Thursday, December 14, 2017

Estate Protection: Secure Your Legacy

You’ve spent a lifetime planning ahead to be prepared for every stage of your life. Leaving a legacy isn’t any different.

Estate Protection is a segregated fund that has the same benefits of potential growth and exibility for your investment portfolio. There’s also insurance protection for you and your beneficiaries through built-in guarantees.

Is Estate Protection right for you?
  • Are you in the later years of your retirement? 
  • Do you want to protect the money you have set aside for the important people that matter the most in your life? 
  • Are you looking to pass on your legacy? 
  • Do you want to participate in the financial markets, to potentially grow your money? 

If you answered yes to these questions, then Estate Protection might be the right choice for you.

What does Estate Protection offer?
  • 100% death benefit-When you die 100% of your investment is protected to pass on to those who are most important in your life
  • 75% maturity guarantee-When your policy ends (at age 105), even if the markets go down, Estate Protection protects most of the money you put in 
  • You can select funds which can allow you to lower the impact of market volatility on your investments
Saving money is an important part of protecting the legacy you’ve built for your loved ones. With Estate Protection you can have an increased sense of certainty. Because the amount that you’ve set aside does not flow through your estate, you can save the legal, taxes, executor and accounting fees, etc. that can be part of passing on your legacy.

Overall, when it comes to fulfilling your wishes you want a sense of security. You want to feel like you have made the right estate planning decisions. You want to know you have adequately prepared for the financial well-being of your loved ones. By partnering with a financial advisor, you can be confident you have secured your legacy.

Contact Continuum II today and let us help you secure your legacy.  

For more information on Estate Protection, read the full overview from Great West Life

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Financial Literacy Month

Did you know that November is Financial Literacy Month?

Financial literacy is important. As financial advisors we help to provide the knowledge needed to appreciate money management and to make it clear and simple to navigate. Here are just a few things to consider on your way to financial well-being.

It's not magic - it is planning. Everyone needs a good financial plan and a qualified planner.

Start Planning
- Be prepared, financial planning is for everyone, the more aware your are the better. Get help from a CFP professional
- Understand the power of saving could have a huge impact on your life
- Consider using advisor provided tools to help learn how to make budgets and how to manage any debt effectively and efficiently. Our Budget Worksheet and many other tools are available to help
- Create goals and focus on your financial strategy
Prepare for life's up's and down's
- Canadians are living longer, it is important to have a grasp on your plans for retirement and take steps to make sure your money lasts

Reduce Stress
- Personal finance can be a major stress for many Canadians, having an understanding of financial concepts could help to reduce anxiety and improve your overall well-being
- Know your financial rights and responsibilities
- Pass your financial knowledge onto your children, build their financial confidence
- It is not all about budgeting. It's about finding out what is important to you and your family

Understanding the basics about money is a critical skill, we encourage you to ask questions and get involved. Are you ready to get started, contact us today.
For more information on Financial Literacy visit, and

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Beware of 'Robo-advice'

Although most investors continue to work with human advisors, the rise of web-based investment platforms has made it more important than ever to understand the difference between 'robo-advisors' (Automated portfolio management services) and 'human advisors'.

Solutions Magazine has provided the following to help define the difference, and highlight the importance to maintaining 'human advice'.

How does “robo-advice” work?
Because these platforms don’t offer individualized advice, the term “robo-advisor,” although catchy, is a misnomer. It’s actually just software. When a client registers for a service, she or he answers a set of questions that determines a generic investor profile. The software then presents the client with choices of ready-made portfolios based on the profile. Because the profiles are formulaic – quite literally based on a mathematical formula – they can only account for a limited range of goals and risk tolerances. Robo-advisor software is designed to sort clients into broad categories and to serve those categories quickly and at a lower cost. This model relies on the investor answering the questionnaire accurately. It also places the responsibility of choosing the best portfolio on the client instead of the advisor, because there is no advisor.

The role of an advisor
Human advisors are licensed experts who create comprehensive financial plans designed to build wealth, minimize taxes and accomplish a diverse range of other goals. These may include everything from being able to afford next year’s vacation to buying a home to living comfortably in retirement. Because money is more than an account balance – it’s a family’s home, a child’s university tuition, an emergency fund for tough times – creating a plan requires understanding the emotional importance of each financial goal.

