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31 minutes | Dec 7, 2021
Ep. 16 Understanding Wills
1. Why a Will is the cornerstone of a good estate plan.Get to dictate where assets go, guardian of children, who administers estateWithout a Will, the law decides who gets assets and it’s not necessarily all to a spouseStreamlines estate administration and can help to reduce taxes/fees on death2. What makes for a good Will?Revokes previous WillsNames executor and alternateDisposes of household itemsGiftsResidue – no missing piecesAdministrative provisions – a few pages at leastSigned and witnessed3. Beyond the Will, what should someone pay attention to when creating or updating their estate plan?Assets, family situation, contractual or support obligations Executor and an eye to the administration of the estate4. What should someone consider when naming an executor?Should be ideally in province, definitely in CanadaFinancially savvy, time, ageRelationship with beneficiaries, potential for conflictConsider professional executor5. What are some of the main issues that can complicate estate planning and administrationPoor Wills, Will challenges (undue influence)Joint assets – who actually owns them?Conflict – siblings; blended familiesCottageAccusations against executor6. What is probate and how can it be avoided or minimized?Probate is a court process to get court’s stamp of approval on the WillProbate fees approx.. 1.5% of the estate valuesPlanning techniques: assets joint with spouse, beneficiary designations, gifting during lifeEach of the above has complications and pitfalls so important to be done holisticall7. Why a trust can be an important part of an estate plan.Trusts – give someone benefit of money, but trustee controlsTerms can be very flexible – from discretionary to set; can end at a certain age or continue, can have one or more beneficiariesGenerally used to protect vulnerable beneficiaries – minors, disabled (ODSP), spendthrift, vulnerable spouseCan sometimes be used to provide some income splitting, but less so now with changes to trust taxationNeed a trustee who knows what they are doing, trustworthy, time, objective
22 minutes | Oct 14, 2021
Ep. 15 What to Expect When You're Expecting - The Money Edition
Our Living Richer Wealth Management team works with clients to help them navigate many different life transitions, and there are few things more life changing than becoming a parent.This week, I’m happy to welcome Carolina Da Silva, a Living Richer team member and expectant mom, to discuss all the things you need to know, and do to prepare financially for this new beginning. In this episode we’ll cover:Details on government benefits, who can qualify and how to get them.What you need to know about your health benefits from work.Budgeting for a new baby and how to prepare in advance.How to save money by getting free stuff and store discounts.Understanding how daycare costs may impact your planning.Estate and life insurance planning.Education planning through an RESP.If you are expecting a baby or even thinking about starting a family, don’t miss this episode!Resources:Parental Leave BenefitsCanada Child BenefitCRA Guide to Child and Family BenefitsThe Ultimate First Year Baby BudgetWhat to Expect When You’re Expecting Blog PostFive Ways to Prepare Financially for a New Baby Blog Post
38 minutes | Jun 24, 2021
Ep. 14 Insurance Strategies for Income Generation, Tax Savings and Estate Planning
When most people think about insurance, they think about it in terms of risk management. And that’s what the majority of the insurance is designed for. Car insurance covers you in case you get in an accident. You might get critical illness insurance, disability or life insurance to protect you and your loved ones from those risks. What most people don’t know is that insurance can be used strategically, not only in risk management but for complex estate planning, income generation and tax minimization. In this episode, the final of a three part mini series, our estate planning specialist Greg Jizmejian and I do a deeper dive on some of these lesser-known insurance strategies. We discuss:How to use insurance to plan for taxes on assets like a cottageUsing insurance to help with income generation in retirementUtilizing a strategy to fully deplete the money in your RRSP with an annuity while preserving your capital for an estateHow business owners and professionals with a corporation can use insurance to get money out of their holding company in a tax-effective wayHow to turn taxable dividends from a holding company income into tax-free dividendsUtilizing insurance to meet your philanthropic goals by diverting money that would otherwise go to the CRA and instead directing it to your favorite charity
40 minutes | May 5, 2021
Ep. 13 Insurance Strategies to Reduce Tax and Build Wealth
In this second of our three-part series on insurance, I continue my conversation with Raymond James Ltd. estate planning advisor Greg Jizmejian. In this episode Greg explains the difference between term and permanent insurance and when they should be considered. We also look at why people in the 40-60 age range should consider insurance and how it can be used to help build wealth, reduce taxes and aid in intergenerational wealth transfer. Finally, we discuss how business owners and professionals, like doctors, dentists and lawyers can leverage permanent insurance as part of a business growth strategy and to access funds within their holding company or professional corporation tax-effectively.
