Your questions from the Summit are answered here!
The biggest online personal finance conference in Canada is the Canadian Financial Summit, which was a few weeks ago. I was interviewed for 2 intriguing talks:
- How to Easily Outperform Investment Advisors & Robo-Advisors
- The High Risk of Bonds: Are Bonds Actually Safe Investments?
Here are my answers to the 27 listener questions:
Here are the 27 questions:
Tax, Investing & Retirement
- At what earnings tax bracket should one consider investing more money into an RRSP vs a TFSA in order to reduce owing taxes? Is there a tool or a guide for this? Also, how would this answer differ if you have a spouse/children or non-working spouse?
2. How do you manage sequence of return risk for the first 7 years of retirement, when using a 100% equity allocation? Do you use a fixed-income equivalent to the cashflow needs for those years?
3. When taking money out in retirement, how do you decide between taking it out of your taxable account, vs your TFSA vs your RRSP?
4. If the bond run is truly done, what are the options for the Fixed Income allocation? Is it only high interest savings account, or are there other ETF options?
5. Can it be okay to have a mortgage in retirement? The common advice is to not have it, but with rates being low, there is a large opportunity cost when we could just invest the extra money instead.
6. For somebody that is close to retirement (in their 50s or 60s) with little retirement savings, should they focus on paying down their mortgage or invest?
7. For somebody that wants a safety component to their portfolio, should they be using a bond ETF, GICs, cash, or stocks that pay somewhat stable dividends?
8. For somebody that is nearing retirement and has a defined benefit pension that covers most or all their expenses, should they be very high in equities (ex. 80-100%)?
9. We received several questions about the bucketing strategy. For somebody that wants to do it, what are your thoughts on some good structures to use?
For example, a commonly suggested bucketing approach that we’ve seen is 1-2 years in cash/GICs, 3-5 in fixed income/dividend investments and the remaining in equity.
10. The next person asked: You mentioned that having bonds in your portfolio creates a performance drag. But, having bonds also lets you rebalance when stocks are low so that you are essentially buying them at a low point. Therefore, doesn’t it make sense to have some money in bonds to allow you to rebalance when markets are lower?
11. What is the adjusted cost base when investing and what are the consequences if you don’t track it correctly? How do you suggest we track it?
12. Are there ways that you know of to transfer RRSP money to TFSA without having to incur taxes? Aren’t there methods using insurance policies or setting up a mortgage investment corporation?
COVID-Related Investing Issues
13. COVID-19 has resulted in governments across the world increasing their spending to help citizens and businesses during these unprecedented times. With the very high level of governments debt that has resulted, what are the consequences that we individually investors should prepare for? How should we adjust our investing and financial planning for this?
14. We also got several questions from Canadians being worried about currencies falling, especially in the US. What are your thoughts on this and what actions (if any) should we take?
15. Can you please explain the mechanics of the Smith Manoeuvre strategy, specifically the Smith/Snyder version?
16. How long can you keep investing using the Smith Manoeuvre once you’ve converted your mortgage? When can you (or should you) start drawing funds out of the personal pension plan you’ve built?
17. Can you do the Smith Manoeuvre by investing in things other than the stock market? (ex. real estate, private lending)
18. Are there any ETFs that you would suggest for the Smith Manoeuvre?
19. Can one be investing via the Smith Manoeuvre forever? Is it advisable to do so, if you could?
20. The Smith Manoeuvre Question: How do I service my HELOC if I have no dividends coming in?
21. The Smith Manoeuvre Question about “Debt Swap Accelerator”. The main idea is to use my already invested money that I have in non-registered or registered accounts to pay down my non-deductible readvanceable mortgage. Then reborrow the increased HELOC balance in order to invest in non-reg accounts. So the question is: can I be using “the same” money over and over again?
22. Is the tax credit advantage of a labour sponsored fund worth it, compared to the higher MER of the funds? In SK a labour sponsored maximum contribution is $5000/yr. It must stay invested for 8 years. The $5K rolling investment, is effectively $40K invested at the higher MERs. If the MER is 3.25% that’s $1300/yr. What is the bottom line tax savings of the 32% tax credit?
23. Is there any Ed Rempel “unconventional wisdom” about adding a child on an elder parent’s home property? Would doing so skip the cap gains exemption offered to the elder parent, passing the property to the child without utilizing the parents’ primary residence cap gains exemption?
24. I am 56, single and plan to retire this year. I have over $3 million, almost all in RRSP & LIRA. Clearly when I turn 72 and have to withdraw from my LIF and whatever is in my RIFF it will likely be in the highest or second highest tax bracket if I don’t touch it before then. I will also have all my OAS clawed back. How do I minimize my lifetime taxes?
25. What do I need to know about exchange rates and withholding tax?
26. If someone’s TFSA is maxed out, and they are already in the lowest tax bracket, should they just invest in their taxable account?
27. What would you recommend for someone that is sitting on a large chunk of cash (uninvested)?
Planning With Ed
Ed Rempel has helped thousands of Canadians become financially secure. He is a fee-for-service financial planner, tax accountant, expert in many tax & investment strategies, and a popular and passionate blogger.
Ed has a unique understanding of how to be successful financially based on extensive real-life experience, having written nearly 1,000 comprehensive personal financial plans.
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