Okay, so things aren't all bad (although they really seem that way right now). On Thursday I sat in my bank discussing my RRSP's with one of their financial services reps. It was actually a bit surreal because I knew about the cost we were incurring for the car and yet I was sitting there discussing moving thousands of dollars around.
It's not like I could access the money anyway. I'd have to pay taxes on anything I took out and I'm not allowed to because I took out money a little over a decade ago to use as a downpayment on my condo and I'm still repaying it. (The Canadian government allows you to take it out without penalty for that purpose so long as you replace it within 15 years. I'm almost done with that but still have a couple of years to go.)
I've mentioned before that I have the bulk of my RRSPs in GICs. I may not be making a fortune in interest, but I haven't lost any money yet (and my deposits are guaranteed by CDIC). Mutual funds, stocks, bonds, etc. aren't!
So, I had a GIC mature a couple of weeks ago and it's been sitting in my money market account making an atrocious .05% (yes, that's 5 one hundredths of one percent per annum!) ever since. I just didn't have time to go in earlier and I knew that I had another one maturing any time. So, at this moment, I have 2 of them sitting there and a 3rd one maturing early next week! The 4th one also matures in October, but not for another year.
Now, there are a couple of ways to handle GICs and maturity dates. Trent was just talking about laddering his CDs as a higher interest (but still very accessible) emergency fund. I'm actually doing the opposite. I'm combining the 3 of them and putting them into a 2 year GIC paying 4% because I don't want to have to worry about a bunch of different maturity dates. Next year I'll probably take that last one and put it into a 1 year GIC even though the rate won't be terrific (they're currently 1.9% to 2.5%) so that I can finally put them all together in late 2010.
Will I change them to a laddered format later? Possibly, as we get close to actually retiring. But, for now, it's more important that they be as simple as possible. And that they get the best guaranteed rate possible.