Services Consultant1 at Sun Life, so they can help you can keep your savings stays on track.

Saving money during a crisis: how to do it

Sun Life advisor Julien Ringuette recommends:

  1. Make a financial roadmap, or review the plan you already have. It’s best to build your plan with a Financial Services Consultant. And once you have a plan, stick to it!

  2. Put your investments sooner rather than later in RRSPs and TFSAs. The sooner you invest, the more time you have to increase your buying power and combat the effects of inflation.

  3. Automate your savings with automatic withdrawals. You’ll be able to set aside a fixed sum of money at the frequency you choose. Automating your savings takes the stress out of saving.

  4. Be patient. With time, things often sort themselves out.

  5. Think things over carefully before making any decisions. Now is not the time to be rash or impulsive. Sleep on your choices before taking action.

  6. Look to financial professionals for answers, rather than random internet pages. Even the smartest internet experts don’t know you and your individual situation.

  7. Resist the urge to make impulsive RRSP withdrawals. If you take money from your RRSP, the government will charge a withholding tax.

  8. Keep your long-term vision in sight, no matter what happens.

  9. Avoid playing the stock market if you don’t have experience buying and selling stocks.

Is it better for you to save for retirement or for a house?

Over the next few years, interest rates may climb even higher. This could hamstring your ability to buy a house. As well, the housing market has cooled in some regions, but prices can still be eye-poppingly high. Are you wondering if there’s any point to saving for a house? Or is it smarter just to save for retirement?

Good news: You can do both. Ringuette suggests investing in a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP). An RRSP will help you save for retirement. But it can also help you become a homeowner.

That’s thanks to the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP). For your qualifying withdrawals, you can withdraw your RRSP savings plus the interest you’ve earned without having to pay taxes or penalties as long as it is repaid. Under the HBP, you’re currently allowed to withdraw up to $35,000 from your RRSP toward the purchase of a home. You then have several years to pay yourself back. For couples, if you both qualify for the HBP, this solution could add up to a substantial down payment.

Talk to a Financial Services Consultant

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1 Financial Services Consultants are registered as Financial Security Advisors in Quebec

This article is meant to provide general information only. It’s not professional medical advice. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada does not provide legal, accounting, taxation, or other professional advice. Please seek advice from a qualified professional, including a thorough examination of your specific legal, accounting and tax situation.