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The deadline for contributing to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) for the 2017 tax filing year is March 1, 2018. You generally have 60 days within the new calendar year to make RRSP contributions that can be applied to lowering your taxes for the previous year.

RRSP Deadline: March 1, 2018

The deadline for contributing to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) for the 2017 tax filing year is March 1, 2018. You generally have 60 days within the new calendar year to make RRSP contributions that can be applied to lowering your taxes for the previous year.

If you want to see how much tax you can save, enter your details below!

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What the Wealthy Know about Life Insurance

If you have ever thought that life insurance was something you wouldn’t need after you reached a certain level of financial security, you might be interested in knowing why many wealthy individuals still carry large amounts of insurance.  Consider the following:

  • A life insurance advisor in California recently placed a $201 million dollar life insurance policy on the life of a tech industry billionaire;
  • Well known music executive David Geffen was life insured for $100 million;
  • Malcolm Forbes, owner of Forbes Magazine, was insured at the time of his death in 1990 for $70 million.

While life insurance is most often looked upon as a vehicle to protect ones family or business, the question that springs to mind is why would individuals with wealth need life insurance? 

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Supporting adult children takes its toll on boomers’ retirement plans: survey

As baby boomers approach retirement while their children look for financial help, many are feeling the financial strain.

A new TD survey found 62 per cent of boomers can’t save enough for retirement because they’re supporting adult children or grandchildren. Those kids, however, aren’t taking that money obliviously: 44 per cent of millennials who rely on their parents’ or grandparents’ support said they know that help means fewer retirement savings, and 43 per cent said they’d cut costs rather than asking for financial help.

Read: Canadians postpone retirement to support children

“As a parent or grandparent it’s natural to want to help our kids and grandkids who may be facing financial challenges such as finding full-time employment or paying their day-to-day expenses,” Rowena Chan, senior vice-president at TD Wealth Financial Planning, said in a news release. “It’s important that this desire to help is balanced with the goals you have when it comes to retirement.”

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Retirement – Are you Prepared?

Whether you are decades away from retirement or if it is just around the corner, being aware of the planning opportunities will take the fear and uncertainty out of this major life event.

Blue sky your retirement plans to get clarity

As you approach retirement, preparation and planning become extremely important to help ensure that this period of your life will be as comfortable as possible.   If you are like most, you have spent considerable time contemplating the type of retirement you wish for yourself.

  • Is extensive travel your dream?
  • Do you have an expensive hobby or two you want to take up?
  • Will you stop working totally or continue to do some work on your own terms using your life experience and skills to supplement your income.
  • Will you remain in your house or will you downsize to smaller, easier to care for premises? Or perhaps housing that will be more compatible with the challenges of aging?
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Three trends that will drive Canada’s economy in 2017

There are three trends that will guide the Canadian economy in 2017. Those are:

  1. the strength, or lack thereof, of oil prices;
  2. domestic housing developments; and
  3. whether the U.S. economy continues to improve.

So says Russell Investments’ 2017 Global Market Outlook, which calls for modest growth in the coming year for Canada.

“Moderate improvement in the price of oil and reasonable growth of the U.S. economy are weighed down by debt-laden households,” says Shailesh Kshatriya, director of Canadian strategies at Russell Investments Canada Limited. “We expect domestic equities to be positive, but without the exuberance of 2016. However, domestic bonds likely will be challenged as lacklustre fundamentals may be partially offset by rising yields in the U.S. […] On balance, we see 2017 economic growth in the range of 1.6% to 2%.”

 

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©iStockphoto.com/SusanneB
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Boomer + Sandwich Generation + Club Sandwich + Boomerang = Financial Instability

The Sandwich Generation was a term coined by Dorothy Miller in 1981 to describe adult children who were “sandwiched” between their aging parents and their own maturing children.  There is even a term for those of us who are in our 50’s or 60’s with elderly parents, adult children and grandchildren – the Club Sandwich.   More recently, the Boomerang Generation (the estimated 29% of adults ranging in ages 25 to 34, who live with their parents), are adding to the financial pressures as Boomers head into retirement. It is estimated that by 2026, 1 in 5 Canadians will be older than 65. This means fewer adults to both fund and provide for elder care.  Today, it is likely that the average married couple will have more living parents than they do children.

What are the challenges?

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Ease Your Retirement Worries with Immediate Annuities

The majority of Canadians work hard to accumulate a retirement fund and many are averse to exposing savings to unnecessary market risk after they retire.

In today’s prolonged low interest rate environment, immediate annuities are often dismissed or overlooked as a viable vehicle for providing retirement income. Perhaps they shouldn’t be.

An annuity is an investment that provides a guaranteed income stream for a set period of time or for the lifetime of the annuitant. While annuities may not be for everyone, for those trying to find a way to guarantee income in retirement Immediate Annuities may be the answer.

3 Retirement Risks to Avoid

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Canada Pension Plan – Should You Take it Early?

The new rules governing CPP were introduced in 2012 and they take full effect in 2016.  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?

While you can elect to start receiving CPP at age 60, the discount rate under the new rules has increased.  Starting in 2016, 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 conversely, as of 2016, delaying your CPP benefits after age 65 will result in an increased income of 0.7% for each month of deferral.  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?”

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Are You On The Right Track?

In bull markets some investors develop unhealthy expectations as to the long term yields their investments should provide.  A few years ago, some came to accept returns as high as 15% to 20% per annum as the base return their fund and portfolio managers were expected to provide. Of course, these expectations came crashing back to earth in 2008 as the bull was chased away by a very large bear. Today, many fund managers are of the opinion that double digit returns are going to be very difficult to achieve with any consistency over the long term.

Is it time for us to lower our expectations?

If we have to accept lower rates of return, do we still want to be exposed to the same previous level of risk?  There can be tremendous volatility in the equity markets and, as a result, many wonder if they are on the right track with their investment strategy.

4 Questions to ask yourself about your investment strategy

What are my goals?

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TFSA or RRSP?

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. 
  • Maximum contribution is $5,500 per year starting in 2013 ($5,000 per year for the period of 2009-2012).  In 2015, the maximum contribution was increased to $10,000 by the Harper government.  This increase may be short lived as the Liberals have stated they will reduce the maximum back to the previous limit. In the meantime, you can take advantage of the $10,000 limit. The contribution must be made by December 31st.
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