Create your Investment Strategy


There are all kinds of vehicles available to help you reach your retirement goals. Choosing the right ones will depend on your cash flow, personal priorities, and individual objectives. Do you prefer guarantees or more opportunity for growth? What about tax advantages? Working with your investment advisers, we help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming number of choices.

For example, Segregated Funds and Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefits (GMWBs) combine the security of guarantees with the potential for growth.

  • Predictability – your investment is guaranteed, and you’ll receive payments over a period of at least 20 years. If you choose to delay the withdrawal period, you a 5% increase in your guaranteed withdrawal balance each year that you put off making withdrawals, up to a maximum of 10 years.
  • Growth Potential – as your portfolio grows, you can ‘lock in’ your guaranteed balance every three years.
  • Estate Benefits – Your investment proceeds pass directly to your named beneficiaries, avoiding the delay and expense of probate.
  • Flexibility– You can switch between funds or fund managers at any time. These include well-known companies like Franklin Templeton, CI Investments, Fidelity Investments, AIM Trimark and Mackenzie Investments.

Save for your children’s future

Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) provide a special incentive to save for educational purposes.

  • The federal government will match 20% of your annual RESP contribution to send your kids or grandchildren to school, via the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG). As much as $500 per year, per child is available up to the beneficiary’s 17th birthday.
  • Families who qualify for the Canada Child Tax Benefit also qualify for Additional CESG. Beneficiaries can accumulate $100 (20% of $500) of Additional CESG annually, to a maximum lifetime CESG (Basic and Additional) limit of $7,200. Unlike the basic CESG, unused Additional CESG can’t be carried forward to future years, so it’s important to capitalize on it every year it’s available.
  • The Canada Learning Bond (CLB) is another grant of up to of $2,000 (lifetime maximum) available to modest-income families. The CLB amount pays into the RESP and does not affect the lifetime RESP contribution limit.
  • f the beneficiary chooses not to pursue post-secondary studies, you may be able to transfer the balance to a registered retirement plan.

How much should you save for your children’s education? Try the RESP Calculator

Do you have a loved one who qualifies for the Disability Tax Credit? Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSPs) are designed to help parents and others save for the long-term financial security of a person with a disability.

  • Investments grow tax-deferred, much like an RESP
  • The maximum lifetime contribution is $200,000, with no annual contribution limits
  • The government will chip in up to $3,500 via the Canada Disability Savings Grant (CDSG) provides an income-based federal contribution which can be up to a maximum of $70,000. When the family net income of the beneficiary is $21,816 or less, the Canada Disability Savings Bond will provide $1,000 per year without any contribution. The beneficiary can receive Disability Assistance Payments as soon as the RDSP is established (but that any Grant or Bond received within 10 years must be repaid).
  • The Canada Disability Savings Bond (CDSB) offers up to $1,000 if certain income requirements are met.
  • Contributions grow tax-deferred until withdrawal, at which point the income, Grant, and Bond are taxed in the hands of the beneficiary, likely at a much lower rate. There’s a $200,000 lifetime contribution limit but.
  • There are also no restrictions on when or how the funds can be used.

A Tax-Free Savings Account lets you tax-shelter up to $5,000 per year for life. Like an RRSP, growth within the account is not taxable. But it’s different from an RRSP account in that, while the contributions are not tax-deductible, withdrawals are not taxed. Also withdrawals made from your TFSA will be automatically added to your contribution room for the following year. Opening up Tax-Free Savings Accounts for each of you provides you with the opportunity to maximize your tax-sheltering opportunities.

  • Tip – if it’s feasible to max out your contributions to both your RRSP and a TFSA, then it’s certainly worth seizing the opportunity. If not – your tax rate tells you which is more important. If you’re in a low tax bracket now but expect to be in a higher tax bracket in the future, it makes sense to invest in TFSA before worrying about RRSP contributions. But if your tax rates are higher now and will drop in the future, you may want to max out your RRSP first, to reduce your taxable income.
  • Tip – Adding your children as contingent beneficiaries to your RRSP plans will save them money on probate. We can give you an estimate of just how much they’ll save.
  • Tip – You may also consider replacing the fixed-income portion of your portfolio with an insured annuity. Combining a life annuity with insurance protection (also known as a Triple Back-to-Back strategy) combines guaranteed income with estate protection.

Contact us today to grow your investments and minimize your tax bill.

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