One of the most common investment questions Canadians ask themselves today is, “Which is better, TFSA or RRSP”?
Here’s the good news – it doesn’t have to be an either or choice. Why not do both? Below are the features of both plans to help you understand the differences.
Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
Any Canadian resident age 18 or over may open a TFSA. Contribution is not based on earned income. There is no maximum age for contribution.
- For 2019 and 2020, the maximum contribution is $6,000.
- There is carry forward room for each year in which the maximum contribution was not made. For those who have not yet contributed to a TFSA, the cumulative total contribution room for 2019 is $63,500. This will increase in 2020 to $69,500.
- The deposit is not tax-deductible, but the funds accumulate with no income tax payable on growth.
- Withdrawals may be made at any time on an income tax-free basis. Withdrawals create additional deposit room commencing in the year after withdrawal.
Let’s face it, raising a family today can be financially challenging. The cost of living continues to increase, housing costs are rising along with education and extra-curricular activities for our children. It is tough to make ends meet and still have something left over at the end of each month.
Most families today require both parents to work to afford the lifestyle they enjoy. Losing one of those incomes through premature death, illness or a disability is a real risk that many families would have a difficult time facing emotionally and financially.
How do you protect your family?
- Life insurance is designed to protect your family by providing the resource to replace income, pay off debt, and fund future education costs in the event that one of the parents dies.
- Disability, or income replacement insurance, is designed to replace lost income if an individual is not able to work due to accident or sickness.
- Critical Illness insurance will pay a lump sum benefit in the event of a diagnosis of many major illnesses.
Most business owners understand that assets vital to the success of the enterprise should be insured. Premises are routinely covered for fire and/or theft; vehicles used to make deliveries, insured; machinery needed for manufacturing, also insured. Given that these tangible assets are instrumental in the success of the business, it makes good business sense that the business is protected in the event of a loss. But what about key employees? Many business owners overlook the impact on their business should a key employee die unexpectedly.
If you own or manage a company whose continued success is dependent on key people (it might even be you), it would be prudent to insure all key personnel whose death or incapacity would negatively affect profitability. Key persons are those who contribute to the continuing success and profitability of the enterprise.
What happens when an owner or key person dies or becomes disabled? Read more
As we age and our thoughts turn to estate planning, Segregated Funds may present a valuable planning opportunity. As we progress through the stages of life our investment focus changes from growth to income to preservation. Usually, the expected rates of return reduce as we age, primarily because we have less time to make up for a loss and feel the need to be more conservative in our approach. Anyone who has retired shortly before or after a major market correction (or crash!) understands the impact volatility can have on their enjoyment of a comfortable retirement.
In addition, none of us want to leave an estate for our heirs which could be a fraction of what was intended or be a catalyst for family discord. Fortunately, you do not have to forego the opportunity of growth in order to preserve the capital that you wish to leave to your family. Segregated Funds not only protect your estate against market fluctuations, they also provide the comfort of knowing the inheritances you wish to leave will be received by those for whom they were intended.
What are Segregated Funds?
Segregated funds are similar to mutual funds and represent market- based, equity, bond or fixed income investments. They differ from mutual funds in that as they are offered by life insurance companies, they have special benefits that mutual funds do not. These special benefits include: Read more
It has been said that a Will is the last message you will leave your family. Having a Will can provide clear direction as to what your wishes are and who will get what. Die without a Will (known as dying intestate) and chaos will likely be the result. Having a Will allows you to provide for certainty instead of chaos.
Most of the reasons to have a Will have to do with what happens if you don’t have one and that often will depend on what province you reside in. Each provincial government has its own Wills and Estate legislation which also provides for the rules regarding intestacy. The following are some of the reasons to have a Will and what could result without one.
- Informs your family how and when your property is to be distributed
Your Will affords you the opportunity to give clear instructions as to whom will receive your wealth. It also allows you to make bequests of certain items such as family heirlooms which you may wish to leave to a specific individual. For those who wish to leave funds to a charity, the Will allows you to do this. Without a Will, this opportunity may be lost. The bottom line is that you make the call. Dying without a Will means that the provincial government will make the determinationon how your estate is to be distributed depending on the intestacy laws. Read more
Once you have decided on how much life insurance you need, your next decision is whether you are going to use term insurance or permanent insurance to provide it. For many Canadians, while permanent cash value life insurance offers a significant opportunity for them, many initially utilize renewable and convertible term life insurance. Most life companies in Canada offer 10-year, 20-year and 30-year renewable term policies. In deciding which one is right for you, attempt to match the need to the term. While 10-year term might have the lowest entry level cost, the renewal premiums will be significantly higher. If you have a young family, ask yourself, will I still need protection beyond the 10th year? If that answer is yes, then a longer renewal period is more appropriate.
In making your choice, it is important to understand how renewable term policies function. In Canada, the renewal of the coverage is automatic (unless you decide not to renew) and guaranteed. The premium on renewal, however, will increase dramatically. Anyone who has 10-year renewable term insurance, instead of renewing it, should re-write the policy for a new term period. Read more