Archive for the ‘insurance’ Category

First off… What is a Super Visa?

This a special visa granted to foreign parents or grandparents of Canadian citizens (or permanent residents) which allows them to visit with their family here in Canada for up to two years without needing to renew.  A Super Visa is valid up to tens years.

So why would I be blogging about this?

Well, one of the requirements is proof of private Canadian medical insurance. At Manion & Associates we can help you acquire private medical insurance.

Who is eligible for a parent and grandparent super visa?

To be eligible for the super visa, applicants must be the parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Dependents of parents and grandparents are not eligible for the super visa. However, they can apply for a regular visitor visa. The super visa applicants must also be found admissible to Canada and meet some other conditions.

Visa officers consider several factors before deciding whether an applicant is admissible. Officers must believe the applicant is a genuine visitor to Canada who will leave by choice at the end of the visit. Among the things the officer might consider are the following:

  1. The person’s ties to his or her home country;
  2. The purpose of the visit;
  3. The person’s family and financial situation;
  4. The overall economic and political stability of the home country; and
  5. Invitations from Canadian hosts.

The parent or grandparent must also do the following:

  1. Provide a letter promising financial support from their child or grandchild in Canada who has a minimum income;
  2. Prove he or she has Canadian medical insurance for at least one year to cover the time he or she will be in Canada; and
  3. Complete an immigration medical examination.

In regards to the medical insurance, we can help!

 

Don’t be worried – yet – about tardy T3s

via Don’t be worried – yet – about tardy T3s – The Globe and Mail.

I want to file my taxes and get my refund, but I’m still waiting for tax slips for a few REITs and ETFs that I own. Shouldn’t I have this information by now?

Not necessarily. Different types of tax slips have different mailing deadlines.

T5 slips – which report dividend and interest income – were supposed to be mailed out by the end of February, so you should have these by now.

But T3 slips – which report distributions from incDifferent types of tax slips have different mailing deadlines. (Mackon/Thinkstock)ome trusts (including real estate investment trusts), exchange-traded funds and mutual funds – have a deadline of March 31. So it could be a week or more before they land in your mailbox. T3s for REITs and ETFs are sent by your broker, whereas T3s for mutual funds are mailed directly by the fund company.

Occasionally, tax slips are delayed, however.

My discount broker, BMO InvestorLine, says on its website that it will “make every effort to ensure that tax slips are mailed by the date indicated; however, in the event that an issuer does not supply us with the necessary information in time, tax slips will be processed on an individual security basis and mailed as soon as the information is made available.”

I had a quick look on the websites of three ETF providers – iShares, BMO and Horizons – and the 2014 tax information has already been posted. I also checked the websites of three REITs – RioCan, Canadian REIT and Calloway – and they have also published the 2014 tax breakdowns for their distributions. So if you want to crunch the numbers yourself, you can. But to avoid mistakes on your return, you might want to wait until the official T3 slips arrive.

In the meantime, if you’re using tax software, you can always complete the rest of your return and then spend a couple of minutes entering the information from your T3 slips when they arrive. That way you’ll still get your return in long before the April 30 deadline.

Why are employees leaving free pension money on the table? – The Globe and Mail.

Fred Vettese is the chief actuary at Morneau Shepell, a human resources and actuarial consulting services firm.

Canadians are forgoing as much as $3-billion annually by not taking full advantage of employer matching contributions within their company defined contribution (DC) pension plans, according to a recent Sun Life Financial report. One has to wonder why employees would pass up free money when there are no strings attached.

Employees in most DC plans have the option of contributing extra, and if they do, the employer makes a matching contribution on their behalf. Sometimes it is a partial match, such as 50 cents for every dollar contributed by the employee, and sometimes it is a full match. Employers offer contribution matching to encourage employees to save more for retirement.

To gain some insight into why a significant percentage of DC participants balk at contributing more, I analyzed data from a number of DC pension plans for which Morneau Shepell does record-keeping. My investigation, which encompassed tens of thousands of employee records, turned up the following:

  • About one third of participants in a given plan do not make an optional contribution, even if it is 100 per cent matched by the employer.
  • Up to two thirds will not make an optional contribution if the basic required contribution they are already making is high, such as 4 per cent of pay or more.
  • One would expect older employees to contribute more since they will get their hands on the employer’s money sooner. But it turns out the impact of age is quite minimal, especially if we correct for salary differences. In some groups, a fifth of the employees in their 50s do not make optional contributions.
  • Salary level has a big impact on optional contribution rates but only up to the average national wage level – the low $50,000s. In one case, nearly half of employees in their mid-40s who were earning under $50,000 opted not to contribute versus only 18 per cent of employees in the same age group who were earning over $50,000.
  • In plans where the range of optional contribution rates is limited, the employee’s decision is practically binary. The vast majority either contribute enough to earn the maximum employer matching or they contribute nothing. This suggests that deciding how much to contribute is not based on ability to pay or on perceived retirement income needs, but rather on whether or not one understands the idea behind the optional matching.

