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Protect your RRSP from life's bumps

(NC)—If you're like most Canadians, your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) will be your main source of retirement income. But what would happen if you had to stop contributing to your RRSP or dip into those investments to pay for an injury or illness that prevented you from earning an income?

“Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans, but if you don't protect your income you could be risking your financial wellbeing,” said Heather Clarke, Certified Financial Planner at Investors Group. “Having the right insurance in place can help you make sure your retirement savings stay on track.”

Here are the three top reasons to consider disability, critical illness or long-term care insurance:

1. It could happen. According to current actuarial statistics*, the average Canadian has a one-in-three chance of becoming disabled for 90 days or longer, at least once before the age of 65. The average length of a disability longer than 90 days is almost 3 years.

2. Stopping your RRSP contributions can hurt your retirement savings. For example, at 25 you start making RRSP contributions of $300 per month but become permanently disabled at age 35 and are unable to contribute to your RRSP. By 65 your nest egg will be worth $400,000 less than it would have been if you had continued to make contributions until retirement (assuming an eight per cent compound annual rate of return**).

3. You may have less income, but greater expenses. If you become disabled, depending on the nature of your disability you may have ongoing medical expenses that increase your overall cost of living.

“Getting professional advice can help you make the right choices for your life as it is today and as you want it to be tomorrow,” said Clarke.

* CIA 86-92 Aggregate Mortality Table and 1985 Commissioner's Disability Table A (Experience Table).

** The rate of return is used only to illustrate the effects of the compound growth rate and is not intended to reflect future values or returns on investment.

Word count: 337

Source: This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Quebec – a Financial Services Firm), presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Contacta financial advisor for specific advice about your circumstances. More information on this topic can be obtained from your Investors Group Consultant.

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