Growing your estate without undue market risk and taxes
Often we see older investors shift gears near retirement and beyond. Many become risk-averse and move their assets into fixed income type investments. Unfortunately, this often results in the assets being exposed to higher rates of income tax and lower rates of return – never a good combination.
Or maybe the older investor cannot fully enjoy their retirement years for fear of spending their children’s inheritance.
The Estate Bond financial planning strategy presents a solution to both of these problems.
How does it work?
- Surplus funds are moved out of the income tax stream and into a tax-exempt life insurance policy.
- Each year a specified amount is transferred from tax exposed savings to the life insurance policy.
Many investors over the age of 60 find themselves in a quandary regarding investments that they intend to leave to their heirs. The primary concern involves the desire to conserve the investments they are bequeathing while at the same time earning a reasonable rate of return. As we all know, the volatility of the equity markets can be cruel and this can be most detrimental when investments do not have time to recover after a downturn. As a result, many mature investors choose to accept low rates of return in order to avoid loss in the funds they wish to leave to family members.
If you share these concerns, then Segregated Funds (also known as Guaranteed Investment Funds) may be the solution. Segregated Funds are similar in performance and cost to Mutual Funds but come with some very attractive advantages. Since Segregated Funds are offered by life insurance companies, they contain guarantees both at maturity and at death. Read more
One of the most common investment questions Canadians ask themselves today is, “Which is better, TFSA or RRSP”?
Here’s the good news – it doesn’t have to be an either or choice. Why not do both? Below are the features of both plans to help you understand the differences.
Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
Any Canadian resident age 18 or over may open a TFSA. Contribution is not based on earned income. There is no maximum age for contribution.
- For 2019 and 2020, the maximum contribution is $6,000.
- There is carry forward room for each year in which the maximum contribution was not made. For those who have not yet contributed to a TFSA, the cumulative total contribution room for 2019 is $63,500. This will increase in 2020 to $69,500.
- The deposit is not tax-deductible, but the funds accumulate with no income tax payable on growth.
- Withdrawals may be made at any time on an income tax-free basis. Withdrawals create additional deposit room commencing in the year after withdrawal.
Let’s face it, raising a family today can be financially challenging. The cost of living continues to increase, housing costs are rising along with education and extra-curricular activities for our children. It is tough to make ends meet and still have something left over at the end of each month.
Most families today require both parents to work to afford the lifestyle they enjoy. Losing one of those incomes through premature death, illness or a disability is a real risk that many families would have a difficult time facing emotionally and financially.
How do you protect your family?
- Life insurance is designed to protect your family by providing the resource to replace income, pay off debt, and fund future education costs in the event that one of the parents dies.
- Disability, or income replacement insurance, is designed to replace lost income if an individual is not able to work due to accident or sickness.
- Critical Illness insurance will pay a lump sum benefit in the event of a diagnosis of many major illnesses.
Most business owners understand that assets vital to the success of the enterprise should be insured. Premises are routinely covered for fire and/or theft; vehicles used to make deliveries, insured; machinery needed for manufacturing, also insured. Given that these tangible assets are instrumental in the success of the business, it makes good business sense that the business is protected in the event of a loss. But what about key employees? Many business owners overlook the impact on their business should a key employee die unexpectedly.
If you own or manage a company whose continued success is dependent on key people (it might even be you), it would be prudent to insure all key personnel whose death or incapacity would negatively affect profitability. Key persons are those who contribute to the continuing success and profitability of the enterprise.
What happens when an owner or key person dies or becomes disabled? Read more
As we age and our thoughts turn to estate planning, Segregated Funds may present a valuable planning opportunity. As we progress through the stages of life our investment focus changes from growth to income to preservation. Usually, the expected rates of return reduce as we age, primarily because we have less time to make up for a loss and feel the need to be more conservative in our approach. Anyone who has retired shortly before or after a major market correction (or crash!) understands the impact volatility can have on their enjoyment of a comfortable retirement.
In addition, none of us want to leave an estate for our heirs which could be a fraction of what was intended or be a catalyst for family discord. Fortunately, you do not have to forego the opportunity of growth in order to preserve the capital that you wish to leave to your family. Segregated Funds not only protect your estate against market fluctuations, they also provide the comfort of knowing the inheritances you wish to leave will be received by those for whom they were intended.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
There are some simple steps you can take to reduce or minimize the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.
Practice Safe Internet Use
Delete spam emails that ask for personal information, and keep your anti-virus and anti-spyware software up-to-date. Shop online only with secure web pages (check the bottom of your browser for an image of a lock or look for “https” in the address bar). Never send credit card numbers, social security numbers and other personal information via email.
Destroy Private Records
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