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Intelligencer
intelligencer
intelligencer@www.intelligencer.ca
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intelligencer@www.intelligencer.ca
(613) 962-9171
365 Bloor St E Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4W 3L4
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100 Posts
Want some extended time off? Better get your finances in order first
COVID-19-related burnout is still dominating many industries, with employees coping by taking, or hoping to take, some time off to mitigate their stress, enjoy life or even work on a different project in an effort to rejuvenate themselves before returning to work. Cue the sabbatical, an extended work-leave that can stretch from mere months to several years, traditionally the purview of academics, but now gaining favour in all kinds of work environments as a way to keep employees healthier, happier and less likely... more
Want some extended time off? Better get your finances in order first
Canadian homeowners feeling the pinch of rising rates: Manulife Bank debt survey
The Bank of Canada's steep path to higher interest rates is pushing some homeowners close to the edge when it comes to covering their financing costs, with almost one in four saying they'll have to sell if rates climb much higher, according to a survey conducted by Manulife Bank of Canada. More than 20 per cent of homeowners expect rising rates to have a "Significant negative impact" on their mortgage, financial and debt situation, and 18 per cent said they believe they can no longer afford the home they're... more
Canadian homeowners feeling the pinch of rising rates: Manulife Bank debt survey
B.C. couple's plan to cash in real estate riches to fund early tropical retirement 'awfully risky'

A couple we’ll call Richard, 50, and Marianne, 51, live in B.C. with their two children ages seven and nine. Richard handles transport tasks in the oil and gas industry. Marianne is a homemaker. Their combined annual after tax income has recently been $96,000.

Richard and Marianne look forward to retirement within a year, but their cash and investment savings in RRSPs total just $187,000. A few years ago, they made a big bet on property, improving their home to make it a showplace. The result:

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B.C. couple's plan to cash in real estate riches to fund early tropical retirement 'awfully risky'
Canadians depending more on home equity lines of credit even as interest rates rise

Despite expectations that the Bank of Canada was poised to increase interest rates this year, a 10-year record was broken when Canadians borrowed an additional $2 billion on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) in February 2022 — the highest one-month increase since 2012.

Before we discuss the ramifications of this, let’s first back up a bit and explain what a HELOC is and how it works. A HELOC is a line of credit secured to your house. It’s like a second mortgage that, once in place,

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Canadians depending more on home equity lines of credit even as interest rates rise
How the CRA divvies up the Canada Child Benefit for parents who share custody

Parents who are separated or divorced and share custody of their kids should be aware that the amount of time the kids spend with each parent can be the determinative factor into how much, if any, of the Canada Child Benefit they may receive. A recent tax case delves into the complexity of this issue. But first, a CCB refresher.

The CCB is a government program that provides low- and middle-income Canadian families with tax-free funds each month to help with the cost of raising

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How the CRA divvies up the Canada Child Benefit for parents who share custody
If you think child support doesn't apply to stepchildren, think again

Monthly child support payments from one parent to the other are one of the most common outcomes of a separation. As time goes by, separated parents often re-partner, and step-parent relationships can become part of the matrix of a blended family. But what happens if the parents in the blended family separate? Is a step-parent required to pay child support for a stepchild? In some cases, the answer is yes.

That was the outcome of a recent twelve-day trial before Justice Dale Fitzpatrick of

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If you think child support doesn't apply to stepchildren, think again
How to navigate the financial strain of a divorce
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How to navigate the financial strain of a divorce
Here's how to accelerate your retirement timeline, without taking on too much risk

According to Statistics Canada, the average retirement age for Canadians in 2021 was 64.4 years old. Retirement has been delayed by almost three years since 2001, when the average was just 61.5 years of age. For some, those extra few years of work can seem like an eternity.

There are, however, strategies that those who are approaching retirement can consider to shave time off their financial independence date so they can afford to retire earlier.

For this exercise, we will

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Here's how to accelerate your retirement timeline, without taking on too much risk
Billionaire Michael Lee-Chin shares his secrets on wealth creation and where he’s investing next

In October 1998, the stock market was crashing, but the portfolio managers at Burlington, Ont.-based AIC Ltd. were on the road as planned, travelling across Canada to convince clients that the funds they offered remained good investments, even though some of them had lost half their value.

In the car, the managers clung to their briefcases, looking glum. It had been a remarkable run. They had ridden the wave of the booming wealth management industry so well that they had increased the value

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Billionaire Michael Lee-Chin shares his secrets on wealth creation and where he’s investing next
This Ontario woman wants to buy back into the housing market for retirement, but is renting the better way to go?

A woman we’ll call Margaret, 60, works in Ontario in high-tech manufacturing. She earns $169,716 per year and takes home $9,713 per month after tax. She wants to retire no later than age 65 if she can attain sufficient income and financial security.

Margaret sold her three-bedroom condo last year and got $310,000 net as a way of downsizing. She currently rents. She would like to get back to ownership with an 800-square-foot condo that, she figures, will cost her $750,000. But that purchase

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This Ontario woman wants to buy back into the housing market for retirement, but is renting the better way to go?
FP Answers: How should I invest the $260,000 my father left me in his will?

