What Financial Question Is on Your Mind?

What burning financial question is on your mind? What topic(s) would you like me to tackle next?

I post a video or article on my blog, YouTube & my email list every Thursday and try to make it as relevant to you as I can. I am asking you now to find out what is most relevant for you.

Let me tell you a bit about me and our practice, to help you get ideas of what you would like to ask.

Many bloggers struggle with figuring out topics, but I have the opposite issue – too many topics. I have literally hundreds of topics in my head that I would like to post about. Which topic is relevant to you now?

I have a knowledgeable opinion on almost any financial topic. It’s usually unconventional wisdom based on my experience. I have written more than 1,000 comprehensive Financial Plans for clients, which has given me a deep insight into what really works.

I have the knowledge & experience to give you insights. I am a Certified Financial Planner (CFP Professional) and CPA tax accountant.

Most people have never seen a retirement plan and don’t know how much they will need for the retirement they want. Of course, it makes a huge difference if you want to retire on $10,000/month or $2,000/month, or at age 50 or age 65. You can’t separate your life from your money, so your Financial Plan is really your life plan.

Our “interactive” software allows our clients to quickly see what they would have to do to retire in many different scenarios, so they can decide on a life that is both reasonably doable for them and a comfortable enough retirement. From 1,000s of Financial Plans, I know what usually works and what doesn’t.

We are experts in many effective strategies that can be a huge help to make your life plan work, such as:

  • Smith Manoeuvre – Convert your mortgage to tax-deductible over time, while investing for your retirement without using your cash flow. Often adding the Smith Manoeuvre into a Financial Plan is the difference to make it work. We are Canada’s experts in all 7 different Smith Manoeuvre strategies.
  • Lifecycle Investing – Ultimate strategy for Millennials.
  • Rempel Maximum – Maximum growth strategy without affecting your cash flow. #1 strategy for growth-focused & high risk tolerance.
  • RRSP top-ups – Increase your RRSP contributions up to 67% without using your cash flow.
  • Cash Dam – Use your non-incorporated business or rental property to make your mortgage tax deductible.
  • 8-Year GIS Strategy – Get $105,000 tax-free in higher government pensions if you have low income or can plan for a low taxable income. Lots of creativity needed to make this work.

We are tax experts and figure out how you can pay the least tax throughout your life. Tax is cool because it’s a guaranteed savings (unlike investments). If we tell you that you will save $5,000 in tax, you can be sure of that figure.

We invest with 2 elite portfolio managers that both have track records outperforming their indexes over time. Together with our portfolio managers, we are experts in investing with the world’s top All Star Fund Managers. Seeing what the world’s best investors do is cool! They give us confidence we will get the long-term return we need in our Financial Plans.

Our other portfolio manager is an Index Plus portfolio manager. Paid mainly based on how much he beats the index. Low base fee like an ETF. Index investing, except good chance to beat the index.

If you have been following me, you know my insights are based on experience and often very different from the conventional wisdom. Read the rest. Then check out my blog & YouTube to find out what really works.

I hope that was helpful to give you ideas. Tell me: 

  • What topics would you like me to do next?
  • What is your financial question?
  • What do you think about or worry about related to money?
  • What do you not understand?
  • What are you doing that you are not confident is optimal?
  • Are you confident you will retire with the lifestyle you want?
  • Are you confident your investments will provide the return you need for your desired goals?
  • One more thing: Do you prefer to watch or read my posts?

You can leave your comment below this blog post or YouTube video, or email me if you are on my email list. If you want to leave an anonymous question, you can do it on my blog below this post.

Ed

Planning With Ed

EdSelect

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.

The “Planning with Ed” experience is about your life, not just money. Your Financial Plan is the GPS for your life.

Get your plan! Become financially secure and free to live the life you want.

32 Comments

  1. Ed Rempel on December 31, 2022 at 1:26 PM

    Hi Irina,

    The first question for any life insurance policy is do you need it? Very few people really have a permanent life insurance need. Once you reach financial independence (FI) and your investments can provide for anyone financially dependent on you at their desired retirement lifestyle, you don’t really need life insurance.

    If you don’t need permanent life insurance, then the premium you pay for unversal life insurance is wasted. I agree with you that it’s a lot better than whole life insurance in almost all cases.

    If you are looking for the insurance guarantee on declines of your invstments, you could just invest in segregated funds. They are mutual funds plus the insurance guarantee on the principal. You can borrow against them for tax-free cash flow similar to insurance policies.

