What happens when the holder of a TFSA dies? (Advantage of Segregated Funds)

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Sun Life Financial / January 2, 2018

François Bernier, notary and director, advanced planning with Sun Life Financial, looks at a topic that’s getting people talking.

 Think you know all there is to know about the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)? You might be surprised. The process of transferring TFSA proceeds on the account owner’s death isn’t always clearly understood.

A HEFTY TFSA COULD PACK A BIG TAX PUNCH.

An investor who has never contributed to a TFSA can deposit $52,000 in 2017.1 “Since the growth is tax-sheltered, some investors could eventually end up with an account containing more than $100,000,” says Bernier. And that’s why we’re now starting to see this topic in the news more often, as a sizable TFSA can have a substantial financial impact at death.

THE BASICS: A QUICK REVIEW

When the owner of a TFSA dies, the money in the TFSA becomes accessible to the owner’s estate, with no tax impact, if no successor holder or beneficiaries exist. If the account owner decides to leave the TFSA proceeds to one or more of their children, the amount accumulated up to the date of death will be non-taxable, and the heirs can use it as they wish. However, if the heirs want to transfer the money into their own TFSA, they’ll have to be careful not to exceed their remaining contribution room.

If the deceased owner of a TFSA had named their surviving spouse (married or common law) as the beneficiary to their TFSA, the spouse can take advantage of what is referred to as an “exempt contribution.” This means that the spouse can transfer the current balance in the TFSA — its fair market value, in other words — into their own TFSA, even if all of their available contribution room has already been used. “Subject to completing a form RC240 (Designation of an Exempt Contribution — Tax-Free Savings Account) and filing it within 30 days of applying the contribution to their own TFSA, that is,” Bernier clarifies.2

AN EXAMPLE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

At the time of his death in June 2017, John owned a TFSA that contained a total amount of $52,000. His spouse, Mary, can complete the form in question and add this $52,000 to her own TFSA, even if she has already contributed the maximum she’s allowed.

“However, there could be some capital appreciation between the date of death and the date the funds are transferred. Transfers like this don’t happen in a day. The deadline for completing the rollover to the spouse is December 31 of the year following the year of death,” explains Bernier.

Mary has the option of transferring the fair market value of her deceased husband’s TFSA, which is invested in mutual funds, into her own account before December 31, 2018. Keep in mind, however, that any capital appreciation that happens between those two dates will be taxable. If, for example, there’s a huge upswing in the markets and the TFSA’s value skyrockets to $62,000 during the 18 months in question, the result would be an amount of $10,000 that is taxable to Mary. Any capital appreciation after John’s death is considered interest income, which is subject to taxation and is not included in the rollover to the surviving spouse.

THE ADVANTAGE OF SEGREGATED FUND PRODUCTS

A key advantage of choosing an insurance product for a TFSA is the ability to appoint a beneficiary right in the insurance contract. If the spouse is named beneficiary, a death claim is paid, and the spouse then transfers the money to their own TFSA.3If the spouse is named in the contract as the successor holder, they become the owner of the TFSA. “On John’s death, if the money is invested in a segregated fund product, there would be a direct transfer of the assets to Mary, as the successor holder of the contract. In that case, the tax impact we outlined in the situation above would be eliminated,” says Bernier. Also, as successor holder, the client wouldn’t have to fill out a form RC240.

“Remember, too, that with a beneficiary designation, the money invested in segregated fund products passes outside the estate, meaning that it is paid promptly and directly to the beneficiary appointed in the insurance contract,” he adds.

On the topic of beneficiaries, there is a subtle difference for clients in Quebec. In Canada, regardless of which institution issues the TFSA, clients can designate their spouse (married or common law) as the successor holder of the plan or beneficiary. In Quebec, however, only insurance products, including segregated fund products, allow a successor holder or beneficiary to be named in the contract. Another way of looking at it is that clients can name a beneficiary for non-insurance products across Canada, except in Quebec.

An important note

With segregated fund products, if a spouse is the successor owner of the TFSA, no death benefit is payable, and the death benefit guarantee won’t be available. Sometimes, it’s better to name the spouse as the beneficiary.

