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Beware of these scams aimed at seniors

According to recent news reports, seniors in Canada get bilked out of as much as $300 million every year. It is estimated that as many as one in five seniors have lost money to fraudsters and most don't report it.

Estate Planning Tips and Traps

Julia wants to make sure that her estate passes to her heirs with as little hassle and cost as possible when she dies. She knows she needs a will and decides to buy a do-it-yourself will kit. When she opened it, she soon discovered some serious shortcomings.

The Income Tax Bond

Don, 65, and Marie, 63, are about to retire. They have accumulated about $500,000 in their RRSPs and own their home, free and clear. They want to leave as much as possible to their two children. Don and Marie realize that the value of their home should pass tax-free to their children and know their RSPs will be fully taxable at that time.

Mortgage Insurance: Not Necessarily as Advertised

It's all part of the process when you are arranging a mortgage for your new home. The bank employee inevitably asks if you would like to purchase mortgage insurance. No one likes to think about their own mortality; however, we all know deep down that stuff happens. People contract terminal illnesses or suffer debilitating or fatal accidents.

Knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of can provide some peace of mind - so you decide to accept the bank's offer for mortgage insurance. But beware the policy may actually not provide the protection you are expecting.

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.

Investing in Your Child's Future

College and university are more important than ever before.

Generally, two out of every three new jobs require some form of post-secondary education. According to the 2006 Census, Canadians with a university degree earned an average annual salary of $56,048 compared to $37,403 for Canadians with a high school diploma.

Yet the cost of a post-secondary education keeps growing.

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