If you are like most people, you have been brought up to believe that you should lock your money away in a reasonable yielding investment to allow compounding to increase your initial deposit over the years and give you a valuable resource for your retirement.
Alicia was about to sign the papers on her new vehicle when she noticed an additional charge of a little over $3,400 for insurance on the Bill of Sale. When she asked the finance manager what it was for, he said, 'Well, that's for the life and disability insurance for your car loan.' She was left with the impression that the insurance was mandatory. Alicia didn't sign the papers and said she would finish them up the next day. She asked for a copy of the coverage wording to help with her decision.
A survey conducted by one of the big banks some years ago revealed that about 18% of Canadians were hoping for a lottery win to fund their retirement. This raises the question, 'If you were to paint a picture of your retirement, what would it look like?' Many would let dreams take over and envision lots of travel, a vacation home in an exotic location, spoiling their grandchildren, perhaps several year-long world cruises.
If you are a solo entrepreneur or are otherwise self-employed, you are aware that it is nearly impossible to take into account all the various tax consequences of your business decisions. You have a business to run and customers to please, so decisions are often made on the fly.
You hope that you will be able to sort it out adequately at a later date. The problem with this strategy is you are likely paying thousands of dollars in taxes to Revenue Canada that could otherwise be in your pocket.
Millions of Canadian make RRSP contributions each year for the sole purpose of getting a big tax refund cheque each spring. If this is your only reason for investing in RRSPs, there may be situations where making RRSP contribution isn't your best option.
With the arrival of the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) in January 2009, Canadians now have a viable alternative to RRSPs when saving for their retirement. Simply put, the TFSA is the mirror-image to an RRSP - you don't get an upfront refund, but all your future withdrawals are 100% tax free.
Each New Year brings about the return of many annual traditions. The packing away of Christmas decorations, the cleaning up after holiday fun, and the January credit card statement providing full evidence of our holiday cheer in carefully calculated columns.