An advisor also does much more than portfolio rebalancing. She or he can help rearrange investments for tax efficiency, review budget and saving strategies, and put in place the right financial protection. As a result of understanding the full picture of a client’s life, a financial professional can handle varying degrees of complexity. If a client experiences major changes, plans can be adjusted to respond to the client’s new circumstances.

By the same token, if the economy changes, an advisor has the depth of knowledge to provide a proper analysis and plan of action. When faced with the decision of staying the course or making an adjustment, you can sit down with an expert intimately familiar with your investments. An advisor can evaluate what the decision will mean, not just for your portfolio, but for your long-term financial well-being.

Overall, the primary advantage of working with an advisor is nuanced “big picture” planning. Investing isn’t so much about buying a product; it’s about acquiring the component parts of a far-sighted strategy. Ideally, investments complement each other and click neatly into place within a financial plan. They’re allocated to generate growth or provide an income, to meet short- and long-term goals, to save taxes and to build a legacy. Furthermore, the plan must adapt – and the investments must be rebalanced – as the investor’s circumstances change. An advisor’s unique skill set supports the ability to translate a client’s vision into a concrete, achievable plan, where as a 'Robo-advisor' does not-to them you're just a number.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Health needs in retirement

Retirement is a milestone that many Canadians work towards for most of their lives. When preparing for that long- awaited goal of life after work, aside from ensuring you have enough savings to live comfortably, it’s also important to consider potential health care needs and costs.

Solutions For Financial Planning, lays out how to include health and dental benefits in your overall retirement plan. Longevity and wellness are top of mind for many Canadians, but we may be more prone to health issues as we age. Among Canadians aged 65 and older, almost 90 per cent have one or more chronic conditions, such as arthritis, osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease. These conditions may require everything from accessibility equipment to physiotherapy to nursing care.

Canadian seniors generally spend more on health care than younger Canadians. A 2014 survey found that households headed by a person aged 65 and over spent 6.1 per cent of their goods and services budget on health care, whereas households headed by someone under 30 spent 2.8 per cent. It may not come as a surprise to learn that prescription drugs are one of the largest health care expenses for Canadians over 65, accounting for almost 30 per cent of their out-of- pocket health spending. Those fortunate enough to enjoy group health benefits during their working years may not be fully aware of the true costs of health care.

Plan for expenses. Understanding potential health care needs is only one piece of the puzzle – knowing how you will pay for it all during your retirement years is another.

A beneficial first step is  determining whether your employer offers continued coverage for retirees. Then, if it applies to your situation, consider your spouse’s coverage – will it be enough for your needs, and how long will it be in effect? If your circumstances dictate shopping for a new plan, there are a range of options to consider. Some of the common health services covered are prescription drugs, hospital stays, nursing and home care, vision care, and medical equipment, as well as dental services such as exams, cleanings, llings and root canals. Look for plans that offer a variety of levels, enabling you to choose one that most closely aligns with your needs and budget. Many plans also offer coverage for spouses and children, add-ons such as travel insurance, and supplementary features like special rates for couples and families with multiple children. 

Be Proactive. Securing health and dental insurance ahead of retirement can be beneficial for a few reasons. Not only will this prevent a gap in coverage, but certain plans feature guaranteed acceptance and no medical questionnaire if you apply within a specific time a er your group plan ends. Throughout the process, your advisor is the person with the best expertise to help you understand the different plans available and to assist in deciding what options fit your needs. Having the right health care plan in place can help alleviate concerns about paying for future medical requirements and put more focus where it should be – on enjoying retirement to its fullest. 

Contact our offices today for more information on retirement planning.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wow, what an exciting day!

I would have never guessed to have said that about life insurance, but I just did.

20 years ago my mother, Lise Andreana, basically forced me to buy a life insurance policy because it would be good for my future.  All I remember is asking myself, how am I going to afford this when I can’t even buy food? Why does someone at my age need life insurance?  Maybe she is just trying to reach a sales goal and using her kids to get her there? (Just kidding about that last one)

In my early twenties, $50 a month was, to me, a whole lot of money that I could have been spending on the necessities of life.  But I was a good girl and did what my mother asked me to do (well, in this case, lol).  As the years went by, the payments became easier and easier to make especially since it was on automatic banking.  Then about 10 years ago, it occurred to me that my premiums would be 0.9% less if I paid annually instead of monthly, so I then made that change to save some money, and again the premiums became easier to afford each year.

