Monica was alarmed to hear from her mother's financial advisor expressing concern over some unusual financial requests. She called her mom, who seemed fine, but Monica couldn't get the conversation with the financial advisor out of her head. She travelled to see her mom in person and was dismayed to discover numerous unpaid bills and an uncompleted tax return. Her mother had always been very meticulous about money, so something was off. Monica's concerns turned out to be well-founded. Within a few months, her mother was diagnosed with dementia.
Working towards financial independence includes assumptions about how the world operates and how we navigate within that environment. These assumptions work best when the world remains the same allowing you to make reasonable future projections.
Challenges come when changes occur in the operating environment which may require reassessing wealth building strategies. The disruptions from early 2020 (Covid, supply-chains, etc.) seem to have ushered in some significant changes in our world.
Roger and Linda, like many Canadians, have saved for years for their retirement. They took advantage of RRSPs and now have a substantial amount of savings. As Roger will turn age 71 this year, they need to decide on the best strategy for using their RRSPs for their retirement income needs.
Until now, Roger and Linda have been relying on their non-RRSP investments and government benefits so their RRSPs could continue to grow tax-postponed. Roger has to choose from the following by the end of the year or all his RRSP funds will be fully taxed:
Here are some common TIPS Canadians should consider when assisting family members with handling their financial affairs while alive. And some common TRAPS that may occur once an Executor is working on distributing the Estate assets to the heirs.
It is a common practice to have all of Mom's or Dad's bank accounts set up in joint name with an adult child. This allows the child to clear out the bank accounts when Mom or Dad passes, and to avoid Probate (Letters of Administration etc.).
You've likely heard the term "financial resilience". You may even know it refers to a household's ability to navigate and overcome financial stress and hardships that life inevitably throws at you. But did you know that financial resilience can be measured?