 

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Fire Alarm at 6 AM

At 6 am this morning the fire alarm in my building went off.  Me and my cat ‘Steve’ are on the 11th floor of a 15 story high rise.  steveWe were up late last night watching the Edmonton Oilers loose another hockey game and the Houston Astros win the World Series.  6 am is usually the time I get up for work – but getting up to a Fire Alarm is not a Zen way to start the day.

As I jumped out of bed my mother’s voice came into my head – Kim make sure you are waring good Pajama’s when you go to bed because there could be a fire and you will have fire fighters at  your door.   (Note to self – buy better pajamas)

I grabbed my purse, my phone and Steve.  As I was putting Steve into his cat carrier I remembered that I had planned to buy a new cat carrier because the last road trip we did to “Grandma’s House in Kingston” Steve barley fit into his cat carrier.  So at 6 AM he was not going willingly.

So there I was standing outside my building in the rain this am with nothing but, my purse, my phone & Steve surrounded by 100’s of other people from the building.  I was standing safely in the rain with the fire trucks, fire alarms going off, lights flashing and I was not worried.

In fact I was quite calm because I knew that no matter what happened with the fire – I was going to have a safe place to sleep that tonight, I would have extra money for additional living expenses & food, I would have money to replace all my furniture and I was protected for liability if the fire started in my unite.

I have ALL THAT PEACE OF MIND FOR $31/MONTH because I had insurance.

For people who have condo’s as their principle residence or for people who rent apartments the cost of insurance is apx $22-$40/month.

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I’m sharing my story with you this morning in the hopes that it may help you or someone you love.  Please talk to a Licenced Insurance Advisor today about Tenants Insurance or Condo insurance.

If your fire alarm went off at 6 AM tomorrow – would you be OK?

Kimberly Pringle – Associate Financial Advisor  613-258-2020

 Rob Carrick
August 4, 2017August 2, 2017

Living alone is bad for your personal finances.

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From a basic sharing of expenses to the availability of tax breaks, you’re better off financially if you have a spouse, partner or roommate. But as 2016 census data shows, singles now account for the biggest slice of Canadian households. Possible trend of the future: The relationship of financial convenience, where people of all ages live together to save money.

As chair of the Ottawa chapter of CARP, a group representing retired people, Janet Gray hears from a lot of senior women about discrimination against singles. “They say there’s an injustice – almost a penalty – for being single,” said Ms. Gray, who is a financial planner with Money Coaches Canada.

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Read more: Census 2016: More Canadians than ever are living alone, and other takeaways

Retired couples can take advantage of pension-income splitting, where a higher-income spouse or common-law partner shares up to half of his or her pension with the lower-income spouse/partner to reduce taxes. Payments from a registered pension plan can be split before age 65 or later, while payments from a registered retirement income fund or registered retirement savings plan can be split at 65 and older. There’s no similar opportunity to save when you’re a single retiree.
The financial disadvantages of being single are especially noticeable in retirement, but they’re significant even for millennials. Ms. Gray said a single person would typically qualify for a smaller mortgage than a couple, which limits the ability to buy in expensive housing markets such as Vancouver or Toronto.

“At 35, you could find yourself buying a first house and having to go to mom and dad to ask, can you co-sign for me?” she said. “It’s kind of demoralizing.”

The old cliché about two living as cheaply as one may be exaggerated, but Ms. Gray figures that singles pay 75 to 80 per cent of the costs incurred by a couple. Whether one or two adults live in a home, major costs like mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities and maintenance are the same.

There are some additional tax breaks beyond pension-income splitting that benefit couples, not singles. Here are a few highlighted by Mark Goodfield, a partner at the accounting firm BDO Canada LLP:

The spouse or common-law partner amount: This tax credit is claimable if you support a spouse or common-law partner with income of less than $11,635 for 2017.
Medical expenses: Partners can combine their medical expenses to get the most benefit from this tax credit.
Charitable donations: Donations by spouses can be combined so that they qualify for the enhanced tax credit available to charitable giving of amounts above $200 ( a lesser credit applies for smaller donations).
Adam Morke, an accountant with Stern Cohen, said there aren’t as many tax breaks for couples as people think. “Canada’s income tax system is, generally speaking, designed around taxing individuals as opposed to couples,” he said in an e-mail. The idea that couples are hugely advantaged may come from the United States, where there’s more opportunity for them to save on tax.