Fast forward to today… I received my annual policy statement and guess what it says?

I now have over $71K in death benefit and over $13K in cash values that are just going to keep on growing.  The best part of all? The single line that reads; PREMIUM: Your policy is now paid-up. There are no more premiums payable.  This is the exciting part!  The 20 pay policy my mother sold me when I was in university is now paid off in full, but I have coverage for life that will continue to grow!

So now, I sit here thinking to myself what will I do with my “new found” money?  I can tell you that purchasing another whole life insurance policy has surely crossed my mind.

#adulting #securingthefuture #beingprepared #ContinuumII #advisorsgotyourback #financialplanning #financialgoals #lifeskills   #formyfamily #starttoday #advisors #millennials #nowyouknow #family #insurance #motivation #beneficiaries #money #life #winning #parenting #grownup #tips #investment #estateplan #estateplanning #estate #startnow

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Have you been asked to be an executor?

Has someone close to you asked you to be the executor of their will?  

To a friend or loved one, you might seem like the perfect person to be their executor. And while it may appear to be an honour, it is a huge responsibility. Before you agree to the job, here's what you need to know.

Estates big or small-it will be a lot of work.
- Any estate may have multiple properties, numerous possessions, extensive wealth or many beneficiaries.
- There may be numerous steps to get through before you can distribute any assets, including being responsible for taxes.

Be aware of potential conflicts
- If you are being asked to be an executor by a friend, you might want to consider why? In some circumstances, it could be to prevent family conflicts, in which case you could be on the hook to mediate some explosive discussions as to who gets what.

Are you ready for litigation? 
- If the beneficiaries don't like the decisions you've made, you might find yourself the subject of a lawsuit.

- There are no rules about how much an executor should be compensated, although the rule of thumb is typically 5%.
- Be sure to note that if the beneficiaries file a lawsuit, and it is found that you haven't used the estate funds the way they were intended, you could be liable to to repay the funds from your own pocket.
- Ultimately, you have to awknowledge that all your hard work could be for pennies.

The bottom line is that being an executor is a lot of work, before you take on the job be sure to consider all of the possibilities.
Talk to your Continuum II advisor today, we can help guide you in the right direction.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Test Your Financial Knowledge

Studies show that Canadians aren't as financially savvy as they think they are. When asked, 70% of Canadians claimed to be financially literate, but when asked to test their knowledge 60% failed. How do you compare?

Test your knowledge by answering the following 15 statements with ‘true’ or ‘false’

1. A mortgage term refers to the length of time you need to pay off your mortgage.

2. You must pay for government insurance on mortgages where you put down less than 20% of a down payment-unless the home is worth $1 million or more.

3. A car that is more expensive always costs more to insure than a cheaper car.

4. You never have to report interest and profits gained in your TFSA when filing taxes.

5. You can have multiple TFSA accounts with different banks at the same time.

6. Your auto insurance automatically goes down when you turn 25.

7. Applying for a credit card can negatively affect your credit score.

8. Home insurance can sometimes protect you if your dog bites someone in your home.

9. Your home insurance will always cover you if a tree falls on your home.

10. Checking your credit score has no impact on the score itself.

11. The colour of your car affects your car insurance rate.

12. All banks charge you money to have a chequing account.

13. Auto insurance premiums can be cancelled mid-way through their term.

14. You need to be licensed to buy stocks in Canada.

15. There's no need to get travel insurance if you're travelling within Canada between provinces.

How did you do?

Check your answers below.

Answers: 1. False  2. True  3. False  4. False 5. True  6. False 7. True 8. True 9. False 10. True
11. False 12. False 13. True 14. False 15. False

See how Pattie Lovett-Reid scored on her financial quiz.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Financial Plans For Your Future

Here at Continuum II we get asked all the time "What's the most beneficial way for me to invest my money?".

Our answer is always the same; everyones financial landscape is unique, and that everyones financial portfolio should reflect that. But overall, the most important thing is that everyone has a plan.

Many people don't realize that there is difference between a financial plan and an investment plan. 

An investment plan focuses solely on your investments, and your return on those investments. While investments are important, they are nothing without a solid financial plan.

