Archive for January, 2013

Getting Married ??

Come to the Serendipity Studios Bridal Gala

I will be there with a booth and door prize and presenting a short talk on how to manage the rest of your financial life  after the big day !

Feb 28,2013     Doghouse Studios, 99 Dairy Ave, Napanee, On  

 

Happy Birthday 65 !!!

Here are a few things you should consider

1   Apply for Canada Pension Plan (CPP), now remember some of the aspects of CPP are changing so get some help to determine when exactly is the best time to apply and start your CPP benefits. It may make sense to postpone your benefits to a later age. In 2013 pension benefits are increased by 8.4% per year  for those delaying to age 70 that can mean up to 42% more benefits versus taking CPP at 65. Conversely benefits are going to be decreased by more over 2011 to 2016, when pension is taken before 65, by 2016 the max reduction is in place and can result in 36% less pension  if taken at 60.  RRIF and other pension benefits and longevity will all factor into your decision. For more information please refer to the Service Canada web site below.

Changes to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/isp/cpp/postrtrben/main.shtml

2   Apply for Old Age Security; OAS is a monthly benefit available to most Canadians 65 or over. These do not come automatically you must apply. Even if you are still working or have never worked you may be eligible to receive OAS.

 

3   If in a low income situation you may also be eligible for the Guaranteed Income Support or GIS. OAS and GIS are both affected by net income reported on your tax return so this may change from year to year. Again for the most up to date figures on these government programs please see the Service Canada or CRA websites .

 

4   Consider converting some of your RRSP into a RRIF in order to generate pension income eligible for pension income splitting. Cash lump sum withdrawal   is not able to do this. Pension from registered plans is available before and after 65.

 

5   Make sure your claim the age amount on your income tax. This is a non-refundable tax credit.

 

6   When all those pensions start coming in use the pension income tax splitting strategy. You can allocate up to 50% off certain pension incomes to a lower income partner and have it taxed in their hands. Once you reach 65 there are more types of pensions that are eligible for this tax strategy.

 

7   Claim the Pension Income Tax Credit again a non-refundable tax credit this is available on the first $2000 of some types of pension income. Basically this means you get your first $2000 of pension income  tax free if you are in the lowest bracket.

8   Look at the Tax Free Savings Account or plan if you have not already .  Why pay any tax on income ??

 

 

This article is for informational purposes only, please consult with a tax or financial professional before acting on any of the advice in the above article. Heather Lang, Cedarlane Financial and FundEX  Investments Inc are not responsible for any actions beyond this information piece . For the most recent information please refer to www.cra.gc.ca   or   www.ServiceCanada.gc.ca

 

Welcome to 2013

Welcome to 2013

 

I hope everyone had a great holiday and extend my blessings to all for the coming New Year.

So how are those resolutions coming?  Like many I am determined to spend less, save more, eat less, exercise more and be grateful for all that I do have.

For some it may be a debt situation they are trying to resolve.  Debts like diets require baby steps and changes to established patterns of living.  One of the best books I have read on the subject was Spent by advisor Stephanie Winton-Holmes. The book is designed to help you understand how your personality affects your current financial situation.  Stephanie breaks down our different personality traits and provides advice geared to specific traits and shows you how to use your natural strengths to increase your cash flow and reduce debt.

 

Some important dates for 2013

RRSP deadline this year is March 1, 2013

Again contributions are 18% of earned income from the previous year to a maximum of $23,820.

(This max will increase next year, for more information please sees the CRA website)

TFSA contributions have no absolute contribution deadline and are yearly

Contribution limits for 2013 have increased to $5,500.   Great news for the majority of Canadians

 

The age old question persists   which is better RRSP or TFSA??

The answer I am afraid is different for everyone!

For most of us the TFSA can provide the most benefit and flexibility but really the best strategy is to use both !! Contribute to your RRSP and instead of spending the refund   invest it in a TFSA. Use different products or asset allocations and reduce your risk while increasing the diversity of your savings .

Here are some important considerations to think about when deciding what to do

What is the current /future  income state ?  high to modest  suggests using  RRSP

How much is currently saved for retirement ? and in what form RRSP  or pension  low to high  a TFSA may be better

What do you do with tax refunds?  80%  of us spend it !!  Most RRSP income projections are based on the reinvestment of this refund    why not spend it on yourself  and put it in a TFSA.

 

 

Please note this is for informational purposes only, Heather Lang/CedarlaneFinancial Consulting/FundEX Investments Inc.  and are not responsible for any actions  beyond this information piece .