The federal government allows you to take up to $25,000 out of your retirement fund to buy your first home. But that amount doesn't go nearly as far as it once did, reports the Financial Post.

As per the regulations of the home buyers’ plan, Canadians can take $25,000 out of their RRSPs, and pay it back over the next 15 years without having to worry about any penalties. In a couple situation, both spouses are allowed to take the same amount out, which gives them $50,000 to work with.

The amount has been frozen at $25,000 since 1999. With the average home price expected to increase to $391,000 in the coming year, as per a Canadian Real Estate Association report, $50,000 won't provide much assistance. In fact, at 13 per cent, it's not even enough to avoid mortgage default insurance, which can be quite costly.

Still, some savvy buyers are using the plan as a tax-saving strategy. If a new home is being purchased within the next 90 days, it is possible to make a $25,000 contribution to the RRSP, which becomes $50,000 for two people. Afterwards, the money can be withdrawn to pay for the home. This leads to a considerable tax refund, come April.

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