Millennial homebuyers and seniors among the winners of Budget 2019 + MORE Mar 24th

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Your retirement investments did well this year. You can thank Donald Trump + MORE Dec 23rd

You may dislike the man, but his business-friendly policies, trade truces and lower interest rates all helped lift North American markets, writes Gordon Pape..... More »
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When should you start taking CPP? Take it too early or too late and you could sell yourself short + MORE Dec 16th

Age 65 is considered the “standard” age for beginning both CPP and OAS, but you can start taking CPP any time between ages 60 and 70 and you can start OAS any time between 65 and 70..... More »

Can you have too much invested inside an RRSP? + MORE Dec 9th

While not quite up there with outliving your money, for many seniors the idea of dying with too large an RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) or RRIF (Registered Retirement Income Fund) rankles. Handing over nearly half your nest egg to Ottawa after a lifetime of tax-deferred saving seems to ma.... More »

How to keep your holiday spending in check Dec 2nd

According to Equifax Canada data, there was a 1.9% rise in total debt per consumer at the end of the second quarter in 2019. Unsurprisingly, a recent survey commissioned by Equifax also found that 55% of Canadians say they’ll be spending less on holiday gifts this year. Hmm, I wonder why that.... More »

Planning for the (potential) costs of long-term care + MORE Feb 17th

According to the Ontario Long Term Care Association’s report This is Long-Term Care 2019, 82% of long-term care residents are 75 years of age or older, and 55% are 85 or older. Residents under 75 are generally those who “have experienced a brain injury, stroke, and other conditions that require .... More »
On the eve of a federal election this fall, the Liberal government is looking to help more Canadians buy their first homes by picking up a portion of their mortgage costs and increasing the amount they can borrow from their retirement savings for a down payment.
Helping people enter the housing market has been a growing preoccupation for the Liberals ever since they were elected in 2015, with soaring real-estate prices in some of Canada’s largest cities putting home ownership beyond the reach of many.
An estimated 1.6 million Canadian households are considered in “core housing need,” meaning people who are living in places that are either too expensive or don’t suit their needs.
The means-tested incentive the Liberals unveiled Tuesday would only be available to households with incomes under $120,000—roughly $50,000 more than the median household income as calculated by Statistics Canada—and on mortgages no more than four times the household’s total income…

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When does investing in flow-through shares make sense?
Q. My wife and I are nearing the end of our working careers. We are big planners and have a financial plan that we have been successfully working with for over 15 years. My wife will be retiring from teaching in two to three years with a full pension. As a part of our plan I left my job this May prior to my 50th birthday to pull my Pension (I know this is a controversial move, but did I mention our 15-year plan?), I am planning on returning to work for the next few years.
My question is around flow-through shares as investments. With my Pension withdrawal, a good portion of it is taxable, pushing my taxable income to $440,000 of which $220,000 will be at a combined Fed/ON tax rate of almost 54%. I have maxed out both our RRSPs and TFSAs so I’m looking at flow-through investments to recoup a good portion of those tax dollars.
I have found several investment firms, including some flow-through niche players. What are the risks, other than the investment going to zero? If it did, are there capital losses here that I could leverage later?
—Thanks, Stacy

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Q. Several years ago, an advisor recommended I hold a Canadian dividend ETF in an RESP for my son. Would this still be a good approach for someone just starting an RESP for their baby, or is there a better alternative, given the increasing number of ETF options?
– Pete in Halifax
A. In many ways, RESPs are fundamentally different from retirement accounts such as RRSPs. They typically have a shorter time horizon, and they are usually depleted within four or five years, once your child reaches post-secondary school. In general, they are also much smaller than retirement accounts, since the most you can contribute is $50,000. But the same principles of risk management apply, and holding nothing more than a Canadian dividend ETF in an education account doesn’t provide enough diversification.
READ: What is an RESP?
If you’re opening a new RESP for a baby, then you have at least 18 years before you need to start withdrawing the money. So you should start with the goal of building a globally diversified portfolio, which includes all asset classes, not just Canadian dividend stocks…

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The Liberals’ last budget of this mandate sets the stage for the October federal election and includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum. But there are also gaps in spending for some groups.
Here’s what the budget does and doesn’t do, for five key voting groups:
The Liberals will enter the election campaign facing an uphill battle with veterans after Tuesday’s federal budget promised some new money to those who have served in uniform but otherwise failed to address the community’s largest grievances.
The budget includes funding for chronic-pain research, for survivors of veterans who married after they were 60 years old, for measures to ease the transition from military to civilian life and for Second World War commemorations.
But it doesn’t make any changes to the Trudeau government’s controversial disability pension plan, which will come into effect on April 1. The plan has been blasted by many veterans as falling far short of what the Liberals promised in the last election and was recently found by the parliamentary budget officer to provide less support for the most severely injured veterans than the current system of benefits…

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Is paying off debt with a $250,000 inheritance a good idea?Q. I have a question about my soon-to-be gift/early inheritance. My amazing parents are (as I type!) downsizing and moving into a seniors community. With this downsizing, they have decided to gift between $200,000 and $250,000 to me when the literal and figurative dust settles, which should be about 3 months from now. This leaves me with a lot of … options? Questions? Let’s go with thoughts…
I am married, very happily, for 15 years this fall. We have 2 kids, ages 10 and 8. We own a home worth about $800,000 and have a mortgage of just less than $214,000. We own both cars. We do not have credit card debt.  We have a credit line with a balance of about $12,000 from a renovation last fall.
We both work full time, grossing about $150,000/yr. My husband, whose 40, just started a job with a defined benefit pension (federal) this year. I’m 39 years old and have been in a defined benefit pension (municipal) job for 7 years now.  We have $67,000 in RRSPs (adding about $4,000/yr…

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