37 minutes | Apr 16, 2021
Ep. 12 Are You Too Young for Insurance?
In this first of a three part mini-series, I interview estate planning advisor Greg Jizmejian to discuss the insurance needs of younger individuals and families.Broadly speaking, those between 25 - 40 years old. We discuss what risks are most prevalent and what types of insurance should be considered.Unlike other products, insurance is something you buy when you don’t need it. It's like a redundancy plan. It provides you with the comfort of knowing that it will be there as a backstop if your main plan falls apart. For example, although many people believe that the biggest reason for home foreclosure is the loss of a job; it’s actually not, it’s disability. In addition to long term disability insurance, we also look at critical illness insurance options and how they compare.It's important to understand the distinctions between different types of long term disability because there are so many grey areas. We discuss why and how as an employee, your company’s group benefits plans would differ from the long term disability insurance you get on your own. Of particular interest to professionals is understanding what type is best suited for them.Greg goes on to compare critical illness insurance to long term disability insurance. What CI pays, when it pays, what you can use it for and also how Covid-19 impacts critical illness.Doing a proper needs analysis is key to determining the types and amounts of coverage that make sense for each individual. It should be customized. And the good news is, a needs analysis really doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to do. Contrary to popular belief, Greg discusses why a young person with no debt and no family might need to get life insurance. He uses his own daughter as an example. What some of the benefits are when buying insurance for children. How insurability can be impacted not just by health but also occupation and where you live or work. For those with mortgages, you’ve likely been introduced to the concept of mortgage insurance. Greg compares taking out insurance at the bank vs on your own. He discusses why he thinks that these types of insurance are not the best in most cases. Links Protecting All That Is Yours
27 minutes | Mar 10, 2021
Ep. 11 Understanding Registered Accounts
With so many different types of accounts and confusing acronyms, trying to navigate the maze of account options and create a strategy that makes sense for you can be overwhelming. In today’s show we’re going to put an end to that. For the most part, in Canada all accounts are divided into two categories -- registered or non-registered. The major difference is that government-registered plans and accounts let you grow your savings tax-sheltered. Non-registered investment accounts like cash accounts don’t. In this episode we’re going to focus in on the major types of registered accounts as opposed to non-registered. These will include different types of RRSPs and RRIF’s, Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP).You’ll learn what these plans are, how they work and who they benefit. I’ll also let you in on some key benefits you may not be aware of and little-known tips on how to make them work even harder for you.Below are my four biggest takeaways from today’s podcast:In my opinion, the most ideal situation would be one in which an investor owns both registered and non-registered accounts. This allows you to max out your registered accounts - RRSP, TFSA and RESP and then if you still have funds left over, you can invest within a non-registered account.If you’re a young person with an entry-level salary it’s usually best to maximize your TFSA before contributing to an RRSP (except in a scenario where you have an employer-matching pension plan or group RRSP to take advantage of). Let the RRSP contribution room build up and then, when you start making more money and are in a higher tax-bracket, contribute to the RRSP. If the funds aren’t available, the money in a TFSA can be used for RRSP contributions. Once you have children, open an RESP as soon as possible to start collecting those RESP grants. The government is giving you free money. And who doesn’t like free money? And if you have more than one child, set up a family RESP with all kids as beneficiaries.Finally, be sure to designate a beneficiary for each of your registered accounts. RRSPs, TFSAs and RRIF’s can all rollover tax-free to a spouse or common-law partner.
