Happiness is linked to Money

Happiness has a Dollar Value—Less than You Think

What drives our happiness? This is a question that researchers continue to investigate. Despite the oft-repeated adage suggesting otherwise, there is indeed an intrinsic link between money and happiness. However, the research might surprise you.
Each year, the United Nations (UN) measures the happiness of countries globally in its World Happiness Report. According to the UN, the variables that drive a nation’s happiness include income, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, trust, and generosity. Canada consistently places in the top […]

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probate fees

Keep Probate Fees in Perspective

In Canada, we don’t have a “death tax,” where significant taxes must be paid on the transfer of wealth at death. Consider that in some countries like the U.S. or Japan, estate tax can reach rates of up to 40 and 55 percent respectively!1 Yet, over the years, probate fees have become a de facto estate tax.

Estimated Probate Fees on a $1M Estate Value by Province2

Probate is the process by which a court confirms the validity of the will […]

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Budget

Budget 2019: New Housing Affordability and Retirement Planning Initiatives

In late March, the Federal Government tabled their final budget prior to October’s federal election. The Budget holds key initiatives aimed at helping young people with housing affordability, and to help seniors with retirement planning. Here are some notable changes that may impact you or your loved ones, specifically targeting the young and the old:
The Young: Housing Affordability
While many children may be hoping for support from the bank of mom and dad to purchase a home, if this isn’t […]

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Investing is a bumpy road

Investing: Never a Smooth Road

Fear and greed—the two emotions that are said to drive the equity markets. How quickly, it seems, that the sentiment can oscillate from one extreme to the other. Over recent times, Canadian and U.S. equity markets have experienced periods of remarkable advances in prices, as well as many months which seemed to forecast an Armageddon just around the corner.
It is interesting how quickly the focus of many market commentators can shift with these movements. After a volatile December for […]

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Choosing a Beneficiary

Do You Need to Revisit Beneficiary Designations?

Naming a beneficiary is a big decision that may sometimes be overlooked. At some point in your life, you may buy a life insurance policy or start a new job with a retirement plan and receive a form that includes a section for the names of your beneficiaries. Many people, unprepared, leave it blank or complete the section without much thought. If years have gone by since completing account paperwork, it may be time for a review. Here are […]

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Navigating the Passive Income Rules: IPPs for Retirement

With changes to passive income rules now in effect for small business, owners may be looking for ways to invest income earned in their corporation. Contributing funds to an Individual Pension Plan (IPP) may help to increase retirement savings on a tax-deferred basis outside of the corporation.
What is an IPP?
An IPP is a defined-benefit pension plan that is registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). While the IPP has been around since 1991, there has been renewed interest in […]

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Keeping the Elderly Safe

Are you concerned about elderly parents or relatives? A recent CBC news report provided a disturbing account of an elderly man who fell prey to an online dating scam. Over an eight-month period, he communicated with someone posing as his girlfriend and lost over $700,000 by wiring funds overseas.1
As it turns out, stories of financial abuse of the elderly aren’t as uncommon as we think. It doesn’t always happen from afar and can occur at home to acquaintances or […]

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Pension Income Splitting: Can It Make a Difference?

Tax season is here! If you have eligible pension income, there may be an opportunity to split income with a spouse/common-law partner. But just how much of an impact can this make?  
For tax purposes, up to 50 percent of eligible pension income can be split with a spouse.
Eligible pension income is determined by the recipient’s age and the nature of the income. In general, under age 65, it includes amounts received from a registered pension plan.* Over age 65, it […]

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A Global Perspective: Where Does Canada Stand?

We may sometimes forget that the Canadian equity markets are small. Just how small? Canada’s equity markets represent less than 3 percent of the world’s total equity market (by market capitalization) and we rank as the 6th largest in the world.1 The largest, our neighbour to the south — the United States — represents around 42 percent of the worldwide equity markets.
When it comes to investing, in the past Canadians often had a home bias. Remember that until 2005, the federal government […]

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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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