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Retirement Savings Plans – a penny saved is a penny earned
For most people, saving for retirement will be a lifelong pursuit. Starting early can mean big rewards later on. Consider the case of a newspaper carrier earning $40 a week - that's hardly enough to file a tax return, you might think. However, that $2080 annually can add up to a huge accumulated carry-forward RRSP-contribution deduction when the fulltime job comes along!


We've only just begun...
Over the holidays, my client John invited me to his father-in-law, Fred's retirement party. Fred has been asking John a lot of questions about his retirement and John wanted Fred to talk to me. In this party, I also met Bryan, Fred's son. They are both starting a new phase in their lives and have "only just begun", as the song says. Fred is 55 and has decided to take early retirement. His son, Bryan, is 25 and has just finished university. Bryan is starting full time employment on February 1. I had a brief discussion with each of them about some financial planning strategies.


So you're thinking - can I retire - should I retire or must I retire?
As we move closer to our eventual retirement, some people start the process with a pre-retirement plan. This Pre-retirement planning process starts with a shifting awareness that retirement is at the doorstep, rather than say, the next ten to twelve years away. Doing so will help you adjust your focus and your thoughts towards the event in a more relaxed way. It provides a lot more time to become accustomed to the concept of lifestyle changes retirement offers.


The Lifecycle of RRSP Investing
You have spent the last 20 years building a fulfilling career and creating a satisfying lifestyle. Now you're ready to turn your attention to the future. If you haven't thought about retirement planning yet, now is the time.


Halfway through the year and thinking about RRSPs?
Perhaps the summer months are a good time to consider the RRSP contributions made earlier this year? Was it a rushed decision? Did you buy the first thing that came along or just parked the money to get the tax deduction? If so, this is perhaps the best time to review your RRSP plans.


Year-end planning of RSP contributions
As the end of the year approaches you are probably thinking about how to reduce your tax bill for the year. One of the best tax planning tools available in Canada is the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and if you have "contribution room", you should consider maximizing your contribution which will save you taxes.


With the RRSP March 1st deadline on the horizon, a little foresight...
If you don't have a plan or have become concerned about future market conditions, then the best place for this year's RRSP contribution is into guaranteed investments such as term deposits or GICs until you’re comfortable with a decision.


RRSPs may be more than just about retirement
While RRSPs are meant to help Canadians prepare for retirement, some people may opt to use their plans to buy a home or pursue an education.


The Labour-Sponsored Investment Funds market sees two new entrants this RRSP season
"The past three years have been the most challenging on global markets in 50 years. What makes this more unsettling is that these conditions follow a decade of unprecedented market growth. So, for many investors, these markets may be a new experience," says Peter W. Anderson, President, CI Mutual Funds Inc. in a recent letter.


Small companies can create big opportunities for your RRSP
Most Canadians only invest their RRSP portfolio in Canadian companies. Yet Canada only represents about three per cent of the global markets. The government allows you to invest up to a maximum of 30 per cent of the book value of your RRSP in foreign securities. To fully diversify your RRSP portfolio and take advantage of the foreign content amount, it's beneficial to invest globally.


Seasonal RRSP advertisements will be emerging in the media very soon
According to Statistics Canada, in the 2002 tax year Canadians took advantage of only 9 per cent of the nearly $274 billion in available contribution room. That means a whole lot of room for RRSP growth went unfilled – 'empty' contribution space that will ultimately reduce the retirement income of millions of Canadians by billions of dollars.


Federal Home Buyer's Plan frees up RRSP funds for purchase of first home
The word is out that the federal government's Home Buyers' Plan is a useful tool for Canadians looking to buy their first home. But, given that it permits them to withdraw up to $20,000 from their registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs), another question emerges: how useful is the HBP as an investment-planning tool?


Borrow up to $20,000 interest-free and get educated
The Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) program is designed to assist individuals who are now following a different career path and looking for money to cover the educational costs. This Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) lets you withdraw up to $10,000. per year to a maximum of $20,000 from your registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for you or your spouse or common-law partner.