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It was Ms. Gray, the financial planner, who floated the idea of the relationship of financial convenience. It’s a concept that may be particularly well suited to expensive cities where both houses and rental accommodations are expensive. Achieving financial independence as a young adult in these locations may depend on some kind of sharing of expenses.

The 2016 census data found that almost 35 per cent of people between the ages of 20 and 34 lived with at least one parent, up from 30.6 per cent in 2001. Between a challenging job market and pricey housing, young adults are increasingly having to rely on family for financial support.

Having a roommate seems like a university or college thing, but maybe it’s time to consider it as an option at all ages. Pension-income splitting isn’t available to roommates, but they can pool their financial resources to afford the high cost of housing and enjoy the emotional benefits of companionship. Don’t they say that one is the loneliest number?

 

 

3 Ways Your Past Wins Are Blocking Your Future Successes

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Its easier to bask in the glow of the glory days than it is to put in the hard work to defend your spot at the top.

I’m tired of hearing stories that start like this: “Back in the day, I used to kill it.” Every time I hear someone say that, I think to myself, “Why did you stop killing it, then?” Let’s be real. No one ever says, “I want to be successful for a short period of time.” That’s not how the game works.

I have a theory why back-in-the-day stories are plenty and present-day wins are few: Winning isn’t easy. If it were, there would be no losers.

1. You fear starting over.
Winning takes hard work, focus, dedication, time, pain and finesse. Oftentimes, when someone has put in the effort to win, they fear starting over and winning again. After all, it’s hard work. Remember those folks who peaked in high school or college? They won one championship and celebrated it for the rest of their lives, even though they gave up on going to the big leagues.

The sales field is full of people who’ve won in the past but have written off their hopes of winning in the future. I hear people say, “But the rules changed” or “It’s not possible these days.” It’s all bullshit. It’s much easier to win once and retire than it is to turn around and defend the title. Most people — maybe even you — glory in knowing you won once. You should be focusing instead on how to remain the champ.

But guess which pays better? Is it retirement or championship?

2. You’re uncoachable.
Even worse (and I notice this the most) are those who have won in the past and refuse to be coached on how to win in the future. It’s as if previous wins inflated their egos so much, they can’t admit they need help to win again — even if it means helping themselves. “I know that” is one of the most dangerous phrases. While most people know everything, few choose to implement knowledge.

As I always say: “Knowledge + action = success.”

Realize this: There are no champions without coaches.

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Knowing it all isn’t the problem, but lack of application and action can become serious obstacles to overcome. Knowing what to do and actually doing it are two different things. You need a coach to help you practice and perfect what you do know. Find a good one to keep you accountable, and accept his or her criticism along with the praise.

3. You’re lying to yourself about what’s possible.
Most people believe what was possible back in the day is possible no longer. But we live in a time of advancement, not regression. Anything that was possible in the past is easier to accomplish in the present. It’s all a matter of mindset and making shifts over time, not fighting them.

The good-old days are now, and the sooner you realize it, the better.

I work with a lot of mortgage-loan officers. They usually talk about how good they had it before 2009. Which is complete nonsense. Everyone had it good in mortgages pre-2009. Money was everywhere and unregulated. If you could breathe, you could get a loan. When it stopped being easy, only champions pushed through. Most gave up and just accepted their peak had passed.

Yet here we are, years later, and many in the mortgage business never have out-earned their pre-2009 incomes — even though we live in the best time to be in the mortgage business. They let their past success hinder their future earnings. It’s a huge upper-limit mental block. And it’s not just loan officers, either. I hear it from nearly every sales position.

You have the power to win again.
Are you starting to think I’m describing you? Did you crush it in one place or another in the past but can’t seem to start winning again? I feel you. Most salespeople face this fear at least once during their careers. You have to know it starts with your mindset. You must believe your past wins were training exercises for your future championship. Believe you deserve to win and be willing to do the work.