What you have to ask yourself is, will your investment plan stand up if something goes wrong in other areas of your life? What if you suffer from one of the four D's (death, divorce, disability or disaster)?. This is where a financial plan will help to ensure you're protected.

Here is what a financial plan can offer, that an investment plan can not.
  • A financial plan looks at all of the financial aspects of your life, not just your investments.
  • Financial plans look at insurance and estate needs, educational planning.
  • Financial plans help you to make big financial decisions, like whether to buy or rent.
In acknowledging you need a plan, the next step is to hire a financial planner. A financial planner typically provides a written financial plan that outlines your goals, challenges and considerations, recommendations and action plan. A comprehensive written financial plan generally includes the following:
  • A clarification of your short, medium and long term goals
  • A statement of Net Worth
  • An analysis of your cash inflows and outflows
  • A detailed budget and debt-reduction strategies
  • A review of your current investments and investment strategy advice
  • Projections regarding your retirement, including pension recommendations
  • A review of your insurance needs, group benefits and estate planning, including recommendations
  • The action steps needed to implement your plan
Do you have an individualized comprehensive financial plan? Get started now with the quick RediNest questionnaire below. With RediNest you'll discover how your financial readiness compares to other Canadians with similar goals. It’s easy to use, free and a great way to preview the work we do here at Continuum II Inc. - C2Inc.

Monday, July 31, 2017

5 steps for saving for retirement

Save for retirement in five simple steps

Here at Continuum II we get asked all the time "how much do I need to save before I can retire?"

The answer is; retirement is not one-size-fits-all and everyones ability to retire depends on a variety of factors. For example; it depends on how much you make, what age you want to retire, your current standard of living, your pension (or lack thereof), only to name a few.

To help give you a ball park figure of what you need to save for retirement, The Globe and Mail has put together a list of 5 simple steps to arriving at your ideal retirement goal.

1. Figure out how much of your working income you will have to replace in retirement.
  • Most people find they will need to replace between 50-70% 
2. Consider how much you will receive from the government by the way of Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security.
  • For a lifelong resident of Canada who has worked steadily for decades the typical annual payout is $15,000 (this is just a rough number, it could be lower or higher depending on your financial history)
3. Do the math.
  • If your household income is $120,000 a year (and you need to replace 60%, your target income would be $72,000). From this figure subtract what you would receive from government programs. If you receive roughly $30,000 from government programs, that means you will need to generate $42,000 from other sources.
4. Consider your pension.
  • Your workplace pension may be able to cover the remaining portion of your retirement income not covered by government programs.
  • If you don't have a pension, you could purchase annuity, which would pay you the remaining portion annually. Find out more here.
5. Plan for the unexpected.
  • We can't stress enough how important it is to plan for the unexpected. To be more safe than sorry, you might want to add a little extra to your figures as cushion

While the above can help to give you a rough idea of what you'll need to save for retirement, the best option will always be to contact an advisor who can help you build a plan that fits with your unique financial lifestyle.

Don't have a retirement plan? or do you need a little extra help with your current retirement plan? Contact our offices today and let us help you feel comfortable and confident about retirement.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Holograph Wills In Ontario

Holograph Wills 

A holograph will that is wholly handwritten by a testator is called a holograph will. Holograph wills are exempt from the statutory requirement that a will be witnessed by at least two people, who each subscribe the will in the presence of the testator.

Below, our friends at Pallett Valo LLP, have laid out everything you need to know about validating a holograph will.

A testator may make a valid will wholly by his or her own handwriting and signature, without formality, and without the presence, attestation or signature of a witness.

Wholly in the handwriting of the testator

An essential aspect of a holograph will is that it to be wholly in the testator’s own handwriting. Partially handwritten wills, such as fill-in-the-blank forms, do not meet the requirements of a holograph will. Whether or not such a document will be admitted into probate will depend on the court’s ability to sever the handwritten portions from the written portions so that they themselves form a complete expression of the testator’s wishes.

Likewise, it has been determined by the courts in Ontario that typewritten documents cannot be incorporated by reference into a holograph will. Where a holograph will makes reference to a typewritten document, the type-written portion will not be admitted into probate and the handwritten portion must be able to stand on its own as a testamentary document.

