Category Archive for: ‘Financial Planning’

New Retirement Risks

Breaking The Bank1

We are in a new and uncharted financial era.  More than ever we need to identify the level of retirement risk that’s acceptable, while still managing the conflicting goals of adequate pre-retirement income replacement, capital preservation and long-term growth.  To do this requires us to address these major risk factors. Longevity risk: We Canadians are now living longer and healthier …

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TFSA, RRSP, or a life insurance policy?


Should I invest in TFSAs, RRSPs, or a life insurance policy? This is a question I was recently asked by a farmer. He is divorced, has a married son, and three grandchildren who have shown no interest in taking over the farm.  His tax planning is based on having minimal taxable income, and has almost no RRSP contribution room as …

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Who Gets The Family Farm/Business..?

Holding Grandpas Hand

It’s time for “The Talk” It’s been my experience that people seem to think they’re going to live forever, and often wait until they’re forced to think about retirement and estate planning issues.  But it’s too late to get started with this process when the ambulance backs up to the door, as many of the planning options available are taken …

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Estate Planning Checklist – Part 2


Ownership, beneficiary designations and Trusts Business planning Foreign considerations One common issue that I run across is lack of understanding of how some assets are taxed in the estate.  For example, when the first spouse passes away, their RRSP or RRIF transfers to the surviving spouse tax free, but on the last death any remaining registered assets are cashed in …

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Estate Planning Checklist – Part 1


Having an estate plan is essential if you want to effectively manage, maintain and transfer one’s wealth to future generations.  But getting organized to do this is often the most difficult step. Many start into the process and don’t finish, because emotions and lack of family communication often get in the way.  Here’s a checklist to help you identify your …

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Low Interest Rates – The Good and The Bad

House With Rates Falling1

Today’s current low interest rates are a boon to borrowers but a problem for seniors or others relying on interest income from GICs.  The US Federal Reserve has all but pledged to keep its main interest rate at 0 to 0.25 percent for at least through 2014, and the Bank of Canada expects to keep our rate at its current …

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New Canadian Mortgage Rules

Luxury House1

Will the New Mortgage Rules impact you? The Federal Finance Minister announced that Canadian mortgage rules are changing in July.  Many homeowners aren’t familiar with these alterations or how they’ll affect their mortgages going forward. Under the new lending rules, banks and mortgage companies can now only issue home equity loans up to a maximum of 80% of a property’s …

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Helping Farm Families & Small Business Owners

Team Work

How small businesses benefit from professional advisors Looking back on some 42 years of observations from both sides of the fence as a farm equipment dealer and financial advisor has shown me how professional advisors fit into the picture.  It has also taught me a range of skills for helping farm families and small business owners with their succession, sale, …

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Retirement Challenges in 2012

Ready Set Retire

Unforeseen events may present retirement challenges for baby boomers The time-honored retirement strategies planers have historically used are now being radically reshaped by high levels of debt, new investment rules, historically low interest rates, volatile markets, taxes and the growing concern of a housing market bubble.  This means for those of us nearing or now in retirement, it’s becoming exceedingly …

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Cutting Cost Without Cutting Coverage

Eliminating Risk

Controlling life, critical illness or disability insurance costs without sacrificing coverage Often when I work through a Needs Analysis for clients, they agree with the amount of insurance coverage they need, but balk at the premium cost.  At the same time they may be paying more to insure their auto than to protect their family. What’s your family’s financial future …

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Understanding Spending Trade-Offs

Save Vs Spend1

Opportunity lost When you buy something, do you ever think about the lost future opportunity that this purchase has cost you?  We usually just save what’s left over, if any.  But it’s important in understanding spending trade-offs — by spending a little now, we limit our ability to purchase or invest in better things in the future.  By controlling our …

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The Difference Between Volatility and Risk

Market Crashing

With today’s market volatility, investors are anxious and stressed. As global stock markets continue to yo-yo, day traders seem to be the only ones who are happy.  It’s important to understand the difference between volatility and risk.   Risk involves insecure, questionable investments, and putting your money in danger.  Volatility, on the other hand, refers more to the short-term instability …

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Real Estate Investments

For Sale1

Looking for income? Some other options to consider With today’s stock market volatility and 10 years of no real investment growth in equities, clients are looking for alternatives.  People want returns, but fixed income isn’t delivering, and many are frightened of further investments in equities.  An alternative to consider is the benefits of real estate investments to round out your portfolio. …

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Eliminate Your Debt Before Retirement

eliminate debt

Is Debt Freedom #1 On Your Retirement Bucket List? A recent survey about debt by Manulife Bank revealed that Canadians rank good health, being debt-free, and having retirement income as the most important factors for a successful retirement.  Having debt in retirement can have a very significant impact on one’s retirement lifestyle and force you to have to continue working …

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Developing A Budget

Pig And Calculator1

When Developing a Budget, You First Need to Understand Where All Your Money’s Going! There is nothing wrong spending money; why else do we all work so hard to earn it? The two keys are: Harnessing the power of these keys leads us to strategic spending, a process that ensures we are managing our spending rather than our spending managing …

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In Search Of Tax Efficient Income For 2012 and Beyond

I’m getting a lot of calls from people asking what income options are available that offer better returns than GICs plus provide better tax efficiency.  Currently 3.25% seems to be at the top end and most chartered banks are offering slightly over 2% for five-year GICs. In other words, one million dollars invested at 3.25% would earn $32,500 gross annual …

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When Buying Insurance Is A Waste Of Money


If any of these scenarios describes your situation, do yourself a favor and check into the different types of personally-owned insurance that could benefit you and your family under these circumstances. Our biggest insurance risks relate to personal liability and health, as most people could recover from the loss of a home or car, but losing their health could by …

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When Life Insurance Makes Sense For Seniors

The best deal with life insurance is for young, healthy clients. Even though premiums for seniors are much higher, life insurance may still be beneficial based on their specific needs. Believe it or not, there are strong considerations to be made when life insurance makes sense for seniors. There’s no shortage of real life situations ranging from larger-than-expected tax liabilities …

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Where Do Seniors Find Safe Investments?

Money Growing1

With today’s low interest rates and no increase in sight until 2014 or beyond, there aren’t a lot of guaranteed income options for seniors to pick from.  $100,000 invested in a 5 year GIC at 2.70% only earns $2,700 gross a year, so someone in a 30% tax bracket would only have $1,890 net after tax.  Many people either in …

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Interesting Conversations Regarding Banks

Older Bank

It’s interesting to recall the number of phone conversations, emails and people who have dropped by to discuss issues with their banks.  It makes for interesting conversations regarding banks.  Here are a few examples. The reason for this article is to get people thinking about their finances and to know there are many options available.  It’s up to all of …

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