Several years ago, I learned about the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) through PLAN (Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network), as well as the Endowment 150 Grant. This grant helps BC residents jumpstart savings in their RDSPs.
After opening my RDSP and depositing my Endowment 150 Grant, my RDSP grew with my own contributions, the federal grants, and bonds, as well as funds from the estates of my family. In this last year of contribution, the balance, including growth in equities, stands at nearly $57,000.
This gives me great feelings of security moving forward. I know that I will have some resources to help with any future loss of capacity and that secure feeling is no small or dismissible thing. Through a lifetime of therapy and living with depression, I have learned that calmness and feelings of safety and security play a huge role in recovery and possibly even growth beyond recovery.
Attitude is so important, and it’s much easier to foster feelings of adequacy and competency from a position free from material need. This is why I applaud the last few BC provincial governments for enabling the creation of other savings methods in addition to basic assistance rates to boost overall living standards.
The provincial and federal components of the RDSP show what can be achieved through constructive work when both levels of senior government are working in concert. The treatment of funds destined for investment into an RDSP as exempt income enables family, friends, and organizations to assist, and augment, or indeed trigger the federal grants and bonds. Tax-free growth until withdrawal is a generous and regular bonus. Essentially, the RDSP is a replacement for a traditional RRSP, which most people on disability assistance would not qualify for.
I decided to write this note and share my story after recently hearing that the number of RDSP holders is far lower than the number of persons potentially eligible. These numbers caused me some concern.
Financial management can certainly be complicated, but I encourage all income assistance recipients to consider their circumstances, talk with family and friends, call agencies for more information, and see if they might benefit from an RDSP.
If you have an RDSP story you wish to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.