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“If anything should happen to me….”

Don and Kate were nervously anticipating Don’s upcoming life saving surgery.  Don was also concerned that, should he not survive, Kate might not know everything that needed to be done upon his death.  The night before his surgery he made this list for Kate of the things she should do if he didn’t make it through the operation: 

My Dearest Kate

Although I expect to make it through this surgery it has got me thinking that anything could happen to any of us at anytime and we are rarely prepared. 

So, if anything should happen…………….  Read more

TFSA or RRSP? 2019

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 2018, the maximum contribution remains at $5,500.  For 2019, that increases to $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 2018 is $57,500.  It will increase in 2019 to $63,500. Read more

What does the New Year hold for mortgage rates?

Here’s an article that I came across in the Globe and Mail that I wanted to share which talks about Bank of Canada trends and what it might mean for mortgage rates heading into 2019.  Let me know your thoughts.

Click here to read the rest of the article on the Globe and Mail website.

Steps to Avoid the OAS Clawback

According to the Canadian government website, Old Age Security is the largest pension program in Canada.  OAS pays a monthly income to seniors who are age 65 and over.  The amount of the payment is not based on past income but rather how long you resided in Canada after the age of 18.  If you have turned 65 you are eligible for the maximum OAS income if you have resided in Canada for at least 40 years after turning 18 AND have resided in Canada for at least 10 years prior to receiving approval for your OAS pension.  There are some exceptions for those who don’t fully qualify based on temporary absences during that requisite 10-year period.

For the last quarter of 2018, the maximum monthly OAS payment regardless of marital status is $600.85.  Don’t get too excited as, as the title suggests, the government can clawback part or all of your OAS benefit depending on your taxable income.  As of 2018, you can earn up to $75,950 in annual taxable income (up from $74,788 in 2017) without affecting your payment.  For every dollar earned over this threshold amount however, you will be taxed (referred to as an OAS recovery tax) at a rate of 15%. Once you reach taxable income in the amount of $ 123,386 the government will have fully recovered or clawed back the entire amount of your Old Age Security. Read more

Life Insurance – Do You Buy, Rent, or Borrow?

Without a doubt, life insurance is valuable protection provided by your employee benefit plan, but should it be the only life insurance coverage you have?  Probably not, if you want to ensure you have sufficient long term protection to cover all your family’s financial needs should you die unexpectedly.

In a recent study conducted by the Life Insurance and Market Research Association (LIMRA), it was reported that 61% of Canadians hold some form of life insurance.  Surprisingly, it also revealed that only 38% of Canadians own an individual life insurance contract. This means that almost 40% rely solely on the life insurance provided by their employer. This can be problematic.  The disadvantages of having your employee benefit plan as your only life insurance protection include the following:

It is probably not enough to pay off your mortgage and/or provide income for your spouse and family.

The amount of life insurance protection provided by group insurance in most cases is equal to only one or two times annual income.  If this is not enough to do the job, the addition of individual life insurance should be considered. Read more

ARTICLES OF INTEREST

9
Feb

TFSAs aren’t just for short-term savers anymore

It’s been a decade since the TFSA was born. It’s grown up quite a bit over that time.

By Bryan Borzykowski for MoneySense.ca

It was hard to know it at the time, but February 26, 2008 has become one of the most significant dates in Canadian investing history. That afternoon, Jim Flaherty, then Minister of Finance, unveiled the Conservative party’s budget and, for the first time, mentioned the Tax-Free Savings Account. On January 2, 2009, the first TFSA was opened and $5,000—the maximum contribution limit that year—was deposited by some savvy investor.

When Flaherty introduced the TFSA, he listed a variety of ways someone might use the account. An RRSP, he said, was meant for retirement savings. A TFSA, where after-tax dollars can grow tax-free, was “for everything else in your life,” like buying a first car, saving for a first home and setting aside money for a “special project” or a personal indulgence. With contribution room only increasing by $5,000 per year for the first few years, using it to save for something made a lot of sense.

Read the rest of the article at www.moneysense.ca