What Is A Spousal RRSP? And Why Should You Use It?

What Is A Spousal RRSP? And Why Should You Use It?

Income splitting is often talked about in reference to high-income earners, but what about the average Canadian family? How does the average Canadian family split income and minimize tax? A spousal RRSP is one way for the average Canadian family to easily split income in retirement.

For high-income earners there are income splitting strategies like spousal loans or “income sprinkling”. Spousal loans are for families with lots of non-registered savings and a large difference in marginal tax rates between spouses. “Income sprinkling” can be used by families who own a corporation (although with the new TOSI rules has changed dramatically).

But what about your average Canadian household? Are there are income splitting options for them?

One very easy and accessible type of income splitting is a spousal RRSP. Unlike other income splitting strategies this one is very easy to set up, it doesn’t require a lawyer, and it’s easy to understand.

The big benefit of a spousal RRSP is that the average family can use it to “equalize” their registered assets before retirement. This allows for a more equal distribution of income in retirement and a lower overall tax bill for a household.

In addition to lower income tax it also opens up more opportunities to maximize government benefits in retirement.

But you might be wondering, isn’t it possible to split income after age 65 anyway, why would I need a spousal-RRSP?

While it’s true that after age 65 income splitting is much easier to do, it’s still a best practice to try to equalize registered assets before age 65. This allows for the maximum flexibility when creating a retirement drawdown strategy, especially when retiring early.

Equalizing registered assets can be extremely beneficial, especially before the age of 65 when there are fewer income splitting opportunities, for this reason we sometimes want to look at using a spousal RRSP to help split income in the future.

The Tax Free First Home Savings Account (TFFHSA) Explained

The Tax Free First Home Savings Account (TFFHSA) Explained

There is a new tax advantaged account in Canada, the Tax Free First Home Savings Account! Along with the TFSA and RRSP, the new Tax Free First Home Savings Account (TFFHSA) is another great way to reach your financial goals in a very tax efficient way. The account provides a significant advantage to those planning to purchase their first home and creates a new option for parents who are thinking about helping their children with a future home purchase.

The new Tax Free First Home Savings Account (TFFHSA) does add a little bit of complexity to an already complex landscape of tax planning options, however like the TFSA and RRSP, if used properly it can help accelerate progress towards financial goals like purchasing a home and planning for retirement.

When saving and investing for future goals you can now choose between TFSA, RRSP, and the new TFFHSA, and for families with small children, there is the RESP too.

The new Tax Free First Home Savings Account is very new, so in this post we’re going to explore how this account works, the eligibility criteria, the contribution and withdrawal rules, some things to possibly watch out for, and some strategic options when using it within your financial plan.

Canada Child Benefit Increase! What Will Your Monthly CCB Be?

Canada Child Benefit Increase! What Will Your Monthly CCB Be?

The Canada Child Benefit is one of the most generous government benefits in Canada and it just increased! Unlike many government benefits, the Canada Child Benefit is available to low, moderate, and also some high income families.

The amount you receive from the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) depends on a few factors, one is the taxable net income for the family (line 23600 on your tax return), another is the number of children in the family, and the final factor is the age of each child.

The Canada Child Benefit is an “income tested” government benefit. The higher your taxable net income is, the lower your Canada Child Benefit will be. For some high income families, at a certain level of income the Canada Child Benefit will be reduced to $0. Anyone with income above that income level will not receive any benefit. The tricky thing is that this income level is different depending on the number of children and their ages.

The Canada Child Benefit also changes every year. New benefits start in July and are based on prior years tax return (the first payment of the updated benefit is July 20th).

The Canada Child Benefit also increases with inflation. The new 2022 Canada Child Benefit has increased by 2.4% versus 2021.

So how much Canada Child Benefit can you expect in July? We’ve got a table below that shows the Canada Child Benefit based on family taxable net income (line 23600) in $10,000 increments, so you can figure out generally how much you can expect in July.

How Do Tax Returns Work When There Is An RRSP Contribution or Withdrawal

How Do Tax Returns Work When There Is An RRSP Contribution or Withdrawal

The RRSP is a great financial planning tool. Investments grow tax-free within the account. Contributions to an RRSP reduce taxable income. And in some unique circumstances, it may even be advantageous to make contributions in one year and then deduct them in future years.

RRSP contributions and withdrawals will decrease and increase taxable income respectively. This effect can be seen on the tax return.

So, how do tax returns work when there is an RRSP contribution? What effect does an RRSP contribution have on the tax return?

And what about in the future? What happens when RRSP withdrawals are made? What effect does an RRSP withdrawal have on the tax return?

These are important questions. The benefit of strategic RRSP contributions and withdrawals can be $10,000’s or more.

Understanding how RRSP contributions and withdrawals affects your tax return is very important for Canadian retirement planning. We’ll go through the basics of how RRSPs work, as well as a few examples to show how an RRSP contribution or withdrawal shows up on the tax return.

What Is “Adjusted Cost Base”? And Why Every Investor Should Know

What Is “Adjusted Cost Base”? And Why Every Investor Should Know

For many investors adjusted cost based is something they may never need to worry about (but should still be aware of!) For most investors who are only using tax-sheltered accounts like the TFSA or RRSP, they never need to worry about adjusted cost base (or ACB for short).

This is because ACB is only required to calculate capital gains tax, and because most investors are investing inside a tax-sheltered account like a TFSA or RRSP, this is a non-issue.

But for anyone with investments outside of a tax-sheltered account, adjusted cost base is extremely important! And your ACB is something that you need to stay on top of.

Adjusted cost based is something every individual investor needs to track on their own. Yes, some mutual funds, robo-advisors, or even brokerage accounts might track adjusted cost based for you, but in the fine print they typically tell investors to track it themselves too. Why? Because they don’t want to be held accountable for a tax issue in the future.

Here’s why we need to worry about ACB and some tips on how to track it…

How Much Does It Take To Retire By Province?

How Much Does It Take To Retire By Province?

Planning for retirement is all about spending. Spending impacts almost everything about a retirement plan. More spending means more withdrawals and more taxes. Less spending means less withdrawals and less taxes.

More spending could mean there is a higher risk of running out of money. Less spending could mean that we need to be careful around estate planning because there may be a large amount of assets being passed on.

But spending needs to be supported by investment assets, so how much do we need to have invested? How much does it take to retire?

In this post, we’re going to take an interesting look at this question. We’re going to look at how much we need to retire depending on the province we live in. We’re going to look at how much you need to have invested to support the same retirement spending.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this post should be considered financial planning advice. We’re going to use averages and province wide tax rates with only general deductions. Because we’re all unique in some special way, the numbers in this post won’t apply to you, but the relative amount you need to have invested between provinces is interesting!

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