Money Makeover: Should she rely on rental income in retirement?


Robyn Thompson is regularly featured in The Toronto Star’s “Money Makeover” series by Deanne Gage. Money Makeover takes a look at Gina, 63, has recently purchased a preconstruction investment property to help fund her retirement in 2 years time.

Gina says she is uncomfortable with owning a rental property. There are better retirement income choices for a risk-averse investor.

Annuities as an RRSP maturity option


Is an annuity right for you?

As a growing number of Baby Boomers retire, the question of what to do with maturing Registered Retirement Savings Plans is becoming more pressing. RRSPs must be shut down by the end of the year in which you turn 69, and the proceeds either taken into income in a lump sum, rolled over into Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), or used to purchase an annuity. Often, retirees will opt for some combination of these. While RRIFs are reasonably well understood, annuities are still a bit of a mystery for many. READ MORE

Should novice investors use ‘smart beta’ ETFs?

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The difference between passive and active ETF investing

Novice investors just getting started with exchange-traded funds often ask whether they’d get more bang for their buck with a couple of “smart beta” funds added to the mix. But I generally advise thinking twice before jumping in to these specialized funds. Here’s why. READ MORE

The ABCs of RESPs


How to use RESPs to save for post-secondary schooling

May and June bring thoughts of summer vacations, the end of the school year, and graduations. For many students, post-secondary education is only a few years away. And their parents are often worried they won’t be able to afford to send their kids to university. Unless they start planning now, they could be right. Here’s why. READ MORE

Are your savings safe?


What Canada Deposit Insurance covers…and what it doesn’t

Are your savings safe? Given the recent run on deposits experienced by troubled Home Capital Group Inc., many people with large amounts of cash stashed in savings accounts, term deposits, and guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) at other Canadian financial institutions have become concerned about the security of their deposits. What’s covered by deposit insurance if your financial institution gets into trouble? READ MORE

When to trigger your retirement income streams


Making the pension decision is not so cut-and-dried

The big question most retirees ask is whether they’ll outlive their money. As you age, healthcare costs rise, and the question of long-term care can become a problem. Will you be able to afford to stay in your home? Will the income from your savings and pensions cover your expenses? But a question financial planners hear even more frequently is “When do I trigger my pensions and other income streams?” Years ago, the answer was simple: “At age 65.” These days, it’s not so cut-and-dried. READ MORE

The lure of ‘haven’ assets


The danger of investing by headline

We’re once again seeing the geopolitical situation heating up – North Korea, U.K. elections, French elections, Trump’s trade threats, and so on. Is it time to sell stocks and switch to gold and bonds? How did that strategy work out last time? READ MORE

Investment expenses: deductible or not?

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Here’s what you can deduct…and what you can’t

Investors have recently been getting more information from their advisors about the fees and charges they pay. This is likely because of new rules imposed on the financial services industry by securities regulators. However, many people are still hazy about which fees are tax-deductible and which are not. Here’s a rundown. READ MORE

Does an RRSP withdrawal make sense for first-time homebuyers?


When to take advantage of the Home Buyer’s Plan

First-time homebuyers who have RRSPs often look to supplement their down payment by taking advantage of the RRSP Home Buyer’s Plan. But frequently, they have only a sketchy idea of how it works and whether it’s even a good idea to take money out of what is really their retirement savings. READ MORE

Are you ready to be the family financial guru?

Here’s what you need to take on that role

You’ll probably know of friends or colleagues who are unable to balance their chequing account on a monthly basis. I’ve had clients come to me who regularly simply close their out-of-control (and usually overdrawn) chequing accounts and open a new one. Some have personal accountants (a fairly costly way of balancing your chequebook). Others (not many) use software like Quicken. Most just give up and hope for the best (I can almost see heads nodding in agreement). That’s not actually “financial planning” in any recognizable sense of the term. READ MORE