Important information about RRSP maturity options

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You must act by Dec. 31!

If you turned 71 this year, and you still have an RRSP, you have until Dec. 31 this year to convert it into another type of tax-sheltered plan. If you don’t, the Canada Revenue Agency can take away up to half of whatever is in your RRSP. Here’s what you absolutely need to know about RRSP maturity options. READ MORE

Your RRSP is not insured against loss

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Caution: CDIC covers cash deposits and not much else

The term “Registered Retirement Savings Plan” conjures up all sorts of visions of guarantees and “official” protection against loss. After all, it’s “registered,” isn’t it? Actually, investments held in your RRSP are no more or less protected or insured against bank defaults or swings in the market than any other kind of investment. READ MORE

Navigate the life insurance maze!

Term life or universal life – and the difference it makes

If you’re shopping around for life insurance for the first time, it’s easy to become pretty confused pretty fast. Here’s a primer on the difference between term life insurance and universal life. READ MORE

Snowbirds are vulnerable to mortgage fraud

Title insurance can protect you while you’re away

If you typically spend the winter months in the sunny south somewhere, your Canadian home is likely to be unoccupied. That could leave you open to mortgage fraud (even though you might not have had a mortgage on the house for years). Fortunately there’s a simple, cost-effective way to protect yourself against this. It’s called “title insurance,” and here’s a look at how it works. READ MORE

How to guard against financial disaster

Critical illness and disability insurance essential for businesspeople

After you’ve worked so hard to build a successful business, the thought of losing it to disability or illness is something every entrepreneur needs to think about long and hard. There are two types of insurance that can help protect you in the event of a catastrophic illness or disability: critical illness insurance and disability insurance. READ MORE

Disability and long-term care insurance

Why you might need both on the road to recovery

Many people often confuse disability insurance and long-term care insurance. In fact, these are not the same thing, and you should not assume that if you have a disability plan through your employer, you are also covered for long-term care. READ MORE

Segregated funds offer a guarantee…at a price

The steep ‘peace-of-mind’ premium

Both mutual funds and segregated funds provide investors the opportunity to invest in stocks and bonds managed by a professional money manager. The managers of both mutual funds and segregated funds look to invest the funds contributed by individual investors in a range of investments, depending on the mandate of the fund (e.g, stocks, bonds, or a mixture of both). When you purchase these types of funds, you are pooling your money with other like-minded investors to achieve a desired investment return. The difference between the two types of funds lies in how they are structured. Let’s look at mutual funds first: READ MORE

What to do when you have to collapse your RRSP

Three ways to use your funds – and how they work

Gen-Xers, Gen-Yers, and Millennials should all have RRSPs. Sadly, most do not. The smart ones do, and are taking advantage of the powerful long-term compounding and tax-sheltering benefits of this wonderful retirement plan. Because one day you will retire. Just ask the Baby-Boomers, who are retiring in droves right now. The smart ones of that generation opened up RRSPs early, and many of those with 30 or 35 years of contributions are sitting on RRSP nest-eggs worth a million bucks or more. The big question for them is what to do with that pot of gold now. READ MORE

Do you really need critical illness insurance?

 Get adequate life and disability coverage first

Critical illness insurance has become quite popular in the past few years. But do you really need it? I’m often asked this by younger professionals with high incomes and new families. What if something were to happen – an illness that suddenly prevents them from supporting their families? Wouldn’t critical illness insurance be a benefit? My answer is that it can be…sometimes. There are a few key points to consider before you sign on the dotted line. READ MORE

Is life insurance an ‘investment’?

Permanent life policies pitch savings growth…
at a price

If you’ve ever shopped for life insurance, you’ll know you can quickly get tangled up in a thicket of plans, policies, terms, exclusions, riders, benefits, and all the other paraphernalia that comes with talking to an insurance agent. The biggest of these is the pitch that life insurance can be an investment. Some types of insurance do have an investment component. But is it worth it? READ MORE

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