Monday, 5 June 2017

What's in a Name? - What's On Your Mind - June 2017 Edition

Did you know that not naming a beneficiary can cost your estate extra taxes on your death?  Anytime you do not name a beneficiary on your registered plans you are adding to the probate taxes payable on death.  Not only would your estate have more taxes to pay but if your will is challenged, this money could get tied up for years sitting in limbo.  

Most people have a named beneficiary on their insurance policies.  So why doesn't everyone have a named beneficiary on their registered plans?  I see situations where it is overlooked, especially on group plans at work.  Until I get to review a group plan with a client, they were not even aware they had no beneficiary named.  I have also seen this happen at registered plans at the bank.  

Sometimes people are unsure who to leave their money to when they do not have a spouse, partner, children or close relatives.  This is no excuse.  There are charities that could benefit from this money or close friends you could name.  What you need to know is your beneficiary could change anytime your circumstances change, so naming someone is better than not naming anyone.  Anytime you change your mind about who you named, it can be changed with your financial institution or the benefits people at work that administers your group plan.

Naming your estate as beneficiary on your registered plans automatically add to the taxes your estate will pay.

You can name more than one person on any of your registered plans.  So where should you have a named beneficiary?  The following is some of the more common places:  group plans at work including retirement plans, TFSA and DPSP; registered plans at financial institution which include, retirement savings plans (RSP), locked in retirement accounts (LIRA) and tax free savings accounts (TFSA).  There are other registered accounts such as LIF, RIF, etc. that should also have a named beneficiary.  Most plans with an insurance company allow for a named beneficiary as well.  

You cannot name a beneficiary on non-registered investment accounts; bank accounts etc.  If you have a segregated account with an insurance that is non-registered, they will allow a named beneficiary because of the insurance wrapper the product has.

If you do not want to pay any more taxes than you actually have to on your estate, you may want to review all registered plans you have. Ensure you have a named beneficiary wherever possible because having a name does matter.



Linda J. Levesque, CFP®, FMA, FCSI®
Sr. Investment Advisor
Director, Private Client Group
HollisWealth Insurance Advisor
HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.
Levesque Wealth Planning
HollisWealth, a division of Scotia Capital Inc.
One Corporate Plaza, 2075 Kennedy Road, 5th Floor, Toronto, ON M1T 3V3
Tel: 416-412-8018 / 1-800-322-4030  Fax: 416-332-6772
linda@levesquewealthplanning.com
                                                                                          

‘Saving Today for a Richer Tomorrow’™

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Linda J. Levesque, Senior Investment Advisor and Director, Private Client Group of HollisWealth is an author of The 5 Minute Wealth Plan, Saving Today for a Richer Tomorrow, in The Road to Success with Jack Canfield and in The Authorities, Powerful Wisdom from Leaders in the Field.  If you're ready to jump-start your life, have more fun and joy in all that you do, get a FREE consultation from Linda J. Levesque 

This article was prepared solely by Linda J. Levesque who is a registered representative of HollisWealth®
 HollisWealth is a trade name of Scotia Capital Inc. and HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.  HollisWealth is a division of Scotia Capital Inc., a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.  Brokerage services provided by HollisWealth are provided through Scotia Capital Inc. Insurance products provided by HollisWealth are provided through HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd. ® Registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under licence. The views and opinions, including any recommendations, expressed in this article are those of Linda J. Levesque alone and not those of HollisWealth. Levesque Wealth Planning is a personal trade name of Linda J. Levesque. HollisWealth and the Scotiabank companies do not provide income tax preparation services nor do they supervise or review other persons who may provide such services.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

All By Myself: 5 Finanical Lessons My Mother Taught Me - What's On Your Mind - May 2017

Almost half the population is single whether it is chosen or something that happens to them after their marriage ends.  If you are a decidedly single person you may already have a great handle on your finances.  If you have recently come out of a relationship where the other partner handled the finances you need to learn the basics of finances 101.

Having a financial advisor may be a good place to start on your road to financial success.  A lot of single people suffer anxiety thinking about how they will manage on their own.  Having someone on your side to discuss your situation and lay out a plan of action may just be the medicine you need to feel secure.

My mother was widowed at 43 years old.  My father was the sole income provider and also managed the household expenses.  My mother had to learn to live not just without the support of her husband but to manage the finances, raise four remaining minor children and run a house while worrying how she was going to manage into retirement.

The following are the lessons my mother learned and wished in some cases she had learned sooner.

Lesson One:  Know where to find all important papers and accounts you have.  Understand what insurances are in place.  Now a days you also need to know where to find passwords for all accounts etc.  My mother wished my father had life insurance.  Having protection for the family would have made my mother's life easier.