Signed by the testator

The signature of the testator will also play a key role in creating a valid holograph will. The signature must be at the end of the document and this will give effect to any disposition that comes before the signature. Anything that follows the signature will not take effect. As well, any disposition or direction inserted after the signature was made will not take effect.

Full and final expression of intention 

Separate and apart from the above two formal requirements set out in the SLRA, case law has established that the contents of a holograph will must reflect that the testator possessed the necessary intention that it be a fixed and final disposition upon death, and not merely some other expression of their wishes. The onus falls on the party alleging the document to be testamentary to show, by the content or by extrinsic evidence that it reflects this intention. 

Handwritten Alterations
Handwritten alterations to wills are governed by section 18 of the SLRA. Where a handwritten alteration is made to a formal will, the alteration must meet the same formality requirements set out in s. 4(1) of the SLRA, i.e. the alteration must be signed by the testator and witnessed by two witnesses, who each subscribe as witnesses to the alteration.

In the case of alterations to holograph wills, a handwritten alteration will only require the signature of the testator. Where there is no signature (or initials) beside the alteration, the issue becomes one of determining when the alteration was made. If the alteration was made at the time of execution of the holograph will, the change is valid. If the alteration was made after the execution of the holograph will, the alteration would be invalid.

In conclusion, while holograph wills can be a quick and inexpensive option, it is evident that there are numerous issues that may affect their validity. As with any legal document, it is always prudent to obtain legal advice about the manner in which a holograph will must be made, and the potential issues that may arise.

Monday, June 19, 2017

RESP Withdrawals

Think before you withdraw. 

If you have kids heading to university or college in September you are probably starting to think about dipping into those RESPs. Before you do, here are 4 things you should know about withdrawing from your RESPs. For more information, check the full article by the Globe and Mail.

1. Maximize grants without over-contributing
2. Adjust the asset mix as you get close to drawing the funds
3. Get the money out tax-effectively
4. Deplete the RESPs near the end of university

Overall, the key to withdrawing from your child's RESP is knowing how, and when, to do it in order to fully benefit from it's perks. Below is an example of how to do it;

 To figure out roughly how much EAP money you can withdraw each year without federal and provincial income tax, using 2017 figures. Start with the basic personal tax credit that everyone gets ($11,635 for federal taxes). Then add a tax credit for tuition paid (we’ll assume $9,000 for a full-year at school). Then subtract income (we’ll assume $7,000 from a summer job), offset partly by job-related tax credits for EI, CPP, and employment ($1,465 federally in this example).
In this case you should be able to withdraw roughly $15,100 in EAP money in 2017 without your kid having to pay any significant amount of income tax ($11,635+$9,000-$7,000+$1,465). (If your kid’s gross income is relatively low, you can also transfer up to $5,000 of unused federal tuition credit to a parent.) In this example you would pay no federal tax but would pay a small amount of provincial tax in some provinces because of differences in provincial tax practices.

If you want help managing your children's RESPs call our offices today.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Spend Less, Save More

As we 'spring' into May, many of us are receiving an income tax return. Should you save it or spend it?

If you choose to save, it presents the question of whether to invest in a TFSA or an RRSP. This debate comes up often here at Continuum II and here is what we suggest: 

There are both pros and cons to TFSAs and RRSPs.

- Used to save for retirement.
- Contributions are tax deductible and investments grow tax-free within the account.

- Contributions are taxable once they are withdrawn.
- Withdrawals are considered income and can affect eligibility for federal-income benefits and tax-credits.
- Once you withdraw from your RRSP the contribution room is gone.

- TFSAs can be used for both retirement and extra savings.
- Investments grow tax free within the account.
- Withdrawals do not count as income and therefore do not affect your eligibility for federal-income benefits or tax-credits.
- Contribution room is not lost upon withdrawal of investments, it is added to your limit for the following calendar year.

- Contributions are not tax deductible.
- Must be 18 years or older to have a TFSA account.
- Contributions are limited, and there is a penalty for going over your limit.

Which is right for you? While there are pros and cons to both a TFSA and an RRSP- the ultimate choice on where to invest your savings will depend on your unique financial situation.

If you are in a low income tax bracket, a TFSA might be more beneficial to your financial situation. Based on your income, the tax savings of an RRSP are less significant and you risk being in a higher tax bracket when you eventually make a withdrawal.

