Posts

To Split or not to Split…That is the question.

Income Splitting Strategies                        

So what is Income Splitting, and who is eligible to quality for the benefit?

Income Splitting is a way for families to split up their income so that if one spouse earns more than the other, the higher-earning spouse can allocate some of their income to their lower-earning spouse’s tax return. Since our tax system has graduated tax brackets, Income splitting is a great strategy to pay less household tax, and keep more money in your pocket!  Read more

Financial Difference Makers…

How can I build wealth? How can I save enough for retirement?

As a financial planner I hear these types of questions on a regular basis. People in general want to know, what is the secret to success?

I find that I like to look at clients that we have that are already in retirement to see the traits that have led to their financial success. We can learn a lot from our history, and I find it interesting to hear about people’s lives. Read more

The way we look at it, if you’re going to own something you might as well get paid for owning it. The more things in life that can produce cash flow, the closer you will be to subsidizing your income as we prepare for retirement. Take real estate for example – you own a piece of land, you have the option to rent it out, and not only does your property have the potential to appreciate; you get paid while you own it through rental income. Any viable investment should produce some sort of income. That income values you, the investor, for putting your hard earned money into it. In fact, many of you are getting paid on your investments right now, without even realizing it. The way you get paid to invest is through earning dividends. Read more

If you’ve ever gone through the process of researching a new car, you’ve likely considered your options: should I buy or should I lease? Although there are many working parts to both scenarios, it really comes down to personal preference and current situation. Recently I went through this same decision process last fall when we were looking for our next car. How did we make our choice? Let’s first take a deeper look into the main differences between buying versus leasing. Read more

You may have built a successful business but have you planned your exit strategy?

Preparing for succession may not be at the forefront of every business – but it should be.  Having a succession plan allows for employees, owners and the company itself to have a clear direction on how the company will move forward in its life cycle. Often, the best way to explain a concept is to share a real life story. Recently my Father, Phil Singer, and I were published in a nationally distributed magazine called Collision Quarterly. It is directed to members of the ARA (Automotive Retailers Association).

The article describes how our team at Singer Olfert assisted my Dad in the selling of his business a few years back. I will summarize the two-page article and you may click the link to read more about our story. Read more

No parent likes to consider the likelihood that one of their children could get critically ill, be diagnosed with a childhood disease, or even pass away. The reality is that the prevalence of many childhood diseases is rising (i.e. diabetes). The emotional and financial stress that the whole family experiences through these times is significant.

In light of these realities, what discussions should you be having with your advisor regarding insuring your children with a life or critical illness insurance policy? Read more

This is the question I have been asked the most in my financial career: Should I pay down my mortgage or put money into my RRSP?

The answer I give is: It depends! I know it’s probably not the answer you were looking for, so let me provide some rules of thumb and opinion on how to walk this through.

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Do you remember the Got Milk ads and t-shirts that reminded everyone to drink your milk regularly? I think we should create a “Got a Will?” campaign. A will should be a standard document that every Canadian has in place but yet only around 30% have an up-to-date legal will*. That’s unbelievable! Read more

Canadians have two great tools available for accumulating wealth, Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) which were introduced in 1957 and Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) which were introduced in 2009.

We often get asked by clients which account type is better to contribute to, RRSPs or TFSAs. Read more

Unfortunately, unlike many of our childhood heroes, we aren’t invincible… we can’t all be Superman or Batman, yet we still pretend like we are. The thought of an injury is the last thing that’s on our mind; yet we still have no problem helping a friend move, playing sports on the weekend, or doing chores around the house from the never ending “Honey Do- List”.

But what if we were to become injured off the job? Read more

Know What You’re Getting From Your Financial Advisor

Do you know how much you are paying your financial advisor? Are they doing a good job for you? Those both seem like reasonable questions, but most people cannot answer them. Can you?

One of the services that financial advisors provide is to manage your investments. When it comes to the world of investments, there are many different types you can choose from as well as many different people that offer them. So it’s no wonder that it can leave consumers with their head spinning. Here’s some information to help you make sure that you are receiving the best service for your situation. Read more

The Latte Factor…
No matter how much money one makes you can always find a way to spend it. Does your income keep going up but yet there is no extra money at the end of the month? Do you know where your money has gone? What happens in retirement once your income is fixed? Read more

Planning On Selling Your Business…

Are you approaching retirement and planning on selling your business?
As an entrepreneur, you dreamed of building your own successful business. After all those years of hard work, you plan to reap the rewards in the form of a successful business sale. Sounds like a great plan! But, making the sale is not as easy as it may appear. Read more

Not knowing could cost you thousands!
Did you purchase the coverage offered to you by your lender? Most people have a mortgage in Canada and it is typically the largest debt most Canadians will ever assume. Before buying a house people will research and compare to find the best mortgage rates and terms but not necessarily the best insurance coverage. Read more

How technology has made a difference…
Remember that great invention, the magic eight ball? You ask it a question, shake it and then turn it over to reveal the answer. If only all of life’s difficult questions could be answered so easily!

When it comes to retirement planning, people have a lot of questions but often times they do not know how to address them. Our goal is to help our clients have a clear understanding of where they are at financially, where they want to be in the future and how to get there. Sounds simple and yet so many Canadians are not prepared for retirement. Read more

Four Tips For An Executor
Have you said yes to be an executor for someone’s will? Do you know what the role entails? If you talk with someone that has performed the duties it can be a lot more work than you might first think. Here are some tips to help prepare you for the task.

If you are asking yourself, what is an executor, here goes. An executor is the person named in a will to carry out the requests and estate distribution of the deceased. Read more

It’s Not That Much Anymore…
Is a million enough? It used to be that having a million dollars was a big deal, right? You were set for life with no cares or worries financially. When did that change?

Have you ever made any statements such as; I remember when gas was only 25 cents per litre. As my kids remind me, yes I am getting older but it also means that inflation is slowly affecting the cost of living.

If you had a million dollars saved to provide for retirement, how much income would you have? Read more

What Are Your Options?
What is the best investment plan to use to save for retirement? It used to be fairly simple; the answer was maximizing your RRSP. Do you know what is the best strategy for your situation? Do you know what your options are?

Here is a basic overview:
1. Save – The first rule of thumb to be concerned about is that you are saving money for your future. Too many Canadians are spending all of what they earn and not putting away any money for their future. A good place to start is to aim at putting away 10% of what you make.

2. Tax Efficient – Ever since the launch of the TFSA, there has been a debate by financial professionals over which investment plan is more tax efficient to use, the RRSP or TFSA? My opinion is that it depends on your situation both now and in the future and should be looked at on a case-by-case basis to see what fits best. I would be cautious if a financial advisor is always only promoting one plan type over the other, both have their benefits. (For more info on TFSAs, see my article from Sept 2013 – http://jaybrecknell.ca/demystifying-tfsa/)

3. Business Owner – If you are a business owner the question can get even more complex as you have more options. Should you use your RRSP, TFSA or instead save your retirement funds in a holding company? Since corporate tax rates are at an all time low in Canada more business owners are saving corporately versus in a RRSP or TFSA. There can be many benefits to saving corporately as it can provide flexibility to the business owner. As this can be complex it needs to be put together by a professional that understands your corporate structure and the tax and legal rules that are involved.

As with any financial strategy we would recommend ensuring that you have your personal situation reviewed by a professional to make sure that is done in the best way possible. If you have any questions or would like your plan reviewed feel free to contact us.

 

Questions?