RRSP Q&A: Cash fund in and a buy a bond ETF? - MoneySense

RRSP Q&A: Cash fund in and a buy a bond ETF?

Answers to your RRSP questions.

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From February 16 to 19, 2010, MoneySense.ca’s top financial planners are answering your RRSP questions. For the full list of questions answered — or to submit a question of your own — click here.

My wife and I retiring this year. I’m 60 and she is 55. We have no private pensions but 40% of our investments ($1 million in total) is tied up in the MacKenzie Destinations+ 2015-A fund (RRSP). This is a PPP that matures in 2015 but they have switched it to 100% bonds. The MER is 1.71%. We bought at $20.51 per unit and it is now at $20.41 per unit. Is it better for us to cash this in at market value and buy a bond ETF (or bond and stock market ETF) and put it in a self-directed RRSP? —Tony

Warren Mackenzie and Ken Hawkins: The MacKenzie Destinations + 2015 is a target date fund that is designed so the  risk of the fund will decrease ( i.e. the proportion of fixed income will increase), the closer to the target date and in this case it is 2015. Because of market conditions over the last 18 months, it now contains only fixed income mutual funds.

In theory the actively managed ‘bond’ fund should do better than a passive bond ETF – but because of the fees involved this is far from a certainty. The decision you make should be based on the other investment assets you hold and without knowing the rest of your portfolio it is difficult to say. You will not be able to add this to a self directed RRSP unless it is already in a self directed RRSP.

Next question: Will I spend more earlier in my retirement than later?

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