Thank you for all that served our country, giving us the freedom we enjoy today. Thank you to all that continue to serve our country and put themselves in harm’s way to protect us from what the world has become.
I leave you with this poem below… a tribute to the fallen soldier.
The GreatWar 1914-1918
In Flanders Fields
Flanders Poppy on the First World War battlefields.
by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields. Lest we forget.
Henley Financial and Wealth Management can provide expert guidance on both of these options.
When you buy a home, you need a way to help protect yourself and your family’s financial security, no matter what happens.
Your bank/lending institution will talk to you about mortgage insurance (also called creditor insurance) when you finance your house. You wil be told about the importance of this product for your mortgage. What it means…if you die, your mortgage with the lender is paid out, which is how the lender protects the institution if something should happen to you.
But what happens to your family if they don’t payout the mortgage because the death did not pass the underwriter approval after the fact. What you receive from the lender for your premium is a credit certificate not an actual insurance policy. After death, the credit certificate is sent to the insurer for underwriting at which time the underwriter will decide if the insured qualified for insurance. One of two scenarios will happen: the lender will payout the mortgage or refund the premiums. If its the latter it is because the insured did not qualify for insurance due to circumstance before death.
Is having mortgage insurance/credit insurance from your lender the best option for you?
If you want to protect more than just your home, individual insurance will better suit your needs. Individual insurance generally provides more control, options and benefits to help you financially protect what matters most. Underwriting is done at the time of application and an insurance policy is issued if you qualify. When the insured dies the benefactor can choose to payout the mortgage, use the money for the families individual needs or do both.
By comparing Mortgage Insurance and Individual Life Insurance, you ensure you’re giving yourself and your family the type of insurance protection that meets your personal needs and just protecting the lender.
Build a financial security plan that will help protect your mortgage and what matters most in your life.
Henley Financial and Wealth Management would like to wish you a happy holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours. May all your dreams and wishes come true in 2017…
We leave you with this…
In this underused strategy, weigh your age and interest rates, then get the timing right.
The good news is most of us can expect to live longer. The bad news is that the decline of defined-benefit pensions, along with chronically low interest rates, makes it harder for us to avoid outliving our money.
For those without workplace defined-benefit pensions, annuities can offset that risk by acting as a form of longevity insurance. You hand over capital to an insurance company today in exchange for a guaranteed flow of income for as long as you live. In a real sense a DB pension, with its guaranteed payouts, is annuity-like. As are programs like the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Old Age Security (OAS).
Despite similar terminology, defined-contribution pensions, RRSPs, TFSAs, and non-registered savings are not real pensions, cautions Schulich School of Business finance professor Moshe Milevsky. While those vehicles will help out in retirement, the only way you can create a real guaranteed income for life is to annuitize, he explains in the second edition of Pensionize Your Nest Egg.
Nevertheless, annuities are underutilized because they are misunderstood or viewed as undesirable. Yet, new “fintech” alternatives may do the same thing as annuities, only using terms such as peer-to-peer longevity insurance or investment funds with longevity insurance.
Milevsky argues that even at today’s rock-bottom interest rates, annuities should pay more than comparable fixed-income investments because of the built-in mortality credits. “Anyone who bought an annuity five years ago is very happy,” Milevsky says.
He adds: “Everyone should have a source of income that’s predictable, inflation-adjusted and will last for the rest of their lives.” The trick is knowing when to annuitize. The longer you wait, the more you receive on a monthly basis. Milevsky’s rule of thumb is to annuitize when the death rate exceeds the interest rate. For example, relatively few die by 65, so the death rate is under 1%; buy an annuity now and it will give you little more than current interest rates. Wait until your mid-70s and the death rate starts to rise. That’s when annuities start to look much better.
This question often arises the year a retiree turns 71 and is forced to convert an RRSP into a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) or an annuity. Fee-only planner Marie Engen, co-owner of Boomer & Echo, says this is not an either/or case. You probably should do both, particularly as you move into your 70s and 80s. Ideally, she says, pensions and annuities will cover basic retirement expenses, leaving the rest for investment growth and more liquid access to money for more enjoyable lifestyle expenses.
For healthy males, Milevsky suggests annuitizing between 70 and 80, adding 5% or 10% more each year, until you’re almost entirely annuitized between ages 80 and 95. Because spouses and children can be impacted, the whole family needs to join the conversation, particularly since capital that has been annuitized can’t be converted back. That means your heirs will inherit little or none of what is annuitized.