17 minutes | Feb 13, 2021
Ep. 10 All About RRSPs
In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs). With the contribution deadline of March 1st 2021 quickly approaching, it’s a topic you’ll be hearing a lot about this month. And while many people regularly contribute to their RRSP, they don’t always know all the benefits of having one, or other ways they could be leveraging it. So today, I’m going to break it all down for you. We’ll cover: What they are How they work Who they benefit, and Why you should consider one. I’m also sharing some smart ways you can leverage an RRSP that you may not know about, including:Using your RRSP to help pay for your first home.Using your RRSP to help pay for your education.Using your RRSP to allow incoming-splitting in retirement to reduce taxes.Why using your RRSP refund to contribute to your TFSA is a smart strategy.When it makes sense to carry forward your RRSP contribution room.In the year you turn 71 you need to convert your RRSP to a RRIF. If you're still working, it may make sense to overcontribute to the RRSP and pay a penalty when it will create an additional tax deduction.Helpful tools and resources:Who can participate in a Lifelong Learning Plan linkRules for using unused RRSP contributions linkMy latest blog post about RRSPs link10 ways to grow your RRSP link
20 minutes | Jan 29, 2021
Ep. 9 Money & Marriage
In today’s episode we cover a wide range of topics as they relate to how someone’s relationship with money can impact their relationships with others. When it comes to a friendship, differences in attitudes towards spending and saving may not be a deal breaker. But when those differences arise in a couple, they can be. Topics we look at include;Why people find it so difficult to talk about money.Why money is a leading cause for divorceTips on mistakes to avoidWhat you can do to ensure healthy conversations about moneyA major reason couples don’t talk about money has to do with the shame attached to it. Shame can come from;Financial mistakes made in the past.Carrying a lot of debtBig differences in incomeMoney plays such a big role in so many parts of our lives - where we live, trips we take, cars we drive, the jobs we take and the way we spend in general. The differences in how people view money can be a major stressor and far too often it boils down to a lack of communication. People talk about so many other things before talking about money. Couples need to make money conversations a priority and we provide a discussion guide to help. In the episode we use a real life case study of a couple in their early thirties we worked with. We delve into how their different upbringings resulted in friction in their relationship. The first step we took was getting them to talk about the concerns they had. We had them focus on priorities and life goals rather than finances and budgets. By focusing on shared priorities, it’s easier for each person to determine the areas they are willing to compromise on. It’s also important for both people in a relationship to know what the scope of their finances are. Clarity provides comfort. Tips to make the conversations easier;Don’t dive into a money talk right off the batStart with a broader conversation about goals, values and future plans. Talking openly about the type of lifestyle you want will help to ensure you’re both on the same page for the long term.Take a step back and commit to listening to your partner and finding a middle ground.Focus on one shared goal at time.Consider a money coach or financial advisor to help facilitate the conversation and clarify goals.Top takeawaysDon’t keep secrets.Don’t expect your partner to have same goalsAgree on shared goals and figure out how to reach them together. This takes the conversation away from dollars and towards something with a deeper meaning.Helpful ToolsA financial discussion guide for couples. LINK
63 minutes | Jan 13, 2021
Ep. 8 Considering Divorce? What you should know.
Today we interview Rosanna Breitman. Rosanna is a divorce mediator and begins by telling us about the type of mediation she practices and how the holistic process she utilizes benefits the divorcing couples and more importantly how it benefits the children. Introducing Rosanna’s book entitled, The 7 Crucial Steps To Take Before Saying I Want A Divorce.If there is a risk that someone can be hurt or is concerned for their safety, they should not be having that talk with their spouse.The importance of talking to a therapist. Divorce is a grief process and there is a fundamental need for support. Support from a therapist is a constructive thing to do. A therapist can help you to avoid regrets. Although so many people are resistant, Rosanna recommends this to most clients. In the end they are grateful that they did it.Understand the different legal avenues that they can take. Mediation – A conflict resolution process. It may not be the best process for those who want to use it as a way to air grievances rather than fighting. Works for those who want to save time and money. People who are willing to make full financial disclosure. A mediator does not need to be a lawyer. Generally, a mediator does not give legal advice. Mediation is an unregulated profession. Collaborative Family Law – Each person has their own lawyer rather than having one mediator working with both parties. The philosophy is similar to mediation in that it is also an interests-based process rather than a rights-based process. The bargaining is based in the shadow of the law, so they are figuring out what’s in the best interest of the couples. You get more into the “why” behind what someone is asking for and you can focus more on what a couple can do to come up with an appropriate solution. Understand the legal process so you are clear on what steps you will encounter. Some of the financial issues that are likely to come up. People do not need to know everything about their finances and it will be dealt with in time, but not necessarily at the outset. Benefits of working with a financial advisor or CDFA to go through all the information they eventually will need. How common law and married couples differ in terms of financial obligations. Budgeting – Understanding the costs you will face. Most people will suffer financial challenges. Even at high income levels, the costs of running two households can be unrealistic.Preparing for the talk. Separate the person from the problem and that will allow people to focus on creating a solution. Once you’ve completed the talk, it’s important to know that this is an ongoing process. The partner on the receiving end of the talk may not expect it and will need some time to let it sink in. It’s like a grieving process and be prepared to give space and time for everything to play out. Resources:eBook: The Seven Crucial Steps to Take Before Saying I Want a DivorceWebsite: www.torontofamilylaw.comEmail - Rosannabreitman@gmail.com
16 minutes | Jan 3, 2021
Ep. 7 Ten Resolutions for 2021
As we move into 2021, it’s a tradition to come up with resolutions. But instead of hauling out those familiar New Year’s resolutions about eating less and exercising more, Mark discusses steps to improve your fiscal health. He provides ten suggested resolutions that, if followed, will go a long way toward helping to ensure that your later years will be financially secure.Resolutions include:Getting your personal balance sheet in order. Everything else really proceeds from this, so take the time to bring all these numbers up to date.Why this year, perhaps more than before, it’s important to review your budget, spending and savings strategies.Risk levels have been on the rise. Now is the time to revisit your asset allocation to make sure you’re comfortable with the amount of risk you’re taking.If you’re in retirement or within 10 years of it, commit to evaluating your sources of income to make sure everything is still on track.Understand how tax is impacting your investments and look for ways to minimize it. As Mark often says, “It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep".Visit our website to subscribe to our newsletter. https://www.livingricherwealth.com Tax Planning Opportunities LINKConnect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
19 minutes | Dec 27, 2020
Ep. 6 Debt Free In 4 (or 5) Easy Steps
On average Canadians are indebted at 177 per cent of their disposable income—meaning that for every dollar of household after tax income, Canadians owe $1.77. This is just off its all-time high. By comparison, in 1990 that number was just 86 cents. In today's episode, we take you through 5 steps to follow, to finally regain control of your debt and start to steer yourself in the right direction.Mark starts by looking at debt in general. He compares good debt to bad debt and discussed why it’s never a good idea to have bad debt.If you follow the first four steps to get out of debt and stay that way, you can avoid the fifth step, which could have the most negative impact on your financial situation.Making debt repayment a priority in your monthly budget. Tips on how to find extra money in your budget. Apps to help find the best prices on necessities.Comparing two methods for paying down debt. The Snowball Method vs. the Avalanche Method. Which method can work the fastest. Which method will save more in interest. Which method has the highest likelihood of success.Don’t create more debt. This one is really important and one where a lot of people trip up.How to deal with your existing credit cards. Studies show that people spend 15% more when paying with credit, which is why getting rid of your cards could be a solution for you.Instead of declaring bankruptcy, why a Consumer Proposal might be a better solution.LinksDave Ramsey – Snowball methodDebt service ratio calculator
29 minutes | Dec 16, 2020
Ep. 5 Budgeting Is Not A 4 Letter Word
Having a budget (or detailed spending plan) is the most effective and arguably the quickest way to make your money goals a reality! Whether your goal is to get out of debt, build an emergency fund, save for retirement, or if you’re like most people, there are several goals that you’re working towards, a budget can help you get there. Unfortunately, many are turned off by the thought of a budget. So how about instead we call it a spending strategy? Because the truth is that having a budget won’t limit your spending freedom, it will actually give you the freedom to spend money without guilt and it will make your money go further! So whether you’re just starting out or you’re in retirement, creating a budget will allow you to take control of your finances and will set you on the path to achieving your goals. In this episode, I’ll take you through the steps to get started – it’s a lot easier than you might think.Mark recommends creating a Zero-Based Budgeting. It's easy to implement, it’s easy to follow and is forward looking. Mark walks listeners through five simple steps in creating a plan that works.Your detailed budget worksheet to help track all income and expenses.