Lesson Two:  Know what the cash flow is.  What income will now be coming in and what household expenses are going out.  This may have been done by your partner and you need to know what has to be paid.  My mother never worried about cash flow and just relied on her husband to provide what she needed for the family.  My mother had to quickly learn how to pay bills and the consequence of not paying them on time.

Lesson Three:  Create a budget.  You may have never had to worry or plan the finances until now. You need to learn how to create and stick to a budget.  Your budget will also help you to plan and save for your future.  My mother spent what came in and that was her budget.  Now my mother understands budgeting and the importance it has, if you want to have a secure financial future.

Lesson Four:  Pay yourself first.  Ask your friends or family for referrals to financial advisors. When you start saving for your future you need to invest some of your money on a regular basis so you can have an emergency fund along with your long term savings for retirement.  My mother never understood the importance of paying yourself first and lost a lot of years of compounding because she did not have the help of financial advisor.  My mother learned this later in life, now having a daughter in the business to help her make the right financial decisions. 

Lesson Five:  Get a handle on your taxes.  Most people don't feel comfortable having to deal with taxes and eventually find they are paying large amounts of taxes needlessly.  At some point the person may ask their adult children or a friend to help them.  It is at this point you want to use a financial advisor as a resource.   My mother has me to help her.  Who is helping your mother, sister, friend, etc.?

Linda J. Levesque, CFP®, FMA, FCSI
Sr. Investment Advisor
Director, Private Client Group
HollisWealth Insurance Advisor
HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.
Levesque Wealth Planning
HollisWealth, a division of Scotia Capital Inc.
One Corporate Plaza, 2075 Kennedy Road, 5th Floor, Toronto, ON M1T 3V3
Tel: 416-412-8018 / 1-800-322-4030  Fax: 416-332-6772
linda@levesquewealthplanning.com
                                                                                          

‘Saving Today for a Richer Tomorrow’™

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Linda J. Levesque, Senior Investment Advisor and Director, Private Client Group of HollisWealth is an author of The 5 Minute Wealth Plan, Saving Today for a Richer Tomorrow, in The Road to Success with Jack Canfield and in The Authorities, Powerful Wisdom from Leaders in the Field.  If you're ready to jump-start your life, have more fun and joy in all that you do, get a FREE consultation from Linda J. Levesque 

This article was prepared solely by Linda J. Levesque who is a registered representative of HollisWealth® HollisWealth is a trade name of Scotia Capital Inc. and HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.  HollisWealth is a division of Scotia Capital Inc., a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.  Brokerage services provided by HollisWealth are provided through Scotia Capital Inc. Insurance products provided by HollisWealth are provided through HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd. ® Registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under licence. The views and opinions, including any recommendations, expressed in this article are those of Linda J. Levesque alone and not those of HollisWealth.  Levesque Wealth Planning is a personal trade name of Linda J. Levesque. HollisWealth and the Scotiabank companies do not provide income tax preparation services nor do they supervise or review other persons who may provide such services.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Will a Marriage Contract take away the Romance? - What's On Your Mind - April 2017

You have been dating and one day your partner pops the question, do you want to live together or it could be the formal, do you want to marry me?  Wow, this day has come when not only do you have a big question to answer, but this may be the opening you need to discuss whether you should be getting a co-habitation or a pre-nuptial agreement.  A lot of people shy away from discussing this because they believe that before you even start your life together it is already doomed for failure.

While love is still in the air and everything’s great is the perfect opportunity to discuss the what if’s in a relationship breakdown.

First let me give a brief explanation of each agreement.  You will select the appropriate one to consider for your situation.

Co-habitation agreements are designed for people who have chosen to live together without being married.  This written agreement is similar to a marriage contract in that it will protect the assets that each of you are bringing into the relationship in the event of a relationship breakdown.  The agreement will also sort out current and future financial obligations.  The more detailed the agreement, the more piece of mind it should provide.  The Agreement can also deal with issues such as support, children, inheritances, etc.

A marriage contract is a written contract that outlines what happens upon a marriage breakdown.  A marriage contract is also known as a prenup or prenuptial agreement that should be drafted well before a marriage takes place.  If the marriage contract is made a short time before the marriage takes place it may not be enforceable.  It could be looked at as signing under duress.

Like the co-habitation agreement it can cover just about anything you decide is important to get out in advance and agree to.

