Why Insurance Is So Important If You’re A Single Parent

Why Insurance Is So Important If You’re A Single Parent

Your kids mean everything to you – and you want to make sure they’re protected no matter what. As a single parent, you must have the right health and life insurance options in place to make that happen. We recommend you consider all of the following types of insurance:

  • Disability insurance

  • Critical illness insurance

  • Accident insurance

  • Life insurance

Disability insurance

Disability insurance can provide you with an income if you become disabled and cannot work – whether it’s for a short period of time or a long one.

Most workplaces offer disability coverage, but it’s tied to that particular job, so you’ll lose coverage if you leave that job. As well, the coverage from your employer’s plan may not be sufficient to cover your needs if you become disabled.

It’s particularly important for you to look into disability insurance if you work as a contractor or have a job with no benefits.

Critical illness insurance

Critical illness insurance can help you pay for the costs associated with various serious medical issues (such as a heart attack, cancer, or a stroke) that aren’t covered by any other health plans or disability insurance. As a single parent, you may find the payout from a critical illness insurance policy especially helpful for paying for extra childcare or lost income if you cannot work.

Accident insurance

Life is getting busier than ever – and there are more and more of us on the roads. Unfortunately, more people on the roads mean more accidents. If you buy accident insurance for yourself or your children, the payout from the policy can bring in some extra income at a critical time of need if any of you are in an accident. You can use an accident insurance payout to help pay for anything from lost income to private home care.

Life insurance

Life insurance is critical as a single parent as your children are dependent on your income. Generally, we suggest that you get a policy that is worth at least 10 times your annual income, but you may need more if you have a lot of debt or you need the money to last a long time.

Your children should be the beneficiaries of your policy and you can name a trustee (such as a grandparent or other relative) to look after the money on your children’s behalf until they reach a specified age.

We can help!

If you have questions about what kind of insurance is best for you, we’re happy to answer them! We’ll walk you through all your options and put together an insurance package that’s just right for you. Call us today!

The Five Steps to Investment Planning

For a long time, there were limited options for most investors. But now, there are hundreds of investments for investors to choose. However, this amount of choice can be overwhelming. Fortunately, an investment advisor can help you figure out what the right investment choices are for you.

Meeting your investment advisor

When you first meet with your investment advisor, they will tell you about their obligations and responsibilities. They should:

  • Give you general information about your various investment choices (e.g. stocks, bonds, mutual funds)

  • Tell you how they are compensated for their services

  • Ask if you have any questions about specific investment vehicles (such as RRSPs or TFSAs)

Determining your goals and expectations

The next step is to for your investment advisor to fill out a “Know Your Client” type of worksheet. The information on this worksheet will help your investment advisor determine the most suitable investment options for you. You’ll need to provide information on your:

  • Income

  • Net worth

  • Investment knowledge

  • Risk tolerance

  • Time horizon (how long you want to invest for)

  • How frequently do you want to invest

Developing your investment plan

Once they have all the information they need, your investment advisor will suggest the investments they think are appropriate for you.

Implementing the plan

Once you approve your investment advisor’s suggestions, you will fill in all the appropriate paperwork to set things in motion. After that, you must provide a way to fund your investments. Your investment advisor can then make any initial purchases and set up any ongoing fund purchases or transfers from other investments.

Monitoring the plan

Your investment advisor should contact you at least once a year to make sure your plan is still suitable for you and discuss any changes you want to make to it. If you have any major life events, such as getting married or changing jobs, you should contact your investment advisor to see if you should revisit your plan.

The sooner you start your investment planning, the sooner you can reach your investment goals! So contact us today!

2022 Federal Budget Highlights

Federal Budget 2022 – Highlights

On April 7, 2022, the Federal Government released their 2022 budget. We have broken down the highlights of the financial measures in this budget into the following different sections:

  • Housing

  • Alternative minimum tax

  • Dental care

  • Small businesses

  • Tradespeople

  • Canada Growth Fund

  • Climate

  • Bank and insurer taxes

Housing

There were several tax measures related to housing introduced in the budget.

Budget 2022 introduced a new kind of savings account – a Tax-Free First Home Savings Account (FHSA).

These are the key things you need to know about the new FHSAs:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of Canada to open an account. You must also not currently own a home or have owned one in the previous four calendar years.

  • You can only open and use an FHSA once, and you must close it within a year after your first withdrawal.

