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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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How hiring a professional organizer can save you money

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Consumer savings, Saskatchewan Pension Plan | 0 comments

19 March 2015 By Sheryl Smolkin If you have been meaning to clean out the garage, tackle the mess in your home office or ream out the cupboards under the kitchen sink for years but haven’t gotten around to it, maybe it’s time to hire a professional organizer. While many organizers charge an hourly fee, others work on a project or package basis. Fees typically depend on the organizer’s area of expertise, geographical location, how far he/she has to travel and what competitors are charging. As a...

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Mar 16: Best from the blogosphere

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Retirement, Saskatchewan Pension Plan | 0 comments

March 16, 2015 By Sheryl Smolkin After two weeks away in the sun at a resort with flakey WIFI, I have lots of catching up to do! However, I managed to download the replica edition of several newspapers every day, so I wasn’t completely out of touch. I was particularly interested in a series of editorials in the Globe and Mail articulating the newspaper’s vision as to how the retirement savings system should be reformed. The editorial team views higher TFSA contributions as an unwarranted future drain on...

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What is a prescribed RRIF?

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Retirement, Saskatchewan Pension Plan | 0 comments

12 March, 2015 By Sheryl Smolkin If you are a member of the Saskatchewan Pension Plan you can elect to retire any time between the age of 55 and 71. You can purchase an annuity from the plan which will pay you an income for the rest of your life. You can also transfer your SPP account into a locked-in retirement account (LIRA) or a prescribed registered retirement investment account (prescribed RRIF). Both options are subject to a transfer fee. LIRA The LIRA is a locked-in RRSP. It acts as a holding...

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Author Gail Bowen: A Saskatchewan Success Story

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Quality of Life, Saskatchewan Pension Plan | 0 comments

5 March, 2015 By Sheryl Smolkin   Hi. Today I’m talking to Saskatchewan retired professor, author and playwright Gail Bowen. I’m an avid reader, so when I read her most recent Joanne Kilbourn mystery, “The Gifted,” which was published in 2013, and realized that she wrote 18 earlier books I decided to go back to the beginning and read as many of them as possible. And while I usually interview financial experts and authors in this space, when Gail brought to my attention that 2015 is the 25th...

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When should you start your CPP benefits?

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Retirement, Saskatchewan Pension Plan | 0 comments

26 February 2015 By Sheryl Smolkin I retired early and elected to start receiving my Canada Pension in 2010 at age 60. As I result my pension was reduced by 30% (.5% for every month prior to age 65) and I currently receive $675.20/month. At the time, the general consensus among many financial advisors was based on the old adage, “one in the hand.” In other words, it was worth taking the reduction to receive the reduced benefit for five extra years. With changes made to the program beginning in 2012,...

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Feb 26: Best from the Blogosphere

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Retirement, Saskatchewan Pension Plan | 0 comments

Well, one more week and RRSP season will be over for another year. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about contributing to your retirement savings plans including SPP for another 12 months. In the three+ years savewithspp.com has been up and running, we have posted many blogs about the importance of paying yourself first and the mechanics of retirement saving in Saskatchewan Pension Plan, RRSPs or TFSAs. Here are some of my favourites you can take a look at again to refresh your memory. Pay yourself...

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5 reasons I save with Saskatchewan Pension Plan

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015 in Retirement, Saskatchewan Pension Plan | 0 comments

19 February 2015 By Sheryl Smolkin Four years ago I wrote an article for the Toronto Star about the Saskatchewan Pension Plan called Is this small pension plan Canada’s best kept secret? Subsequently I was asked to help SPP implement a social media plan and started blogging weekly on savewithspp.com. I learned that the plan is open to anyone between ages 18 and 71 who has registered retirement savings plan contribution room, regardless of where they live in Canada. Although I receive a defined benefit...

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Feb 16: Best from the blogosphere

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015 in Consumer savings, Retirement, Saskatchewan Pension Plan | 0 comments

16 February 2015 By Sheryl Smolkin   The days are getting a little longer, Valentine’s Day was this past Saturday and in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan it’s a long weekend. So there is lots to be happy about in spite of the never-ending winter. But politicians who commit serious crimes won’t be happy because the Bill to revoke politicians’ pensions passed in the House of Commons would apply to future occasions when an MP or senator is convicted of crimes such as bribery or fraud. But...

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