Category Archive for: ‘Coaching Tips’

What is an Estate Freeze?

estate freeze

Do you have a farm or business that you’re looking at transferring ownership to management or your children? If yes, you should consider some of the benefits of a classic estate freeze. This strategy can help you manage your estate tax bill. For tax purposes, an estate freeze locks in the current value of the asset while passing on future …

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Plan ahead, none of us are immortal


Draft a will: It’s best to have it drawn up by a lawyer but even a handwritten will that is signed and witnessed is better than nothing. This is valid in Alberta but must be fully in your handwriting and cannot be typed. Be sure it is very clear how you want your assets to be handled; family, charities, etc. …

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How can Canadians Recover From Their Addiction to Debt?


Canadians today are some of the most indebted consumers in the world, loading up with more and more debt with the low interest rates we’ve had the last few years. With the current debt to income ratio now over 170%, it’s the highest of all the developed countries in the world! Some highlights from a recent survey about debt I …

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Why Business Owners Need a Succession Plan

succession plan

It is never too early to have a succession plan in place to ensure the continuity or smooth transfer of a business and its assets in the event of the owner’s death. This is especially so if an individual’s family is dependent on the company for income. Some owners may consider a succession plan as something to look at in …

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Some Good Reasons to Avoid Will Kits

will kits

For different reasons, some Canadians feel they can figure out their own tax and estate plans either by going online or with an inexpensive store-bought Will kit. Unfortunately many Will kits do not include key elements, without which their wishes may be misinterpreted. Worse, parts of the Will could be invalidated. For example, a father could have named his surviving …

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What is Financial Advice Worth?

financial advice

With 47 years of business and life experience to draw on and 21 of that in the financial advice business, I’ve learned that if you look after the needs of the client, ask the right questions and work with other qualified professionals you will do well! I view my job as being the quarterback between my clients and other professionals …

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Tips and Traps with Life Insurance

life insurance

Tip: For many Canadians, life insurance is an important part of a sound financial plan. A life insurance policy is a legal contract between you and the life insurance company. While price may be important, understanding the actual terms and conditions of the contract are of the utmost importance. Tip: In simple terms, you agree to pay money in regular …

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Why You Should Consider Annuities


Annuities might be the best retirement product that few Canadians buy. This is surprising as they provide guaranteed income for life, just like defined-benefit pensions which are considered the gold standard of retirement income plans. Retirement experts who study annuities confirm these are an effective safeguard against longevity risk, or the possibility of outliving your wealth. Plus people with annuities …

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Understanding the Risks in Your Portfolio


It’s important for investors to understand that there are always risk factors involved with any type of investment. Understanding how these risks impacts our investments will help all Canadians make better investment choices. Inflation Risk: Inflation erodes the purchasing power of your money each year as the prices of goods and services continue to rise. This is the reason why …

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Should We All Just Work Longer?

work longer

I came across a very interesting article posted in Think Advisor by The Centre of Retirement Research at Boston College. In it they examined whether it would be effective to work longer to boost American’s prospects for a secure retirement. I think this question may also be applicable to some degree in Canada. This study concluded that continued employment could …

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Which is Better, TFSA or RRSP? Part 2


Let’s consider the pros and cons of each investment saving option to help you decide the best way to invest your hard-earned dollars. RRSP Pros: RRSP contributions provide you with a tax break when you file your income tax return, and the money invested grows tax-deferred until you begin withdrawing funds. If you get a tax refund, invest it as …

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Which is Better, TFSA or RRSP? Part 1


This is a much debated subject when discussing investing. Both are great saving and investing options, but they come with important differences. Choosing between either a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) or a Registered Retirement Saving Plan (RRSP) can save you thousands over the long haul if you understand the differences. Ideally everyone should maximize both, but for most of …

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Make 2017 the Year You Start Your Financial Fitness Program

financial fitness

As you start into this New Year thinking of the things that you might want to change to better your situation, why not develop a personalized financial fitness plan? In reviewing the Bank of Canada’s recent comments, the one big cloud on the horizon is the ever growing household debt held by Canadians. Many things we do in life come …

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Tips to Make Your Retirement Funds Last


As ever larger numbers of the boomer generation start to retire, fixed income options, once the staple of retirement cash-flow planning, are no longer delivering the way they used to. Add to this that we’re living longer, although a welcome development, means those of us planning to rely on Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) for income may need to take …

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Tax Deadlines to be Aware of in 2017

tax deadlines

January heralds the start of the annual panic of gathering up all those documents that we need for the income tax deadline and review with our accounting professionals. Many of us are focused on this while forgetting that good tax planning should happen year-round. There’s no time like now to get started. Filing our returns is backwards-looking, and there are …

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What can we expect in 2017?


As we start into 2017, here are some comments on what investors should consider in the coming year. Investors may benefit by taking a more cautious approach, but at the same time realising it’s not all doom and gloom out there. There are three key trends to consider relating to equities; fixed income, earnings and economic fronts, with the consensus …

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Make Charitable Gifting One of Your 2017 Resolutions

charitable gifting

Here’s a good New Year’s Resolution, why not consider charitable gifting to help those less fortunate, both here at home and around the world? As a Rotarian, I am very cognisant of both the global and local reach of the many projects we support and the long term benefit that these provide. Global polio eradication is an important one, along …

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Teaching Your Kids about Money


Almost on a weekly basis young couples stop by my office asking about life insurance or investing. When we get into the nitty-gritty of their finances it usually becomes apparent that they are living paycheque to paycheque. They are “renting” their lifestyle while drowning in debt, like a hamster in a wheel going round and round and getting nowhere. By …

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Important Budget Tips for Retirement


When developing a retirement budget, anticipating every expense one might face can be difficult, as it’s easy to underestimate how much will be needed to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. If unexpected expenses aren’t allowed for, one could end up short and wondering where all the money went. Below are some examples of these types of expenses. Health insurance and medical expenses: …

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Good & Bad Reasons for Leveraging Home Equity

home equity

For many of us, our home is our most valuable asset. So it’s no wonder some might consider that any increase in their home equity is cash in the bank.  However, before deciding to refinance to access some cash or set up a home equity line of credit (HELOC), you need to consider what you want the money for. Is …

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