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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Anthony Sabti

RRSP Checklist for 2014

  1. The deadline to make your contribution for the 2013 tax year is March 3, 2014.
  2. It’s all about your tax bracket.  Most people are in the 30% bracket, meaning you can you can expect a $300 savings for every $1000 of contribution.
  3. You do not need to send a cheque.  The funds can be drawn directly from your bank account.
  4. If you do not have cash available, consider moving non-registered investments to your RRSP account.
  5. Also if you do not have the funds now but expect to have money later in the year, consider a short-term RRSP loan.  The resulting refund will also help repay the loan.
  6. For those who took advantage of the RRSP Homebuyer’s Plan, remember to make your annual repayment.
  7. A spousal RSP contribution can help couples in different tax brackets optimize their contribution.
  8. An RRSP contribution does not necessarily mean “being in the markets”.  For those that are risk-averse, the contribution can be placed safer investments, like savings accounts, GICs, or income funds.  However return expectations will have to be lowered.
  9. To prevent having to come up with a lump-sum contribution at the last minute each year, setup a monthly contribution to run throughout the year.

Please contact us if you have any questions or for more information!

Terry Broaders

Retirement Saving, The New Top Priority

Reversing last year’s results, more Canadians cite saving for retirement as a top financial priority compared to paying off debt, according to the 24th annual RBC Ipsos Reid RRSP Poll released January 9, 2014. Over half (52%) are now focusing on increasing retirement savings, with 48% placing a priority on debt reduction, compared to 44% and 54%, respectively, in last year’s poll. The reversal is even more marked among middle-aged Canadians — those 35 to 54 years old — with almost two-thirds (62%, versus 52% last year) focusing on saving for retirement ahead of reducing debt (52% versus 56%). Seven per cent of Canadians indicated that supporting aged parents was their financial priority while 20% listed home renovations as the priority.  The poll also found that RRSP ownership among those aged 35 to 54 has jumped to 68% from last year’s 58%. In addition, one-quarter (26%) of middle-aged Canadians have determined they will need to save, on average, $545,000 for a comfortable retirement. Retired Canadians estimate that they will need savings of $235,000 for a comfortable retirement which is a bit of a puzzling figure because in the previous year this group estimated that they needed $347,000 of retirement savings. Non retired Canadians estimated that they need $610,000 of savings.

RRSP Deadline is March 3, 2014

Terry Broaders

Weekly Update January 28 2014

“Never Again Is What You Swore The Time Before” -Martin L. Gore

 

Rough Day For The Markets

The Toronto stock market dropped over 200 points Friday as emerging market worries persuaded investors to avoid riskier assets like equities and commodities.  The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 215.18 points to 13,717.79. The Canadian dollar was ahead 0.21 of a cent to 90.31 cents US. The Dow Jones industrials fell 318.24 points to 15,879.11 after plunging 176 points on Thursday. The Nasdaq was 90.7 points lower to 4,128.17 while the S&P 500 index was down 38.17 points to 1,790.29. The market hasn’t experienced a serious correction in almost 18 months. The S&P 500 soared about 30 per cent last year. Investors are worried about sharp drops in the values of currencies in several emerging markets, including Turkey, Russia, South Africa and Argentina. These drops were sparked by fears over growth in China and expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will scale back its stimulus program next week hitting emerging-market assets and denting investor sentiment.

 

A Natural Stock Market Correction ?

The correction many have been waiting for appears to have arrived, according to Tony Dwyer, U.S. portfolio strategist at Canaccord Genuity. He believes in order for this meaningful equity market pullback to last more than a day, there must be a fear of fundamental change. And Mr. Dwyer thinks enough ammunition is being provided by weak Chinese manufacturing data, more tapering from the Federal Reserve at its meeting next week, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew renewing debt ceiling fears. “As we move through the correction process, it is always important to remember that corrections are considered ‘natural, normal, and healthy’ – until they actually happen. This one should prove no different,” Mr. Dwyer told clients. The strategist noted that history suggests the market is tired and overdue for a pullback in excess of 5%. He also pointed out that when the S&P 500 peaked last week, it had risen 17.5% over 142 trading days since the last 5% pullback, representing the third longest winning streak since 2000.