  • Contributions are tax-deductible, and income earned in an FHSA will not be either while it is in the account or when you withdraw it.

  • There is a lifetime contribution limit of $40,00, with an annual contribution limit of $8,000. You can’t carry contribution room forward.

  • If you don’t use the funds in your FHSA within 15 years of opening it, you can transfer them to an RRSP or RRIF tax-free. Transfers to an RRSP do not impact your RRSP contribution room.

Two existing tax credits were increased, and a new one was introduced:

  • The First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit amount was increased from $5000 to $10,000, giving up to $1,500 in direct support to home buyers. This tax credit applies to all homes purchased on or after January 1, 2022.

  • The annual expense limit for the Home Accessibility Tax Credit has been increased to $20,000 for 2022 and subsequent tax years.

  • A new tax credit, the Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit, was introduced, which will start in 2023. This tax credit is a 15% refundable credit for eligible expenses up to $50,000 (maximum tax credit is $7,500) for constructing a secondary suite for a senior or an adult with a disability to live with a qualifying relative.

Budget 2022 proposes new rules, effective January 1, 2023, that anyone who sells a residential property they have held for less than 12 months would be subject to full taxation on their profits as business income. However, there will be some exemptions to these rules due to life events such as a death, disability, the birth of a child, a new job, or a divorce.

Budget 2022 also announces restrictions that would help ensure that Canadians, instead of foreign investors, own housing. A two-year ban will be introduced on non-residents buying residential property, with some exceptions, such as individuals who have work permits and are living in Canada.

Alternative Minimum Tax

In Canada, the top federal tax rate is 33% and starts at an income of $221,708. However, many high-income filers end up paying less tax than this due to tax deductions and tax credits.

The goal of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), which has been around since 1986, is to ensure high-income Canadians are paying their fair share of taxes. However, it has not been substantially updated since it was introduced. In Budget 2022, the government indicated they would be investigating changes to the AMT, which will likely be disclosed in the fall 2022 economic update.

Dental Care

For many Canadians without private coverage, going to the dentist is too expensive. Budget 2022 commits $5.3 billion to provide dental care for Canadians with family incomes of less than $90,000 annually. Coverage will start for children under 12 this year and expand to children under 18, seniors and those living with a disability in 2023, with the program will be fully implemented by 2025.

Small Businesses

Small businesses currently have a 9% tax rate on the first $500,000 of taxable income (compared to the corporate tax rate of 15%). However, after a small business’ capital employed in Canada reaches $15 million, it is no longer eligible for the 9% tax rate.

Budget 2022 proposes gradually phasing out the small business tax rate so that businesses are not discouraged from expanding. The new cut-off for the lower tax rate will be $50 million.

Budget 2022 also includes a proposal to create an Employee Ownership Trust. This would be a new, dedicated trust under the Income Tax Act to support employee ownership.

Tradespeople

Budget 2022 introduces the Labour Mobility Deduction. This would allow eligible tradespersons and apprentices to deduct up to $4,000 a year in eligible travel and temporary relocation expenses.

Budget 2022 also commits to providing $84.2 million over four years to double funding for the Union Training and Innovation Program, which would help 3,500 apprentices from underrepresented groups each year.

Canada Growth Fund

Budget 2022 introduces a new Canada Growth Fund, with the goals of both diversifying our economy and helping achieve our climate goals.

The Canada Growth Fund aims to attract considerable private sector investment, support the restructuring of vital supply chains, and bolster our exports. The Canada Growth Fund will also provide backing to reduce our emissions and invest in the growth of low-carbon industries.

Climate

Budget 2022 continues to confirm the government’s commitment to fighting climate change. It commits $1.7 billion over five years to extend the Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles Program until March 2025 and also provides funding to create a national network of electric vehicle charging stations.

Budget 2022 also commits $250 million over four years to support the development of clean electricity, including inter-provincial electricity transmission projects and Small Modular Reactors.

Bank And Insurer Taxes

Budget 2022 introduced a new financial measure called the Canada Recovery Dividend. Banks and insurers will have to pay a one-time, 15% tax on 2021 taxable income above $1 billion. This tax will be payable over five years.

Budget 2022 also proposes increasing the tax rate on income above $100 million for banks and insurers to 16.5% (currently 15% for other corporations).

Wondering How This May Impact You?

