The Pre-retirement Check List

You have done the hard part and made it to your ‘50s in better financial shape than where you were at a decade ago. If you have children, they are now launched, and their financial dependency on you has hopefully decreased. If you did not have children, you probably used the additional cash flow to hammer away at your mortgage and build up your assets.

Now as you look at your options for retirement you are wondering, “can I do this early or am I looking at the traditional age of 65 to make it happen?”

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Annuity Settlement Options to Protect your Beneficiaries

As a financial advisor I am often asked if a future death claim payout to a client’s beneficiary can be structured so that it is not paid out as a lump sum.

Parents, and sometimes grandparents, may be concerned that the inheritance if taken as a large lump sum may put the child at risk for several reasons:

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The Importance of a Proper Beneficiary Designation on your RRSP/RRIF

Over the years I have reviewed a handful of my client’s RRSPs who had their assets with one of my competitors, and several times I have been shocked with how poorly it was communicated to the customer how important the beneficiary selection is. 

In the last year a long-time senior client of mine sadly died unexpected and had two RRIFs. One with me showing his spouse as beneficiary (as Successor Annuitant/Owner) and the second with an online self service provider with his “Estate” as beneficiary.

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TFSA Beneficiary Designations

In 2009 the federal government introduced the Tax Free Savings Account concept to Canadians. For anyone 18 years or older the TFSA has been whole-heartedly embraced as a tax-efficient vehicle to save money for short and long-term needs.

However, many people do not fully understand the importance of proper beneficiary designations and subsequently, they miss additional tax planning opportunities.

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Dealing with Inflation and Your Finances

On February 24th, 2022, Russia invaded the Ukraine, setting off an inflation spiral not seen since the early 1980s. As Russia is the 3rd largest producer of oil and natural gas (behind Saudi Arabia and the USA) the impact of declining reserves was immediate in the prices we paid at the pump this last Spring.

The rise in oil and gas prices in turn escalated the cost of all consumer goods, services, and food items so that the rate of inflation for June 2022 was 9.3%.

What exactly is inflation in economic terms?

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Estate Planning using Segregated Funds

It has been estimated that close to two trillion in intergenerational wealth transfers will occur in Canada over the next decade as Baby Boomers glide through their “golden years”.  A massive shift of capital will flow through to the “Boomers” and then again to their children or another family member at death.

The key to maximizing any inheritance (either to be received or to be gifted) is to ensure taxes and estate administrative costs are kept to a minimum, specifically by avoiding the process of probate if possible.

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Avoid these 6 TFSA Mistakes in 2022

In December 2021 the federal government announced that the 2022 annual TFSA limit will remain at $6,000. This means the cumulative tax-sheltered lifetime limit is now at $81,500.

As I have explained to many clients, there is no “downside” to owning a TFSA, any TFSA is better than no TFSA. However, many people make mistakes with the accounts which can cost them in the long term.

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Fundamental Estate Planning Concepts

Draft a Will

Dying “Intestate” creates legal and financial obstacles for your family, something which could easily be avoided with a Will.

By not having a Will the government will use a default selection, stating how assets are to be split between your spouse and children

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