People base their decision of whether to get an agreement or contract written up based on the cost charged or how confident they feel in their relationship.  Both of these reasons would be the wrong way to approach this decision.  Your decision should be based on what you have to lose by not getting this done.  It is your life, your choice.  The responsible thing is also the hardest thing to do but it needs to be done.  Have the conversation with your partner otherwise the price you may pay for not having this done could be much greater.


Linda J. Levesque, CFP®, FMA, FCSI
Sr. Investment Advisor
Director, Private Client Group
HollisWealth Insurance Advisor
HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.
Levesque Wealth Planning
HollisWealth, a division of Scotia Capital Inc.
One Corporate Plaza, 2075 Kennedy Road, 5th Floor, Toronto, ON M1T 3V3
Tel: 416-412-8018 / 1-800-322-4030  Fax: 416-332-6772
linda@levesquewealthplanning.com

                                                                                          

‘Saving Today for a Richer Tomorrow’™

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Linda J. Levesque, Senior Investment Advisor and Director, Private Client Group of HollisWealth is an author in The Authorities, Powerful Wisdom from Leaders in the Field.  If you're ready to jump-start your life, have more fun and joy in all that you do, get a FREE consultation from Linda J. Levesque 




This article was prepared solely by Linda J. Levesque who is a registered representative of HollisWealth® HollisWealth is a trade name of Scotia Capital Inc. and HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.  HollisWealth is a division of Scotia Capital Inc., a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.  Brokerage services provided by HollisWealth are provided through Scotia Capital Inc. Insurance products provided by HollisWealth are provided through HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd. ® Registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under licence. The views and opinions, including any recommendations, expressed in this article are those of Linda J. Levesque alone and not those of HollisWealth.

    Levesque Wealth Planning is a personal trade name of Linda J. Levesque.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Marriage: What is the true value of that piece of paper? - What’s on Your Mind? March 2017 Edition

Today it is common to co-habit instead of getting married.  After all it is just a piece of paper.  Who needs it to prove your love.  You are committed to each other so why bother with the hassle and expense of getting married.  

You may want to re-consider this decision to forgo marriage in favour of living together.  Do you realize that if you are living together when your partner passes away and there is no will, you may be out of luck getting your share of the estate?

Any children you have together or if your partner has children, would be entitled to the full estate.  You would have to apply to the courts to get some kind of support if you were dependent on your partner to live.  This means you are taking the children to court to get some of their entitled inheritance.  How do you think this would affect your relationship with the children?  If you were financially providing for yourself, your chances of getting a share of the estate could be slim.

Any old insurance policies that have not had the beneficiaries updated could also exclude you in the event of an unexpected death even if there was a will.  

Know your rights and make an informed decision regarding whether to marry or co-habit.  This is a time when surprises could affect your future in a negative way.


Linda J. Levesque, CFP®, FMA, FCSI
Sr. Investment Advisor
Director, Private Client Group
HollisWealth Insurance Advisor
HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.
Levesque Wealth Planning
HollisWealth, a division of Scotia Capital Inc.
One Corporate Plaza, 2075 Kennedy Road, 5th Floor, Toronto, ON M1T 3V3
Tel: 416-412-8018 / 1-800-322-4030  Fax: 416-332-6772
linda@levesquewealthplanning.com

                                                                                          

‘Saving Today for a Richer Tomorrow’™

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Linda J. Levesque, Senior Investment
Advisor and Director, Private Client Group of HollisWealth is an author in The Authorities, Powerful Wisdom from Leaders in the Field.  If you're ready to jump-start your life, have more fun and joy in all that you do, get a FREE consultation from Linda J. Levesque 




This article was prepared solely by Linda J. Levesque who is a registered representative of HollisWealth® HollisWealth is a trade name of Scotia Capital Inc. and HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.  HollisWealth is a division of Scotia Capital Inc., a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.  Brokerage services provided by HollisWealth are provided through Scotia Capital Inc. Insurance products provided by HollisWealth are provided through HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd. ® Registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under licence. The views and opinions, including any recommendations, expressed in this article are those of Linda J. Levesque alone and not those of HollisWealth.
   Levesque Wealth Planning is a personal trade name of Linda J. Levesque.


Wednesday, 1 February 2017

From January Blues to Budget Delight: 7 Tips for getting back on track after the holiday spending - What's On Your Mind - February 2017 Edition

1.  Make a list of all your bills.

2.  Separate the list into two columns.  The first column is for your fixed costs; such as the mortgage payments, heat, hydro, telephone, etc.  The second column will be your credit card and any other loans, excluding the mortgage.

3.  Next you list the net monthly income and start to deduct all your fixed costs.  The cash left over is your discretionary money.  This balance will be what you have to work with to pay down your debts and save for your future.