Keep in mind the distinction between registered and non-registered annuities. Payments from registered annuities are fully taxable like RRIFs and, on death, heirs will be taxed based on a same-day valuation. According to Ivon Hughes of Montreal-based LifeAnnuities.com, a healthy 65-year-old male not wanting a guarantee period would get $531.49 monthly income from a $100,000 registered annuity. At age 71 this income rises to $636.34, and at age 80, he’ll get $946.76.
With non-registered “prescribed annuities” the interest paid out is taxable but not the return of capital. Keep in mind, the Canada Revenue Agency is updating its mortality tables and increasing the taxable portion—people are living longer. That makes annuitizing with registered funds more attractive, Milevsky says. A $100,000 non-registered annuity without a guarantee period pays out $509.97 at 65, $606.12 if acquired at 71, and $789.03 at age 80.
Milevsky favours plain-vanilla annuities and cautions against buying too many bells and whistles: every time you add guarantees, minimums, and survivorship benefits, you water down the mortality credits.
A Mother loves right from the start.
She holds her baby close to her heart.
The bond that grows will never falter.
Her love is so strong it will never alter.
A Mother gives never ending Love.
She never feels that she has given enough.
For you she will always do her best.
Constantly working, there’s no time to rest.
A Mother is there when things go wrong.
A hug and a kiss to help us along.
Always there when we need her near.
As I look back on my life
I find myself wondering…
Did I remember to thank you
for all that you have done for me?
For all of the times you were by my side
to help me celebrate my successes
and accept my defeats?
Or for teaching me the value of hard work,
good judgement, courage, and honesty?
I wonder if I’ve ever thanked you
for the simple things…
The laughter, smiles, and quiet times shared?
If I have forgotten to express my gratitude
For any of these things,
I am thanking you now…
and I am hoping that you’ve known all along,
how very much you are loved and appreciated.
As always we never get around to thanking the ones
We love when we can… give your mother a hug because you never
Know when that time will come and you wished you could one last time.
Part 2, of the great debate… With RRSPs at the forefront of everyone’s minds I want to continue to share with you comments on the most common debate. In Part 1, we talked about three questions you should ask yourself, below we will show how you might be able to contribute to your RRSP and put a little extra down on your Mortgage.
Should I pay down the mortgage or contribute to the RRSP?
Generally speaking, either financial strategy is a good choice. It is better than spending the money on things that have no inherent financial value. It is also better than “investing” (I use that term loosely) in depreciable assets like cars. Let’s compare the financial benefit of the two alternatives. First, let’s look at your mortgage. We know that mortgage rates are around 2.7%. You might think that paying down the mortgage means you forego paying 2.7% in the future, and therefore, the mortgage pay-down has a financial benefit of 2.7%. Most mortgages are not tax-deductible thus you must earn more than a dollar to pay down a dollar of debt. In fact, you probably need to earn about $1.23 to pay down a dollar of debt (depending on your tax bracket – Middle income is about 23%). Therefore, paying off your mortgage has an after-tax benefit of over 2.7%. Remember, the higher the interest rate on the mortgage, the more attractive it is to pay down the mortgage.
Now let’s look at the RRSP. If you are in the middle marginal tax bracket, you will save around 23% in tax (combined federal and provincial; note: rates vary from province to province). In a higher tax bracket, an RRSP contribution might save you as much as 46% in tax savings. The bottom line is that when you compare the two scenarios, a dollar put toward the mortgage saves you 2.7% in interest while a contibution to your RRSP could save you 23% in tax (as discussed 23% is around the middle-income tax bracket). Given the choice, you would likely take a 23% saving over a 2.7% saving. The final point in favor of making an RRSP contribution is that making the RRSP contribution may give you the opportunity to invest in your RRSPs and pay down the mortgage. For example, let’s assume you have $10,000 and you are in a 23% marginal tax bracket. By contributing to the RRSP, you could save $2,300 in taxes and potentially get that in a refund. Once you get the refund, you can then take the $2,300 and pay that down on the mortgage. You have created $12,300 out of $10,000, $10,000 went into your RRSP and because of that contribution, the government potentially refunded you $2,300, which you then put towards the Mortgage.
Generally speaking, anytime, you can pay down a big debt it is beneficial to your overall financial security. The ability to invest in yourself and pay down the mortgage if done correctly creates financial success.
Reality tells us that this is not a debate but sound advice… we are in control of our own situation – sometimes using your rebate to pay for a vacation seems like a better option. The choice is yours make (and you deserve it), but you only have one opportunity per year to double dip between your investments and debt reduction. The choice is yours!
Note: Please be advised that the percentages used in this article are for ease of calculations to help you understand the concept and are not meant to be everyone’s valuation each person’s situation is different.