Brent and Darlene really enjoy their 'toys' and their lifestyle. In the last few years, they bought themselves a big screen TV, a stereo system, two expensive new vehicles, a ski boat and took a tropical vacation, mostly on credit. They also used their credit cards to pay for numerous restaurant meals, theatre tickets, hockey games and other expensive outside entertainment. It wasn't long before they were carrying a balance from month to month. The credit charges and payments quickly became a burden.
Alicia was about to sign the papers on her new vehicle when she noticed an additional charge of a little over $3,400 for insurance on the Bill of Sale. When she asked the finance manager what it was for, he said, 'Well, that's for the life and disability insurance for your car loan.' She was left with the impression that the insurance was mandatory. Alicia didn't sign the papers and said she would finish them up the next day. She asked for a copy of the coverage wording to help with her decision.
It is required by the Income Tax Act that a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) must be closed by the end of the year in which the planholder (annuitant) reaches age 71. At that time, the annuitant must decide what to do with their retirement savings. They have three options - cash in the RRSP, buy an annuity, or convert to a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF).
If you were going to recommend a treatment plan for a loved one suffering with alcoholism, would you prescribe more alcohol as the best course of action to help them to recover or otherwise improve? Now put this question aside for the moment.
Let us look at the personal situation of the average Canadian these days and make some observations about what their circumstances look like as they go about their daily activities in life, work, & family. Then we will tie these real-life situations together with the riddle.
If you are a solo entrepreneur or are otherwise self-employed, you are aware that it is nearly impossible to take into account all the various tax consequences of your business decisions. You have a business to run and customers to please, so decisions are often made on the fly.
You hope that you will be able to sort it out adequately at a later date. The problem with this strategy is you are likely paying thousands of dollars in taxes to Revenue Canada that could otherwise be in your pocket.