Category Archive for: ‘Financial Planning’

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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Get Ready to Retire


When people start to think about when to retire, all kind of images can come to mind. Long holidays, days spent on the golf course, extra time with the grandkids, etc. The big questions though is, will you be able to afford your retirement dreams? Because many of us are living longer thus spending more years in retirement, you may …

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How Much Will You Need to Retire Comfortably?

retire comfortably

Up until recently, $1 million was considered to be the gold standard for retirement savings. These days, depending on where and how you want to live, $1 million may not be enough to retire comfortably. Many studies have been done to determine how long a nest egg of $1 million would really last. This is based on average expenses for …

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Joint Last-to-Die Insurance Policies

Joint last- to- die insurance

Spouses usually share a bank account, a home, or even a business. How about sharing an insurance policy? There are good reasons to consider insurance coverage commonly known as  joint last-to-die insurance, a single contract based on the lives of two or more individuals. Why the need: This type of coverage makes sense when the individuals insured share a common …

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New Year Financial Resolutions

financial resolutions

At the start of each New Year, many Canadians ponder their goals. With the average Canadian’s debt to income ratio now over 170% it’s time to set some workable financial resolutions for your New Year. Set up a budget and stick to it: Less than 50% of Canadian households follow a budget. Budgets are easy to implement and the most …

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Insurance Can Provide Security and Opportunity


I have been the beneficiary of two life insurance policy payouts in my lifetime. One was while I was a partner in a farm equipment dealership and the other on the passing of a close family member. I’m very passionate about the many benefits that life insurance, critical illness, disability and other kinds of coverage provide. One’s life, family and …

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Protect Yourself from Mortgage Fraud

mortgage fraud

As home prices spike across Canada the instances of mortgage fraud are on the rise. So what do you need to do to protect your home? Mortgage fraud starts with someone stealing your identity, then identifying themselves as you. There are a number of different ways that identity thieves can take over your identity. Dumpster diving: Simply by sorting through …

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Don’t Get Stuck in a Rut!


Two dictionary definitions of a rut are: 1) A long deep track made by the repeated passage of wheels on vehicles, 2) A habit or pattern of behaviour that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change. Over the last few years I have chatted with many older farmers or business owners who seem to be stuck in …

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2017 Corporate Tax Strategies

tax strategies

This summer saw a raft of proposed tax changes that created an unprecedented uproar from small business owners, professionals and farmers. Some of these changes will be implemented right away and some will go back to the drawing board for revision. I have listed some of these below and would recommend that for more in-depth advice to consult with your …

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