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.
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.
If your New Year’s financial resolutions have already evaporated, despite your best intentions, you might try just one more: create tax-free dollars. There’s no special magic involved here. Nor is there any particularly daunting effort needed. The money is just sitting there waiting for you to take it. Here’s how. READ MORE
There’s no two ways around it: The cost of a post-secondary education is high. For some, it’s a real challenge to make ends meet while attending college or university. In fact, students can expect to pay a total of about $60,000 for an average four-year post-secondary education program, including tuition, books, board and lodging, and living expenses. It’s more than double that for professional degrees like law, medicine, dentistry, and engineering. READ MORE
It’s tax-filing season for most Canadians, and naturally, the advice and tips you get right now involve maximizing your immediate tax savings by making sure you take all the credits, deductions, and amounts you’re entitled to. But for continuous long-term tax and wealth planning, there is an ultimate tax-slashing tactic. It’s called the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), and it’s the best tax shelter now available to Canadians. Here’s a look at how it works and how to make the most of it. READ MORE
Let’s say you’ve accumulated a nest egg of $1 million at age 65, through pension plans, perhaps a significant RRSP, TFSA contributions, some inheritances, and possibly some money left over from downsizing your home. You’re ready to retire, and you have to decide what to do with it to make it last through retirement. Here’s what you need to know. READ MORE
It’s sometimes said that you need at least a $1 million retirement fund to maintain the kind of lifestyle you want after age 65. But starting at, say, age 40, can that even be done? The good news is that it is possible to build a million-dollar retirement fund. But there five important principles you have to follow. READ MORE
A (very) short post-graduate course in personal finance
Here’s a commencement speech you won’t hear at most graduation ceremonies: As a new grad, the most important lesson you’ll have to learn after leaving school is to live within your means and not spend more than you earn. You do not need to make a six-figure salary to be financially successful, but you do need to be smart about spending and to set out a diligent savings goal and investment plan. READ MORE
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) confirmed that the annual contribution limit for Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) will remain unchanged at $5,500 for 2018, bringing total contribution room available since the introduction of the plan in 2009 to $57,500 for someone who has never contributed to a TFSA. READ MORE
Sorting out “successor survivor” vs. “designated beneficiary”
When you open a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), you’ll likely be asked whether you wish to specify something called a “successor holder” or whether you want to designate a beneficiary. If you’re not sure what all this means, welcome to the club. Legal jargon can be daunting. So here’s a look at what all this means, and the implications for your estate planning. READ MORE