4.  The list with the credit cards and the other debts will be paid with the discretionary money left over each month.  If it is possible, you may want to consolidate your debts into one lower interest cost loan.  Interest on credit cards are usually the highest cost to use other people's money.  Assuming you do not consolidate your debts then take the highest interest credit card and start paying as much as you can after making the minimum payments on all other debts.  Once that card is paid off then you move to the next highest interest card and do the same process.

5.  Once you have all your debts paid off, start using your credit cards only if you can pay them off in full each month.  If not use cash or debit to control your spending.

6.  With the money you are now saving in interest payments you can now budget the extra cash flow.  You may want to start a savings plan for your future, set aside a little each month for your holiday shopping, and the rest in an emergency fund.

7.  Start your holiday shopping early in the year and take advantage of sales and paying cash.


When the holidays roll around next time you will be well prepared financially and even the bonus of not stressing about what to shop for or where the money will come from.


Linda J. Levesque, CFP®, FMA, FCSI
Sr. Investment Advisor
Director, Private Client Group
HollisWealth Insurance Advisor
HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.
Levesque Wealth Planning
HollisWealth, a division of Scotia Capital Inc.
One Corporate Plaza, 2075 Kennedy Road, 5th Floor, Toronto, ON M1T 3V3
Tel: 416-412-8018 / 1-800-322-4030  Fax: 416-332-6772
linda@levesquewealthplanning.com



                                                                                          

‘Saving Today for a Richer Tomorrow’™

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Linda J. Levesque, Senior Investment Advisor and Director, Private Client Group of HollisWealth is an author of The 5 Minute Wealth Plan, Saving Today for a Richer Tomorrow, in The Road to Success with Jack Canfield and in The Authorities, Powerful Wisdom from Leaders in the Field.  If you're ready to jump-start your life, have more fun and joy in all that you do, get a FREE consultation from Linda J. Levesque 


This article was prepared solely by Linda J. Levesque who is a registered representative of HollisWealth® (a division of Scotia Capital Inc., a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada).  The views and opinions, including any recommendations, expressed in this article are those of Linda J. Levesque only and not those of HollisWealth®.  Levesque Wealth Planning is a personal trade name of Linda J. Levesque.
   ® Registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under license.
   HollisWealth is a trade name of HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.

   Insurance products are provided through HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.   

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

New Year's Resolutions or Goals? - What's On Your Mind? - January 2017 Edition

It is the time of year when many people make their resolutions for the year.  The definition of a resolution is 'a firm decision to do or not do something'.  A lot of people say they will give up something such as stopping smoking, drinking, gambling, shopping or doing something liking joining a gym, losing weight, etc.  You get the idea. The problem with resolutions and why they are not successful is for most people they are not written specific goals followed up with an action plan.

Resolutions are just thoughts of something ideally would be nice to accomplish. Everyone around you is talking about their resolutions so you come up with something for yourself.  Within the first few weeks of the year, gym memberships go way up and attendance starts to dwindle within a very short time.  Why is it most people just don't succeed at their resolutions and yet every year they set themselves up for failure?

It is discouraging when your resolutions have already failed you and you still have the rest of the year to go with potentially a why bother attitude.

Why not decide this year on one big goal and no New Year's resolutions. Write out one very SPECIFIC goal. Make sure it is MEASURABLE.  Draft up an ACTION plan on how you will accomplish your goal.  Make sure the goal is REALISTIC and give it a specified TIME to achieve.  Everything should be stated in the positive and not what you don't want.  Example: I would like to weigh 150 lbs. not I want to lose 10 lbs.

An example of a SMART goal written out would be:  I want to weigh 150 lbs. by December 31st, 2017.  I will achieve this by working out three times a week and getting a personal trainer once a week.  I will bring my lunch to work and treat myself once a month to eating out.  I will design a meal plan with healthy tasty choices to keep myself motivated.  I will join a support group.  This is only an example of how to write a goal to help you be successful.  It is amazing the higher percentage of success you can have by choosing this method instead of the wish list of most people.

Make 2017 your best year ever.  You may surprise yourself how easy it is to accomplish your goals by having them be SMART.  You can do this in all aspects of your life.  

Wishing you a very prosperous and successful 2017.

    Linda J. Levesque, CFP®, FMA, FCSI, 
    Director, Private Client Group, Senior Investment Advisor, Insurance Advisor
    Levesque Wealth Planning
    HollisWealth, a division of Scotia Capital Inc.
    HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.
    One Corporate Plaza, 2075 Kennedy Road, 5th Floor, Toronto, ON M1T 3V3
 Tel: 416-412-8018 / 1-800-322-4030   Fax: 416-332-6772     
  linda@levesquewealthplanning.com
     

Linda J. Levesque, CFP®, FMA, FCSI
Sr. Investment Advisor
Director, Private Client Group HollisWealth Insurance Advisor
HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.
Levesque Wealth Planning
HollisWealth, a division of Scotia Capital Inc.

