Today, we’re going to talk about one of our biggest financial mistakes over the years. It relates to the appealing Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP). Our young selves happily lunged into it acquiring our present house more than 15 years ago. At the time, it seemed like a very wise decision and the strategy provided us with a substantial chunk of change that greatly helped us in the short term. With retrospect, it now looks more and more like a very poor financial choice that considerably cost us in the long haul.
Everybody would love to, one day, have a nice home. For many, owning a big house is synonymous with financial success.
For most young folks, becoming a homeowner seems like a steep financial achievement and many may think it will remain only a distant dream. Then, they hear about the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) and their dream suddenly becomes more accessible. They see no-hassle free money that potentially can boost their house down payment (maybe a mistake). For some, the HBP may even provide the only cash to finance their once unattainable dream (definitively a mistake).
Fiscal Debt That Can Have Significant Long-Term Repercussions
The HBP allows you to avoid paying taxes on some RRSP withdrawals if you use those funds to buy your first house. After a two-year grace period, you have 15 years to repay your RRSP. The problem is that for most participants, the resulting tax bill will end up costing them much more in the future. The long-term implications and financial impact of that heftier tax bill cannot be ignored.
It makes no sense to withdraw from your RRSP avoiding only a 25-30% tax bill and later, to repay your RRSP with an ensuing 45-50% tax cost.