A Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) is an account registered with the federal government that is intended to provide you with a steady income in retirement. You can open a RRIF anytime, but no later than the end of the year you turn 71, not age 72.
If your spouse is younger than you, you can use their age to calculate your minimum amount. This may be a good strategy if you have other sources of income and want to leave your money in your RRIF for as long as possible. RRIFs are generally flexible – you don’t have to have a spousal RRIF or name your spouse as the RRIF beneficiary to use their age for your minimum amount. But you must tell your financial institution that you’re doing so before you make your first RRIF withdrawal. And you can’t change your mind later.
Learn more about how the minimum is calculated, and see the withdrawal rates by age.