Basics of the TFSA calculator
Most financial institutes offering TFSAs include an investment calculator so you can envision potential earnings. They offer various time periods and investments types along with rates of returns. Read the “assumptions” tab associated with the calculators to determine what the calculator is actually tabulating and the assumptions made.
What you can do with the calculator
In most cases, the calculator is actually providing a comparison between investments inside a TFSA vs taxable investments, and indicate your potential total tax savings. Using these calculators, you can determine how much you need to start with in order to reach your goal. They are quite helpful for retirement planning, purchasing a home, or simply finding out how much you can earn over a lifetime!
Links to various TFSA calculators
Most of the larger banks in Canada offer a TFSA calculator. Those that don’t offer one specifically for TFSAs often have a comparable one for RRSPs:
Canadian Western Bank: http://www.cwbank.com/calculators/investment-goal-calculator
Many credit unions also offer a TFSA calculator. Here’s a few of the larger ones…if you don’t see your favorite credit union listed, do a web search!
Coast Capital Savings: https://www.coastcapitalsavings.com/calculators/tfsa-calculator
Assiniboine Credit Union: https://www.assiniboine.mb.ca/Tools-And-Advice/Calculators/TFSA-Calculator/
The online brokerage firms also offer TFSA (or RRSP) calculators. However these are usually reserved for logged-in users so they are hard to play with unless you are already a client:
Questrade (mutual fund calculator): http://www.questrade.com/mutual_fund_calculator
Finally, here’s some links to TFSA calculators on investment-related blogs:
Tax Tips calculator: http://www.taxtips.ca/calculators/tfsavsrrsp/tfsavsrrspcalculator.htm