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The benefits of financial knowledge

One of my children was born with a lifelong disability. We filled out the paperwork and had him approved by Revenue Canada for the disability tax benefit. We then went to our bank to open a RDSP (Registered Disability Savings Plan) for him. At the bank we found out it is their one financial product that you have to open through telephone banking. We went home and called the number. Because of the way things are set up my wife is the one who had to open the account. While she talked to the bank’s representative I listened in on the other phone. From the get go the guy was trying to disuade her from opening the account. He said things like “This will take a while.” “You can phone back any time.” And kept questioning if she was ready to open it today. She countered each time that it was her day off, she had plenty of time, had all the documents needed and just wanted to get it done. The bank rep continued to stall for close to 30 minutes and told us he had seen many of these things get returned and perhaps it would be better to wait until he is 18 so he could open it himself. Once he said that I got on the phone and asked him what his reluctance was? After a stern pep talk he started to put some effort into the assignment and the account got opened.

My purpose for posting today is to remind people to get involved in their own finances so they know if the person at the bank, or wherever, is actually working on their behalf. This guy, to be honest, sounded like he was not confident in his job, did not like dealing with women and had the bad habit of telling clients what the government was going to do (or not do). When you need an answer go to the source with the question. Bank employees do not work for Revenue Canada and, therefore, should not be telling to you what the CRA is going to do with your file. Know the benefits and drawbacks of each financial product so you know which ones are best suited for you. Do not let the personal biases of the bank employee discourage you from getting what you need. (Another bank employee tried to disuade my wife from investing in growth mutual funds thinking GICs were the safer bet. If my wife had listened to her she would have missed out on over 300% growth in her investments during the last ten years). So the account was opened, our deposits to it have begun and on Friday we received a statement showing the government had made their matching contributions. If we had listened to the bank rep on the phone and not opened the account my child would have lost out on $3700 this year. If we had waited until he was 18 to open the account he would have missed out on over $30,000 in contributions and projected growth.

Take care of yourself and your finances and be careful about whose advice you take.

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20 Responses

  1. Also be careful with CRA a lot of them are NOT knowledgeable at all!
    Most are hired especially during tax season with very little knowledge!
    I deal with them for work and sometimes it takes awhile to get a correct answer!
    Take down all names and their ID# so you can go back to their answer.

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  2. Gloria Mason Gloria Mason says:

    When we opened an rdsp for our son we went to our financial advisor first who knew nothing about it. Went to the bank next and they were barely able to help but got it opened for us. It doesn’t seem to be a product that many are familiar with. It doesn’t surprise me.

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    • Gloria Mason totally agree. We hold info sessions on this exact product at work. It’s the little secret that the banks don’t want you to know about, and would prefer that you invest in their products.

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    • Gloria Mason Gloria Mason says:

      Keri McEachern that makes sense.

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    • How is this a secret when it is on their websites and you still buy into their financial products as an investment for it. The Rdsp is a registered bank account held by the bank and has bank sold GICs or mutual funds in it.

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  3. Khaled Ali Khaled Ali says:

    Very insightful. God bless you and your family

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  4. I would contact tbe bank and inform them of the reluctance on their employees part in setting it up.

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  5. RBC knowledge of RDSP sucks… we did the same and the guy had to call someone for help. They really have a hard time with this! We have to do it again because our son was not with us. They definitely need more training on this because it is definitely worth the investment!

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  6. People should not rely on banks for anything other than banking. My father in law passed and family went to bank, who said yes,yes. But in the end needed a lawyer. Yes we should not have gone to the bank but it was free. lmao I’ve been a banker forever and seen it all.

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  7. So often the bank employees are not as educated as they could be! Quite a disappointment!

    Thanks for bringing this up!

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  8. Okay this is awful! There are banks out there that are more then willing to guide you through this. I’m sorry you had a terrible experience.

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  9. I would have switched banks right there.

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  10. I work in the financial service industry and our office will hold RDSP info nights from time to time. It’s very important to educate yourself. There are some great programs that offer great funds for those who know how to utilize them. Great post!

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