Parents take note: Covid-19 has put financial literacy into perspective

Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to teach your kids the first steps to financial literacy. Read my recent post on how to help your children learn the basics of money management.

Power up your RRSP planning now!

Make the most of this wealth-creation tool all year

Many investors only think about their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) in February. But that’s really just a conditioned reflex, spurred on by financial institutions to get you to give them money in the first 60 days of each year. Any contribution made within those 60 days can be applied to the previous year and is deductible from your previous year’s income. That’s all well and good, but your RRSP really needs more attention than a panicky annual deposit just before the deadline.

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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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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.

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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