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Estate Planning for Blended Families

 Avoid Disinheriting Your Children

In today’s family it is not unusual for spouses to enter the marriage with children from previous relationships.   Parents work hard at getting these children to functionally blend together to create a happy family environment.  Often overlooked is what happens on the death of one of the parents. In most cases special consideration for estate planning is needed to avoid relationship loss and possibly legal action.

Typically spouses leave everything to each other and when the surviving spouse dies, the remainder is divided amongst the children.  The problem? Even with the best of intentions, there is no guarantee that the surviving spouse will not remarry and inadvertently disinherit the deceased’s children. Read more

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

5things

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

Group-Life-Insurance

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;

Read more

audit

Is it Time for your Insurance Audit?

Has it been awhile since you last looked at your insurance portfolio?

Are you a little sketchy in your recollection of all the coverage you have and why you have it?

Are you uncertain as to whether or not your portfolio reflects your current situation?

Just like going to the dentist for regular checkups is a necessary evil, reviewing your financial plan and products on a regular basis is also recommended.  Circumstances can change over time and making sure your protection is keeping pace is a worthwhile exercise. Read more

ARTICLES OF INTEREST

16
Jun
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Workers unprepared for financial impact of disabilities

Most Canadian workers would suffer severe financial hardship if they were forced out of work with a disability.

In fact, 76% believe that should they become disabled and unable to work for three months, there would be serious financial implications for their family, such as significant debt or an impact on retirement plans, finds an RBC Insurance survey.

Despite the concern, only 27% have discussed how a disability would financially impact their family. This number does not increase substantially among workers who’ve indicated that they’ve taken time off in the past because of a disability (33%).

Read more

 

Used with permission from Benefits Canada Magazine
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18
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 »