J Dobbelsteyn

Registered Disability Savings Plan can be a good tool

A Registered Disability Savings Plan can be a very good way to accumulate tax-deferred savings for a disabled person.

How comfortable are you with investment risk?

Investing for the future can be tricky. There are so many things to consider, including how much investment risk you’re comfortable with.

Which is more tax-efficient for a small business owner?

As an incorporated small business owner, is paying yourself via a salary or dividends — or a combination of the two — more tax-efficient?

Giving can be good for you too

Your philanthropic gift is always important, no matter the amount of your assets or the size of your income — but to make the best use of your contributions, to preserve your legacy, and to minimize taxes and/or estate fees, a sound charitable giving plan is the way to go. Let’s look at your options.

Do you need a financial plan?

Canadians agree that financial planning pays off by delivering real value. In two recent studies — The Value of Financial Planning and The Value of Advice: Report — a majority of Canadians agreed that by choosing financial advice, they accumulated more assets and were better prepared, financially, for retirement.

Information is everywhere — but is it reliable?

You can get it if you want it — everywhere! Information, that is. And these days, many consumers turn to social media and other electronic sources for information and guidance. But are Twitter, Facebook, blogs and websites the best places to get what you need?

Uncover your ‘hidden’ investment dollars

Day-to-day living is costly. Gas, groceries, home expenses, the kids, taxes, a workday coffee or lunch — it all costs and it all adds up, making it very difficult to set aside money for investing.

Look long and hard at mortgage insurance

Home is not only where the heart is — it’s also the largest single debt for most Canadians. But that’s OK, because your home is the centre of your family’s life. That’s why you should look long and hard at mortgage insurance.

How well do you know the investment and health benefits plans sponsored by your employer?

You probably keep a close eye on your regular income, RRSP and other personal investments, but what about the investment and health benefits plans sponsored by your employer? They provide valuable insurance coverage and an important source of retirement income — but do you really know enough about them — what you are and are not covered for; if there are gaps in your coverage that need to be filled; or even if you are paying for coverage you may not need?

An education can be expensive — here’s how your RESP can help

In a few short weeks, your child or grandchild may be heading off to university or college for the first time. An education can be expensive — and that RESP you started so many years ago is about to pay off.

Our insurance needs change as our lives and our financial goals change

Change can be tough but we live with it every day. We age; our working, personal and family life changes. Our financial goals and expectations change. And as these things change so does our need for insurance.

Start planning now for a debt-free Christmas

It is more likely that you are planning your summer vacation than having started your Christmas shopping — but by getting going right now on some early Yule holiday financial planning, you can give yourself the gift of a debt-free Christmas.

A summer job is a great chance to teach life lessons in income management

A teen's first summer job is a great time for life lessons in income management. Money management is an important life lesson everybody needs to learn and, with your teen about to enjoy a regular payday for the first time, you have the perfect window of opportunity to pass along some good information that will put them on the fast track to future financial success

How you live your life can impact the cost and availability of life insurance

As part of your financial plan, as part of your estate plan, as essential protection for your family – any way you look at it, life insurance is important. But do you know that how you live your life can have an impact on the cost and availability of insurance?

Are you ready for retirement?

You’ve thought about it for years – the day you move into retirement. But now that ‘the day’ is just around the corner, you may be having other thoughts. Have you done everything you can to prepare for that day? Are there important things left undone? Let’s relieve the stress right now with a review of retirement basics.

Who should consider a domestic contract?

These days, it seems we often read about high-profile couples who have entered into "domestic contracts" — also known as prenuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements or marital agreements.

The alphabet soup of retirement

There are the ABCs of retirement – Always Be (financially) Comfortable – and then there’s RRIF, LIF, SWP, GIF, LIB and more … an alphabet soup of acronyms and abbreviations that every retiree must wade through. What do they all mean?

Most Canadians are approaching Tax Freedom Day

Tax Freedom Day is the day of the year when most Canadians finally start working for themselves after paying their total tax bill to all levels of government. It occurs either in late May or early June, depending on where you live. Maybe you feel like you’ve missed the party this year but with some smart tax and financial planning, you won’t miss the celebration next year.

Round out your personal RESP education

A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a great way to save for a child’s post-secondary education. But how you or the student beneficiary accesses those funds, what the money can be used for, and/or transferring an existing RESP to another beneficiary can be complicated.

What can you expect from an investment in bonds?

Let's take a closer look at investing in bonds. With interest rates sitting at historical lows, there is likely little opportunity left for further appreciation in the price of bonds. So, what can you expect from an investment in bonds? That depends on whether interest rates begin to go up or remain flat.