3 Steps to a More Secure Retirement

3 Steps to a More Secure RetirementEven though many of us are still decades away from retirement, it’s a constant worry. Nobody wants to run out of cash during their golden years. With record housing prices, higher food costs, and increasing financial commitments despite stagnant salaries, saving for retirement is tougher than ever. And with interest rates hitting record lows, it’s hard to get decent returns–especially from fixed income. Investors don’t have to fret about obligations decades away….

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Most Millennials Don’t Expect to Become Millionaires

Most Millennials Don't Expect to Become MillionairesEach of us is now responsible for saving for our own retirement, but many young people aren’t feeling particularly optimistic about their ability to do so. Most millennials (64 percent) say they don’t expect to be able to accumulate $1 million for retirement over their lifetime, according to a Wells Fargo and GfK survey of 1,005 millennials ages 22 to 35 who are employed U.S. residents, but not working in…

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3 Smart Ways to Use Your Holiday Bonus

3 Smart Ways to Use Your Holiday BonusMore than half of employers (54%) said they planned to give holiday bonuses in 2015, up from 47% in 2014, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder. (Sadly, only 14% plan to give more than last year.) If you happen to be one of their lucky employees, perhaps you’re wondering how to put that cash to use. Fortunately, we have some ideas. 1. Sock It Away Study after study highlights…

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You Spring-Clean Your House Why Not Your Finances?

You Spring-Clean Your House Why Not Your Finances?Many Canadians engage in regular spring cleaning rituals like checking fire alarms, rotating mattresses and planting gardens. They’re tedious and time-consuming tasks, but they need to be tended to by responsible homeowners. Those responsibilities shouldn’t end at household chores. Spring is as good a time as any to dust off and polish up all things personal finance. You’re already sorting through slips and statements to file your taxes, so you…

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Canadians Missing Chance for Cash with Medical Tax Credit

Canadians Missing Chance for Cash with Medical Tax CreditOne of the least-used tax credits is also one of the murkiest. But by not claiming certain health-care costs via the Medical Expense Tax Credit, Canadians could be losing big dollars. “The opportunity to save money is not used…because you’ve got to keep some records and have some efficient way to calculate the deduction,” says John Crawford, chartered accountant and chief financial officer of health insurer Pacific Blue Cross. “There’s…

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Must-Make Year-End Tax Moves

Must-Make Year-End Tax MovesWe may be approaching the most wonderful time of the year, but December is also when to make moves that could save you money come tax time. “Most people think of tax time as April, but it’s really all year long,” says Caroline Battista, a senior tax analyst with H&R Block Canada. “You want to be keeping your receipts all year long, but there are few things you can do at…

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Canadian Dollar Under Pressure Over Rates and Economy

Canadian Dollar Under Pressure Over Rates and EconomyThe Canadian dollar has had a sharp slide since the beginning of 2014 and most predictions are that it will go lower. RBC economists say 87 cents by this fall, perhaps 85 cents next year, while TD Bank says 85 cents before the end of the year, then a rebound to 90 cents in 2015. On Friday the loonie closed up 0.26 of a cent at 89.21 cents US, having…

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8 Things Not to Keep in Your Wallet this Holiday Season

8 Things Not to Keep in Your Wallet this Holiday SeasonYou’re doing your holiday shopping in the midst of those distracting sales and crowds. You’re checking your gift lists (twice!) and your budget. You’re juggling bags and boxes. And you’re paying little attention to your purse or wallet. These are the moments when identity thieves will strike. “Pickpocketing can happen virtually anywhere, and people should be on their guard, especially while shopping this holiday season,” says Ken Chaplin, senior vice…

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Pensions Are Worth Zero?

Pensions Are Worth Zero?A recent Family Finance column in the Financial Post showed something strange about the way that financial planners calculate a person’s net worth. Apparently, having a defined-benefit pension plan does not add anything to your net worth. The article profiled Doris, a grandmother with a simple balance sheet. She has a car worth $3000, owes $10,000 on her line of credit, and can begin drawing a $1400 per month pension…

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Tuition Debt Carried by Many Parents to Help Kids

Tuition Debt Carried by Many Parents to Help KidsMany Canadian parents pay a hefty portion of students’ tuition fees, even if it means sacrificing their financial stability, to help their children avoid a post-graduation life burdened by tens of thousands of dollars of student debt. Ross Campbell, a 56-year-old financial planner, and his wife knew they wanted to help their two daughters graduate university without the girls owing a cent. “That was sort of a focus of ours,” Campbell…

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