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ARTICLES OF INTEREST

18
Feb

Why have a will when you have beneficiaries?

You give up some control when you just have beneficiaries and no will

by Ed Olkovich for MoneySense magazine

Q: I am married. I have RRIF and LIRA and my spouse has RRSPs. We have joint cashable accounts too. We have appointed each other as beneficiaries for every account. I am told this arrangement takes longer to settle on death if there is no will. Why do I still need a will?

—Krish

Click to read the answer to this question on the MoneySense website.

20
Jan

Budgeting

If you’ve made a resolution to be more disciplined with your spending, or you’ve overspent over the holidays, a budget is a good way to get back on track.  Here’s a good article from Practical Money Skills that you might find helpful.


A budget is a plan, an outline of your future income and expenditures that you can use as a guideline for spending and saving.

Only 47 % percent of Canadians use a budget to plan their spending. But Canadians are feeling more in debt than ever with 90% saying they have more debt today than five years ago. A budget can help you pay your bills on time, cover unexpected emergencies, and reach your financial goals — now and in the future. Most of the information you need is already at your fingertips. Read more »

20
Jan

The Importance of Critical Illness Insurance in Retirement Planning

There are a number of obstacles that could potentially de-rail a comfortable retirement. These include marriage breakdown, a stock market crash, and being sued. Another huge obstacle would be the diagnosis of a life threatening critical illness affecting you or your spouse. While it might be difficult to insulate yourself against some of the threats to retirement security, Critical Illness insurance goes a long way to mitigate the financial disaster that could result from a change in health as we approach retirement.

Considering that the wealth of many Canadians is comprised of the equity in their homes and the balance of their retirement plans, having to access funds to combat a dreaded illness could put their retirement objectives in jeopardy. Imagine that you are just a few years into or approaching retirement and you or your spouse suffers a stroke. The prognosis is for a long recovery and the cost associated with recovery and care is projected to be substantial. Statistics show that 62,000 Canadians suffer a stroke each year* with over 80% surviving* many of whom would require ongoing care. Since 80% of all strokes happen to Canadians over 60 those unlucky enough could definitely see their retirement funding jeopardized. Read more »

10
Dec

TFSA or RRSP 2018

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.
  • There is carry forward room for each year in which the maximum contribution was not made. For those who have not yet contributed to a TFSA, the cumulative total contribution room as of 2017 is $52,000.  Read more »
17
Nov

The Genetic Non-Discrimination Act and its Impact on Life Insurance

One of the many advancements in medicine has been the use of genetic testing in determining the probability that an individual will develop a life- threatening illness or condition.   Knowing that you or your children are not at risk of a major illness can be of great comfort while knowledge to the contrary can be of great value in preventative treatment and planning.  There was a growing concern, however, that individuals would be very reluctant to undergo genetic testing if knowing the results could affect their ability to properly insure themselves or impact their opportunities for employment.  As a result, a private member’s bill, Bill S-201, was introduced in the senate resulting in the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act being recently enacted into law.

What does the Act do?

It is now illegal for employers, insurance companies, or any other entity or individual to require anyone to undergo genetic testing or to disclose the results of a genetic test before entering into a contract which provides goods or services.  Now, if you apply for life, disability or critical illness insurance living benefit coverage, you cannot be denied coverage due to the results of a genetic test.  Insurance companies and their agents are also prohibited from “collecting, using or disclosing” the results of a genetic test without an individual’s written consent. Penalties for not complying with the new law are severe. Read more »

16
Nov

Fall into Autumn Savings

By Carla Hindman, Director of Financial Education, Visa Canada

Fall is officially here. With the new season comes new reasons to spend money, including increased utility bills, winter wardrobes and upcoming holiday purchases. Here are some tips to help you fall into savings this season.

Winter proof your home: A little TLC during the fall season can go a long way towards saving on winter utility bills. Improve your home’s insulation factor by caulking or using weather-stripping on windows and doors, and consider cleaning out your gutters to help with drainage. Cleaning or changing your furnace filter and checking into any needed roof repairs are two frugal, essential habits to help prepare for the winter months. Looking for other cost-effective alternatives? Switch to energy efficient lightbulbs. They may cost more initially, but they’ll save you money in the long run. Read more »