The Tax Free Advantage
Tax free investment vehicles have been around the world for decades. The United States has the Roth IRA. The United Kingdom has the Individual Savings Account (ISA.) The Canadian version is called the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) and it’s relatively new – only 9 years old. Tax free accounts give investors a way to save money using their after tax income. And any investment growth inside the account is not taxed, subject to certain restrictions.
Last year Canadians held on average $17,300 inside their TFSAs. That’s not much, but the good news is most people who read this blog have way more saved. I recently conducted a poll asking readers to share their TFSA balances. It seems that 4 out of 5 voters have over $20,000 stuffed away in a tax free account. And surprisingly 8.5% of readers say they have over $100,000. Hey, not too shabby! 🙂 Full results below.
According to a BMO report, people in B.C. contribute the most to their TFSAs – about 28% more than the national average. Yay. My people! 😀
A tax free vehicle is very powerful because it can save us hundreds of thousands of dollar in taxes over time. For example, I currently have about $100,000 in my TFSA. Let’s assume I don’t contribute anymore money and leave it alone to grow at 7% a year. 30 years later my account should be worth $711,000.
However, if I were to invest the same $100,000 in a taxable account, then instead of earning an annual 7% average rate of return, I will probably only make 5% after tax. My account in 30 years would only be worth $411,000. That’s $300,000 less than the previous example. Maybe that amount will only be worth half as much 30 years from now due to inflation. But it’s still a lot of money to pass up. We are lucky in this country to have this financial vehicle to help us save. Everyone should use it if they can. 🙂
If anyone’s curious, here is what I currently hold in my tax free savings accounts. I have some winners and some losers, But mostly winners. 😉
You can also visit my portfolio page for real time numbers.
Random Useless Fact: