Ric Tesan is an RDSP workshop facilitator with Plan Institute and, more importantly, the father of a daughter with a disability, Erin. Ric has graciously shared Erin’s RDSP story with us!

 

Erin’s RDSP Story, by Ric Tesan

 

We opened a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) for my daughter, Erin, as soon as it became available in 2008. We had heard through Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (a family-led charitable organization dedicated to building inclusive communities for all citizens) that it was about to be launched and knew it was something we wanted to get in on right away.

 

Since opening Erin’s RDSP, we have taken a fairly conservative investment strategy and have only made the minimum required personal contribution of $1,500 per year, for a total of $15,000. Now, after 10 years of accumulating interest, as well as federal grants & bonds, Erin’s RDSP is worth over $90,000. That means Erin has received almost six times the amount we have contributed personally, through interest, grants and bonds.

 

It’s also important to keep in mind that we chose a conservative investment approach. I know some families who have contributed the same amount as us, but have taken a more aggressive investment strategy and now have well over this amount in their child’s RDSP.

 

No matter what, the gains of the RDSP are second to none. The fact that Erin is only 41 years old and already has more than $90,000 in her RDSP has truly given me peace of mind for Erin’s future. While her RDSP continues to grow, by the time she starts making withdrawals at age 60, she will have the resources available to help her continue to live the secure, comfortable lifestyle that she has known all her life.

 

It almost goes without saying that I would strongly encourage families who have a loved one with a disability to open an RDSP as soon as possible. The compound interest, government contributions and the ability to receive retroactive contributions, make the RDSP the best future planning investment in the world!

 

To make a long story short, the RDSP is an amazing opportunity and it will significantly change the lives of our sons and daughters. However, with all this being said, my parting advice would be to not only open an RDSP right away, but also to also ensure your loved ones with disabilities have strong social networks, including trustworthy advisors to support them in their financial decisions after you are gone. While the RDSP is essential in ensuring our sons and daughters are secure financially, we also should make sure they have people they can count on to help them spend their money on the things they need and the things that mean the most to them. There are plenty of steps in ensuring our loved ones are taken care of, but opening an RDSP is a great place to start.

 

We sincerely thank Ric and his family for sharing their RDSP story with us. If you have an RDSP story you wish to share, please be in touch with our Manager of Communications, Kaitie Unwin at kunwin@planinstitute.ca!