I told you to transfer my RRSP/RRIF - What's the hold up?
If you decide to transfer a RRSP or RRIF to another financial institution, be prepared for the possibility of a long wait. What seems like a simple process can be turned into anything but as the transfer progresses through the many steps involved. Can this be avoided? The simple solution is to insert yourself into the process.


Plan for a comfortable retirement
We all know that planning ahead is a good practice and this is never more true than with planning for your retirement. Beginning to save for retirement at an early age can dramatically increase the amount of money you are able to accumulate. This is especially important as it becomes clearer that, thanks to inflation and increased life spans, we will need more money in retirement than we once thought.


Put your RRSP investments on the map!
With the popularity of RRSPs in Canada on an ever-increasing ascent, Canadians are realizing the importance of diversification in their investments. In the case of RRSPs, the global market represents a potential increase in returns that should not be ignored, especially since the foreign content limit for Canadians has been raised to 30% effective January 2001.


Your RRSPs: Mix It Up!
With RRSPs, diversification can mean the difference between investments that perform or underacheive, and ones that outperform. As a result, the mix of assets that you hold in your portfolio will be one of the biggest factors in determining the return you receive on your investments.


Maximize your RRSP returns when interest rates plunge
For risk-conscious investors, fixed income investments seem like the safest choice in a sea of volatility, providing a guaranteed return with a low level of risk. But with interest rates remaining low, many of these same investors are venturing out into uncharted water, forsaking the relative safety of products such as GICs for the lure of higher returns associated with mutual funds and stocks.


Types of RRSP options you have
With the maze of options facing those looking at investing in RRSPs, the first few months of the new year can be a very confusing time. We have compiled and explained a few of the more popular choices to help you make the most of what has come to be known as RRSP season.


RRSPs and all the noise
The RRSP season lasts for only two short months but it seems that the constant barrage of advertising from companies promoting their retirement products can go on forever. Learn to separate the truth from the hype to help make the most of your RRSP planning decisions now and throughout the year.


Reduce taxes at source
Many Canadians view the tax refund they receive each year as a windfall, looking forward to the end of "tax season" with anticipation. What many do not realize however, is that this refund is a result of overpaying taxes throughout the year. Why not reduce the taxes that you pay during the year and have the money in your pocket when you need it?


Investing in an RRSPs makes sense
Investing over the long-term is always a good idea but it takes on extra importance when investing in an RRSP. RRSPs allow your money to accumulate tax-free but investing in them over the long haul gives your money even longer to grow, increasing the earning ability of your investment.


Consider transferring an RRSP at maturity
Your RRSP savings are your security for the future so you should know how to make the most of them. Transferring a fixed term RRSP investment at maturity to a different financial institution with a better rate can be beneficial but beware of the costs involved in doing so.


Considering a Spousal RRSP?
Spousal RRSPs are an excellent opportunity for couples to even out the level of their RRSP savings while minimizing the taxes that will have to be paid in retirement. But who does this apply to and how does a spousal RRSP work?





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RSP Planning
Retirement Savings Plans – a penny saved is a penny earned

We've only just begun...

So you're thinking - can I retire - should I retire or must I retire?

The Lifecycle of RRSP Investing

Year-end planning of RSP contributions

Halfway through the year and thinking about RRSPs?


With the RRSP March 1st deadline on the horizon, a little foresight...

RRSPs may be more than just about retirement

The Labour-Sponsored Investment Funds market sees two new entrants this RRSP season


Small companies can create big opportunities for your RRSP

Seasonal RRSP advertisements will be emerging in the media very soon

Federal Home Buyer's Plan frees up RRSP funds for purchase of first home

Borrow up to $20,000 interest-free and get educated

Plan for a comfortable retirement

Put your RRSP investments on the map!

Your RRSPs: Mix It Up!

Maximize your RRSP returns when interest rates plunge

Types of RSP options you have

RRSPs and all the noise

Reduce taxes at source

Investing in an RRSP makes sense

Consider transferring an RRSP

I told you to transfer my RRSP/RRIF - What's the hold up?

Considering a Spousal RRSP?



The Companion Advisor:
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Retirement Planning