Tax Reduction Strategies: Setting yourself up for the future.

Tax Reduction Strategies: Setting yourself up for the future.

As the 2023 tax season comes to a close, it is time to shift your focus to optimizing your wealth for 2024. Implementing tax reduction strategies benefits your future financial success and maximizes your net income. There are many ways to achieve financial wellness and it might take some time to find what’s right for you, but when it comes to the many approaches, they all have a common objective: securing your future. 

When addressing your finances, it is vital to adopt a tailored approach that organizes your portfolio effectively. Prioritizing income tax strategies enables you to capitalize on the tax breaks and credits offered by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). Stay informed about updates in tax regulations and newly added benefits as they are essential to achieve successful tax planning. 

New Year, New Tax Changes 

Like most years, there have been changes to federal funding outlets impacting the taxable incomes of specific tax brackets. This year, a 4.7% increase in personal tax brackets means individuals earning more than $55,867 will face an income tax rate of at least 20.5%. 

Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) 

The addition of another CPP tier and two maximum amounts means individuals with annual earnings between $68,500 and $73,200 will end up paying an additional 4% in contributions. This introduces a new tax obstacle for employers hiring workers that fall into the qualifying tax bracket; resulting in a 7.5% cost for the employer and a 7% contribution from the employee. 

Trust Reporting 

Bill C-32’s implementation focuses on increasing transparency around trusts with “bare trusts” being the main focus. Bare trusts refer to one individual acting as a beneficiary on a property or investment while another individual serves as a trustee and has no obligations. It is vital that trust holders are aware of their statuses when approaching 2024 as tax filing may be required. 

What’s New? 

Two new tax reduction options have been implemented this year, geared towards homeowners and potential buyers:  

First Home Savings Account (FHSA): For prospective new home buyers, this newly introduced FHSA is a registered plan for saving, buying or building a qualifying home while assisting in managing your taxable income. Contributions to an FHSA reduce taxable incomes, and investment returns remain tax-free, with a maximum annual contribution of $8,000 and a lifetime limit of $40,000 in 2024.

Multi-Generational Home Renovation Tax Credit (MHRTC): In the 2022 federal budget, a new refundable MHRTC was introduced for qualifying applicants to create a secondary unit within a residence for occupancy by the qualifying individual or relative. The credit amounts to 15% of qualifying expenditures or $50,000, whichever is lower.

Dependable Tax Saving Strategies 

Apply these strategies to your 2024 tax reduction plan to avoid tax burdens and maximize your wealth!

Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP): RRSPs offer a means to lower taxable income, making them beneficial for those facing high tax burdens. While subject to contribution limits, RRSPs allow for tax-sheltered contributions and withdrawals, ultimately aiding in retirement planning. 

Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP): Thinking about saving for your children, or grandchildren’s education? Consider an RESP, designed specifically to allow your contributions to grow tax-free with a maximum contribution of $50,000 per beneficiary for the lifetime of a plan. 

Income Splitting: If you and your partner have differences in salaries, income splitting may be an efficient way to maximize your combined net income. Particularly beneficial for retired couples who are in different tax brackets and seeking to reduce their overall tax bill. 

When preparing for tax season, it is important to set up a strategic plan to organize your assets and minimize tax breaks. At Rae Lipskie, you’ll receive tailored advice to optimize your financial wellness and maximize your investment returns. Speak to one of our financial advisors and begin building your plan of action, contact us today!

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Financial Fraud Prevention: What you need to know

Financial Fraud Prevention: What you need to know

Financial fraud occurs when someone intentionally deceives or conducts criminal activities to take money or assets from others. In recent years, financial fraud has become increasingly sophisticated and prevalent, emphasizing the need for individuals to be vigilant and proactive in safeguarding their assets, whether managing personal finances or overseeing business transactions. Implementing effective fraud prevention measures is essential to asset protection.

Common Types of Financial Fraud

Phishing is a term that can be used to refer to many types of scams. It typically consists of a fraudster sending deceptive emails, posing as close relations like friends, family members, internet service providers, or banks. They exploit the personal information that is provided to open new accounts or infiltrate existing ones. We can further break this down into specific types of financial fraud scams.