    For growth-focused invstors, the insurance principal guarantee from segregated funds or in a universal life policy are not worthwhile, since the stock market is rarely down after 10 or 15 years (the period of the guarantees).

    Ed



  2. Ed Rempel on December 31, 2022 at 1:15 PM

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I generally cover the capitalization in my long post about Smith Manoeuvre. It depends on which bank you are with. I’ll consider a post just on capitalization.

    I’ll answer your first question here, since I’m unlikely to do a post about it. The Smith Manoeuvre can be done with business income, instead of investment income. The interst is deductible for business income, same as for investment income – just on a different line on your tax return.

    Investing tax-efficiently focused on deferred capital gains can mean little or no tax on investment income in most years. For business income, it’s fully taxable every year. Therefore, your business income would have to be quite a bit higher to get the same after-tax return over time as the normal Smith Manoeuvre strategy.

    Ed



  3. Ed Rempel on December 31, 2022 at 1:08 PM

    Hi Marlow,

    Thansk for the excellent suggestion.

    I recorded a post about donating effectively: https://edrempel.com/how-to-donate-effectively/ .

    The Donor Advised Fund is an excellent topic that would require a separate post. I plan to do this soon.

    Ed



  4. Ed Rempel on December 31, 2022 at 1:05 PM

    Hi Paddy,

    Thanks for the topics. I’ll consdider posts on them soon.

    I did a post that should answer your last 2 questions about the order of withdrawing from which accounts in your retirement and the LIRA withdrawal: https://edrempel.com/how-to-design-your-retirement-income-an-overview/ .

    Let me know if this didn’t answer your questions on the last 2 topics.

    Ed



  5. Ed Rempel on December 31, 2022 at 1:02 PM

    Hi Wally,

    Thanks for the great list of topics. I will have posts on most of these topics in the next few months.

    Ed



  6. Ed Rempel on December 31, 2022 at 1:01 PM

    Hey Darren,

    The reason you cannot find good info on corporations loaning to shareholders is that CRA considers those loans all taxable income. There are some exceptions, such as to buy a home, but generally a loan to a shareholder even at the prescribed rate is considered that the full amount is taxable income of the shareholder.

    There are still signficant benefits for investing inside your corporation. I recorded a video about it: https://edrempel.com/using-your-corporation-as-your-retirement-fund/ .

    Let me know if you have more questions.

    Ed



  7. Ed Rempel on December 31, 2022 at 12:58 PM

    Hi Enzo,

    Great question. It involves the 2 basic strategies for designing the most effective retirment income:
    1. Defer tax as long as possible.
    2. Withdraw as much as you can at the lowest tax bracket(s).

    Deciding which is best is step #1 in designing your retirement income. There are many factors. I recorded a video about it here: https://edrempel.com/how-to-design-your-retirement-income-an-overview/ .

    Ed



  8. Ed Rempel on December 31, 2022 at 12:50 PM

    Hi Edward,

    Infinite Banking is a US concept and not really a Canadian one. It involves whole life insurance policies that have high premiums and fees, and much lower returns than equity investments over time.

    Insurance salepeople are very creative in making whole life insurance strategies sound good, but so far, but avoiding whole life insurance policies is almost always the best option. Especially for growth-focused people.

    Ed



  9. Ed Rempel on December 31, 2022 at 12:47 PM

    Hi Mary,

    There are a lot of options in your question. I believe I have answered them in a recent video: https://edrempel.com/how-to-design-your-retirement-income-an-overview/ .

    Effective retirement planning requires a lot of creativity to provide the maximum reliable retirement income. I have a few posts on aspects of this, but I may have more in the future.

    Let me know if you still have questions that I could put into a future post.

    Ed



  10. Ed Rempel on December 31, 2022 at 12:45 PM

    Thanks for telling me your preference for reading, Jeanette.

    I used to only write articles. Lately, I’ve been doing mostly videos to build up my YouTube channel and because they are quicker to do for a perfectionist like me.

    I am noting how many people prefer my articles or my videos. I have a couple requests for podcasts.

    If anyone reading this has a preference for reading, watching or listening, please post it here.

    Ed



  11. Ed Rempel on December 31, 2022 at 12:42 PM

    Hi Pat,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I agree – let the math determine what’s best.

    I have 2 previous posts about when to start CPP & OAS:
    https://edrempel.com/start-cpp-early-real-life-examples/
    https://edrempel.com/delay-cpp-oas-age-70-complete-answer-real-life-examples/

    I just recorded one with an overview of all the retirement income issues, since there are many more factors:
    https://edrempel.com/how-to-design-your-retirement-income-an-overview/

    I believe these 3 should answer your question. Let me know if you have more questions.

