Watch out for the windfall syndrome

A sum of money lands in your lap, perhaps a tax refund or an inheritance, and you’re overcome with the urge to splurge on lavish purchases. That’s the windfall syndrome – if it’s not from your regular paycheque, it’s free money. In fact, you may experience this very temptation just around now if you’ve already […]

Quick, name your most valuable asset  

Did you name your house? Your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)? An investment account? Your most valuable asset is arguably what funds everything else – your income. It stands to reason, therefore, that your income should be protected. That’s where disability insurance enters the picture. In fact, disability insurance is often referred to as income […]

Couples without children approach financial planning differently

When you think of the messaging and imagery in financial media stories and advertising, do you ever get the impression that financial planning is mainly for a couple with three kids, a new SUV and a dog? Yet the latest census tells us the so-called traditional family is no longer Canada’s most common household – […]

RRSP versus TFSA: Did you ever have to make up your mind?

If you make your maximum allowable contributions each year to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), you won’t face the often difficult RRSP versus TFSA decision. But many families have one or more members who must decide which vehicle is best for their available investment dollars – quite often a […]

Want to see into the future?

Want to see into the future? Say that a couple is struggling with a decision about whether to help their child purchase a home. The couple wonders, and worries, if the cash outlay will interfere with their retirement. We often help with this type of financial planning situation – when you must look to the […]

End of year reminders and strategies

Several routine financial planning items must be completed by December 31. For example, make any charitable donations that you wish to report on this year’s tax return. Contribute to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) to trigger the annual Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG). If you turn 71 this year, you have until December 31 […]

How to choose a beneficiary for your RRSP or RRIF

One factor drives many decisions behind naming a beneficiary for a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF). When an individual passes away, remaining assets in the RRSP or RRIF are taxed as income at the marginal tax rate on the final return – unless the individual has named a “qualified […]

Decisions, decisions, decisions …

Many life decisions can be difficult, but when they involve a financial component, input from your lawyer, accountant or advisor could help in some way. Here are a few scenarios to illustrate how such input can make a difference. Caring for a parent Aila and Mark are a couple in their 50s, both working full-time. […]

Credit card do’s and don’ts

College and university students may encounter credit card sales representatives on campus. Students can get their own card at age 18 in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island, and at 19 in other provinces. If your child follows these guidelines, hopefully the card won’t be seen as free money. The do’s Aim […]

Teaching your children to manage money

  Today’s youth may prefer to pick up information online, but when it comes to learning about financial life, parents still have some influence. Here are a few teaching moments. Younger ages One day your children believe money comes from the tooth fairy, and later discover they’ve got to earn it. Quite a journey, and […]