With the holidays behind us, and the credit card bills arriving as testimony to your celebrations, perhaps now is a good time to reflect upon some potential Resolutions for the coming year.
Goal setting is best done when goals resonate with your life plan! You need to be specific about what, when, where and who is involved in achieving the goal. The goal must also have an emotional component to it to motivate you to get the result you want.
The following are relatively common mistakes that Canadians make annually when contributing to their Registered Retirement Savings Plans.
1. Reporting RRSP contributions based on a calendar year.
While your taxes are based on a calendar year, the reporting of your RRSP contributions extends 60 days into the New Year. Imagine, for RRSP purposes, that you have your own fiscal year that begins in early March or 60 days after January 1. RRSP receipts for the first 60 days of 2020 should be reported on your 2019 income tax return.
A survey conducted by a big bank some years ago* revealed that over 30% of Canadians were hoping for a lottery win to help fund their retirement. This raises the question, "If you were to paint a picture of your retirement, what would it look like?" Many would let dreams take over and envision lots of travel, a vacation home in an exotic location, spoiling their grandchildren, perhaps several year-long world cruises.
After spending likely 15 – 30 years focused on building an investment portfolio, it can be quite a challenge to switch gears when it comes time to withdrawing income from a retirement portfolio. This change leads to new ways of looking at investing as well as re-assessing habits that have been honed over decades.
Many retirees looking to generate income from investment assets often think that they can make withdrawals from their investment portfolio while also continuing to grow the assets over time. This is generally a tough goal to achieve.
There is a legend about a successful financial advisor in Warren Buffett's stomping grounds of Omaha, Nebraska. It is reported that this advisor has learned the art of communicating the basics of wealth building with the local farmers. The advisor, who we will call Fred Smith, greets clients in his office with a window behind his desk that overlooks fields of blowing wheat and corn.
Almost everyone agrees that it's a good idea to have a will. However, it is estimated that about half of Canadians do not have one, and it is likely that many wills are out of date, perhaps even invalid.
Not having a will can make the sorting out of your estate unnecessarily expensive, complicated and time consuming. When having your will prepared, one of the most important decisions you will make is who you would like as executor.