The moment you think you know what it takes but decide not to do it is the moment you shift from winner to loser. It’s can be a hard pill to swallow.

My job is not always easy. But some of you need to read the truth: You’ve decided to relent, and that’s not the real you. It’s the scared version of you — the one you’ve let yourself become.

Start by building up wins in the present. Where and what can you win right now? Can you win top producer? Win over five more clients? Or win the day with your boss and patch things up? Think about a few small wins that are realistic to achieve. Then, go after them — and use those victories to gain momentum for bigger wins.

It’s time to forget about past accomplishments. They’re over and done, and no one is basking in the glow of that phase of your life. If you’re not winning in present, you’re doing it wrong. You weren’t put here on earth to talk for the rest of your life about successes that happened 10 years ago.

It’s time to put in the work again, my friend. The past is over, and now is when you create your future.

Ryan Stewman
Ryan Stewman, the “hardcore closer,” is a best-selling author, podcaster and blogger.

9 Habits of Profoundly Influential People

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Influential people have a profound impact on everyone they encounter. Yet, they achieve this only because they exert so much influence inside, on themselves.

We see only their outside.

We see them innovate, speak their mind, and propel themselves forward toward bigger and better things.

And, yet, we’re missing the best part.

The confidence and wherewithal that make their influence possible are earned. It’s a labor of love that influential people pursue behind the scenes, every single day.

And while what people are influenced by changes with the season, the unique habits of influential people remain constant. Their focused pursuit of excellence is driven by nine habits that you can emulate and absorb until your influence expands:

1. They think for themselves

Influential people aren’t buffeted by the latest trend or by public opinion. They form their opinions carefully, based on the facts. They’re more than willing to change their mind when the facts support it, but they aren’t influenced by what other people think, only by what they know.

2. They are graciously disruptive

Influential people are never satisfied with the status quo. They’re the ones who constantly ask, “What if?” and “Why not?” They’re not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom, and they don’t disrupt things for the sake of being disruptive; they do it to make things better.

3. They inspire conversation

When influential people speak, conversations spread like ripples in a pond. And those ripples are multidirectional; influencers inspire everyone around them to explore new ideas and think differently about their work.

4. They leverage their networks

Influential people know how to make lasting connections. Not only do they know a lot of people, they get to know their connections’ connections. More importantly, they add value to everyone in their network. They share advice and know how, and they make connections between people who should get to know each other.

5. They focus only on what really matters

Influential people aren’t distracted by trivialities. They’re able to cut through the static and clutter, focus on what matters, and point it out to everyone else. They speak only when they have something important to say, and they never bore people with idle banter.

6. They welcome disagreement

Influential people do not react emotionally and defensively to dissenting opinions—they welcome them. They’re humble enough to know that they don’t know everything and that someone else might see something they missed. And if that person is right, they embrace the idea wholeheartedly because they care more about the end result than being right.

7. They are proactive

Influential people don’t wait for things like new ideas and new technologies to find them; they seek those things out. These early adopters always want to anticipate what’s next. They’re influential because they see what’s coming, and they see what’s coming because they intentionally look for it. Then they spread the word.

8. They respond rather than react

If someone criticizes an influential person for making a mistake, or if someone else makes a critical mistake, influential people don’t react immediately and emotionally. They wait. They think. And then they deliver an appropriate response. Influential people know how important relationships are, and they won’t let an emotional overreaction harm theirs. They also know that emotions are contagious, and overreacting has a negative influence on everyone around them.

9. They believe

Influential people always expect the best. They believe in their own power to achieve their dreams, and they believe others share that same power. They believe that nothing is out of reach, and that belief inspires those around them to stretch for their own goals. They firmly believe that one person can change the world.

Bringing It All Together

To increase your influence, you need to freely share your skills and insights, and you must be passionate in your pursuit of a greater future.

What other qualities make people influential? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world’s leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, TIME, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.

Kimberly’s Mission Statement

what is your mission?

“I will protect the financial security of my clients. I will do the right thing – because it is the right thing to do.  I will treat every client as if they are my only client.  I will be by their side when they need me.”  Kimberly Pringle – your trusted Associate Financial Advisor.

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