If you have any questions or concerns about how the new federal budget may impact you, call us – we’d be happy to help you!

2021 Income Tax Year Tips

Tax Tips You Need To Know Before Filing Your 2021 Taxes

This year’s tax deadline is April 30, 2022. We’ve got a list of tips to help you save on your taxes!

Claiming home office expenses

You can claim up to $500 under the “flat rate” method if you worked at home due to COVID-19. To claim more, you must use the detailed method to claim home office expenses.

Employer-provided benefits

If your employer reimburses you for certain costs (such as commuting costs, parking, and home office equipment) due to COVID-19, the CRA will generally not consider this a taxable benefit.

Repaying Covid-19 support payments

If you repaid COVID-19 benefits, you can deduct the amount on your tax return either for the year you received the benefit or the year you repaid it, or you can split the deduction between both years.

Climate Action incentive can no longer be claimed

As of 2021, this amount can’t be claimed as a refundable credit; instead, you’ll receive quarterly payments via the benefits system.

Disability tax credit (DTC)

If you or a family member are DTC claimants, then you should review the updated criteria for the tax credit in regards to mental functions, life-sustaining therapy and calculating therapy time.

Eligible educator school supply tax credit

This tax credit has been increased to 25 percent for eligible supplies (such as books and games) to a maximum of $1,000.

Tax deduction on interest payments

You can claim a tax deduction for the interest you’ve paid on any money you’ve borrowed to invest. However, you can only do this if you use the money to earn investment income (for example, a rental property).

The digital subscriptions tax credit

You can claim up to $500 as a tax credit if you have a digital subscription to a qualifying Canadian news outlet.

Self-employed? Be sure to set aside enough for personal income tax!

If you’re self-employed, be sure you put aside enough money (we recommend 25% of your income) to pay your tax bill when the time comes. You’re taxed only on your net income (total income minus expenses).

You need to plan ahead for tax changes if you want to retire abroad

Planning to retire abroad? If so, you need to be aware of the tax implications and plan accordingly. If you sell your house and move, you may be considered a “non-resident” and be subject to capital gains taxes on non-registered investments (even if you have not sold them) or have your pension subjected to a withholding tax.

You can stop making CPP contributions if you’re over 65 but plan to keep working

If you’re 65 and already collecting Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits but also still working, you may be able to stop making CPP contributions. To do so, you need to fill in the form CPT30.

Need help?

Not sure if you qualify for a credit or deduction? Give us a call – we’re here to save you money on your taxes!

Salary vs Dividend

As a business owner, you have the ability to pay yourself a salary or dividend or a combination of both. In this article and infographic, we will examine the difference between salary and dividends and review the advantages and disadvantages of each.

When deciding to pay yourself as a business owner, please review these factors:

  • How much do you need?

  • How much tax?

  • Other considerations including retirement and employment insurance.

How much do you need?

Determine your cash flow on a personal and corporate level.

  • What’s your personal after-tax cash flow need?

  • What’s your corporate cash flow need?

How much tax?

Figure out how much you will pay in tax. Business owners understand that tax is a sizeable expense.

  • What’s your personal income tax rate?

Depending on the province you reside in and your income, make sure you also include income from other sources to determine your tax rate. (Example: old age security, pension, rental, investment income etc.)

If you decide to pay out in dividends, check if you will be paying out eligible or ineligible dividends. The taxation of eligible dividends is more favorable than ineligible dividends from an individual income tax standpoint.

  • What’s your corporation’s income tax rate?

For taxation year 2020, the small business federal tax rate is 9% . Please also remember, if you pay out salary, salary is considered a tax-deductible expense, therefore this will lower the corporation’s taxable income versus paying out dividends will not lower the corporation’s taxable income.

Other considerations

If you pay yourself a salary, these options are available.

  • Do you need RRSP contribution room?

As part of this, it’s worth considering ensuring that you receive a salary high enough to take full advantage of the maximum RRSP annual contribution that you can make.

  • Are you interested in contributing to the Canada Pension Plan?

This is unique to your circumstances and a cost-benefit analysis to determine the amount of contributions makes sense.

  • Do you need employment insurance (EI)?

For shareholders owning more than 40% of voting shares, EI is optional. There are situations worth careful thought such as maternity benefit, parental benefit, sickness benefit, compassionate care benefit, family caregiver benefit for children or family caregiver benefit for adults.