What is noteworthy is that many of the employees who elect not to make optional contributions to their DC plans still contribute to their own Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs). According to Statistics Canada data, over half of the participants in pension plans, including DC plans, also contribute to RRSPs. A rough estimate is that several hundred thousand DC plan participants are forgoing employer matching contributions in their DC plans and instead make personal RRSP contributions that are not matched.

Read the rest of the article here…

Why are employees leaving free pension money on the table? – The Globe and Mail.

How Scary is the US National Debt? Almost as scary as the fact Tony Robbins, yes the motivational speaker, is the one delivery this most depressing of economic insight.

How to transfer cottage ownership – and reduce the tax bite

TIM CESTNICK

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Jun. 11 2014, 5:38 PM EDT

Last updated Thursday, Jun. 12 2014, 2:21 PM EDT

 

Cottage memories are like none other.

If you’re visiting a friend’s cottage this summer, here are a few tips that will be sure to create lasting memories for everyone: Bring four very large suitcases (store one in each bedroom if necessary), bring at least two dogs (those with digestive problems are best), start a fire (preferably outside the cottage, and big enough to burn a picnic table), roast marshmallows (bring those mini ones with toothpicks and see who can stand the heat) and scare the kids (ghost stories to give them nightmares for three days can add to the fun).

How to transfer cottage ownership – and reduce the tax bite – The Globe and Mail.

Critical illness insurance is a type of protection that provides you with a lump sum payment if you are diagnosed with a covered critical illness and survive a waiting period (which is usually 30 days). With the advancement of technology more people are fortunately surviving these conditions but are often unable to get back to their pre-condition potential.

What’s the difference between disability and critical illness insurance?

Unlike disability insurance (that pays out a percentage of income as a monthly benefit), critical illness insurance actually pays out the entire tax free lump sum immediately, giving you flexibility to use the money as best needed. That’s where the critical illness benefit comes in—you are free to spend the money as you wish—such as to help cover lost income, to pay for private nursing or out-of-country treatment, for medical equipment or even to pay off your mortgage. It can help you where you need it most so you can focus all your energy on recovering.

NOTE: I have seen the benefits of this coverage first hand when my partner Tom suffered a heart attack in 2007 and fortunately had this coverage in place (although he didn’t take us to Hawaii like he said he would!!)

Could A Critical Illness Really Happen To Me?

(not the funnest facts but definitely an eye opener):

80% of heart attack victims survive
2 in 5 Canadians will develop some form of heart disease during their life time
Half of heart attack victims are under 65
153,000 new Cancer case in Canada in 2006
1 in 3 develop cancer in their life time
There are 40,000-50,000 strokes each year in Canada
One third of stroke victims are under 65
300,000 Canadians are living with the effects of stroke
Approx. 75% of all Canadians that suffer a stroke will survive but will be left with some form of disability
Sources: Heart & Stroke Foundation (2006), Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Cancer Statistics (2006), Veterans Affairs Canada (2006)

As an independent insurance broker with Manion.ca,  we have contracts with all the top insurance carriers allowing us to shop the market to find the right critical illness insurance product for you at the best price.

Need more information?

For more information on Critical illness insurance in Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows BC please 

First and foremost is the BC Provincial Government’s Guide of Seniors

bcsenior

More specific to the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows area is the Seniors’ Network Guide

katzie

investrightCSA

Two great documents available online every senior should read.  One about the dangers of private placement investments from investright.org.  The other from Canadian Securities Administrators about frauds and scams

As always, I am welling to address any questions

John Kay On The Market

Prof. Kay doesn’t pull any punches when discussing the worst flaws of the market, the financial sector or the euro zone.

On the often-expressed industry view that people just need to better understand how the financial sector works:

“I do not know what is under the bonnet of my car and I do not want to know. … Nor do I want to read large volumes of disclosures about what’s under the bonnet of my car every time I sit behind the wheel. What I want is the confidence … that the combination of a modest amount of regulation together with a manufacturer’s concern for his reputation means that … I can expect that most of the time it will do more or less what I want it to do. That’s very far from being the kind of comfort which people can today bring to their purchase of financial services.”