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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: Read more

Optimizing Wealth Through Asset Re-Allocation

If you are an active investor, your investment holdings probably include many different asset classes.  For many investors, diversification is a very important part of the wealth accumulation process to help manage risk and reduce volatility.  Your investment portfolio might include stocks, bonds, equity funds, real estate and commodities.  All these investment assets share a common characteristic – their yield is exposed to tax.  From a taxation standpoint, investment assets fall into the following categories:

Tax Adverse

The income from these investments are taxed at the top rates.  They include bonds, certificates of deposits, savings accounts, rents etc.  Depending on the province, these investments may be taxed at rates of approximately 50% or more. (For example, Alberta 48.0%, BC 49.8%, Manitoba 50.4%, Ontario 53.53%, Nova Scotia 54.0%). Read more

Canada Pension Plan – Should You Take it Early?

New Rules governing the Canada Pension Plan took full effect in 2016.  Under these rules, the earliest you can take your CPP Pension is age 60, the latest is 70. The standard question regarding CPP remains the same – should I take it early or wait?

If you take it at the earliest age possible, age 60, your CPP income will be reduced by 0.6% each month you receive your benefit prior to age 65.  In other words, electing to take your CPP at age 60 will provide an income of 36% less than if you waited until age 65.

CPP benefits may also be delayed until age 70 so delaying your CPP benefits after age 65 will result in an increased income of 0.7% for each month of deferral.  As a result, at age 70, the retiree would have additional monthly income of 42% over that what he or she would have had at 65 and approximately 120% more than taking the benefit at age 60. The question now becomes, “how long do you think you will live?” Read more

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12
Nov

Holiday Spending Survival Guide

Are you crazy for the holidays, spending thousands of dollars on holiday gifts, lights, entertaining, food and decorations each year? If so, you’re not alone. Many Americans feel the sting of holiday spending well into the new year. If you love to celebrate the holidays but don’t love the financial pinch you experience afterward, there are several great tricks for giving and celebrating, without breaking the bank. Read more »

26
Sep

How health coaching can help diabetes patients

With diabetes on the rise, how well employees manage the chronic disease should be a concern for employers, Diana Sherifali, an associate professor at McMaster University’s school of nursing, told Benefits Canada‘s 2018 Healthy Outcomes conference in May.

Since diabetes often comes with other chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease, hypertension and high cholesterol, mitigating it is all the more necessary, she said. In addition, the stress of dealing with the condition can become extreme to the point of being a precursor to moderate depression, she added. Read more »