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 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?

 

 

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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.

“Ottawa Woman’s Mastermind – What Do You Want Series (Level 1).”

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Kim's posterAre you at a cross roads in your life?  Or are you looking to grow a business?  No matter what your personal goal is – no one person can do it alone.  You need to attract people into your life who will move you forward towards that dream.

The Ottawa woman’s Mastermind meet up is way to attract key people into your life, learn from each other by using THE LAW OF ATTRACTION, POSITIVE ATTITUDE and IMAGINATION to reach your next goal.

This group is a bit unique in what my vision is. The group is not a place to sell your products or advertise yourself to find clients. I am not looking for coaches – I am looking for students.  It is a 6 part series that meets every 2nd Tuesday Starting Feb 28th, 2017.  This is NOT A NETWORKING GROUP

See you Feb 28th 2016 at 7 PM  at the Merivale Bowling Alley.  If you have any questions please send me an email or give me a call. You can also follow me on my blog www.kimberlypringle.com

Email Kimberly to register Email Kimberly