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What You Don't Know Could Cost You

The age old saying, 'Ignorance is bliss', may apply to many things in life. However, when it comes to your finances, ignorance can be absolutely devastating. Even the government is calling the startling low rate of financial literacy among Canadians an epidemic that can have catastrophic consequences for the nation's economic future.

A lack of knowledge on even the most basic financial matters has already led to a cascade of calamities that will have a far-reaching and long lasting affect on all of us. Among them:

Would you like to have your own personal pension plan?

Most of us save money for the long-term. When you think about it, there's only one reason we do this. That's so that we can have regular income in retirement, liquidity and or legacy. And although most people think of legacy as leaving money for their kids and/or charity, keep in mind legacy can also mean leaving money for your surviving spouse.

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Beware of this Insurance Trick

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.

Registered Retirement Income Funds

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).

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