    Ed



  12. Ed Rempel on December 31, 2022 at 12:36 PM

    Hi Mary,

    Great question. I recorded a video about it: https://edrempel.com/what-is-the-highest-quality-financial-planning-advice/ .

    Full Service is the highest quality financial planning advice. Fee-only advice without being involved in your full finances is more like your accoutant than your trusted advisor.

    Our advice is also unbiased. We don’t manage any investments. We have just found 2 elite portfolio managers with different methods that we are confident should have higher returns than the major equity indexes over time. We try to pay for our advice entirely by recommending portfolio managers with above index returns after all fees, including ours.

    Details in the video. Thanks for the question, Mary.

    Ed



  13. Ed Rempel on December 31, 2022 at 12:26 PM

    Hi Kel,

    Investing RESPs has similar issues to other investing. It depends on the return you need to pay for their education, how long until they will need the money, and your comfort with short-term & mid-term market declines.

    If you are growth investors (or could become them with experience & knowledge), then investing 100% equities is likely to give you the highest growth over time – which pays for the most education costs.

    Time horizon can be an issue. It’s not like your retiremnt where you withdraw over 30+ years. RESPs are typically withdrawn over 4-6 years starting at age 18. This means a 15-year-old has about a 5-year time horizon.

    Some people invest more conservatively the last few years. This still probably means they have less money, but you can reduce the unlikely effect of a decline that does not recover before they need the money.

    Your kids may be able to use a student loan or student credit line to temporarily pay for 1-2 years of education, which can offset most of the risk of a market decline. 88% of all stock market declines have fully recovered in 1-2 years.

    Most of our clients invest their RESPs the same as their other investments – 100% equities. The vast majority keep that allocation to the end. This strategy has the highest chance of paying the most education costs – and may leave money left over for other goals after university.

    Ed



  14. Ed Rempel on December 31, 2022 at 12:17 PM

    Hi Richard,

    All-in-one ETFs all have a portion in bonds, which drags down the return for equity investors. Your kids are young, so their time horizon might be 60 years or more. However, it could be shorter term, such as for down payment on their home.

    The drag on return from the bonds is a major factor over time. Even the most aggressive all-in-one ETFs have at least 20% bonds, which would likely reduce the return by 1.2-1.5%/year over time.

    I would need to know their goals and time horizon, but generally an equity index fund or ETF is a better choice.

    Ed



  15. Ed Rempel on December 31, 2022 at 12:12 PM

    Hi Rico,

    Your question about a tax-efficient way to transfer RRSPs to your kids has a few factors:

    1. Are you sure you won’t need the money? First, don’t be a financial burden on your kids. Make sure you have more than enough money to provide for yourselves as long as you live, even if you live longer than expected or have unexpected medical or retirement home costs. In your 60s, there is a 50% chance that one of you will live at least 30 years and a 20% chance one of you will live past age 100.
    2. You could withdraw more than you need, assuming you can withdraw at the lowest tax bracket. However, does this actually save you money? The highest tax bracket in Ontario is 54%. If you withdraw from your RRSPs every year as much as you can at the lowest tax bracket at 20%, you are paying a much lower tax rate but paying it earlier. The tax amount means less investments that would otherwise grow. If you are equity investors and average 8%/year, the amount of tax you pay at 20% would have grown to more than 54% in 13 years. If you are a balanced investor averaging 5%/year, it’s 20 years. That means you only benefit from withdrawing from your RRSPs at 20% if you live less than 13 or 20 years. At least one of you will most likely live longer.
    3. Your question about MTAR is an insurance policy. There can be some tax savings, but you first have to buy a permanent life insurance policy. A term-to-100 joint policy for you may have a premium of about 5% of the face value every year. If you leave the amount of the premium invested, it would grow to more than the face amount of the policy in 12-14 years at 8% & 5%/year returns.

    Then you can contribute more to your policy, which you only really benefit from if you never touch it. You still pay tax on growth if you use the money during your life.

    More significantly, you must then invest all with that one insurance company. No company has the best investments. How much lower return will you have from having to invest entirely with one insurance company?

    Overall, insurance policies are useful if you both die soon, but not if either of you lives a normal lifetime.