The infographic below summarizes the difference between Salary vs. Dividend.

We would also advise that you get in touch with your accountant to help you determine the best mix for your unique situation.

Saskatchewan 2022 Budget Highlights

Saskatchewan 2022 Budget Highlights

On March 23, 2022, the Saskatchewan Minister of Finance announced Saskatchewan’s 2022 budget. This article highlights the most important things you need to know.

No Changes To Corporate or Personal Tax Rates

There are no changes to Saskatchewan’s corporate tax rates or personal tax rates in Budget 2022.

Increased Value-Add Agriculture Incentive Tax Credit

Budget 2022 increases the tax credit rate for the Saskatchewan Value-added Agriculture Incentive up to 40%, depending on the amount being invested. This credit is only available for capital expenditures valued at $10 million or more for newly constructed or expanded value-added agriculture facilities in Saskatchewan, such as canola crush facilities and pea protein processors.

Increased Technology Start-Up Incentive Tax Credit

This initiative offers a non-refundable 45% tax credit to anyone investing in eligible start-up businesses that are either developing new technologies or applying existing technology in a new way. Budget 2022 increases the annual cap of the Saskatchewan Technology Start-up Incentive tax credit to $3.5 million per year.

Changes in Education Property Taxes

Budget 2022 increases the mill rates (amount of tax payable per dollar of a property’s assessed value). The new education property tax rates are as follows:

  • Agricultural — 1.42 (from 1.36)

  • Residential — 4.54 (from 4.46)

  • Commercial/Industrial — 6.86 (from 6.75)

  • Resource — 9.88 (from 9.79)

Changes In PST Charges

Budget 2022 includes two PST changes. Audiobooks will be exempt from PST sales as of April 1, 2022. As of October 1, 2022, PST will be charged by various places that charge admission, including sporting events, concerts, museums, and fairs. It will also be applied to gym memberships and golf memberships.

Improvements In Child Care Options

Budget 2022 commits over 300 million dollars to improve child care options. The money is committed as follows:

  • $309.6 million for early learning and child care. This includes funding provided via the Federal-Provincial Early Years Agreements.

  • $4.3 million to create 6,100 new child care spaces.

Helping The Healthcare System Thrive

Budget 2022 also commits a record 6.8 billion to help the healthcare system thrive. The money is committed in a variety of areas, including:

  • $21.6 million to reduce the surgical waitlist. 

  • $12.5 million for 11 additional ICU beds. The government’s goal is to bring the total of ICU beds in the province to 90 by 2022-23, increasing to 110 by 2024-25.

  • $470 million for mental health and addictions services programs.

We can help!

We can help you determine the effect of tax changes in this year’s budget on your personal or business finances. Get started today and give us a call!

Life Insurance after 60- is it necessary?

You may have had life insurance for as long as you can remember. You wanted to make sure that your family would be taken care of and be able to pay their bills if anything happened to you.

But now that you’re older and your children are grown – and hopefully your mortgage is paid off – you may not feel you still need life insurance. This could be a valid assumption; however, there are some circumstances under which it may still make sense for you to have life insurance. They are:

  • You still have substantial debt.

  • You have dependent children or grandchildren.

  • You want to leave a financial legacy.

You still have substantial debt

No one likes the thought of leaving their loved ones to pay their debts if they die. If, however, someone has co-signed a loan with you – for example, for a mortgage or a car – and you die, then they will be on the hook for the entire amount.

If you have life insurance and name your co-signer as the beneficiary, this will help relieve any financial burden your death could cause them.

You have dependent children or grandchildren

If you have children who are still dependent on you because they have a mental or physical disability, life insurance can be an excellent way to ensure they will still have access to funds after you die.  Lifelong care can be expensive, and a life insurance benefit will go a long way to helping fund it.

You may have grandchildren you are caring for or that you are not responsible for but want to leave money they can use towards higher
education.  A life insurance payout can be a great way to help a grandchild get a good start in life without having to go into debt.

You want to leave a financial legacy

You may not have dependent children or grandchildren but still want to leave them something when you die. Life insurance can be a great way to do this without cutting back on your spending during your lifetime.

Life insurance can also help make sure that you have something to leave everyone in your will. If you have a family cottage, it can
be complicated to leave it to more than one person or family. Life insurance gives you the option to leave one person or family the cottage and another person or family the cash equivalent.