If you are in a middle tax bracket, we suggest having both a TFSA and an RRSP. By having both types of investment plans you could contribute to your TFSA now and accumulate RRSP room to be used later if you move into a higher tax bracket. This can help you to optimize the tax benefits attached to both types of accounts.

For those in a high tax bracket, having both an RRSP and a TFSA can also be beneficial. For similar reasons to those in the middle tax bracket-an RRSP might be a better choice if your current tax rate is higher than you expect upon withdrawal of your savings. You'll benefit from the tax deduction given on contributions and your withdrawals will be taxed less when you withdraw during retirement. You can also use your tax refund from your contribution benefit to fund your TFSA.

Talk to your Continuum II advisor today and let us help you determine the best tax-advantaged savings strategy that meets your needs.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

CRA Accounts

No one knows more about your tax position than the CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency). What most people don't realize is that anyone who pays federal tax can go directly to the source through a secured, personal online account or mobile app called My Account (My CRA). If you haven't heard of the My CRA account, here's why you should sign up now.

By signing up for a My CRA account you can track your refund, access past returns, statements, updated assessments, and T-slips, check your benefit and credit payments, set up direct deposit,  or receive online mail. You can also find how much you have contributed to your registered retirement savings plans (RRSP) and tax-free savings accounts (TFSA). Also view how much contribution space you have left, which can help you to avoid nasty penalties if you contribute over the limit.

Set up account alerts, so that you can be notified of any changes that are made, or need to be made, to your personal information. i.e: If you forget to change your address after moving, your account will notify you that something is incorrect to ensure that all information is up-to-date.

Similarly, starting this year, personal online accounts will include information on your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) including contributions and benefits. View all past and present contribution amounts and asses what you can expect to collect at age 60, 65 or 70.

This is a great tool for tax, retirement and financial planning, as financial advisors we encourage all Canadian's to sign up for a My CRA account. Your financial information belongs to you. With a My CRA Account you can have immediate, secure access to all of your information in seconds.

For more information on how to sign up; check out our Facebook Page here, or go to

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Financial Planning Code of Ethics

You may have noticed that over the last few weeks there has been a lot of negative press in the media about Canadian banks; their practices, education, lack of ethical behavior and lack of fiduciary responsibility. We would like to extend our concern and regret to anyone this has affected. 

At Continuum II Inc. we take all of these areas very seriously.   With a quick look at our website, you will find ALL the credentials the team has worked particularly hard to earn and maintain. Please take a moment to have a look at what the credentials mean and why they are important to you - As an office we have always held the Certified Financial Planner (CFP)  designation in the highest regard, which is why Lise, Lori, Stuart and Peter all felt it was so important to attain this premier qualification.  We are dedicated to continually build our education as investment professionals and insurance specialists, and rely on the CFP Continuing Education credits to keep us sharp all the time. 

This week, Peter spent the morning with the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) enrolled in a session specifically tailored to ethics in this industry. The FPSC (completely independent 3rd party governing body) has always taken ethics seriously, thereby creating the Guidance to FPSC® Code of Ethics, that  holds all  CFP professionals accountable to a higher level of service. 

Guidance to FPSC® Code of Ethics

Principle 1: Client First
Principle 2: Integrity
Principle 3: Objectivity
Principle 4: Competence
Principle 5: Fairness
Principle 6: Confidentiality
Principle 7: Diligence
Principle 8: Professionalism 

Hopefully you will gather that we take your financial success extremely seriously, including an immense focus on education, caring, and consistently doing the right thing all the time.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Fraud Prevention

Did you know that March is fraud prevention month?

Every year, thousands of Canadians are defrauded out of millions of dollars. As your financial advisors we want to help protect our clients from all sorts of fraudulent activity. Protect yourself from falling victim to fraudulent activity by taking these preventative measures.
  • Suspicious email? Protect your identity and never divulge personal information. Always make sure it’s legitimate before providing anything.
  • When shopping online make sure you’re purchasing from a secure website – these can be distinguished by a lock or key symbol, or an “https” in the URL.
  • Don’t believe every phone call. Scammers have been known to pretend they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency, collecting fake overdue tax debts.
  • Be wary of responding to text messages from unknown numbers.
  • Always treat your wallet and credit cards like cash. Never leave them around.
  • Avoid sending money to a person or organization that you don’t know and trust.
  • Keep your passwords secure. Don't leave them on notes in your wallet or around the house.

