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Life Insurance and the Capital Dividend Account

Many business owners are unaware that corporate owned life insurance combined with the Capital Dividend Account (CDA) provides an opportunity to distribute corporate surplus on the death of a shareholder to the surviving shareholders or family members tax-free.

Income earned by a corporation and then distributed to a shareholder is subject to tax integration which results in the total tax paid between the two being approximately the same as if the shareholder earned the income directly. Integration also means that if a corporation is in receipt of funds which it received tax-free, then those funds should be tax free when distributed to the shareholder.

The Capital Dividend Account is a notional account which tracks these particular tax-free amounts accumulated by the corporation. It is not shown in accounting records or financial statements of the corporation.  If there is a balance in the CDA it may be shown in the notes section of the financial statements for information purposes only.

Generally, the tax-free amounts referred to, are the non-taxable portions of capital gains received by the corporation and the death benefit proceeds of life insurance policies where the corporation is the beneficiary. Read more

Why an advisor makes a difference in net returns over DIY investors

It’s a common question in recent times, especially in an age when technology and algorithms can make decisions at a fraction of the cost. Is it worth it to hire a financial advisor? Or is it better to save the fees and go for a DIY strategy?

It depends who you ask but there are many – often not so obvious – factors that could make a difference to your net returns when putting your trust in a financial advisor.

Proper financial planning goes beyond how and where you invest. Good financial planning can increase your standard of living throughout your life.

Even for a complete novice it is possible to start investing in products without the help of professionals. The problem with this option is the lack of knowledge. Knowledge is crucial when it comes to investing. Read more

What the Wealthy Know about Life Insurance

If you have ever thought that life insurance was something you wouldn’t need after you reached a certain level of financial security, you might be interested in knowing why many wealthy individuals still carry large amounts of insurance.  Consider the following:

  • A life insurance advisor in California recently placed a $201 million dollar life insurance policy on the life of a tech industry billionaire;
  • Well known music executive David Geffen was life insured for $100 million;
  • Malcolm Forbes, owner of Forbes Magazine, was insured at the time of his death in 1990 for $70 million.

While life insurance is most often looked upon as a vehicle to protect ones family or business, the question that springs to mind is why would individuals with wealth need life insurance?  Read more

Thinking of Cancelling Your Life Insurance?

Have you found yourself wondering if you really need that life insurance policy you pay for every month?  You are not alone.

As time goes on we often forget the reasons behind purchasing the amount and type of coverage we did. For this reason it is advisable to have regular reviews to make sure you are adequately protected.

Perhaps you are having trouble making ends meet and are looking to trim expenses.  Maybe you simply don’t think you need it because the kids are getting older and your obligations to them have diminished.  Some may feel that they have enough assets accumulated that insurance is no longer necessary and even a waste of money.  Before you make the decision to cancel your life insurance policy, consider these compelling reasons to keep it. Read more

Retirement – Are you Prepared?

Whether you are decades away from retirement or if it is just around the corner, being aware of the planning opportunities will take the fear and uncertainty out of this major life event.

Blue sky your retirement plans to get clarity

As you approach retirement, preparation and planning become extremely important to help ensure that this period of your life will be as comfortable as possible.   If you are like most, you have spent considerable time contemplating the type of retirement you wish for yourself.

  • Is extensive travel your dream?
  • Do you have an expensive hobby or two you want to take up?
  • Will you stop working totally or continue to do some work on your own terms using your life experience and skills to supplement your income.
  • Will you remain in your house or will you downsize to smaller, easier to care for premises? Or perhaps housing that will be more compatible with the challenges of aging?

Read more

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Debt Load

Are you out of your debt comfort zone? Does it seem as though you’re paying too much to bill collectors and not enough for savings and the things you enjoy in life? If so, it’s a good idea to figure out just how much debt you have and compare that to how much you earn. This will give you clear understanding of your financial health.

Debt Load

Debt load is a term that is used to describe a consumer’s amount of debt. It is often used to understand if you are carrying a “safe” amount of debt. Creditors look at a debt/income ratio, comparing your income with your debts to analyze whether you have an appropriate amount of debt. The debt/income ratio is figured monthly and reveals either how good — or bad — your financial situation is. Read more »

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The importance of including family caregivers in the cost of cancer

Employers must acknowledge the role of family caregivers to get a true picture of the costs of cancer care, according to a University of Alberta professor.

Janet Fast, a professor of department of human ecology at the University of Alberta, told the audience at Benefits Canada’s 2017 Employers Cancer Care Summit in February that the army of family and friends assisting patients with their everyday needs are an often-overlooked pillar of the medical system. Yet without them, the entire health system would collapse, she noted. Read more »

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Replace bad financial habits

By, Carla Hindman, Director of Financial Education, Visa Canada

Most people have at least one bad financial habit. Whether it’s impulse shopping, forgetting to pay bills on time or putting off building that emergency fund balancing what you want to do and what you “should” do is never easy.

You might recognize a few of these common bad financial habits in your life:

  • Paying bills after the due date
  • Paying only the minimum required on bills
  • Ignoring bills and letting them go to collections
  • Putting off saving for retirement or a rainy day
  • Impulse shopping or “retail therapy”
  • Not keeping track of how much debt you have
  • Taking on debt to pay for something you don’t currently need.

Read more »