NEWS & EVENTS

RRSP Contribution?

As this next Income Tax season approaches, you may be considering an RRSP contribution before the upcoming deadline.

Regardless, I always suggest to make a list of your tax related details and compare them to the previous year. This allows you to be organized and prepared for filing, and provides a general overview of the possible tax results so that you can determine if any RRSP contribution will be a good choice.

Keep in mind that although investment is important, an RRSP contribution is not necessarily the best option for everyone. Taking into consideration your current and anticipated life style, goals, contribution limits, and overall tax implications, a spousal contribution, TFSA, or other investment means may be a better option for you.

Personal or spousal RRSP contributions made between March 3, 2015 and February 29, 2016 will be applicable for your 2015 Income tax Return. Consult your financial adviser to determine the best option for you.

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Income

Inflation, inflation, inflation!! Have you ever sat back and contemplated the ridiculousness of what things cost now compared to 20 years ago? Or even 10 or 5 years ago? And ironically things are produced cheaper and aren’t made near the same quality, thus don’t last as long.

Business overhead costs increase due to such things as fuel prices and minimum wage increases, which in turn causes them to increase their selling prices. With this, the value of money actually becomes less as you aren’t able to buy as much as you used to. Yet the standard of living goes up, therefore there is this continuous feeling of requirement to increase your income. Quite the weird wheel of life, isn’t it?

Before you consider asking for a pay raise, boosting your business income, or looking forward to that pension, consider the tax implications. It has been said that you can never make enough money, however making the best of your money and sending as little as possible to the Government is something that takes regular monitoring.

The first thing to consider is educating yourself on the Income Tax bracket thresholds. Is that $1.00 per hour raise (or approx $2000/year income increase) going to put that income into a higher tax bracket, thus you giving a higher percentage of it to the government? Perhaps you could avoid the next tax bracket with an RRSP contribution? What portion of your income can you spilt with your spouse? What are the other things you could consider that affect your ‘taxable income’?

Everyone’s situation is different, therefore some options work better for some than others. Be prepared with assistance from your Income Tax professional and financial advisor. Refer here for the most recent 2016 Indexation adjustment for personal income tax and benefit amounts.

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Best wishes for you in 2016!

RDSP’s (Registered Disability Savings Plan)

DID YOU KNOW …

Individuals under the age of 60 years who are eligible for the Disabilty Tax Credit, their parents or other legally authorized person to act on the disabled behalf, can apply for a RDSP. This is a long-term savings that is non-taxable until withdrawn (dependant on fund deposit). The plan must be opened before or by December 31st of the year the person is 59 years of age.

Encouraging savings, the Government will match a year RDSP contributions of up to $3500 in additional Disability Grant, and will be paid on contributions made before December 31st of the year the beneficiary turns age 49. The Government will also pay a Canada Disability Savings Bond of up to $1000 for low-income and modest income Canadians, and paid on applications made before December 31st of the year the beneficiary turns 49.

Select HERE or HERE for more CRA details, and THIS SECTION for recent updated information.

 

 

Wishing you all good health and happiness … all year through!

 

Claimable Medical Expenses

DID YOU KNOW …

Canada Revenue Agency has convenient on-line information related to most areas regarding your Personal Income Tax Return. However, not all details are indicated or clear.

One area which I have to frequently clarify is when it comes to medical expenses which are and are not eligible expenses on your income tax return. Not all medical expenses are listed on the CRA web site … even the common ones such as chiropractic, physiotherapy, massage, or parking fees for appointments.

Did you know that home alterations, travel, or moving expenses may be eligible?

My advice is to ALWAYS KEEP RECEIPTS!! If you are not sure if something may be a claimable expense or not, contact CRA directly, or your Income Tax Professional.

Education and Your Future

Well, June has come and gone already! Another school year done as we celebrate the new graduates. On one hand we are cheering “Yeah summer holidays!” while on the other hand we wonder where the past six months have gone.

On the topic of education, and being a mother of a child who is entering into post graduate studies, an article that came upon me was quite intriguing. This article mentioned how there seems a necessity for education for your career, but also stressed the major impact of education loans.

Overall, when putting numbers to paper, the financial implications even within a 10 year time frame is quite substantial. Within the first ten years after a persons’ graduation, a portion of their income is going toward paying this loan instead of their financial future. The implications over this short 10 year time frame actually compounds drastically over subsequent years and affects your financial future right through your retirement years.

There are many other options to consider instead of that education loan. Whether a parent, grandparent, or student, this long term financial implication is definitely something to strongly look into … for yours and loved one’s futures …

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Positive Brains Part 2

Well, now it’s time again to review on this past month on our progress on increasing our positive brains.