 

Blog Links

Plan Your RRSP Before Retirement Not After 

Get Paid To Work…

Even Dr. Doom Is Positive

 

Market Update as of January 24 2014

The TSX closed at 13718, down -170 points or -1.22% over the past week. YTD the TSX is up 0.70%.

The DOW closed at 15879, down -580 points or -3.52% over the past week.YTD the DOW is down -4.21%.

The S&P closed at 1790, down -49 points or -2.66% over the past week.YTD the S&P is down -3.14%.

The Nasdaq closed at 4128, down -70 points or -1.67% over the past week.YTD the Nasdaq is down -1.17%.

Gold closed at 1270, up 16.00 points or 1.28% over the past week.YTD gold is up 5.48%.

Oil closed at 96.87, up 2.57 points or 2.73% over the past week.YTD oil is down -1.76%.

The USD/CAD closed at 1.1084, up 0.0119 points or 1.09% over the past week.YTD the USD/CAD is up 4.25%.

 

Sources: Bloomberg; advisor.ca; Investment Executive

Odette Morin

How to pay bills at no cost to your romance.

money & coupleTerry and I are a team both at work and at home. I cook the meals. He cleans the dishes. I groom the dog. He walks her. I call attention to spiders, slimy things and runny toilets. He makes it all disappear.

Couples tend to fall comfortably into partnerships. Yet, when it comes to couples and expenses, the roles and rules aren’t always clear. So, how do you split the bill without tearing apart the romance?

Here are some suggestions:

1) Decide who pays what bills and then each of you can deposit your designated payments into a joint account.

Easier still is to set up pre-authorized debit plans for each bill. If you get an ATM card, you can even get the bank to program it for deposits only, no withdrawals.

2) Apply for loans and credit cards separately so that you’re each responsible for your own debts and credit ratings.

While couples often ask me about splitting expenses, I’m asked just as frequently about combining finances.

Personally, I’m for it. Clients who do usually fare better simply because, in effect, you combine forces. Should you separate, money accumulated during the relationship is usually treated as “family assets” and dividable anyway.

One exception: in the case of second marriages late in life, when children are on their own and independent, have a good co-habitation agreement or marriage contract.

The most important advice I can give to couples managing finances together is this: identify and work with each other’s strengths and weakness, keeping dialogue open, non-judgmental and ongoing. Also, don’t forget that Terry and I are always available for consultations.

Terry Broaders

Plan Your RRSP Before Retirement; Not After !

In 2013 Retirement was cut short for 30% of older Canadians due to financial concerns, says a January 2014 Angus Reid on line survey for ING Direct. Nearly half of those people (48%), were forced back to work to boost their savings. The bank finds 31% of retirees who return to the workforce often do so because their living costs are also rising. What a thought! You are retired and then you have to make yourself unretired !

What’s more, the reality of retirement isn’t often what older Canadians imagined when they were young.  Almost half (45%) concede the costs of living are higher than anticipated. As such, they wish they had saved more in their 20s and 30s (29%), adding they shouldn’t have spent mindlessly prior to retirement (11%).

Most Canadians aged 18 to 34 (64%) are contributing regularly to RRSP and retirement savings, says another ING study that centred on young investors. The only problem is many (69%) aren’t maxing out their annual contributions, and more than half (61%) aren’t sure how much they need to save. Nonetheless, they’re motivated to put away funds due to habits handed down by parents (29%), because they know financial plans are effective (22%), or because they see a current retiree struggling (18%).

Most retirees nowadays (40%) says they would have maxed out their annual contributions if they’d had a better understanding of how much they needed to retire. Another 16% wish they’d had a good financial role model. At You First Financial we can help you to determine how much you need to save to reach your comfortable retirement goals and then you can be a good financial role model to others.

RRSP Deadline is March 3, 2014

Odette Morin