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How Do You Use Your TFSA? 3 Personal Stories

Written by The Content Team | Published on December 27, 2017

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There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to investing styles, portfolio design or goals. That's why we like to hear from individuals about their own investment decisions and choices. We turned to investors recently to talk Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs), focusing specifically on how they use, or plan to use, theirs.

Here's what they had to say:

Alejandro* – Education

Age: 32

When did you open your TFSA?

I opened my TFSA in my mid-twenties.

Why did you open the account?

My friend told me it was a great savings account so I started to find out more about it. The account worked well for me because I could put money away but still have access to it if needed. Plus, I got to choose what my money was invested in within the account. At the time I didn't really know what I was saving for so I wanted lots of flexibility.

Have you used your TFSA and if so, how?

Yes, absolutely. A couple of years ago I decided to pursue my MBA. I found an executive program that meant I could keep working while studying, but my TFSA allowed me to cover off a good chunk of my tuition. It worked well; I could take the money out and then still add that contribution back the next year.

Mia* – Mortgage

Age: 40

When did you open your TFSA?

I jumped on it the first year they were introduced. I think that was 2009.

Why did you open the account?

Really, it was just a savings tool for me. I loved the fact that any growth on my investments in the account was tax-free. Of course, the money I invested was after-tax dollars. Other than that, I didn't really have any big plans for the money at that time.

Have you used your TFSA and if so, how?

As a homeowner, I was looking at ways to pay down my mortgage faster. I decided to withdraw money from my TFSA to put towards my mortgage. The great thing about this is that the money had grown from my investments, so it gave me more to work with. Also, I love that I can put the money back in that I took soon as I get that mortgage paid down!

Sachin* – Retirement

Age: 59

When did you open your TFSA?

In 2009, pretty much as soon as they were introduced.

Why did you open the account?

When Jim Flaherty first announced the plan for TFSAs, I was curious. I was around 50 and had worked hard to regularly contribute to my RRSP. What I remember most was the part about “tax-free investment income" and tax-free withdrawals. I thought it would be another good savings vehicle for retirement.

Have you used your TFSA and if so, how?

Yes, even though it's supposed to largely be for retirement. A few years ago we were invited to a “destination" family wedding. I decided at the time to dip into my TFSA to take my family to the celebrations. Since there aren't any restrictions on what withdrawals can be used for, I was easily able to access my money in the account. It was also a bonus that I didn't lose the contribution room – I waited a few months and was able to put the amount I used back in the next year.

TFSA contribution limits and other rules and regulations can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency website.

*Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

The information provided in this article is for general purposes only and does not constitute personal financial advice. Please consult with your own professional advisor to discuss your specific financial and tax needs.

RBC Direct Investing Inc. and Royal Bank of Canada are separate corporate entities which are affiliated. RBC Direct Investing Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada and is a Member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Royal Bank of Canada and certain of its issuers are related to RBC Direct Investing Inc. RBC Direct Investing Inc. does not provide investment advice or recommendations regarding the purchase or sale of any securities. Investors are responsible for their own investment decisions. RBC Direct Investing is a business name used by RBC Direct Investing Inc. ® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. RBC and Royal Bank are registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence.
© Royal Bank of Canada 2017. All rights reserved.

The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the writer. This article is for your general interest and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of RBC Direct Investing. Furthermore, the products, services and securities referred to in this publication are only available in Canada and other jurisdictions where they may be legally offered for sale. If you are not currently resident of Canada, you should not access the information available on the RBC Direct Investing website.

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