Stop fraud today! If you or someone you know believe you are a victim of fraud-report it. Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at, or call 1-888-495-8501. You could save yourself and others from falling victim to fraud.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Utilizing your retirement income

Retirement Planning

For many of us, retirement will mean big changes to our financial lifestyle.
When the time comes, you might find yourself asking, how do I go about dipping into my retirement savings?

As financial planners, we have heard it all. One of the biggest myths we hear is that people believe they should use their non-registered money first, so that their tax-deferred registered money remains sheltered from tax until needed. While it appears a sensible plan at first glance, it wouldn't be our first suggestion.

What do we suggest? We recommend using a combination of both registered and non-registered funds together.
  • Non-registered funds, pertain to funds that are not registered with CRA, otherwise known as open accounts. These types of savings plans don't typically have restrictions in terms of how and when you access your money, as well as how much you can contribute to them.
  • Registered funds, pertain to funds that have been registered with the CRA such as RRSPs and TFSAs. These types of savings plans offer great potential for investment growth, as well as tax deferred growth.
Because both types of plans have different benefits, it is always a good idea to hold both in your investment portfolio-allowing you the opportunity to pull from both during retirement.

Why? By using a combination, you could find that your retirement income lasts longer and there's the potential to see after-tax savings. 

To help you get a better understanding of just how beneficial combination withdrawals can be in retirement, take a look at the following case study.

The study was based on the following client information:
  •         Retirement assets totalling $1,725,000
  •      $500,000 is non-registered and $1,225,000 is registered 
  •         Requires $62,500 per year in retirement income
  •        Tax rate is 15% on the first $40,000 of income and 40% thereafter
  •        Zero growth is assumed on the investments

Make the most of your retirement savings. Contact our office today and let us help you plan for your future.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What would you do for better retirement benefits?

What would you do for better retirement benefits?

A recent survey finds that more than half of Canadians are worried about retirement.

When asked, 77% of Canadians said they would consider leaving their job, with all else equal, for better retirement benefits.

As an employer, these statistics should be alarming. If you had seven out of ten of your employees wanting to leave your company, it's time to make a change.

Acknowledging the desire Canadians have for an attractive retirement package, employers can take the opportunity to reevaluate their current offerings. By making even the smallest changes to your retirement offerings, it could help to retain current talent and become more attractive to new prospects.

More specifically, mid-sized to smaller companies should take note of what's being done by their larger competitors. A defined pension plan is something often offered by larger companies and is something that mid-sized companies may want to consider to help make their business more appealing to employees.

Ultimately, if reevaluating you retirement benefits is in the cards for your company, it is important to ask for your employees input. You might be surprised what they may want, or what they may forgo, to help provide security in retirement.

Monday, February 27, 2017

IMPORTANT information for anyone who has an IPP (Individual Pension Plan) with B2B Trustco

In a recent decision by B2B Trustco, a division of B2B Bank and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Laurentian Bank of Canada, they are getting out of the IPP business Effective May 1st.  They are citing reasons of increased complexity and are unable to keep up with regulatory requirements.  This is forcing all IPP clients with B2B Bank/B2B Trustco to find a new home.  IPPs offer business owners an incredible opportunity no other Canadians have available to them, allowing them to save significantly more for their retirement while taking tax advantaged dollars out of the business as an expense.  If you find yourself with a B2B Trustco IPP and need to find a new home we would be happy to help, and can offer you lower IPP administration fees, lower Investment Management Fees (IMFs/MERs) and better investment options with a track record of great returns. 
Contact us today as the May 1st deadline is approaching quickly. Office: (416) 855-9892 or Email us at

If you don’t have an IPP, here is a list of some reasons you should consider an Individual Pension Plan:
  • Further tax sheltering in excess of RRSP contributions
  • Additional tax deductible lump sum contribution at retirement on sale of assets of the company or sale of the company itself
  • Full creditor protection
  • Pre-planned retirement income
  • Succession planning within a family business
  • No payroll tax levied on IPP contributions (depends on province)
  • All costs associated with the pension plan are tax deductible to the company – including IMFs (Investment Management Fees)
  • Prescribed rate of return within the IPP by Pension Legislation, ensuring your retirement portfolio is always growing as it should