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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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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