22 minutes | Dec 10, 2020
Ep. 4 A Financial Plan In 6 Easy Steps
While most people could benefit from working with a financial advisor, anyone can go through these steps and create their own financial plan.In this podcast, Mark walks you through 6 steps to help you create a financial plan that will turn your goals into action. It is equally valuable for those just starting out as it is for those nearing retirement or already in retirement. The goals may be different, but the process is the same.While most people have great intentions when it comes to creating a plan, too often they don’t follow through. You’ll learn tangible actions that you can take to help improve the likelihood of success. What the first step in designing a financial plan should be.Why having an emergency fund is so important.Why you should never start by focusing on investmentsHow estate planning fits in and the things it should include. Once it’s complete, your financial plan provides you with clarity, understanding, motivation, and insight into every single area of your personal finances. It allows you to navigate your financial journey with confidence. It will ensure that your financial decisions are aligned with your short-term and long-term financial goals.
24 minutes | Dec 2, 2020
Ep. 3 Financial Discovery
In episode two, Mark walked you through how to get started on your own financial plan using a discovery planning tool to clarify your goals and priorities. This forms the start of the 3-D financial planning process created for clients at Living Richer Wealth Management. The 3-D Process stands for;DiscoverDesignDeployThe discovery stage can’t just be about goals and dreams. It has to incorporate a strategy to achieve them. That’s where the money part of the discovery process comes in – and that’s what we’ll cover today.In this episode, you’ll learn how to marry your goals, hopes and dreams with your current and expected financial situation to create a roadmap for the future. Mark covers things like:How to accurately evaluate your current financial situationUnderstanding assets and liabilitiesCalculating your net worthCreating a personal income statementHow needs and wants fit into your planFilling in the financial gapsResources:Build your financial plan LINK
19 minutes | Dec 2, 2020
Ep. 2 Goals Discovery
The idea of putting together a financial plan can be overwhelming. In fact, it’s a big reason why so many don’t put one in place when they are starting out and why so many are worried it’s too late as they move through life’s transitions. But here’s the truth – it’s never too early or too late to get started. In this episode, Mark explains why it’s so important to have a plan at any stage and how to get started. He talks about why retirement planning calculators don’t work. He provides an overview of the 3-D financial planning process used at Living Richer Wealth Management. And in easy-to-understand terms, he’ll walk you through the first steps to building your own plan – the same steps he takes his own clients through. If you want to create a financial plan but don’t know where to begin, or if you have a plan that you worry isn’t going to get you to where you want to go, this episode is for you. Resources:Link to Values Map
15 minutes | Dec 2, 2020
Ep. 1 Introductory Episode
We all want to live a richer and more fulfilled life, and with smart financial planning, it’s possible. That’s what the Living Richer podcast is all about – helping you to align your means with the things that mean most to you, so that you can enjoy your life today, while planning for tomorrow.Hosted by Mark Shimkovitz, a life-centered financial advisor for over 25 years, Living Richer will give you the knowledge, tools and strategies to clarify your goals and priorities, invest wisely and avoid common mistakes. Mark will help you understand how to develop and implement a personalized financial plan that will put you on the right track and keep you moving toward your goals through life’s many transitions. So whether you are just starting out on your financial journey, or well on your way, Living Richer will have something to offer you. In this introductory episode, Mark will tell you a little more about the podcast and what to expect in future episodes. He’ll explain how knowing ‘your why’ is the starting point to any successful financial plan and give you tips to get started on your own. Have a listen, we hope you’ll like what you hear. Resources: Website https://www.livingricherwealth.comSimon Sinek video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPYeCltXpxw
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