Investment Scams: The digital era has introduced a new wave of invasive and effective methods for fraudsters. In 2022, digital phishing techniques accounted for the highest losses ever, with victims reporting over $136.5 million in losses. For example, some scams involve fraudsters luring victims through social media to their fake cryptocurrency investment websites.

Emergency Scams: Targets for emergency scams are often vulnerable individuals, such as grandparents and senior citizens, fabricating emergencies and requesting immediate financial assistance. Common ploys include urgent needs like bail or medical bills being paid to manipulate and coerce victims into sending money or transferring large amounts of money into untraceable accounts or currencies.

Service Scams: Fraudsters impersonate legitimate companies, such as insurance providers or utility companies, exploiting trust in these institutions to deceive their victims. They may also masquerade as familiar corporate entities like Amazon, fabricating account issues, credit refunds, or fake deliveries to extract sensitive information or payments.

Government Impersonation Scams: A prevalent scam in Canada involves impersonating government agents, financial advisors, or postal services, to dupe victims into believing they owe money to the government. This tactic preys on individuals’ trust in authoritative figures, and their fear of being penalized for missing tax deadlines or bill payments.

Oftentimes, financial fraud scams incorporate one or more methods for extracting information, including hyperlinks, text messages, telephone calls, emails, social media messages, and QR codes. Financial fraud scams are not limited to the above and can take shape in many forms. 

With fraudsters continuing to push boundaries and create novel and unique approaches, it’s important to look for signs of potential financial fraud scams.

Signs of a Financial Fraud Scam

  • Urgent Demands: Scammers pressure victims to make hasty decisions under threat.
  • Confidentiality Requests: Victims are instructed not to involve authorities or disclose details to trusted individuals.
  • Immediate Contact: Urgent messages that mandate immediate communication.
  • Unusual Payment Requests: Demand of payments via unconventional methods including gift cards, Bitcoin, or prepaid visas.
  • Suspicious Attachments: Unknown senders containing links or attachments encouraging you to click on a link or attachment and to follow it or download it.
  • Requests for Personal Information: Unfamiliar sources requesting sensitive data, such as bank details (card numbers, personal identification numbers (PIN), accounting information), and government-issued information and IDs (social insurance numbers (SIN), date of birth, and security answers).

Effective Precautions to Protect Your Assets

Recognizing potential threats is the first step in defending against financial fraud. Remain cautious of tactics such as impersonation, urgency, intimidation, and insistence on untraceable payments. 

Some tips to help safeguard your assets are:

  • Ignore Unknown Emails: Refrain from opening or engaging with emails from unfamiliar senders, and block them to prevent further contact.
  • Exercise Caution: If an email appears suspicious, refrain from opening attachments or clicking on links.
  • Verify Authenticity: Look for secure symbols, logos, and branded emails to validate the sender’s identity.
  • Avoid Sharing Sensitive Information: Refrain from disclosing personal or financial details via email or text, especially in response to unsolicited requests.
  • Confirm Requests: If contacted by an unfamiliar entity requesting sensitive information or payments, verify the authenticity of the request through trusted channels before taking any action.

By remaining vigilant and adhering to these precautions, individuals can mitigate the risk of falling victim to financial fraud and safeguard their assets effectively.

At RaeLipskie, we are here to help you make informed financial decisions to maximize your investment returns. To receive personalized advice from a trusted RaeLipskie financial advisor, contact us today!

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What it costs to retire in Canada: Maximize your RRSP impact

What it costs to retire in Canada: Maximize your RRSP impact

In Canada, Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP) play a crucial role in building a secure financial future. Understanding how to maximize the impact of your RRSP contributions is key to achieving long-term financial goals. While the cost of retirement varies for each individual based on factors such as your age, lifestyle, and monthly bills, there are ways to maximize your RRSP impact to help ensure a comfortable retirement. Continue reading to learn more about strategies that can help you make the most of your RRSP investments. 

