Ever wonder what the future has in store for you? I’ve pondered this question so many times I have lost count! My worrisome traits alongside my planning tendencies have come in handy with my retirement planning (I know very dull topic) but it is something that everyone should think and prepare for, and it is far less stressful if it is established early on in life. I remember being scolded by an older colleague in the beginning of my banking career, she said “Tracy, you should have an RRSP! The younger you start, the better! Trust me, if I had been giving this advice when I was your age, I would not be working at the age that I am now!” At the time (I was 19), I opened an RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) and started a monthly contribution of $25 dollars because she scared me a little, ha-ha. But I am ever glad I listened and it was the best thing I could have ever done for myself.
Fast forward to today, both my husband and I contributes $50 each per week and I have set up a spousal RRSP for him because I will have the government pension and he has no set pension yet. RRSP can also come in handy by providing a tax deduction for income tax purposes, which has really helped us year over year as we increase our contributions slowly over time. Keep in mind though, if you withdraw funds from your RRSP before retirement you are responsible for paying tax on the withdrawal, depending on the amount. For example; if you withdraw $3000.00 that tax would be $300 (10%) and the amount withdrawn would be added as taxable income at the end of the year, so some folks ask their advisors to deduct more tax upfront in order to prevent paying at year end. There are higher tax brackets based on amount withdrawn from your RRSP, so always consider speaking to your financial advisor prior to any withdrawals.
There are only certain circumstances that allow tax sheltered withdrawals like; first time homebuyers plan, this allows individuals to essentially borrow up to $25,000 from their RRSP to be used as a down payment on their first home purchase. But the amount is to be re-contributed into their RRSP within a 15-year period, now during this time the annual allocated amount being deposited towards the borrowed amount is not to be used as a tax deduction. For example; if you withdrew $15,000 from your RRSP towards the down payment and you decided to put $1000 RRSP contribution per year for a total of 15 years towards the repayment of the homebuyer’s plan, the first $1000 of your annual contribution would not be taken into account for income tax deduction purposes.
Now, some may say that RRSP are not the only retirement financial option out there, other then pensions. But, TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account) is essentially used for savings/retirement purposes also and can be set up for automatic transfers such as weekly, bi-weekly or monthly contributions. It can also be invested like an RRSP in secured savings deposits, term deposits or through mutual funds depending on your risk tolerance, knowledge and time horizon. The only difference, withdrawals are not taxed but contributions cannot be used as tax deductibles at year end. Essentially it would be best to have both, but again speaking to a financial advisor or financial planner are your best bet. Good thing I know two financial planners, and they are both amazing at what they do!
Enough of the heavy topic! Lately I have learnt through my personal manifestation and soul work that plans can change in the blink of an eye. The past few years have felt like a whirlwind of events that were completely out of my control and it has caused chaos in my soul. I honestly felt lost, I remember the exact day that my soul finally woke up and it was because I let my fears, burdens and shame come to light. It was the scariest moment of my life; I finally said the words aloud to during a tarot card reading, I am bi. The reading was very powerful and brought up my deepest most private inner self I had never shared with anyone out to the surface and all I could do was cry in relief as the words left my mouth. I had been keeping this secret to myself since I was 9 years old, I had always known this about myself but felt ashamed to say anything based on the negative comments I have heard throughout the years. I was also afraid of what this meant for my relationship with my husband, all I could think about was will he still love me? Will we still be together, will I still what to be with him? It left me with so many questions that I had to eventually answer for myself before telling him.
I eventually got the courage to talk with him and share my most intimate secret, his response confirmed that he was my soul mate, twin flame and best friend. He simply said “Tracy, I love you no matter what, and will always love you as long as I am your number one, then things will never change.” I had never loved anyone more then in that exact moment, his words erased any and all fears I had been questioning myself prior to telling him. I had been hanging on to these thoughts for years! My best friend Ariane, who is the kindest yet most adventurist person I have ever met was the catalyst to my awakening. Her reading was by far the best thing that could have happened for me in that exact moment, she also had no idea of my secret but it was all there in the cards that day.
Ariane has had quite the adventure herself, she was suffering and suffocating in her corporate and personal life and finally decided to let it all go and moved to Thailand, California and then Costa Rica! She experienced magical personal awakenings of her own through her multitude of travel throughout the years and has built a life she truly loves. She offers one on one coaching, retreats and web/teleconference learning sessions, I have attended her learning session through web meetings and can personally vouch that I learnt more about myself and was given the necessary tools and framework that will help me move towards my personal growth goals. Her journey is truly inspiring and if you ever feel like learning more about it, or contacting her, let me know and I can forward you to her website or Facebook page.
I’ve learnt that you don’t need to travel the world, have a lavish lifestyle, be super organized for retirement or be in any state in order to find yourself, the first step is telling yourself that you are enough, and to love every aspect of yourself by truly stepping into your true self and sharing it with the world. Because let’s face it, no amount of money in your bank account or retirement plan will fix how you view or love yourself. Albeit, very important goal to attain, but not the most important one compared to self love.
I will admit it, it was the scariest thing I had ever done up to this point in my life and it took me 23 years to finally say it out loud, but it felt like a weight of negative energy has been lifted of my shoulders and I no longer need to feel that fear, shame and burden. Also, finding yourself does not always mean your sexual preference, it can mean facing your inner fears, guilt, burdens and forgiving yourself. I like to think that as children, we are pure souls, having no negative thoughts. But as we age and face social grooming, for example; social media content that hides any imperfection by showing only perfection or sweeping issues under the rug, forcing emotions deep down by not facing the issue at hand and this has often lead us on a path of loosing oneself during the process. My objective through my soul work is to live in every moment by facing negative emotions, actions or events head on by letting go of the emotion associated with my past negative experiences and by allowing positive emotions like happiness, joy and laughter to take over instead. It is not something that will happen overnight, I will have to do the work, but I am up for the challenge.
“Living at high emotional vibration means always striving to be the best you can be in any given moment. And it means coming from a place of self love, compassion and excitement for life. A high vibration means taking responsibility for your own life, not being pulled into outside situations or dramas or crisis. A high vibration means dealing with situations that may be difficult knowing that you will come through them stronger, with a better understanding of yourself. And, finally, a high vibration means not judging others. It means accepting everybody for who they are on their own journey in their own life, it means leading by example and being the change, you want to see in the world. It is a way of living, a peace with yourself, full of joy and gratitude for this crazy life we live. All it takes is self love, self awareness, gratitude and patience.”
Sarah Ann Negus