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Archive for June, 2013

Cross-border issues

Their lives are those of creative people who struggle with the art of complying with the taxes of two countries, for Paul is a U.S. citizen, resident in Canada for a decade. A tenured professor of sculpture, he brings home $4,800 a month. Marianne, a self-employed painter and Canadian citizen, has a fluctuating take-home income of $1,800 a month.

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It pays to be a little paranoid

Say you are 30 and you feel it’s time to think about retirement in three decades. There is a lot unpredictable about those 30 years. You could have children. Your parents could need financial help. A business or a career can flop.

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Migrating to retirement

In Toronto, a couple we'll call Louis, 57, and his wife, Helena, 54, are real estate agents. In that bubbly market, they bring home $12,813 a month after tax.

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Real estate agents & retirement

In Toronto, a couple we’ll call Louis, 57, and his wife, Helena, 54, are real estate agents. In that bubbly market, they bring home $12,813 per month after tax.

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La vie après le REER

On passe sa vie à tenter de contribuer le plus possible à son Régime enregistré d'épargne retraite. On nous incite d'ailleurs fortement à commencer à le faire le plus tôt possible dès notre vie de jeune adulte. C'est bien beau de passer sa vie à chercher à faire fructifier son REER mais comment en dispose-t-on une fois à la retraite? Bref, c'est quoi la vie après le REER?

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Mortgages: It pays to be frugal

It is a question on the mind of anyone who has a mortgage or is planning to take one out: “what can I do to cut the cost of borrowing?” The answers are straightforward – among the leading strategies:

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Renegotiating

A middle manager for the federal government, Suzy, has a 7.6% mortgage on her $220,000 Ottawa condo. She pays $1,084 per month for interest and principal, a quarter of her $4,300 monthly take-home income. With a seven-year term, it has three more years to run - an albatross she would dearly love to shed. Especially when it looks like interest rates have bottomed and can only rise, she worries that her moment to save money may be passing her by.

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Exotic collectibles & risk

Is your portfolio full and fairly diversified? Then how about venturing into collectibles? Interesting they may be, but the risks are large, liquidity is low and the spreads can kill you.

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Forced into retirement

A few years ago, a Montreal executive we’ll call Leonard was making $350,000 a year. Then, in a corporate restructuring, he got a pink slip and moved to the ranks of the unemployed.

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Woman must act now

In Ottawa, a federal civil servant we’ll call Sarah, 49, is drowning in debts of $293,000 while supporting Karen, a disabled sister. That’s approximately five times her annual take-home income of $60,132. Payments to service this debt, $2,407 per month, take an astonishing 48% of after-tax monthly income. She has to borrow for day-to-day expenses. She will eventually be insolvent if she does not act decisively.

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