  1. Diversity your investments
    Diversifying your RRSP investments is crucial for minimizing risk and enhancing long-term stability. By spreading your investment across different asset classes, you can manage risk and enhance your opportunity for long-term growth.

  2. Take advantage of employer matching programs
    If your employer offers a pension plan or contributions to your RRSP, take full advantage of these benefits. It’s essentially free money that boosts your retirement savings.

  3. Utilize spousal RRSPs
    Consider contributing to a spousal RRSP to equalize retirement income. This can result in overall tax savings by potentially moving withdrawals to a lower-income spouse, therefore reducing the tax burden.

  4. Regularly review your RRSP portfolio
    Periodically review your RRSP portfolio to ensure it aligns with your risk tolerance and financial goals. Rebalancing helps maintain a diversified investment strategy.

  5. Delay CPP and OAS benefits
    If possible, you could consider delaying Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) benefits. This could result in higher monthly payments when you start receiving them.

  6. Seek professional advice
    Consult with a financial advisor that can tailor your RRSP strategy to your specific situation. A professional will be able to provide you with personalized advice based on your financial situation and goals.

    At RaeLipskie, we are here to help you make informed financial decisions to maximize your investment returns. To receive personalized advice from a trusted RaeLipskie financial advisor, contact us today!
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New Year Resolutions: Assessing and Improving your Financial Health

New Year Resolutions: Assessing and Improving your Financial Health

As we enter the new year, it’s the perfect time to reflect on financial goals and set resolutions. It’s always important to keep an eye on your financial wellbeing, but the new year can bring an enthusiastic perspective to get 2024 started on a good note. At RaeLipskie, we understand the importance of managing your wealth wisely, so we’ve put together a few tips to help you assess and improve your financial health. 

  1. Reflect on the past year 

A great way to start planning for the year ahead is by reflecting on your financial achievements and setbacks from the previous year. By analyzing your spending habits, investment performance, and lifestyle changes, you can pinpoint areas that need attention or successes worth celebrating. 

  1. Reassess your financial goals

Establishing clear financial goals is the foundation of a solid wealth management plan. Reviewing these goals periodically is a crucial step in maintaining your financial health and assessing the progress you’ve made. This also gives you an opportunity to adjust your long- or short-term goals based on any life changes that may have shifted your priorities. The trusted advisors at RaeLipskie can assist in setting realistic financial goals for the year ahead. 

  1. Conduct a financial portfolio checkup 

After reflecting on the past year and readjusting your financial goals as needed, it’s important to ensure your portfolio aligns with your goals. By working with a financial advisor, you can conduct a thorough analysis that will determine opportunities for investment optimization and potential areas of improvement. 

  1. Diversify and strengthen your investment portfolio 

Market conditions are constantly changing and a well-diversified portfolio will allow you to mitigate risk amidst economic fluctuations. The year ahead will likely call for unexpected changes, so maintaining a diverse portfolio will help you spread risk, enhance the potential for returns, and buffer against losses in any single asset class. 

The right time to rebalance your portfolio depends on your unique situation, however the beginning of the new year offers an excellent opportunity to make adjustments as needed as you reflect on its performance in the previous year. 

At RaeLipskie, we are committed to helping you achieve your financial goals and navigate the ever-changing landscape of wealth management. For more financial guidance, talk to one of RaeLipskie’s trusted advisors. Contact us today!

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2023: A Year in Review at RaeLipskie

2023: A Year in Review at RaeLipskie

As 2023 draws to a close and we eagerly welcome everything the new year has to offer, we want to take a moment to reflect on the past year and showcase a few of our firm’s favourite highlights. Throughout the year, we have had the pleasure of working closely with our clients to offer professional investment management, sharing our monthly market commentary, and participating in group trips and other celebrations. Continue reading as we say our final goodbye to 2023 and prepare for an exciting new year. 

