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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
The big come-on from dodgy vaccine-makers, fake gold mines
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many unpleasant consequences to our economy and social structure through emergency lockdowns and self-isolation. One of these is the proliferation of fraudulent investment schemes and scams designed to part you with your money. As more of us are forced to stay at home, online usage has skyrocketed. And fraudsters are taking advantage. Seniors are especially susceptible, as con men believe they are more trusting but also generally more vulnerable, particularly those living alone. But you can protect yourself by following just five simple rules. READ MORE
June 1 tax-filing deadline
With all the stress of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, you might have taken advantage of the one-month extension of the tax-filing deadline to June 1. Payment of any tax owing has been extended to Sept. 1, but you must still file a return by June 1. Those who are self-employed have until June 15 to file. There is unlikely to be any further extension of the deadline, so you’d better make sure you have all your information slips ready ahead of the filing deadline on June 1 (all those documents prefixed with a “T” are critical). And make sure you’ve reviewed the list of deductions and credits you might be entitled to. READ MORE
Rebalancing for recovery
The March market meltdown, bond market gyrations, repricing of assets, and the flight to safety over the past couple of months has thrown many portfolios into disarray, particularly those of the do-it-yourself variety. The turmoil is likely to be reflected in increased values for fixed-income and cash holdings in your portfolio. Likewise, your equity values will have declined significantly.
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.