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Monthly Archives: February 2017

Terry Broaders

Weekly Update February 24 2017

 

“Whoever Is Careless With Truth In Small Matters Cannot Be Trusted With Important Matters” – Albert Einstein

 

Don’t Forget, RRSP Deadline Is Wednesday March 1

 

TSX Tumbles, Dow Jones Continues Winning Streak

Canada’s largest stock market racked up its biggest one-day loss in five months in a broad-based decline across all sectors. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index dropped 247.73 points or 1.57% to 15,533.47, with energy, consumer staples and metals stocks bearing the brunt of the slump. The last time the commodity-heavy index registered a loss of such magnitude was last September, when it fell 248.04 points.
On the flip side, Wall Street finished in the positive after being negative throughout most of the session. The Dow Jones industrial average was ahead 11.44 points at 20,821.76 and the S&P 500 was up 3.53 points at 2,367.347. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite rose 9.8 points at 5,845.31. In currencies, the Canadian dollar was slightly higher, up 0.03 of a cent at US76.28¢. The April crude contract dipped US46¢ at US$53.99 per barrel.
On the economic ledger, Statistics Canada reported that January’s consumer price index rose 2.1% on a year-over-year basis in January, following hiking 1.5% in December. On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, inflation moved up 0.7% in January, after increasing 0.4% in December.

 

Average Life Expectancies Could Push Past 90 Years

A new study by Imperial College London and the World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that human life expectancies may increase by 2030. The study surveyed data from 35 industrialized countries. High-income countries represented in the study include the US, Canada and Germany, while the emerging economies include Poland, Mexico, and the Czech Republic. Among the countries surveyed, South Korea had the longest life expectancy at birth, for both men (84.1 years old) and women (90.8 years old). As for the countries with the longest life expectancy for 65-year-olds in 2030, Canada topped the rankings for men (22.6 additional life years), while South Korea had the longest expectancy for women (27.5 additional life years). South Korea’s promising outlook is due to a number of factors including good nutrition in childhood, low levels of smoking, and uptake of new medical knowledge and technologies.
The study also reveals the possibility of life expectancies breaching the 90-year barrier – something scientists used to think was impossible, noted  Professor Majid Ezzati, lead researcher from the School of Public Health. “We repeatedly hear that improvements in human longevity are about to come to an end,” he said. “I don’t believe we’re anywhere near the upper limit of life expectancy – if there even is one.”   “The fact that we will continue to live longer means we need to think about strengthening the health and social care systems to support an aging population with multiple health needs. This is the opposite of what is being done in the era of austerity,” said Ezzati. “We also need to think about whether current pension systems will support us, or if we need to consider working into later life.”

 

BLOG LINKS 

Fear Not, You Too Can Live The Dream

The Right & Wrong Way of Preparing For A Stock Market Sell Off

BC Government 2017 Budget Highlights

Using Public Transit?  The Monthly Passes Are Tax Deductible

 

Sources: Bloomberg; Investment Executive; advisor.ca;

Odette Morin

Fear Not, You Too Can Live The Dream

Most of us dream one day of having a leisure life and kissing goodbye to the grueling 5 days a week work schedule.  How nice will it feel to be able to sleep in, go for long walks, travel and live the good life.  This dream however is very costly.  You need a lot of money to fund retirement for 30-40 years. A 2016 study by RBC, shows that 56% of non-retired Canadians were worried that they would not be able to enjoy the lifestyle to which they were currently accustomed.

What’s the solution?  Face reality, get the facts on your situation and fear not.

A new Leger poll for Mackenzie Investments finds that 42% of Canadians currently have a financial advisor, while 57% do not. Older Canadians are significantly more likely to have an advisor, Leger says, which may account for their more positive sentiment towards RRSP season than those who are younger. Leger also found most Canadians (68%) say their mood for the approaching RRSP deadline is “indifferent.”
About a quarter of Canadians (26%) say they feel “confident” or “excited” heading into RRSP season. For Canadian respondents who use a financial advisor, that figure jumps to 40%. Leger surveyed 1,522 Canadians online between January 2 to 5, 2017.

So, get help to gain clarity on the future and save as much as you can to ensure a comfortable, stress free retirement!

