Retirement Planning

Spousal RRSPs

Spousal Registered Retirement Savings Plans are not universally understood by investors, and are certainly not utilized to their maximum benefit.

These financial vehicles were designed to encourage retirement savings with tax breaks at time of contribution and at time of withdrawal, just like regular RRSPs.

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Estate Freezes 101

An estate freeze is a tax planning technique that allows a small business owner to freeze the growth of their interest in their company in …

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The Saving Versus Mortgage Dilemma

After all the bills are paid, sometimes we find ourselves with a surplus of cash and are left wondering the best way to use it.  Your options for available cash essentially fall into three categories: spending it, investing it, or pay down debt.  Trying to perfect the balancing act of savings as much as possible while still trying to pay for a mortgage can be stressful and somewhat confusing.  While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for allocating cash, there are some tried and true principles that could help you make the most of your money.

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Dollar Cost Averaging

Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA) is a structured approach to buying investments.  DCA is intended to temper the volatility of your investment portfolio by breaking large holding purchases into smaller buys done over time.

Instead of buying a large holding of a single investment vehicle all at once, the entire purchase is divided into smaller transactions and spread over a period of time.

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5 Ways to Be Smart When the Markets Go Down

We all wish the stock market would move only one way….up.  Unfortunately, history has shown us that every bull market is followed by an equally aggressive bear market.  Sometimes the market falls hard and fast, but that doesn’t have to mean catastrophe.  Being smart when times are tough can be just as lucrative as being smart when the going is good.  After all, the smartest investors don’t fear a downturn, they take advantage of it by making sure they are in a good place when it corrects itself.

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How Investment Income Is Taxed

Investments can represent a major source of income for some individuals and with that income comes a wide variety of tax implications. The good news is that some types of investment incomes are subject to special tax treatment.  Understanding how your investments are taxed is an important part of your financial plan.  The most common types of investment income most investors will have to deal with are interest, dividends, and capital gains.

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TFSA Contribution or Mortgage Payment?

The question of reducing debt or contributing to savings will continue to be debated for as long as people plan to retire in Canada.

Of course opting for both: reducing debt and increasing savings is the ideal.  As for which is better, however, really depends on the individuals involved, their goals and feelings and their unique financial situations.

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Who needs retirement planning?

On average, 1,250 Canadians turn 65 years old every single day. Most Boomers were born between 1961 -1965. And people are living longer, much longer. With all of this happening, it’s small wonder that the media, politicians and the financial services business are all talking about retirement. That kind of focus may be good, because of what it means for savings habits and pressures on goods and services. There are a lot of myths we have to be wary of if we want to ensure we have an adequate retirement income that lasts a lifetime.

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What is a Segregated Fund?

t’s a question we hear often – can I guarantee my investment? Well, in a sense, yes – the product you’re talking about is called a Segregated Fund.



Segregated funds, usually referred to as “Seg Funds”, are individual insurance contracts that invest in one or more asset, much like a mutual fund. Unlike mutual funds, Seg Funds provide a death and/or maturity guarantee that protects a portion of invested capital (usually between 75% to 100%).

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Strategies for RRSP Meltdown

If you’ve been a good saver and contributed religiously to your RRSP, you should be rewarded with a sizable six or seven figure RRSP that would make your retirement that much more enjoyable. The only issue now is – how do you get the money out of the RRSP without paying more tax than you should?

One thing is for sure – don’t wait until you’re near age 71 to do anything. By then, it would be too late.

The whole point of the RRSP is to defer taxes from the time you are in a high tax bracket until you get into a lower tax bracket, thereby saving some tax on your contributions. At some point, however, you must take the money out. The government has made the deadline to be age 71, when you must convert your RRSP into a RRIF or an annuity and start withdrawing money at a government prescribed rate. The problem with waiting until then is that you have little flexibility as to what you can withdraw. If your RRSP is large, the mandatory withdrawal amount may push you into higher tax brackets.

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