GIS Allowance is one of those unique government benefits. It applies only in very specific situations, but when it does apply, it can be very large.
GIS stands for the Guaranteed Income Supplement and it’s a government benefit for low- and moderate-income retirees. It is available after the age of 65 if OAS benefits have begun and if taxable income (line 23600 on your tax return) is below a certain threshold.
Allowance is another government benefit tied to GIS. Allowance is only available in very specific situations but it’s worth over $1,200 per month or $14,000 per year!
Given the size of GIS Allowance it can be very beneficial to understand how it works and when it applies. But, because it’s so rare, its often not considered when creating a retirement drawdown strategy. Unfortunately, not adjusting a financial plan for GIS Allowance will make retirement unnecessarily difficult for lower-income couples.
GIS Allowance is a government benefit that applies in only a few situations, but it is a benefit that is extremely large, and therefore it’s important to understand if and when you may qualify.
When it comes to retirement there is a lot of focus put on the RRSP. The Registered Retirement Savings Plan seems like an obvious choice for retirement (it even has retirement in the name after all!). But for many of us an RRSP isn’t necessary, and it might even be counterproductive!
There’s a new retirement account on the block and it’s called the TFSA. Just over 10 years old, the TFSA is relatively new to the retirement savings game. Starting in 2009, it changed the way we look at retirement savings.
If you’re new to RRSP vs TFSA debate, it’s important to know that there are pros and cons for each account. RRSP’s do have the advantage in a few different areas, especially if you have high income or have a family and receive child benefits (either the Canada Child Benefit or a provincial child benefit). TFSA’s also have their share of benefits too. For low- and middle-income households, the TFSA has a few big advantages.
When deciding which is the right one for you need to look at multiple factors. Factors like income taxes, government benefits, creditor protection, and even human behaviour.
When deciding between the TFSA or the RRSP the key thing to remember is that you don’t actually NEED an RRSP to retire. Someone can easily retire with only a TFSA.
There are four things you need to know if you’re going to avoid the RRSP and only use the TFSA for retirement…
In a world filled with uncertainty a financial plan has this amazing ability to predict the future.
It can help predict future income, expenses, assets, and debts. It can help predict if you’ll be financially secure in the future or if you’ll be eating cat food. It can help predict if you need to save more to achieve your goals or if you can spend more now and enjoy today. In can help predict if you’ll run out of money in retirement or if you’ll end up with millions.
A financial plan isn’t a perfect prediction of course. It’s based on certain assumptions. But good assumptions can create a good prediction. There will still be some chance of the future working out differently than planned, but with a path mapped out the future becomes very real and very achievable.
They say that “failing to plan is planning to fail”. A financial plan will help you know where you’re going. It will help you create a clear roadmap to follow. If you can hit the milestones on the roadmap then success is all but guaranteed.
Here are just a few ways that a financial plan can help you predict the future and make it a reality.
After reaching age 65 there are a couple of tax credits that we become eligible for. These tax credits vary in the amount of tax they save, but in general they help decrease income tax payable for those over the age of 65, and they can be very helpful to lower taxes in retirement.
But with some of these tax credits, they only apply if you have certain types of retirement income, and the pension income tax credit is one of those tax credits.
The pension income tax credit is one of a couple of tax credits that become available to everyone after age 65 (there is also the Age Amount Credit) but some people can access the pension income tax credit earlier than age 65 if they have certain types of retirement income.
All of these tax credits add up to provide a significant amount of tax savings in retirement, so it pays to understand the various credits and how to qualify for them.
The pension income tax credit provides a tax credit of $2,000 federally and between $1,000 to $2,000 depending on the province.
Both the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) are tax-sheltered accounts offered to Canadians by the government as a way to help save and invest without the drag of income tax on annual returns.
Although both are great ways to help grow your money, it can be difficult to decide which one is best for you.
Often one type of account is better for an individual than the other. In most cases we would prefer to maximize one of these accounts before moving on to the next.
Which account we choose, TFSA or RRSP, will depend on a number of factors. These factors may change over time. It’s reasonable to assume that a new grad entering the work force would be better suited to maximizing their TFSA first but as their income grows they may prefer to start focusing on their RRSP instead.
This decision between TFSA or RRSP often involves looking at your marginal effective tax rate today and your marginal effective tax rate in the future. You marginal effective tax rate is your income tax rate PLUS the claw back rate you experience from government benefits.
Making the right decision between TFSA or RRSP can help save $100,000’s over time.
It can mean paying thousands LESS in income tax and it can mean qualifying for thousands MORE in government benefits (like the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) or the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) or one of dozens of other government benefits that are available).
There are a number of personal and financial benefits when owning a home. There is the stability, the forced savings of mortgage payments, the potential for appreciation etc. etc. But there are two somewhat less obvious benefits of owning a home.
These benefits will help homeowners financially, both before retirement in the accumulation phase and also after retirement in the decumulation phase. These benefits will make it easier for homeowners to achieve their financial goals, decrease taxes, and minimize government benefit clawbacks.
In this post we’re going to explore two, perhaps hidden, benefits of owning a home.