In my last post, I talked about the steps to becoming financially successful. Taken them all at once may be overwhelming, especially if so far you have not done any as of yet. So where to start? I would recommend doing what you probably do with your home and start with a simple fall financial renovation.
Here are some steps to simplify your finances ahead of a busy year-end:
1.Set-up a regular Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) contribution
A pre-authorized bi-weekly or monthly RRSP contribution is a simple way to set-up a pay-yourself-first savings plan. A regular contribution also eliminates the need to come up with a lump sum contribution each February.
The funds provide flexibility for your portfolio and can be used to rebalance your portfolio, dollar-cost average into specific investments, or allocate as opportunities arise.
2. Open a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), or consolidate it with your other accounts
With the contribution room growing to almost $63,500 since its inception in 2009, the TFSA is quickly becoming an important, tax-efficient tool.
TFSA contributions grow tax free, income earned inside your TFSA is not taxable, and you can make tax-free withdrawals, at any time, for any reason, providing both flexibility and tax advantages.
3. Review your asset allocation
If this is something that often gets put off, the fall might be the right time for this review. It’s an important part of managing your portfolio and a basic review might simply ask:
- Are you still comfortable with your target asset allocation?
- Is it still appropriate for your overall financial plan?
- Do you need to rebalance?
4. Talk with your tax advisor
There are several year-end tax considerations that can benefit both individuals and businesses. For example, individuals might want to look into tax-loss selling opportunities to offset taxes on investment gains. Business owners might want to consider whether to pay a corporate dividend, or the benefits of making asset purchases this year rather than next.
The 2019 federal tax changes may also affect your finances. Getting organized now might allow you to benefit from tax-saving opportunities this year.
5. Help make a difference – set up a regular charitable contribution
Many Canadians donate to their favourite charities around the holiday season each year. While always appreciated, many charities struggle due to ongoing costs or heavy use of their services at different times of the year. As a result, many charities can greatly benefit from regular bi-weekly or monthly contributions.
As always, I am available should you have any questions. Don’t hesitate to speak with me to learn more about improving your financial health before year-end.