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.

Meeting the salary requirement for CEBA

Robyn Thompson is featured on BNN’s “Ask the Expert” feature on The Open, discussing the salary requirements for small business owners to apply for interest-free loans under the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).

Cottage sale tax tips

How to cut the capital gains tax hit

Thinking about selling the cottage, cabin, or lakeside getaway? Plenty of people are, especially those of the Baby Boom generation who are finding that maintaining two properties is increasingly time-consuming, tiresome, and expensive. And if the younger generation is no longer interested in keeping up a family cottage, there seems little alternative left but to sell. If you do decide to put up that “for sale” sign, bear in mind that the Canada Revenue Agency will come calling with a bill for capital gains tax. Depending on how long you’ve owned the cottage, it could be a big one. But there may be ways to soften the blow.

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Financial implications of eldercare at home

Robyn Thompson is featured on Citytv’s Breakfast Television with Devo, discussing the financial implications of bringing an elderly parent home from a long-term care residence during the COVID-19 pandemic. What you need to know before making the move.

Retiring now? How to avoid pandemic panic

Coping with withdrawal risks and benefiting from RRIF rule changes

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown many retirement plans into disarray. The collapse of the stock market in March, volatility in bond prices, the crash of energy markets, and the shutdown of virtually all economic activity naturally is causing a great deal of anxiety for those who were planning for retirement this year. But even now, there are financial strategies for pre-retirees and those in the early phases of retirement that can help protect your nest-egg and secure your income streams.

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How to apply for Canada’s emergency financial benefits

Federal government’s CERB program up and running

Effective April 6, the federal government’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) provides eligible employed and self-employed Canadians whose employment has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic a defined amount of financial support. The benefit provides $500 a week for a four-week period ($2,000) for up to 16 weeks.

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Steps to successful estate planning

Peace of mind in the pandemic year

Financial planning is all about preparing for the future. That covers a lot of ground, of course, from retirement planning to estate planning. Even in the best of times, it’s prudent to have a solid estate plan in place, so that your estate doesn’t end up in the hands of the government and the courts to divvy up your assets. That never ends happily. So with heightened awareness now about the health risks associated with the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus, it makes sense to make a plan to ensure peace of mind for you and your family. Take a look at what elements of estate planning you have in place, and what you might need to re-visit or set up from scratch.
So here are a few key items to consider when thinking about an estate plan.

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