December 2011
It's that most wonderful time...of the year.....



The first snowfall is a sure sign that the celebrations draw near.  It's a great time to reflect on family and all your loved ones.  Here at the office, we have enjoyed seeing many old firends and their families/relatives that we have been priviledged to have grown with.  Many families have generations as our clients and we are grateful for all your referrals. 
Truly focused on maintaining relations through calls, meetings, email and even through our newsletter - we look back on this year with great satisfaction.   A heartfelt thank you and best wishes for each and every one of you.
Happy Holidays!
Peter      Richard      Claudio

Where did my RRSP Contribution room go?

posted by BraunFinancial in September 2011


You hear a lot about saving for retirement these days. Perhaps it's a sign of the times, with baby boomers starting the first wave of the mass retirement that will sweep across Canada in the years to come. During the last few years before retirement, people start to take a much closer look at what they've got. The bits and pieces of pensions, former pensions from old jobs that became locked in accounts, RRSPs, spousal RRSPs, a few non-registered accounts, and the still relatively new Tax Free Savings Account for good measure.


Among the collection of accounts, having a pension plan is a beautiful thing. But as people approach their retirement, they may try to stuff as much money as possible into their RRSP. It makes sense to do it while their income is high, since their income will be lower when it is taken out during retirement. Plus they'll get a tax refund, which can further their retirement plans by being used to purchase more investments. But when they decide to start this cash-stashing program, they may be surprise to find out that they have very little RRSP room left. They've become subject to the great equalizer known as the pension adjustment.


RRSPs and the Pension Adjustment:

RRSPs allow all working individuals to defer paying tax on 18% of their earned income by earmarking it for retirement. Not every Canadian has a pension plan, and those who do know that they provide a great range of benefits, depending on the type of plan. This created the need for the pension adjustment. It was determined that it wouldn't be fair for a person who had a pension plan to also be able to stock away an additional 18% of their income on a tax deferred basis. So, in the simplest of forms, the amount that you're allowed to contribute to your RRSP gets reduced in accordance with the amount that has been attributed to your pension plan for retirement purposes. This is subject to an annual maximum that changes every year.


A Tax Free Solution:

Having that gold plated pension plan is still a very, very good thing. But you should also take it to mean that a lot of your income will be taxable income during your retirement years. Those additional dollars that you're looking to save can be put to good use through a Tax Free Savings Account. This strategy will give you greater access to your money without increasing your taxable income during retirement.


Gift cards vs Cash: I'm giving CASH

by Peggy Mackenzie on


Christmas shopping for ten nieces and nephews while sticking to a budget takes time and creativity. I'm tapped out of both.


Gone are the days when I'd start searching for the perfect gift in the spring for the Christmas bonanza to come. The blankets my brother-in-law quilted for each of the kids proves that love, time and talent conquer all budgets, but I won't be rivaling that accomplishment any time soon. I have to ask myself, how many gifts that I bought truly suited the individual's tastes? My fear is not many and that's a shame and a waste.


Now that the kids are older (youngest is 14), with clothes and music replacing toys, gift cards seem to be the most popular default choice but not necessarily the best one. Instead of giving them a card to a store they may not like or don't have enough on the gift card to buy what they want, I have a proposal: cold, hard cash.


Impersonal? Not in the spirit of Christmas? Sure. But so are gift cards. Let the youngsters choose how the money is spent. If store gift cards added value, such as offering 20 per cent off a purchase I'd rethink my position.


Until recently I'd forgotten the joy I experienced when I opened up cards from my aunts and uncles and out would flutter a $2 bill. That money was mine to spend any way I pleased. I marveled over my riches and, with sixteen other cousins and siblings, I felt lucky.


Here are my top 8 reasons why cash is better than gift cards:

* Cash is always the right size, colour and style;

* Cash doesn't have to be exchanged, at a loss, on a card-swapping site;

* Cash, if unspent, enriches a child's bank account, not a retailer's. Bruce Cran, president of the Consumers Association of Canada, told the Star in a recent article that about 25 per cent of gift cards go unused each year. Cash doesn't go out of business like some stores (Blockbuster anyone?);

* Kids won't misplace or lose cash like they do gift cards;

* Kids can pool cash gifts to purchase what they actually want as opposed to getting $20 gift cards to multiple stores and settling on the cheapest item;

*  There's no front-end fee to buy cash (unless you're getting charged to use the

bank machine). Malls that issue gift cards like those operated by Cadillac Fairview or Oxford Properties can charge up to $1.50 per gift card for administration purposes;

* There's no back-end fee to cash, beyond inflation. Ontario legislation banned expiry dates and restrictions on prepaid and reloadable gift cards but there are still exceptions, like malls.

* Gift cards to malls run by Cadillac Fairview, start losing value after 16 months, to the tune of $2.50 each month. Gift cards from Oxford Properties never lose value. Prepaid credit cards fall under federal legislation.


The Canadian Living Magazine Gingerbread Dough Recipe 


    *       1 cup (250 mL) butter, softened

    *       1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar

    *       2 eggs

    *       3/4 cup (175 mL) fancy molasses

    *       1/2 cup (125 mL) cooking molasses or blackstrap molasses

    *       5-1/2 cups (1.375 L) all-purpose flour

    *       2 tsp (10 mL) ground ginger

    *       1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda

    *       1 tsp (5 mL) salt

    *       1 tsp (5 mL) ground cloves

    *       1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon Preparation



In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy; beat in eggs, fancy molasses and cooking molasses.

In separate bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, baking soda, salt, cloves and cinnamon; stir into molasses mixture in 2 additions, mixing well and blending with hands, if necessary.

Divide dough into 2 discs; wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.


Meanwhile, referring to measurements on diagrams that you have collected, draw pattern pieces on waxed paper; label and cut out.

Between sheets of waxed paper, roll our one disc at a time to 1/4-inch (5 mm) thickness. Remove top sheet of paper; arrange pattern pieces on dough. Using tip of knife, trace and cut out shapes. Freeze on waxed paper-lined baking sheet for 20 minutes or until hard.

Transfer cutouts to parchment paper-lined or lightly greased baking sheets, reserving dough scraps for re-rolling. Bake in 325 F (160 C) oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Transfer gingerbread to racks and let cool completely.



Issue: 12
Financial Markets
In This Issue
Where did my RRSP Contribution room go?
Gift cards vs Cash
The Canadian Living Magazine Gingerbread Dough Recipe
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Peter Bailey
Worldsource Financial Management
272 Lawrence Avenue West, Suite 203
Toronto, Ontario M5M 4M1