By Julie Cazzin with Brenda Hiscock

Q: I’m 52 years old, married and have a 12-year-old daughter. Our gross household income is $130,000, and I have a $220,000 mortgage at about four per cent. We have not contributed to our registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) in 15 years and have not started tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs). We only have savings of about $40,000 for emergencies and it’s sitting in a bank savings account in cash, as well as a registered

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FP Answers: How should I invest the $260,000 my father left me in his will?
CRA rules on whether two workplace perks are taxable employee benefits or not

Employees are taxable on their salaries, bonuses and any other type of direct compensation they may receive, but they could also end up paying tax on various non-cash employment benefits or perquisites.

Under the Income Tax Act, employees must include in their income the value of any benefits of any kind received by the employee “in respect of, in the course of, or by virtue of his or her employment.” In determining whether an employee must include the value of a benefit

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CRA rules on whether two workplace perks are taxable employee benefits or not
Thinking of having kids? Get ready for some sticker shock when calculating the cost
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Thinking of having kids? Get ready for some sticker shock when calculating the cost
This couple wants to retire early in their home country. Can they take their Canadian benefits with them?

A couple we’ll call Peter, 41, and Charlotte, 39, live in Ontario with their two-year-old child, Morgan. They bring home $11,200 per month from their jobs, his in corporate development, hers in strategic planning. They have a $2.3 million house, $50,000 in raw land, $65,000 in RRSPs, $20,000 in TFSAs, $25,000 in taxable securities, $37,500 in gold and a $12,000 car. It adds up to $2,509,500. Take off their $820,000 home mortgage and their net worth is about $1.7 million — a very respectable sum.

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This couple wants to retire early in their home country. Can they take their Canadian benefits with them?
FP Answers: How do I get good financial advice so I don’t waste my money?

By Julie Cazzin with Allan Norman

Q: I paid a fee-based planner for some financial advice, but they didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. I feel like it was a waste of money. Am I missing something? — Caitlin in Penticton, B.C.

FP Answers: Caitlin, hopefully you said something to your planner — for both your sakes. Your question got me thinking. In future, what is the one thing you can do to feel like

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FP Answers: How do I get good financial advice so I don’t waste my money?
Cash may be king, but it can cause headaches if the taxman denies your claims

It’s often said that cash is king, but it may not always be the best method of payment when it comes to dealing with the taxman, who may ask you some tough questions to justify tax-deductible expenses or, on the flip side, demonstrate you earned a minimum amount of qualifying income to take advantage of various benefits or credits.

For example, there’s been a slew of recent cases dealing with taxpayers’ eligibility for COVID-19-related benefits, such as the Canada Emergency

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Cash may be king, but it can cause headaches if the taxman denies your claims
How to afford a vacation when money is tight and costs are rising
Taking small steps can add up to help you take a big step away from your day-to-day routine
How to afford a vacation when money is tight and costs are rising
This Ontario couple needs to ditch the real estate and boost cash flow to retire at 55
Retirement is going to take substantial reorganizing of assets, expert says
This Ontario couple needs to ditch the real estate and boost cash flow to retire at 55
FP Answers: What is a 'letter of wishes' and how does it help achieve my estate planning goals?
A letter of wishes is one way to deal with the lack of certainty regarding posthumous intent
FP Answers: What is a 'letter of wishes' and how does it help achieve my estate planning goals?
The case of the taxpayer who was dinged with a taxable benefit for taking a business trip
Jamie Golombek: A judge concluded no portion of the trip's cost should have been a taxable benefit
The case of the taxpayer who was dinged with a taxable benefit for taking a business trip
Three keys in developing the confidence to handle your personal finance needs
It can be difficult to know where to begin when taking on newfound financial responsibility, either by choice or consequence
Three keys in developing the confidence to handle your personal finance needs
Can this Alberta couple's six rental condos support their big travel plans in retirement?
Frank and Kerry have hung their retirements on delicate threads, expert says
Can this Alberta couple's six rental condos support their big travel plans in retirement?
If you thought the CRA wouldn't follow up on improperly claimed CERB and other benefits, think again
Jamie Golombek: Tax authority sending out 'notices of redetermination' as COVID-benefit-related disputes hit the courts
If you thought the CRA wouldn't follow up on improperly claimed CERB and other benefits, think again
Canadians are clinging to cash as a savings strategy during the pandemic: RBC
'Canadians appear to be driven by a desire to stash, not spend cash'
Canadians are clinging to cash as a savings strategy during the pandemic: RBC
Fly snowbird fly, but there are some things to know before you settle
Looking to invest in a vacation home outside Canada? Before planting roots abroad, experts advise doing some extra exploration
Fly snowbird fly, but there are some things to know before you settle
Studying the market pays off for savvy couple with 12% gains and 'bulletproof retirement strategy'
But there are risks in the optimistic projections
FP Answers: Am I on track to retire in 25 years if I have $350,000 saved now?
Expert says current trajectory exceeds Ava's retirement goals
These are the tax-sheltered savings options first-time homebuyers need to know about
Jamie Golombek: RRSP Home Buyers' Plan is so arcane, even the CRA can have trouble explaining it
Family law faces double-dipping dilemma when it comes to stock options, other deferred compensation
Laurie H. Pawlitza: Courts have drawn a distinction between whether the 'double dip' is for the purposes of paying child support or spousal support
Jason Heath: There's an upside to higher interest rates, despite the pain to borrowers
One eventual benefit is that borrowers will have a more realistic monthly payment for their debts
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