2023 was a rollercoaster ride for global markets, with unprecedented events impacting investments. RaeLipskie continued to demonstrate resilience in the face of this volatility, employing strategic risk management to protect and grow our client portfolios. Through proactive measures, RaeLipskie ensured its clients remained on a steady course amid unforeseen challenges. This included navigating the complexities of a shifting global economy by staying aware of international trends, allowing our clients to make informed decisions in an ever-changing economic landscape. Upon announcing RaeLipskie’s partnership with Guardian Capital in September 2022, we had the pleasure of reaching our one-year milestone after a successful and mutually rewarding first year together. In September 2022, Guardian Capital completed its acquisition of a 60% majority interest in The RaeLipskie Partnership. This acquisition increased Guardian’s assets under management in its Private Wealth segment by approximately $1 billion CAD and further extended its regional coverage in key markets. With a shared vision of enhancing client value, we look forward to a future of continued growth. Learn more about the partnership here.

Brian Lipskie, President and COO at RaeLipskie and George Mavroudis, President and CEO at Guardian Capital

The RaeLipskie team also spent some quality time away from the office together! We had the pleasure of volunteering at The Food Bank of Waterloo Region to assist with food sorting. The RaeLipskie Partnership sorted a total of 3,116 pounds of food! In the new year, we are eager to continue supporting our community through our involvement with local charitable organizations. 

Our team outings are some of our fondest memories of the year. One in particular was our trip to see the Toronto Blue Jays play! 

Left to right, top to bottom: Helen Snow, Laura Cornell, Heather Dewar, Becky Miller, Faulene McNanney, Rebecca Jackson, Laurie Orlik

As we reminisce over the past year, The RaeLipskie Partnership would also like to take this opportunity to thank our valued clients and stakeholders whose trust and partnership have been the cornerstone of our success. We look forward to having you alongside us as we enter into 2024. From everyone at RaeLipskie, we wish you a happy holiday season and an exciting new year ahead. Cheers! 

If you are interested in learning more about RaeLipskie’s services, book an appointment with one of our advisors today. Contact The RaeLipskie Partnership here.

If you would like to stay updated with RaeLipskie throughout the year, subscribe to our newsletter here by navigating to the bottom left of the page.

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The Next Generation: Financial Literacy and Youth

The Next Generation: Financial Literacy and Youth

While financial literacy is a critical life skill that everyone should possess, it’s especially impactful for young people to have this knowledge when starting their adult life and creating a financial foundation for their future. Let’s discuss why financial literacy matters and the ways in which we can share our knowledge with the younger generation. 

Overall, financial literacy equips young people with the ability to make informed decisions regarding their finances. This includes decisions about budgeting, saving, investing, and managing debt. These skills are essential for everyday life, whether it’s paying for college, buying a car, or planning for retirement. 

Financial literacy also helps young adults avoid debt traps. It’s easy to access credit cards and loans, and while some debt may be necessary, it’s important to understand the consequences of over spending. Having financial knowledge allows young people to understand responsible use of credit cards and avoid accumulating high-interest debt. 

Understanding finances can also help build a strong foundation for the future. By learning financial skills at a young age, a mindset of responsibility and discipline can be developed, leading to financial stability and independence. Getting an early start can be especially helpful when considering saving for a first home, starting a family, or creating an emergency fund to manage unexpected expenses. 

There are multiple ways to teach youth about finances. 

  1. Start early: Introducing financial concepts by using age-appropriate activities and discussions make learning about money more relatable 
  2. Lead by example: Set a positive example by demonstrating responsible financial behavior.
  3. Use technology: Use financial apps and online resources to help simplify managing finances. 
  4. Allow for mistakes: Mistakes are valuable learning opportunities. Allowing for small financial mistakes can help guide youth in understanding the consequences. 
  5. Encourage saving and goal setting: This teaches the importance of delayed gratification and being able to plan for the future. 
  6. Provide real-life experiences: As young people grow older, involve them in family financial discussions and decisions. This firsthand experience can be a valuable teaching tool. 

Having financial literacy is not just a nice-to-have skill, it’s a must-have for building a secure future. Handing down financial knowledge to the younger generation can be a life changing resource. By helping youth start early, leading by example, and providing them with practical experiences, we can empower them to make responsible financial decisions and achieve their goals. 

To get more financial guidance, talk to one of RaeLipskie’s trusted advisors. To get started, contact us today!

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