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Financial Planning & Tax Useful Links

Click on topic of your choice to go to a useful link – they are organized by topic area.  Use of these links is not an endorsement of their products and services.  My goal is only to assist you in finding useful information that is already available on the web.  Blair Corkum Financial Planning Inc. accepts no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of information presented on these sites.   You should do your own due diligence, and discuss options with your own financial institution’s professional financial planner.  If you need a planner, see my article on Investing Strategies for Individuals.

I have organized the Useful Links under the following headings, in order:

General Financial Planning Information

Investing

  • Learn About Investing from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
  • Joint Tenancy and Other Shared Ownership – an article on the Seniors First BC web site about the legal aspects of shared ownership.  You need to consider tax implications, legal risks of transferring ownership, effect on probate fees, and whether you are really transferring beneficial ownership.  For example, when you transfer an asset to joint ownership, are you intending to transfer beneficial ownership (full ownership with possible taxes triggered and probate avoided) or only the “legal” interest without beneficial ownership (you retain all benefits of ownership, avoid immediate taxes but will still pay probate fees as the asset will not transfer on death to the joint owner(s)).  Financial troubles of your joint owner may result in loss of your money.
  • Investment suitability guidelines from the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA) – Are you being sold the right products by your mutual fund dealer?
  • Investor Tools – Canadian Securities Administrators – Articles on topics such as Investing Basics – Getting Started; Working with Advisors; Understanding Mutual Funds, and more
  • Investment Research Online – Consider the Morningstar website or TMX Money – For example, type in your security name or symbol at the top of the page to get details on performance, etc.
  • Some great common sense advice on how to invest – read this free “The Little Book of Investment Knowledge“, published by MPL Communications Ltd., authors of the Investment Reporter and the Money Reporter.
  • Is your financial planner using reasonable assumptions?  See the  Projection Assumption Guidelines issued by the Financial Planning Standards Council of Canada effective April 30, 2018.  There are lots of caveats, which you should read, but in a nutshell, for long-term projections (10+ years), assumptions include 2.0% inflation, 3.0% wage growth rate (including promotional increases of 1% plus inflation), 2.9% short-term savings (e.g. 91-day treasury bills) rate; 3.9% fixed income rates (e.g. long-term bonds); 6.4% Canadian equity rates (assuming 33% dividends and 67% capital gains); 6.7% foreign equities in developed markets; 7.4% emerging market equities and management fees ranging from 0.5% to 2.5%. There is an assumption of no change in foreign exchange rates. Examples provided of overall rates of return before fees include 4.48% for a conservative portfolio (25% equities), 5.13% for a balanced portfolio (50/50 equities and fixed income), and 5.95% for an aggressive portfolio (75% equities).  Projected fees to be deducted from the above rates will vary depending on your particular type of investing advice.  The borrowing rate assumption is 4.9%.  These assumptions are expected to be updated each year.
  • Looking for more specific investment recommendations, including which conservative stocks and bonds to buy?  This is a newsletter that I like to follow – and I like their objectivity because they sell no investments themselves – click here for a trial subscription to  the Money Reporter
  • RRSP or Tax-Free Savings Account – Which is best for you?  See this calculator by RetirementAdvisor.ca
  • Differentiating Exchange Traded Funds from Mutual Funds – an article  by Blackrock, who produce the iShares ETFs
  • Understanding Mutual Funds by the Canadian Securities Administrators
  • Want to know more about MERs and advisor compensation as trailer fees?  This study from 2012 by Investor Economics for the IFIC is a good education on average fees and compensation by types of funds.
  • Financial reports for Canadian Public Companies and Investment Funds – Use the search functions at sedar.com
  • Foreign investments – This CRA link gives you a listing of eligible foreign corporation spinoffs for which you can elect to exclude the value of the spinoff as a dividend from your income taxes

Statistics

Pensions

Seniors, Estate Planning and Senior Care Information

Retirement

  • Retirement Income Calculator from Service Canada – this one is very good because it is more thorough than many, and if you are doing your own retirement planning, it is a good starting point.  Retirement calculators are used for planning – remember than none of them can reflect what will really happen because no one can predict the future.  IMPORTANT – Many simple retirement calculators require you to tell them how much income you need in retirement – Income needed will be the amount required to pay all of your living expenses, including loan payments and periodic vehicle purchases, as well as occasional unexpected costs (e.g. helping children, paying medical bills, unexpected house repairs) and also income taxes.  Do your expense budget, and figure out how much pre-tax income you need to pay those expenses using an average retirement tax rate.  Average tax rates can be calculated at the E&Y website here.  You will also need to estimate your sources of retirement income – typically being your CPP and Old Age Security (available from Service Canada), company pension, investment income and annual RRSP withdrawals.
  • RRSP / RRIF / LRSP / LIF Information
    • Should you pay down your mortgage or make an RRSP deposit – read this MoneySense article and try one of their recommended calculators.
    • RRSP or Tax-Free Savings Account – Which is best for you?  See this calculator by RetirementAdvisor.ca
    • Minimum Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) withdrawal requirements – a RRIF is typically created by money transferred from your RRPS, which is required by the end of the year in which you turn age 71, but may be done earlier (such as at age 65 to access the pension amount tax credit and pension income splitting opportunities for persons without other eligible pension income.)  See the withdrawal rates at  GettingSmarterAboutMoney.ca by the Ontario Securities Commission, or use this minimum payments RRIF calculator, not only to determine the amount but how long your RRIF may last – see  VanCity RRIF calculator
    • Minimum and maximum Life Income Fund (LIF) withdrawal rates – a LIF is similar to a RRIF, but is typically created by transfer of funds from a Locked In RRSP or a Registered Pension Plan.  The maximum withdrawal rates are set by either federal or provincial legislation, depending on the type of pension plan from which the funds originated.  A useful site for minimum – maximum withdrawals is provided by Kudsia | Leith | Sanchez, Financial Advisors.  And/or, see this TaxTips web site for more info and follow the links to find the rates for which you are looking.
    • Unlocking (getting money out early) of your Locked-in retirement accounts – see the options explained at the TaxTips.ca web site.

Life Insurance and Annuities

Education Savings Plans and Tax-Free Savings Accounts

Savings Accounts – High Interest  (examples only)

  • Online banks often pay significantly higher rates than your traditional financial institutions.  You may wish to check some of these out, but always look at more than rates – for example, are they CDIC insured or covered by other deposit insurance (e.g. through the provincial credit union association); are there limits on how much you can withdraw at any one time; how often will rates change or are current rates time limited offers; etc.

Cash flow and Debt Management Help

Tax Information

Disability Program Information

Housing, Mortgages, Loans Calculators and Inf

Health PEI