Odette Morin

BC Government 2017 Budget Highlights

The BC Government delivered its 2017 budget this week. The biggest change is the Medical Service Premiums which will be reduced by half for families with annual income below $120k.
For your convenience, here are the key measures that may be of interest to your investors:
  • Medical Services Plan premiums will be reduced by 50% for households with an annual net income of up to $120,000. A typical family is expected to save $900 per year;
  • The small business corporate income tax rate will be reduced to 2 per cent from 2.5 percent, and accordingly the dividend tax credit for ineligible dividends decreased. This has a knock-on effect on the combined tax rate for investment income earned by Canadian-controlled private companies and paid out to shareholders;
  • The threshold for first time home buyer’s program exemption from property transfer tax will be increased from $475,000 to $500,000; and
  • A number of tax credits will be introduced or extended, including tax credits for volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers and individuals with school-aged children for back-to-school expenses.
For more on budget highlights, please refer to the BC government’s summary at this link, or the detailed materials here.

 

Odette Morin

Using Public Transit? The monthly passes are tax deductible.

Here is where to get your tax receipt for the BC transit passes and how to get your tax credit on your tax return.

***PLEASE REMEMBER*** that only certain passes count. Unfortunately the BC compass website calculates all the trips you have done and not just the trips you are eligible to claim. You still need to manually go through and subtract all non-eligible trips before using that number on your tax return.

The CRA website list the eligible passes:

These passes must allow unlimited travel within Canada on:

local buses;
streetcars;
subways;
commuter trains;
commuter buses;
local ferries.

You can also claim the cost of Short-term passes if:

Each pass entitles you to unlimited travel for at least 5 consecutive days; and you buy enough of these passes for unlimited travel for at least 20 days in any 28-day period.

Electronic payment cards if the card is used to make at least 32 one-way trips over a maximum of 31 consecutive days; and the card is issued by a public transit authority that records and provides a receipt for the cost and usage of the card.

We will be happy to do your tax return of course.  Here are our tax checklists to get organized and our tax preparation fees.
Odette Morin
Terry Broaders

Weekly Update February 17 2017

“Like Many Intellectuals, He Was Incapable of Saying a Simple Thing In a Simple Way” – Marcel Proust

U.S. Markets Continue Record Levels, TSX Slips On Friday

Canada’s main stock index closed lower Friday, its first decline in nine days as it pulled back from Thursday’s record high, pressured by losses for resource shares as oil and copper prices fell. Losses for the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index came as concerns over the French election and weak data in Britain weighed on global stocks, while investors looked for clarity on U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies on tax and trade. The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 25.54 points, or 0.16 per cent, at 15,838.63. The Canadian dollar was off 0.16 to 76.30 cents (U.S.).
Trading was mixed as investors digested recent record highs fuelled by the “Trump Rally” that has seen the S&P 500 rise about almost 10 per cent since the November presidential election. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 4.28 points or 0.02 per cent at 20,624.05 points, while the S&P 500 added 3.94 points, or 0.17 per cent to 2,351.16. The Nasdaq Composite added 23.68 points, or 0.41 per cent, to 5,838.58. For the week, the Dow was up 1.7 per cent, the S&P gained 1.5 per cent, and the Nasdaq added 1.8 per cent.
The Canadian dollar fell 0.11 of a U.S. cent at US76.34¢. Canadian financial markets are closed on Monday, Feb. 20 for various provincial holidays. American markets are closed for Presidents’ Day.

 

Older Canadians Unprepared for Lengthy Retirements

Only 33% of Canadians aged 55 years old or older are willing to adjust their retirement lifestyle plans to accommodate what will likely be a longer retirement as individuals continue to live longer, according to a new report from Toronto-based Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Specifically, RBC’s Financial Independence Retirement Poll indicates that some Canadians could be spending up to three decades in retirement. But while 30 years in retirement could be a “gift of time” to Canadians to do what they want, when they want to, they also need to consider the importance of planning for those additional years.
Although most older Canadians are not considering adjusting their lifestyle for a longer retirement, 46% continue to wonder whether they will have enough money for retirement and a separate 46% say they are financially “somewhat short/nowhere close” to where they anticipated their retirement savings would be at this point in their lives. RBC’s research explores some of the more popular ways Canadians plan to spend their time in retirement. More than six in 10 (62%) say they want to take more time for themselves and 45% plan on spending more time with their spouse or partner. The third most popular activity is “getting more rest” for 43% of older Canadians while “travelling” is right behind with 42%.
Ipsos conducted the online survey of 2,033 adult Canadians from Nov. 25–30, 2016 for RBC.

 

BLOG LINK 

The New BC Home Owner Mortgage & Equity Plan Explained
Sources: Bloomberg; Investment Executive; advisor.ca; RBC