For those of you who are not aware, refer to my May 11th post where I discuss success and positive brains, and one thing suggested to try which has been said to help. Have any of you tried my suggestion for this past month? It was a tricky one for me for various reasons. I would still suggest continuing this concept and would love to hear any comments you have.

In the meantime, let us try another one … one which I have seen and heard many times, but not actually done myself. This concept is another idea which is said to work in retraining your brains’ state in a more positive direction.

Every day for 21 days, write down three things that you are grateful for. Just like brushing your teeth or taking a vitamin, make it part of your daily routine.

This one should be a lot easier than the last, so I look forward to the results and your comments.

Contract work versus employee

As we have entered into the warmer weather and an increase of labor intensive businesses such as landscaping, renovation specialists, and farming, there becomes an increase need for help.

DID YOU KNOW there are differences between an employee and a contract worker? Did you know that CRA has guidelines to determine what your working agreement should be?

Whether you are a worker offering your services or an employee looking to hire someone to assist you, you may want to consider what the differences mean to you. There are pros and cons to each, although things you need to consider depending on your situation and working relationship.

The type of job or duration alone does not determine a contract or employee status. Certain aspects of the working relationship are what CRA looks at when determining if the worker is considered an employee or not. You will be required to submit Employee Deduction Remittances if a worker is considered to be an employee.

When entering into any working agreement, there needs to be a full understanding by all parties involved. It is advised that you keep yourself updated and informed regarding the current labor laws and CRA detailed guidelines which assist them in deciding if an employee status should apply.

CFWR info

DID YOU KNOW …

Pamela Habing, CED & Marketing Coordinator of Community Futures Winnipeg River located in Lac du Bonnet has announced a couple of things noteworthy to pass along!

Firstly, on June 15th they will be hosting their annual AGM and Award presentation. This wonderful event includes a catered diner, award presentations and cash bar. RSVP required.

Secondly, they will he holding an “Exploring Entrepreneurship Workshop” and “Explore Eastern Manitoba Photo Contest.”

For interest in attending or registering for any of these three events, please e-mail me at balancedbusiness@hotmail.com, or contact CFWR at 204-345-2514

Positive Brains & Success

Whether within business, employment, or in our personal lives, we all want to be happy and successful. Why is it that only a small percent of us actually feel happy or successful?

It turns out that it has 90% to do with our brains, our upbringing, and the way we have been taught to think … get good grades, work hard, make more money = happiness

… backwards to what we really should be doing and thinking! When your brain functions this way, you are actually pushing happiness and success out of reach – never being enough, needing more, resulting in unhappiness no matter what.

Another factor is the daily negativity our society exposes us to in news and even teachings – natural disasters, crimes, disease prevention, violence, etc. This constant exposure plays a big role in our daily thoughts and sets our mind on a more negative path.

Stress also has a big effect on our focus, mannerisms, attitude, and ultimately affects the impression others have of you. What we would consider to be ‘powerful’ people in society have high levels of testosterone and low levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), because they have the ability to manage their stress. As a result of stress management, these individuals tend to be more optimistic, think more abstract, and able to manage taking more risks.

When you are positive, your brain has a happiness advantage. Dopamine in your body increases when you are positive, which makes you happier, thus turning on important functions of your brain. When you are happy you perform significantly better with less ‘burn out’. Your creativity, energy level, focus, and intelligence rises. You are more resilient, find better secure jobs, have better productivity, and handle stress well.

So now the question is, ‘What things can I do in order to be happier and more successful?’ This ultimately could just be about your habits, state of mind, and how your brain processes and deals with our influential external world. Tiny ‘tweaks’ can lead to big changes … for the better.

There are a few things to consider and try, but this month let’s start trying this one …

Body language (non-verbals) can not only affect how we think and feel about others, but how we feel about ourselves. It has been said that we can actually trick ourselves into becoming happy and successful … keep make-believing until it becomes fact.

Confident, happy, successful people exude this through their postures by standing straight, showing mannerisms of openness, smiling, arms outstretched in times of celebration, etc.

With this in mind, we are going to test this concept. Every time you are about to be faced with a stressful situation (a difficult client, job interview, make a speech or presentation, etc.), in private you strike a ‘wonder woman pose’ for two minutes – body straight with hands on hips as a force to be reckoned with.

Perhaps even try this every morning before you leave for work, as you smile and say to yourself, ‘I am going to have a good productive day’. Positive body language effects your body chemistry and state of mind, attracts other positive reactions, which will lead to a higher happiness and success rate.

This isn’t going to make you a success over night so don’t give up! It takes practice and time to retrain your brain. I look forward to trying this myself, and look forward to hearing your comments and own personal outcomes.

Stay tuned for future posts with more ideas for you to try. HAPPY SUCCESS!!