financial strategies

So, You Got a Tax Refund

According to the Minister of National Revenue, the average tax refund is over $1,500 for the 2011 tax year. Surprisingly, many Canadians are thrilled about getting a big refund. While certain situations can lead to an unusual tax refund, far too many Canadians lend large sums of money to the government at 0% interest year after year. Two things you can do to make your refunds smaller are:

Inflation & Your Financial Health

To truly appreciate the role that inflation plays in your ability to build assets and achieve financial freedom one has to consider the role of its dance partner: purchasing power. You can't have one without the other!

Strategic or Target Based Planning

Financial planning methodologies have evolved over the past 30 years with the advent of increasing computational power. Originally, planning was a simple spread-sheet based projection of your current situation, plus some assumptions, such as savings rates, tax rates, investment returns and inflation rates. This would give you an idea of what your final destination would look like with much of the calculations being driven by Future Value and Present Value tables.

Financial Success Simplified: Introduction

The purpose of this series is to educate consumers on some simple principles that will take the mystery out of the often complex world of managing one's financial affairs.

The first distinction is to realize there are only seven variables that can be manipulated or managed in creating your financial future and wealth. They are:

Financial Resolutions for 2013

Give your finances a boost this new year. Here is a list of financial resolutions to help you become better off at the end of the coming twelve months:

Eliminate personal debt. - Brad and Angie had fallen into the very common habit of buying lots of 'stuff' with their credit cards and soon were carrying a balance from month to month. At 19.9%, it is very expensive to live this kind of lifestyle. And any new purchases attract the same financing charge from date of purchase.

Financial Plans & Divorce

History tells us about half of marriages in Canada end in divorce. Andrew and Sara are about to end theirs and are concerned about the changes that will have to be made to their financial and estate plans. Some financial and estate issues they need to consider are:

An Ideal Opportunity to Improve Your Cash Flow

With so many doom & gloom news headlines, it is refreshing to know Canadians can still get very low fixed rate mortgages. A recent Financial Post article (March 9, 2012) explains that with big banks competing strongly for new mortgage business, now is a great time for Canadians to refinance their mortgages to improve personal cash flow.

These Financial Mistakes Can Cost You

Some financial decisions get made without enough thought given to the long term consequences. Here are some financial mistakes you can avoid:

Mortgage amortized too long:

With lenders offering 30 year amortization periods, it may look attractive to go with a smaller monthly payment to get into a larger house, but the extra interest charges only benefit the lender.

Beware How You Help Your Kids Financially

A recent TD Canada Trust survey found that 10% of Canadians are considering the purchase of a condominium for their adult children. This is up from 5% just a year earlier and certainly reflects drastically increasing housing costs over the past decade.

Budget Your Way to Financial Independence

For the book The Millionaire Next Door, researchers asked the question, 'Do you know how much your family spends each year for food, clothing and shelter?' Almost two thirds (62.4 percent) of the millionaires said 'yes.' Only about 35% of non-millionaires said they did, even though they are high-income earners.

The millionaires also budgeted very carefully for savings and most save 20% or more of their gross income. Few save less than 15%. 'Why save so much,' you ask? Quite simply, for emergencies, opportunities and to provide future income.

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