It can be Taxing to be a Snowbird

With the days growing longer and nights warmer, it may be easy to forget the polar vortex that froze many parts of Canada this winter. For some, the cold prompted an escape to warmer climates down south. If you are a “snowbird” — spending considerable amounts of time in the U.S. — you need to be aware of U.S. income tax implications.
Even if you have no U.S. tax to pay, you may be subject to various U.S. tax filing […]

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Dealing with the Loss of a Spouse

The death of a spouse can be one of life’s most devastating events. Complicating matters, during a time when a surviving spouse may feel as though they are unable to deal with life’s routines, many new tasks will need to be taken care of. Seeking the support of others may be important, whether it be family members, trusted friends or even professionals.  
Here are some financial steps that may need to be undertaken while navigating this difficult time. Many of […]

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Want your Money? Come and Get it! 

Do you have a pesky Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA) or Life Income Fund (LIF) that you want access to without a huge tax burden?  
If you’re currently withdrawing the minimum annual payment from your LIF, or if you have a LIRA and want to explore if you can unlock some or all this money — we can help.  
There are different rules for different pension legislations, provincial and/or federal, but there is one rule that is uniform across almost all jurisdictions – If you’re only taking the […]

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Kids & Wealth: To Shirtsleeves in Three Generations?

There is a saying, “from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations,” which suggests that wealth gained by a family can easily be lost in just three generations. As such, many wealthy families are now focusing on teaching children how to manage money to try and encourage its longevity.   
Instilling sound financial values at a young age can be relevant for any family to improve financial success. Here are some ideas to get children started on the right path:  
1. Start with your Money […]

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Whole Life Insurance: Part of a Balanced Portfolio

Did you know that life insurance may offer the potential to improve returns and reduce risk as part of a balanced portfolio? If you have excess funds not needed in retirement, “participating whole life insurance,” known as a “par policy” can provide a compelling case to achieve exposure to certain fixed income products in today’s low-yield environment.
In general, a par policy requires the policy owner to deposit premiums, either for a set duration or for life, funded with after-tax […]

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Fact or Fantasy: What’s Your Retirement Plan?

Last fall, the U.S. Mega Millions lottery made history when it became the largest jackpot of all time at a whopping US$1.6 billion. Reportedly, at one point before the draw, lottery tickets were selling at a rate of 550 tickets per second!
The odds are that you won’t win the lottery, yet surprisingly surveys continue to show that some Canadians plan on funding their retirement with a lottery jackpot.1 Yet, the average Canadian has a much better chance of being […]

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Retirement: What’s Your Income Target?

There have always been varying opinions regarding the amount of income needed to ensure a comfortable retirement. The amount of income required for retirement will vary based on the individual and their particular circumstances. While some suggest an annual target of 70 percent of pre-retirement income, others advise 80 percent or more. Still others argue that these targets may be too high, pointing to the fact that sometimes pre-retirement spending can be lower than we perceive.
With payroll deductions, mortgage payments […]

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Spousal RRSPs: Split Income, Save Tax

Over the years, the government has eliminated many income-splitting opportunities available to investors. However, for those who have a spouse or common-law partner, a key investment opportunity is a spousal Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).
A spousal RRSP may be a good income-splitting opportunity for a situation in which you would earn a higher level of income in retirement, while your spouse will have little or no source of retirement income. A spousal RRSP is a plan that you contribute to […]

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Dispelling Myths about RRSPs

Participation rates for the RRSP have been declining over recent years. In fact, some Canadians believe there is “no point” in investing in the RRSP because of the taxes due in retirement. But the RRSP can provide a substantial tax advantage. Let’s look at a couple of the myths:

Myth: There is no point in investing in an RRSP.  You pay all the savings back in taxes when you retire.

While you do pay tax on RRSP withdrawals, don’t forget […]

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New Year’s Resolutions for Investing in 2019

The year 2018 will be remembered as a difficult one for the Canadian equity markets. Trade tensions and tariffs imposed by the U.S. created ongoing volatility at home and abroad. Concerns over Canada’s competitiveness have been put under the spotlight—the result of falling foreign direct investment, slowing gross domestic product growth and problems in getting our deeply discounted oil to broader markets. While the federal government acknowledged the need to support business competitiveness in its late November fiscal update, […]

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