5 Tips about Tax-Free Savings Accounts

The Tax-Free Savings Account was introduced in 2009. If you haven’t taken advantage of this wonderful savings tool please take a minute to learn more about how they work.

Be careful not to over contribute

If you were at least 18 years of old in 2009 then the following would be your TFSA limit amounts:

2009--$5000
2010--$5000
2011--$5000
2012--$5000
2013--$5500
2014--$5500
2015--$10,000
2016--$5500
2017--$5500

If you have never opened one of these accounts, then you would have $52,000 of contribution room available to you. Continue reading

Posted in General, Investments | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

CRA My Account – Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency has a great web site that every Canadian should get set up with. If you don’t already have access, set aside 10 minutes to enroll in a CRA My Account. There are many benefits.

• You can view your Notices of Assessment online and print them.
• You can see when the CRA has received your income tax return.
• You can make changes to your income tax return online.
• You can check your RRSP contribution limit online.
• You can set up direct deposit so that your tax refund, GST cheques, etc,. go right into your bank account.
• You can receive your CRA correspondence online rather than through regular mail.
• You can view your Home Buyer’s Plan information
• You can view your Tax-Free Savings Account contribution room.
• View carryover amounts (e.g. tuition carry forward). Continue reading

Posted in General, Income Taxes | Leave a comment

Your Credit Score in Canada

Your Credit Score in Canada

Your credit score is a judgment about your financial health, at a specific point in time. It indicates the risk you represent for lenders, compared with other consumers.  It can change from month to month based on how you treat your debt.

There are many different ways to work out credit scores. The credit-reporting agencies Equifax and TransUnion use a scale from 300 to 900. High scores on this scale are good. The higher your score, the lower the risk for the lender. Lenders may also have their own ways of arriving at credit scores. In addition, lenders must decide on the lowest score you can have and still borrow money from them. They can also use your score to set the interest rate you will pay.

What is your Credit Score

Credit Score Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Health and Dental Coverage

Health and Dental Insurance

We are very fortunate to have one of the best health care systems in Canada.  However, there are some items that are not covered by our health care system such as health and dental coverage.  This may be for things like prescription drugs, dental exams and cleanings etc. and trips to health care practitioners such as Chiropractors, Naturopaths or Registered Massage Therapists.  For these things you can purchase Health and Dental Insurance.

Other items that you may be concerned about is vision care if you wear glasses or contacts and having emergency medical travel coverage if you travel outside of your province or outside of Canada.

You can purchase your own individual health and dental plan as an individual, as a couple or you can purchase a family plan.

There are multiple companies who offer Health and Dental Insurance.  We have listed two of the companies that we deal with that have very competitive rates.  They are Manulife and Sun Life.  Please see their links to their health insurance plans below.

If you are leaving a group plan, with Manulife you have 60 days to apply for coverage under their Follow Me plan.  You don’t have to be leaving a group plan where Manulife was your provider.  You could be leaving a plan with Blue Cross, Sun Life, Great West Life or any other company.  As long as you apply within 60 days of leaving your plan, then you can apply for Follow Me coverage.

Sun Life has a similar program called Health Choice where you can apply for coverage within 60 days of leaving a group plan.

If you have any questions at all regarding leaving your group plan, please email us at the link below:

info@godfroyfinancial.com

 

Posted in General, Insurance | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Travel Insurance for Canadians

Travelling to Cuba?

It has been a law since May 2010, that if you are travelling to Cuba, they can request proof of medical insurance. Canadians were presenting their provincial health insurance cards as proof of insurance.
Now Cuban officials are asking for proof of private travel insurance. Nobody likes to think about getting sick or hurt on vacation. What happens if you get stung by a jellyfish? Have an allergic reaction to an insect bite?
What if you cut yourself and need stitches? What if you have a heart attack?
The best way to protect yourself is to purchase travel insurance.

Why should I purchase travel insurance?

  • Your Canadian health insurance is almost certainly not valid outside of Canada.
  • Your provincial or territorial health plan may cover nothing or only a very small portion of the costs of medical care abroad, and never up front.
  • Foreign hospitals can be very expensive and may require immediate cash payment. You could face years of debt paying off the costs of treatment for an illness or accident you suffered abroad.

 

The Government of Canada will not pay your medical bills.

Continue reading

Posted in General, Insurance | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Saving Money on Life Insurance

Saving Money on Life Insurance

You can save money on your life insurance coverage by working with a broker. Brokers have the ability to shop around to ensure that you are getting the best price available in Canada for your insurance coverage.

If you are researching buying a policy, be sure to find out if you and your spouse are going to be on the same policy. Life insurance companies charge a monthly administrative fee on your policy. This is standard with every company. Some companies charge $5 per month per policy and some charge $10 per month per policy. Some charge $50 to $90 annually for the policy fee. This policy fee is built into the monthly cost of your total premium.

The key thing to be aware of is that some companies will only give you one type of product under one policy number. For example, you may have a husband and wife who each buy life insurance and then they each might buy Critical Illness Insurance. Some companies will bundle this coverage all under one policy number so there is just one policy fee. Some companies will give you 4 separate policies so you are actually paying 4 policy fees.

An easy way to determine how much you pay for the policy fee is to call your advisor or look in your insurance policy. It will be spelled out as to how much your policy fee is either monthly or annually. Continue reading

Posted in General, Insurance | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Canada Pension Plan & Employment Insurance Paid Up Contributions

Depending on how much money you make each year, your Canada Pension Plan contributions and Employment Insurance contributions may be paid up in July or August each year. At this point, your take home pay is normally $115 more each week if you get paid weekly.

The key to get ahead financially is to save that money each week in a TFSA or RRSP.

The maximum amount that an employee will have come off their pay cheque in 2016 is $2544.30 for CPP and $955.04 for EI. Keep an eye on your paystub to see when you are approaching the maximum amount.

Here’s an example of Joe that makes $90,000 per year salary. Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Rule of 72

Watch our short video on how the Rule of 72 works when trying to determine how long it takes for your money to double.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get more useful tips on finances and your money

Posted in General | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What is an Annuity?

An annuity is a investment product sold by financial institutions and in particular life Insurance companies. They are designed to work like a work pension plan, where they give a fixed payment for a period of time.
They can be purchased individually as term, life-time, inflation indexed, or for a joint life (term or life)

Guaranteed Monthly Income
Basically, you pay a financial institution (often an insurance company) a sum of money and they give it back to you in regular monthly payments, as determined by many factors such as your age, sex and the length of term you want guaranteed income for. You receive a regular income stream made up of interest and principal.

Are they for everyone?
If there’s no chance you’ll run out of money, annuities are probably the wrong choice. They make little sense if you have an ample employer pension, or you are poor in health. Since your work pension is already giving you an income for life, the best return on your money that is in an annuity comes from living much longer than the average person. Continue reading

Posted in General, Investments, Pension | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is a Segregated Fund

What is a Segregated Fund?

A Segregated Fund (also known as Seg Fund for short), is a type of investment fund administered by Canadian insurance companies in the form of individual, variable life insurance contracts offering certain guarantees to the policyholder such as reimbursement of capital upon death or upon Maturity.

A segregated fund is an investment fund that combines the growth potential of a mutual fund with the security of a life insurance policy. Segregated funds are often referred to as “mutual funds with an insurance policy wrapper”.

Like mutual funds, segregated funds consist of a pool of investments in securities such as bonds, debentures, and stocks. The value of the segregated fund fluctuates according to the market value of all the securities held within. Continue reading

Posted in Insurance | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment