"As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected
and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever
~Clarence Darrow

Saturday, September 26, 2009

'Shaking My Head'

Six months ago, I opened a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) for my oldest daughter.

Deposited the amount ($1,500) that would garner the highest government contributions for the year. It's not like I would be able to deposit that much (or necessarily any) ever year but while I had access to the funds it seemed like a good idea. Sure, there were a few problems with the process at the time but I still felt like I had make a good choice.

Yesterday I went back to the Royal Bank to open a second RDSP for my youngest daughter. Which reminds me, as a side note, don't ever let anyone tell you that an individual with 'just' a learning disability will not be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit. Not only are they eligible but I have the living proof in my own home.

Dealing with the same sales rep as previously, we got to chatting. I suggested that he should be a pro at opening RDSPs by now. And was very surprised when he told me that he had only opened one more after mine (which was his first).

Six months and he had only opened one other RDSP?

So we chatted some more. Guardianship (and the cost of obtaining same) was definitely an issue for some of those whom he had talked to. I can certainly understand that. Some have real philosophical objections to the issue. Others simply can't afford the cost of hiring a lawyer. Those are legitimate issues. Ones which I hope to see progress on in the near future.

As a matter of a fact, I know of one family locally who is preceding with a guardianship application on their own. Well, not entirely on their own. With a little bit of help from their friends. It always helps to have precedents to work off. Still, it will be interesting to see how well it works for them.

I am pretty sure that judges are not use to see individuals applying for guardianship appearing on their own. Without legal counsel. Oh, the travesty. Hopefully, it will open the door to others taking the same course. I will let you know how they make out, if that's okay with them.

But back to my story. A little later, I asked the sales rep if he could tell me the current balance in my oldest daughter's RDSP. The one I had opened and made a one-time deposit of $1,500 in last February.

Would you believe it was over $6,000?

Not a bad return on investment for $1,500 deposited 6 months ago. I deposited the same amount ($1,500) in my youngest daughter's RDSP yesterday. And now I will sit back and watch it grow.

So here I sit shaking my head. Other than the guardianship issue, I honestly don't understand why more people aren't making use of the RDSP.

Hello! We're talking free money here, people. If the federal government is willing to thrown free money at my child, who am I to refuse?

PLAN put a lot of time, effort and hard work into having the RDSP move from a good idea in someone's head, through the political and legislative process, to become reality. And yet my sense is that (for some reason I cannot fully comprehend) a lot of people are not making use this incredible opportunity.

What? Is there anything more you need to know?

*Walks away, shaking head*


Dan said...

I opened an RDSP account last December @ BMO when they were first announced and BMO was the only financial institution providing these types of accounts.

Yes, there were procedural issues at the branch because the account was so new. However, what parent of a special needs child is not used to dealing with procedural issues.

As well, I wanted to be sure the account received the 2008 grants / bond so it was a small price to pay. This was before the Ministry announced the extension into early March 2009 to open an RDSP account re 2008.

BMO has struggled with their internal procedures and only recently sent the file off to the Ministry for processing, so we haven't seen the grant / bond money for 2008 or 2009 yet, but I am sure we will.

It is because this is such a unique type of financial family planning vehicle, unique in the world actually, that it does seem to good to be true and in time as the special needs parents community becomes more acclimated to it a greater percentage of the special needs population will take advantage of the RDSP.

I see it much like how the Henson trust has become not just the standard of family financial planning in Wills, but that it is now almost second nature amongst the special needs community knowledge.

I hope that helps,

MMC said...

Thanks for sharing your experience, Dan. And I suppose I know you're right; with time the RDSP will get used more. I just hate to see families not take advantage of such a valuable tool immediately.

But I suppose that it's only by sharing our experiences that those who are still looking before they leap will become comfortable enough to take the plunge. And start reaping the benefits. Thanks again for the comment.