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Budget-2015

Budget 2015 Highlights

On April 21, 2015, Finance Minister Joe Oliver tabled his first federal budget.  The provisions of the budget will be of particular interest to owners of small and medium sized businesses, seniors and families with children.  As well, those looking to make certain charitable donations will be encouraged by Oliver’s budget.

Below is a brief commentary on each of the key budget proposals.

For Seniors and Savers

Increase in Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) Limit

  • Effective January 1, 2015 the annual contribution limit has been increased from $5,500 to $10,000;
  • As a consequence, the automatic indexing of the annual contribution limit has been eliminated;
  • On April 24, the CRA announced that even though this provision is not law as yet, they will allow increased deposits to a TFSA effective immediately.

Read more

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5 Recent Tax Changes for the 2015 Tax Season

Tax time is almost upon us and there are some recent changes which will affect many Canadian residents.  The important changes to keep in mind are as follows:

The Family Tax Cut

This is the watered down version of income splitting plan that was introduced by the Harper government in 2011.  The provisions allow couples with children under the age of 18 living with them to shift income from a higher income spouse to a lower income spouse so that the combined taxes payable will be reduced.  The most that can be taxed in the lower-income spouse’s hands is $50,000 resulting in a federal non-refundable tax credit which will provide maximum savings of $2,000. Read more

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Group Insurance – Only Part of the Solution

Ownership of individual life insurance at its lowest level in 30 years

The Life Insurance and Market Research Association (LIMRA) 2013 study shines a light on a developing problem for Canadian households:

  • Individual ownership of life insurance was at its lowest level in 30 years;
  • 3 in 10 households did not have individual life insurance at all;

Why group life insurance may not be all that you need

If your goal is to replace income for your family for more than 2 years, you may want to add an individual policy to your group insurance coverage. Read more

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TFSA or RRSP?

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 starting in 2013 ($5,000 per year for the period of 2009-2012).  The contribution must be made by December 31st.
  • There is carry forward room for each year in which the maximum contribution was not made.
  • The deposit is not tax deductible, but the funds accumulate with no income tax payable on growth.
  • Withdrawals may be made at any time on an income tax-free basis.  Withdrawals create additional deposit room commencing in the year after withdrawal.

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Don't wait too long

Don’t Wait Too Long to Convert Your Term Insurance

If you require permanent life insurance coverage for family, estate planning, business, or tax planning purposes or you just wish to accumulate money in your life insurance program it may be time to look at a permanent, level cost solution.

Many of us purchase large amounts of low cost term insurance to cover our needs while we are raising our families or growing our businesses.  However, as the saying goes, “there is no free lunch”.  Eventually this low cost term insurance starts to become expensive and other options should be considered.  If you are unable to qualify for a new permanent insurance policy don’t worry, your safety net is the conversion option in your existing policy.

4 REASONS TO CONVERT YOUR COVERAGE

  • A change in your health you are no longer able to qualify for life insurance or you have received a sub-standard rating.  

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ARTICLES OF INTEREST

9
May
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Boomers worried about healthcare costs in retirement

A national study of Canadians with more than $100,000 in investable assets shows that worry over healthcare needs has emerged as the second most important driver, behind retirement itself.

Among investors under 50, 34% identify healthcare as a priority compared with the average of 46% of all respondents, but even among this younger group, healthcare needs emerge as a significant rationale for investments. Read more »

12
Apr
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Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

By Carla Hindman, Director of Financial Education, Visa Canada

A fast growing and ominous crime in Canada today is identity theft, where someone steals your personal information and uses it to open a bank account or take out a loan, make purchases, secure false identification, or commit other offenses. Victims are often unaware it’s happened for months, by which time their credit may have been damaged – or worse.

How do identity thieves get your information? It could be as simple as rummaging through your trash, snatching your purse or stealing your mail, or as “high-tech” as hacking into your email account or your employer’s computer system. Thieves sometimes steal receipts from dumpsters and have even been known to watch with binoculars as people enter their personal codes into telephones or ABMs. Read more »