                                                                                          

‘Saving Today for a Richer Tomorrow’™

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Linda J. Levesque, Senior Investment Advisor and Director, Private Client Group of HollisWealth is an author of The 5 Minute Wealth Plan, Saving Today for a Richer Tomorrow, in The Road to Success with Jack Canfield and in The Authorities, Powerful Wisdom from Leaders in the Field.  If you're ready to jump-start your life, have more fun and joy in all that you do, get a FREE consultation from Linda J. Levesque   

This article was prepared solely by Linda J. Levesque who is a registered representative of HollisWealth® (a division of Scotia Capital Inc., a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada).  The views and opinions, including any recommendations, expressed in this article are those of Linda J. Levesque only and not those of HollisWealth®.  Levesque Wealth Planning is a personal trade name of Linda J. Levesque.
   ® Registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under license.
   HollisWealth is a trade name of HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.

   Insurance products are provided through HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.   

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Happy Holidays or January Remorse? - What's on Your Mind? December 2016 Edition

The malls are decorated in colours to inspire the consumer to spend with subliminal music playing in the background to get you in the mood.  We are in full swing of holiday shopping.  

Advertisers are promoting the popular toys and electronics getting people excited about having the latest and greatest gadgets of the season.  Parents are bent on not disappointing their children by rushing out trying to get their hands the items.

By the time January rolls around and the credit card statements come in, remorse starts to set in.  All the saving and budgeting done throughout the year blown.

Here are 7 tips to help you stay on course and enjoy the holidays.

1.  Outline the plans for the holiday season. This may include parties you plan to attend and/or overnight trips you may be taking.

2.  Set out a budget.  You may have been saving a little each pay throughout the year and already know what is available.  For those who have not, see how much you can take out of the savings without impacting the rest of your budget.  

3.  Make a list of people you will be buying for with a dollar value and/or gift idea beside each name.  Include any hostess gifts you may need.

4.  Shop the sales.  If you plan in advance you can take advantage great discounts on most things.  Online shopping could help limit over spending by keeping you out of the mall.  

5.  Use credit card points to buy some of your gifts where possible.  People accumulate points and sometimes forget that they can use the points for merchandise.  This is a great way to stretch your budget.

6.  Charge everything so you can keep track of your purchases and stick to your budget.  You will also accumulate more points towards next year's gifts.  Don’t forget to pay your credit card before interest kicks in.


7.  Be creative in your gifts by making some.  It is amazing how much people appreciate other people's talents.  This could include baking, knitting, a special photograph or making a CD if you sing.  The list is endless.

The whole idea is to relax and enjoy the holidays.  This is not the time to get stressed or blow the family budget and feel bad the rest of the year trying to dig yourself out of the hole before you start over next year.

Happy Holidays.


    Linda J. Levesque, CFP®, FMA, FCSI, 
    Director, Private Client Group, Senior Investment Advisor, Insurance Advisor
    Levesque Wealth Planning
    HollisWealth, a division of Scotia Capital Inc.
    HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.
    One Corporate Plaza, 2075 Kennedy Road, 5th Floor, Toronto, ON M1T 3V3
 Tel: 416-412-8018 / 1-800-322-4030   Fax: 416-332-6772   linda@levesquewealthplanning.com
     

Linda J. Levesque, CFP®, FMA, FCSI
Sr. Investment Advisor
Director, Private Client Group HollisWealth Insurance Advisor
HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.
Levesque Wealth Planning
HollisWealth, a division of Scotia Capital Inc.

                                                                                          

‘Saving Today for a Richer Tomorrow’™

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Linda J. Levesque, Senior Investment Advisor and Director, Private Client Group of HollisWealth is an author in The Authorities, Powerful Wisdom from Leaders in the Field.  If you're ready to jump-start your life, have more fun and joy in all that you do, get a FREE consultation from Linda J. Levesque 


This article was prepared solely by Linda J. Levesque who is a registered representative of HollisWealth® (a division of Scotia Capital Inc., a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada).  The views and opinions, including any recommendations, expressed in this article are those of Linda J. Levesque only and not those of HollisWealth®.  Levesque Wealth Planning is a personal trade name of Linda J. Levesque.
   ® Registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under license.
  HollisWealth is a trade name of HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.

  Insurance products are provided through HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd.