Archive for August, 2012

Estate planning: 10 things you need to know –

Talking to your family about estate planning now can save trouble later after you're gone.

Many Canadians haven’t taken the most basic estate planning step which is writing a Will. They should.

Without a Will, your estate doesn’t automatically go to your spouse and children, but ends up being distributed according to the rules of your province For example,Ontario’s rules differ from those in Quebec and Manitoba. In addition, without proper planning, almost half the value of your assets could disappear to cover capital gains taxes and probate fees.

Here are 10 steps that can help ensure your final wishes are carried out simply and smoothly.

#1: List your assets

The first thing is to figure out what you have. So prepare an inventory of your assets. A net worth calculator can help you through the process.  The list should include your home, vacation properties and investments such as RRSPs or RRIFs. It should also include bank accounts, pensions, personal property like cars, boats or jewellery and the value of any insurance policies.

You should also list any debts that relate to these assets – such as loans or mortgages – and record the account numbers and institutions where the debts are held.

#2: Who gets your stuff?

Once you have a picture of what you have, you can figure out how to distribute it. In addition to family members, you may also wish to recognize other people and charitable causes as part of your legacy. In the case of charitable donations, a professional advisor can help you structure these to maximize their value for the recipient and for your estate.

Read the rest of the list…. Estate planning: 10 things you need to know –

Do You Have a Will?

Posted: August 28, 2012 in articles

Do You Have a Will?

Making a Will is a good idea. It can help reduce the confusion and uncertainty that death sometimes brings and provides reassurance to your family.

A Will:

Allows the person you name as your executor to act immediately – to make funeral arrangements and take charge of your estate.

  • Protects your worldly possessions and ensures they are dealt with as you have directed.
  • Affords the opportunity to make suitable arrangements for minor children, other dependants and pets.
  • Clarifies for family and friends what your wishes are and who is to carry them out.
  • Minimizes the costs of dealing with your estate and the effort involved in managing it.

Making a Will does not need to be complicated or expensive. Lawyers and notaries public prepare Wills, though there are some restrictions on the types of Wills that notaries can make. Self-help Will kits are available in stores, but mistakes are easy to make and you are taking a risk that a Will prepared without professional advice will not do what you want. Will making is an area where professional advice is well worth the cost.

In BC, a Will must be witnessed by two people who must both be present at the same time you sign your Will. A gift made in a Will to someone who acts as witness or to the spouse of a witness is invalid. A handwritten Will, not witnessed, is not usually valid in BC.

If You Already Have a Will

If you already have a Will, you should review it every few years to make sure that it is current or more often if your circumstances change. For example, your executor may have moved away or for another reason may no longer be able to manage your estate, or if you marry after the date of your Will, you will need to make a new Will. If your Will is not up-to-date you should see a lawyer or notary about making a new Will. You cannot update your Will just by writing changes on it.

Choosing Your Executor

Choosing your executor is important. Most people choose their spouse, an adult child or trusted friend. Some people choose a professional such as a lawyer or trust company. Alternatively, the Public Guardian and Trustee may agree to be your executor. Whatever you do, always make sure the person you wish to appoint as executor is willing to act.Once you have made a Will, tell your executor where you keep your Will and other important documents. You should also discuss the kind of funeral you want to have with your executor and family. Make a family tree as this may be required at the time of administration, and list the current addresses and phone numbers of your beneficiaries. Finally, if your notary or lawyer has not already done this, you should register your Will with the Ministry of Health Vital Statistics Agency. The Agency does not keep a copy of the Will, only the date on which it was made and its location. This alerts others that you have made a Will after you are gone.

via PGT of BC.

Customer Service, Good and Bad….

Posted: August 18, 2012 in articles
13:17:25  Agent  Ajay G
Hello Al
 13:18:23  Customer  al
question: Is there any way to order (online a dell laptop without any MS Office, McAfee, or other time limited trail software? basically crapware-free
 13:18:55  Agent  Ajay G
Great! Glad you chatted in today, I’d be happy to help you.
 13:19:10  Agent  Ajay G
No AL Unfortunately we don’t have such options.
 13:19:38  Customer  al
Can I pay to have it removed before shipping?
 13:19:45  Agent  Ajay G No AL Unfortunately that is not an option either.
 13:20:20  Agent  Ajay G
Its factory installed and unfortunately we cannot remove it.
 13:20:30  Agent  Ajay G
But once you receive the machine you can remove it.
 13:20:57  Customer  al
So you’re saying if I want a dell computer, I have to take dell’s crap 😦

Recent customer experience with Apple…..

I walk into the Apple Store in Metrotown and talk to someone in person

Jason: Hi my name Jason.  How can I help?

Me: I broke my iPod Nano.  The main button doesn’t work anymore.

Jason: Can I see it?

After examining the iPod nano for 10 seconds and pressing the button three times…..

Jason: Would you like a new one?

Me: Ummm.. Yes!

Five Risks to Future Income

Longer life spans mean cash flow assumptions need to change

Filed by Staff, , Aug 7, 2012

In a recent speech at the Canadian Institute of Financial Planners annual conference in Ottawa, Peter Drake, vice president, Retirement and Economic Research, Fidelity Investments Canada ULC called attention to the new retirement realities facing Canada’s baby boomer generation and highlighted the importance of taking account of the five key risks to retirement income as part of the retirement planning process.

Drake emphasized that the conventional wisdom about retirement planning needs to be adapted to suit the new environment faced by today’s Canadians who are retired or about to retire. He pointed out that financial advisors can play a crucial role in helping Canadians understand that their retirement planning choices must not only reflect the longer lives we are now living and the volatility of capital markets, but also changes to Canada’s retirement income system.

via Five Risks to Future Income | Canadian Capital.

Bond king Bill Gross sees bleak returns ahead


The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Jul. 31 2012, 8:03 PM EDT

The world’s most famous bond fund manager says the “the cult of equity is dying” and projects minimal returns for both stocks and bonds over the next generation.

In his latest monthly report, Bill Gross dismisses those who believe that U.S. stocks can continue to produce average real returns of 6.6 per cent a year, saying that stock market bulls are failing to account for the much more difficult environment that now looms ahead for corporate profit growth.

via Bond king Bill Gross sees bleak returns ahead – The Globe and Mail.