Saving $100,000 in my RRSP by Age 33


Now that I’m employed full-time again, I’ve revisited some goal setting in my savings. One of my main focuses (which seems to be intensifying as I’m getting older!) is saving for retirement. I like accumulating lots of retirement savings, not just for the security in my future old age, but also because of options like the First-Time Homebuyer’s Plan, which would let me withdraw up to $25,000 from my RRSPs for a down-payment on a home. Still, the primary goal of my retirement savings is net-worth building. These are long-term investments that I don’t plan to withdraw from for decades, but make me happy now to see a big balance on my personal net worth sheet!

Because my income is primarily from blogging and now a summer internship, I’m still not totally sure what my total income will be for this year, but I’m guessing it will not be high enough to be favourable tax-wise to contribute to my RRSPs. Consequently, I’m directing my savings to my TFSA, even though in my mind it’s still ear-marked for retirement. I can always transfer the extra savings from the TFSA to RRSP if I need the tax advantages in future years and/or continue to contribute a little bit to my RRSPs and claim the deduction later. My primary goal in the next 2 years is to max out my TFSA, and then focus on maxing out my RRSP.

I would like to have saved at least $100,000 for retirement by age 33.

Originally, I thought age 35 but since I’ll be about half-way to $100K at age 30 after only saving for 5 years, it doesn’t seem reasonable to expect less savings success in the 5 years following my 30th birthday! I think age 33 is a short enough time away (5 years) to be challenging but still doable. I’m actually hoping to exceed it, but I don’t want to sacrifice other financial goals for it so middle ground at $100K seems just right! As far as past and current progress though, this fits in just right:

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 12.50.26 PM

my retirement savings plan & progress (low savings rate for age 27 & 28 because I’m currently an MBA student!)

I made the savings right slightly more aggressive in later years for 2 reasons: 1) it’s more likely than not my income will be higher as I age and 2) as I save more money, more interest & dividends are earned each year helping me reach my goals faster. I’m hoping when I finish school and work full-time as a salaried employee again, I find an employer with a retirement matching program of some sort too!

Currently my retirement savings is comprised of cash savings, a mutual fund, and stocks in this proportion:

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 10.56.02 AM

While I love investing in the stock market in order to get a higher return on my money, as years go by I will want to reduce the risk in my retirement assets so I’m expecting by age 33 the distribution will look more like this:

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 10.56.08 AM

I’m not sure if I’m totally on board with having $15,000 of cash and $20,000 in mutual funds lying around — right now I’m hungry for more risk than that. Furthermore, because the stocks have higher returns, that account is growing faster than my other investments and I can’t really wrap my head around saving more as cash rather than buying more stocks, but that’s what I’d need to do to get this pie. Nevertheless, designing a rough framework gives me a bit of an idea of where and how to save.

The main component of this plan is just being disciplined enough to grow my retirement savings by $12,000+ per year, and the main risk is market fluctuations since the bulk of my savings is in the stock market. 

Saving $100,000 for retirement by age 33 is attractive for a number of reasons, namely that banking six-figures so early gives the nest egg a number of decades to grow before I need to make any withdrawals.

$100,000 invested at age 33 returning 5% will grow to nearly $500,000 by age 65 without any further contributions.

As per usual, I’m always advocating shortcuts, and I can’t think of a better one than getting six-figures into your retirement savings in your early 30’s!


  1. I also think of my TFSA as a retirement account because that’s what I plan to do with it eventually. My goal is to get $100K between both my RRSP and TFSA by 31, and I’m roughly half way there now. After you complete your new degree you will probably start making a crazy income and manage to hit $100K in your retirement account by age 31 too 🙂

    • Bridget (Author)

      haha yeah I’m less concerned about my income than I am about my commitment… Even though I’m hoping/expecting to be a high earner, I know I’ll still have to make some sacrifices to reach this goal and that won’t be easy for me!

  2. This was a great post and so timely for me. After finishing Well-Heeled (that I won on your blog) I met with my financial advisor and invested the majority of my retirement savings. At 32 it’s the first time I’ve ever invested, so I’m a bit late to the game but it’s a start. Thanks for helping to inspire that decision!

    • Bridget (Author)

      Starting is the most important part!! You might feel like you’re behind, but once you get going, you’ll see your accounts start working for you. Even though I’ve set my goal at six-figures in my early 30’s, the reason I’m optimistic about reaching it is because I know $5,000+ is going to come from interest & dividends — which is money I don’t have to save out of my paycheque (my favourite thing lol)

  3. My goal is to have a net worth of $100k by the time I am 32, including purchasing a new car at some point between now and then. Since that’s my net worth rather than specifically retirement, that will include some equity in a home, but the majority of it will be retirement, around $75k or so.

  4. forfundssake

    I was thinking the same as Liquid. Once you get that MBA Bridget the momentum will really shift you forward and you’ll be rocking your way there fast!

    • Bridget (Author)

      haha that’s the hope!! I still can’t gauge what my income will be.. but it’s always been a goal for me to be earning six figures by age 30 and as long as I keep side hustles with writing, etc. I thankfully only need to earn my pre-MBA salary to meet it, so I’m hoping it won’t be a problem. Nevertheless, high income is high taxes so we’ll see how much I net and how much I want to spend vs. save…

  5. Awesome plan, Bridget! I haven’t set specific retirement fund goals yet, just because I put most of my money towards debt, however I save $200 each month in IRAs for now. I’m also eligible for 401(k) contributions starting at the end of next month, and I’ll be contributing another 6% of my income to get the match. After the debt is gone, I’ll be able to up these numbers significantly and reach your baller status level 🙂

    • Bridget (Author)

      “baller status level” hahaha I love that description!

      $200/mo grows fast and with an employer match you’ll see your savings shoot up. You have a few extra years because you’re younger than me 😉 I have absolute faith in you.

  6. You’re doing a great job, especially given the fact that you’re still in school! $100K by 33 is a great goal. I think I’m on target to do the same 🙂

    • Jaye

      This is a great goal. If you’re aiming for 100k in retirement alone by age 33, what do you estimate you entire bet worth will be?

      • Bridget (Author)

        Not sure — probably not much higher since I expect the bulk of my assets will be retirement savings. I’d say my total net worth will be $125,000 to $150,000 but that will be subject to change if I decide to purchase a home!

  7. Great goal. Like you, my first priority is retirement savings. Second is home ownership. Third is vacation. 😉

  8. Nice goal! You’d have me beat by a year, as I just hit $100k in my RRSP in January and I’m about to turn 35.

  9. I just crunched some numbers, and I am going to take up this challenge too – $100k in retirement savings by 33! I’m at $45k now and my 29th birthday is this month, so it will be a stretch, but I am going to seriously try. Thanks for the post, Bridget. 🙂

  10. Hi Bridget, Figuring out how much to save for retirement is a really tough call. The book The Millionaire Next Door recommends that your total net worth (not just retirement) should be your age, divided by 10, times your income. While this article in Money ( says your retirement savings should have 1.4 times your income by age 35.
    You have a comment above that says you are hoping for a six figure salary by age 30. That would mean you should be shooting for something like $140,000 in retirement savings by age 33.
    Most of this is based on information for Americans. If Canada provides any sort of state-sponsored retirement (like a more robust version of America’s Social Security) that you would expect to receive, then you would likely be able to save at a lower rate.
    – Jeremy

    • Bridget (Author)

      No matter what any book says, it’s unlikely I could realistically aim for $140,000 based on where I am now.

      Canada provides the Canadian Pension Plan at retirement, and because I would not have to pay the medical costs associated with treating age-related disease, I imagine I could save way, way less than an american..