Whether you’re taking a road trip, going for a hike or selling a property, it is always a best practice to have a plan. While each of these adventures comes with different risks and consequences, each scenario would benefit from mapping out objectives and finding the most efficient and safest path forward.
When it comes to the sale of real estate in Vancouver, you start dealing in some very significant numbers. With millions of dollars changing hands, the consequences, both financial and otherwise, are equally as significant. Whether you are still in the selling process or already closing on a sale, it is never too late to start.
Why is this so important? From saving on tax costs to limiting your liability, there are countless reasons to strategize how to best proceed with your transaction. If you have a capital gain on the property, a number of strategies exist to help reduce any taxes you might pay. If you own a business or have a complex family structure, there could be many liabilities you might want to avoid.
Once the deal closes, then what? There are many questions you need to ask before you deposit that cheque. Typical concerns are keeping your funds safe and earning a tax efficient rate of return. Before you walk into your bank to deposit the cheque, you should have a plan.
When many people are asked if they have a financial plan, the common response is ‘I think so’. Unfortunately, this often means that they do not have as strong of a plan as they should.
Your plan should give you definitive answers to questions like:
- How can I minimize the taxes I pay?
- Can I retire when I want to and still live my ideal retirement?
- Will I need to sell property in the future to afford my lifestyle?
- How can I ensure that I don’t outlive my money?
- If something unexpected were to happen to me, would my family be taken care of?
- How can I protect the value of my estate?
Once written, you should have your plan reviewed annually and updated often, especially after large transactions.
Real estate is often the single largest purchase made by Canadians and is an asset class that can appreciate significantly over time. In many cases, a family may own more than one property. On the sale of any of these properties, there can be a significant tax liability on the increase in the value of the real estate. Having a financial plan can help you find ways to save thousands of dollars and give you the peace of mind you deserve.
Here are some frequently asked questions that we can help you answer:
- Where can I keep my funds to best balance safety and return?
- How will the proceeds be divided? How can I do this most efficiently?
- What tax strategy should I use to minimize my current and future tax costs?
- How much of the money will I need to save for my other financial goals?
- Are there alternatives to cash and GICs for keeping my money safe?
- How does this sale affect my estate plan?
These are just a few of the questions that you should consider. If you would like help in answering them, we would be happy to speak with you. To learn more about our comprehensive financial plans prepared for you by an accredited financial planning specialist, please contact us today. Depending on your situation, you may only require a simple financial plan to determine if you are on track for meeting your financial goals. Working with your accountant and your lawyer, we will help you understand your options and devise a personalized plan that is right for you. Call us today.
Robert McLean, CIM
RBC Dominion Securities Inc.