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Five smart ways to use your tax refund

Posted by on May 14, 2015 in BrighterLife, Income Tax, Sun Life | 0 comments

By Sheryl Smolkin Working it out May 14, 2015 Expecting an income tax refund? Before using it for an exotic vacation, consider how you can put it to work to enhance your financial future. You just pushed the send button on your income tax return and you can’t wait for your refund to be deposited into your account. But before you start thinking about using that money for an exotic vacation or a down payment on a new car, you may want to think instead about how it can enhance your family’s financial...

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Here’s some clarity on workplace benefits

Posted by on May 14, 2015 in BrighterLife, Employee Benefit News, Sun Life | 0 comments

By Sheryl Smolkin Working it out March 24, 2015 March 24, 2015 It’s difficult for a one-size-fits-all benefits plan to meet the needs of today’s diverse, multigenerational workforce. That’s why many employers are introducing flexible benefits programs that feature health spending accounts (HSAs) to give employees more choice. What are flex plans? There are three main types of flexible benefits plans: Modular plans. These allow you to spend flex dollars (called “credits”) assigned by your employer...

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Managing priorities to make saving easier

Posted by on Apr 28, 2015 in Consumer savings, Retirement, Tangerine | 0 comments

Monday, April 27th, 2015  |  Sheryl Smolkin  |  Forward Thinking  Savings Articles Saving money for 40 years to pay for 20-30 years of retirement can seem like a daunting prospect. After all, you want to have some fun along the way. And you have so many other priorities. A big mortgage, braces on your children’s teeth and annual vacations all cost money. Marie Engen, part of the popular mother-son personal finance blogging team Boomer and Echo says there are several ways you can balance current...

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Apr 6: Best from the blogosphere

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Consumer savings, Health, Retirement, Saskatchewan Pension Plan | 0 comments

6 April 2015 As I write this on March 31st, it is for the second time because I closed the completed document the first time without saving it. I can only attribute this oversight to an early April Fools’ Day joke from cyber space! Here are some interesting blogs I read this week: For those of you who prefer cash back credit cards over travel cards, Tom Drake on the Canadian Finance blog rates the Best Cash Back Credit Cards of 2015. Top of the list is the Scotiabank Momentum VISA Infinite Card which...

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Canada needs more CPP says lawyer Ari Kaplan

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Interviews, Retirement, Saskatchewan Pension Plan | 0 comments

2 April 2015   As part of the ongoing series of podcast interviews on savewithspp.com, today I’m talking to lawyer Ari Kaplan, a partner in the Pension and Benefits Group of the Toronto law firm Koskie, Minsky, L.L.P. Ari is the author of Canada’s leading textbook on pension law, and he has acted as counsel in some of Canada’s most widely known pension cases before the Supreme Court of Canada. In addition, he teaches pension law as an adjunct professor of law at both the University of Toronto and...

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Mar 30: Best from the blogosphere

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Saskatchewan Pension Plan | 0 comments

30 March 2015 Lots of good reading this week from the blogosphere. If you are not sure what kind of pension plan you have or how it works, take a look at how employee pension plans work by Kevin Press on Brighter Life. Retire Happy guest blogger and pension analyst Sean Cooper writes about three costly pension mistakes and how to avoid them. For example, if possible wait until you vest in your pension benefits (two years in Saskatchewan) before leaving or taking early retirement. Michael James on Money helps...

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LTD for seniors hard to find

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Insurance, Saskatchewan Pension Plan | 0 comments

26 March 2015   The abolition of mandatory retirement across the country has removed a major obstacle for people who want to work beyond age 65. But options for older workers who need to be insured for long term disability (LTD) late in their career are very limited. The reality is that if you stick with the same employer, your group LTD coverage will typically terminate at age 65. So I asked Lorne Marr, Director of Business Development at LSM Insurance* what’s available in individual LTD policies. He...

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Mar 23: Best from the blogosphere

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Saskatchewan Pension Plan | 0 comments

    28 March, 2015 Spring is definitely in the air and every day the piles of snow and patches of ice in my neighbourhood get smaller. This week we report on a potpourri of interesting blogs and articles from some of our favourite bloggers. We usually catch Robb Engen on Boomer and Echo, but he also regularly writes for his blog  RewardsCanada. This week he posted an interesting article about why it is so hard to cancel a credit card. Credit card companies advertise great bonuses on points when you...

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Employee benefits: Taxable or not?

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in BrighterLife, Income Tax | 0 comments

  March 2, 2015 By Sheryl Smolkin Does your T4 say you made more than you thought you did? Perhaps you didn’t consider your taxable benefits. Find out what is and isn’t taxable. When you get your T4 slip in January or February, you may wonder why the employment income reported in Box 14 is higher than the salary or wages you earned for the year. That’s because your employer must report premiums it pays for certain group benefits and the value of some perks as a taxable benefit, and you must...

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Is your company car a free ride?

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in BrighterLife, Income Tax | 0 comments

March 10, 2015 By Sheryl Smolkin Congratulations! You got a big promotion at work and it comes with a company car and free parking. But it may not be an entirely free ride. If any of the value of these new perks is considered a taxable benefit, the Canada Revenue Agency will expect you to pay additional income tax. If you use the company-owned automobile for personal driving outside of business hours, the T4 your employer issues you must show it as a taxable benefit, calculated as follows: Standby charge,...

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