We can help you!

If you’re unsure whether or not it still makes sense to have life insurance after the age of 60, we’d be happy to sit down with you and talk through your options. Give us a call or email us today!

2022 Alberta Budget Highlights

Alberta 2022 Budget Highlights

On February 24, 2022, the Alberta Minister of Finance announced Alberta’s 2022 budget. This article highlights the most important things you need to know.

Increasing The Capacity Of The Health Care System

Budget 2022 commits to adding a total of $1.8 billion to the Alberta health care budget by 2024-2025. This money will be spent to help put in place new mental health and addiction support, attract new physicians to remote areas, strengthen Emergency Medical Services, and address pandemic-related health costs and surgical backlogs.

Budget 2022 also commits to investing over $750 million in health care capital. This money will be used to create new inpatient beds for cancer patients, increase surgical capacity, upgrade the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, and provide additional treatment spaces for mental health.

Supporting Albertans To Get Back To Work

Budget 2022 is committed to helping Albertans get back to work. Budget 2022 commits $171 million to this goal over three years. This money will be used to help increase enrollment spaces in areas that have skill shortages, including technology, finance, energy, engineering, health, and aviation. Budget 2022 also commits to providing support for increasing training opportunities for vets and commercial drivers, apprenticeship programs, and training opportunities for Indigenous Peoples.

Another goal of Budget 2022 is to support Albertans seeking employment or looking to advance their careers. Budget 2022 commits over $100 million to expand skills development and training opportunities, address barriers to employment, and provide financial support options to low-income students in high-demand programs.

Committing To The Fiscal Plan

Budget 2022 is Alberta’s second balanced budget in over a decade. Total revenue for the province for 2022-2023 is estimated to be $62.6 billion in 2022-23, and total overall expenses in 2022-23 will be $62.1 billion.

No Changes To Corporate or Personal Tax Rates

Budget 2022 does not include any changes to the province’s corporate tax rates or personal tax rates.

We can help!

We can help you assess the impact of this year’s budget on your finances or business. Give us a call today!

2022 British Columbia Budget Highlights

British Columbia 2022 Budget Highlights

On February 22, 2022, the B.C. Minister of Finance announced the 2022 budget. We have highlighted the most important things you need to know about this budget.

Supporting Sustainable Economic Development

Budget 2022 contains several measures to help build a more robust economy, including $50 million to support growing sectors such as life sciences, manufacturing, and agriculture. In addition, the budget allocates funding to help industries impacted by COVID-19, including the tourism industry, the arts, and non-profit organizations. Budget 2022 supports workers looking to upgrade their skills or train for new jobs, with an emphasis on providing training for early childhood educators and health care assistants.

Offering Stronger Health Care

Budget 2022 includes funding to support the opening of new Urgent and Primary care centres and continuing Pathway to Hope from Budget 2021, which dedicated $500 million over two years to support mental health and addiction care. As well, Budget 2022 includes funding for B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Expanding Child Care Options and Lowering Fees

Working with the federal government, the B.C. government will create 40,000 new licensed child care spaces for children under six over the next seven years. The budget also includes an investment in increasing before and after school spaces and expanding the Seamless Day program to include 44 school districts.

Fees for full-day infant and toddler care will be reduced by 50% by the end of 2022 (to an average of $20/day). Average preschool and before and after school care fees will be cut to less than $20/day for the 2023/2024 school year.

Supporting Capital Infrastructure

Budget 2022 commits to spending over $27 billion to support critical infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, affordable housing, and highways and bridges. This amount of capital spending will support the creation of over 100,000 jobs.

Providing Funding For Affordable Homes

Budget 2022 allocates 2 billion dollars to HousingHub. HousingHub is a program that provides low-interest loans to private developers and other community groups and is designed to give middle-income British Columbians more opportunities to rent or own homes.

Promoting Clean Transportation

Budget 2022 continues to build on the B.C. government’s plan to fight climate change. PST will no longer be charged on used Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEVs). The luxury tax threshold on ZEVs has been increased, and rebates will be available for both ZEVs and ZEV charging infrastructure.

No Changes To Corporate or Personal Tax Rates

Budget 2022 does not include any changes to the province’s corporate tax rates or personal tax rates.

We can help!

We can help you assess the impact of this year’s budget changes on your finances or business. Give us a call today!