Rules for RESP withdrawals

What if your child decides not to go the post-secondary route?

If you’re tapping into Registered Educations Savings Plans this fall to pay for your kids’ post-secondary schooling, keep in in mind that there are plenty of rules about how RESPs are administered. And some parents will have to deal with the question of what happens to the RESP if their child decides not to go on to post-secondary school just now. Here’s a look at what’s involved.

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Individual Pension Plans can supercharge retirement income

Professionals, executives, business owners can benefit

The defined benefit pension plan has pretty much gone the way of the dodo. With one exception: the Individual Pension Plan (IPP). If you’re a business owner or executive, or an incorporated professional, such as a physician, dentist, lawyer, accountant, and so on, and you are over age 40 in your peak earning years, you might consider an IPP. Its many advantages for people in this group certainly outweigh its drawbacks. And as tighter rules for passive investments in private corporations have limited the availability of the small business tax rate, an IPP offers some business tax advantages as well.

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Is there CERB relief for teachers?

Watch Robyn Thompson on BNN’s “Ask the Expert” feature on The Open, discussing whether a teacher still on a summer payroll is eligible for CERB.

Navigating a pandemic divorce

Financial planning for divorce during lockdown

The COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have added to the stress of couples undergoing separation or divorce. And with court services limited to very urgent cases involving custody of children, options for settlement proceedings are limited. Divorce proceedings are already often contentious, emotionally fraught, and never easy. The lockdown over the past few months has made it even more difficult to settle on a fair division of financial assets, and newer cases are being delayed or deferred until the lockdown ends and courts can begin to clear the divorce case backlog.

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Is there a CERB clawback clause?

Watch Robyn Thompson on BNN’s “Ask the Expert” feature on The Open, discussing whether CERB is pro-rated if you earn over the $1,000 monthly threshold.

Managing financial stress: a CFP professional weighs in

Robyn Thompson is featured in this FP Canada interview, discussing practical strategies for dealing with financial stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Choosing between CERB and CESB

Watch Robyn Thompson on BNN’s “Ask the Expert” feature on The Open, discussing which form of financial aid works best for someone who is both a seasonal worker and a student.

A 5-point prescription for healthy finances

Don’t let pandemic woes infect your bank balance

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown many families’ financial plans into disarray. And while restrictions are gradually being lifted, activity is still far from normal. And, if the experts are right, there’s still the threat of a secondary wave of infections to contend with in the fall. Most everyone is washing their hands frequently and using masks in public spaces to stay healthy. But what about your finances? Here are five smart ways to sanitize your finances to make sure your bank balance doesn’t end up in the ICU.

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New grads facing financial challenges

Paying down debt, building savings, emergency benefits

This year has been particularly challenging for new graduates of post-secondary schools. Because of the COVID-19 lockdowns, the last semester for most students was likely done online, as were exams and other final submissions. Graduation ceremonies have been postponed. But at least marks and certificates could be mailed out. So congrats to all the new grads! But what’s next? As lockdowns lift and things slowly return to normal, you’ll still have to deal with some “real world” matters – and these are mostly financial.

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Retirement planning: invest surplus or pay off the mortgage?

Robyn Thompson is featured in The Globe and Mail’s “Financial Facelift” series by Diane Maley. Mark and Meredith are well positioned financially with robust cash flow, and want to retire, but they still have mortgages on rental properties. Should they pay off the mortgages as fast as possible? Read Robyn Thompson’s advice on why that might not be the best idea for the couple at this point in their lives.

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