    4. The most effective method is an RRSP Meltdown. You borrow to invest and withdraw from your RRSPs to pay the interst. The interest deduction offsets the RRSP withdrawal to make it effectively a tax-free withdrawal. To make this work, depending on your situation, you may need a large loan equal or or larger than your RRSPs. If you are growth investors getting good advice, the RRSP Metldown is the most effective way to withdraw tax-free from your RRSP, while growing your estate at the same time.

    Thhe RRSP Meltdown strategy is not for everyone. But we have a bunch of clients doing this very effectively.

    Ed



  16. Irina Antsiferova on December 7, 2022 at 11:48 AM

    Hi
    I would love to hear your take on Life Insurance especially Universal L.I. with a component of investing in good funds like BMO is offering Nasdaq and Index investing. Even after 2% paid in taxes to Ontario province and MER it looks more promising than lousy Whole Life. We always pay extra for security and protection. Down the road, I can take a collateral loan against the policy cash free. And in my case I am an insurance broker I get commissions that can wash away MER of 1.75% for example!



  17. Steve on December 6, 2022 at 4:35 PM

    I have two questions

    1. I have been told by my accountant that I am able to start a business so I can trade
    Options as part of my Smith Manoeuvre so long as it is a proprietorship. Are there any considerations to doing this as a business vs as an individual outside of the changes in capital gains payments and write-offs?

    2. Could you go over the capitalization of interest payments in detail? for example pushing my interest payment through my mortgage first, then paying the line of credit interest off. How is this recorded for taxation purposes properly?



  18. Marlow Gingerich on December 6, 2022 at 2:16 PM

    Ed, a topic to consider is the entire area of strategic charitable giving, as my sense is that it is not well understood. This could involve lifetime giving that encompasses Gifts of Securities (either personally or through a Corp), Gifts of Private Company Shares, the use of a Donor Advised Fund to address a tax event year etc. This could also review how estate gifts ( Gift in a Will, beneficiary designations on registered investments, or life insurance policies) could be used either as standalone options or coordinated together.
    There are people completing significant charitable giving decisions that may not be optimal. (giving $20 000 in cash vs gifting appreciated securities from their non registered account) Sometimes advisors are helpful to explain options, but too often advisors consider this area as too personal and lightly skip over it.
    Many people who are doing significant lifetime charitable giving also want their estate charitable giving to be aligned and coordinated, so this is a key area of planning.
    It would be great to hear more on this topic as this knowledge would help shed some light on what is possible.
    Marlow Gingerich / Abundance Canada



  19. Ed Rempel on December 5, 2022 at 8:30 PM

    Hi Jason,

    I like your thinking. Value stocks are highly likely to outperform cash over time – and they are more predictable after inflation than cash over 25-year periods of time (lower real 25-year standard).

    I discuss your question in a post here: https://edrempel.com/how-to-easily-outperform-investment-advisors-robo-advisors/

    Most investment firms are either short-term thinkers or worried about the wrong risk (short-term risk, instead of long-term risk).

    Many hold cash for only a few days or weeks as a market-timing strategy, mostly while the markets are trending down. One of our portfolio managers does this for short periods of time only, and mainly with deciding when to invest a new contribution. Most investors lose money with this, since the market goes up most of the time and all trends reverse.

    For short-term market timing, value stocks wouldn’t really work. They are trying to get out of the stock market.

    The other reason for cash is part of asset allocation. Hold some stocks, some bonds, some cash. This will almost definitely have a far lower return than a 100% equity portfolio over the long-term. In Financial Plans for our clients, almost nobody can retire comfortably with the low return from this type of asset allocation portfolio.

    They hold cash long-term to reduce volatility. Investment firms are mostly worried about 2 things – losing clients and having regulators go after them. Holding cash reduces volatility. Value stocks may be less volatile, but not necessarily in a short-term market decline.

    Regulators are worried about asset allocation, so they generally see all stocks as risky. Some value stocks are less volatile. Most are generally less risky because they are already cheap. However, they are still stocks and the regulator may say the asset allcoation was not appropriate.

    Most investment firms don’t think like you and I!

    Ed



  20. Paddy on December 4, 2022 at 4:27 PM

    Hi Ed,
    Thanks for asking us subject suggestions!
    – I too, would like to know what to do once my TFSA and RRSP will be maxed out next year.
    – I also would like to hear your opinion on the order of withdrawal from the different account types (non-registered, RRSP/LIRA, TFSA) in order to minimize taxes over time. I thought I’d go with the following order when I retire : RRSP/LIRA, non-reg, then TFSA, but would like your take on this.
    – Finally, I’ve been told more than once I should start collecting my 2 LIRAs (estimated value in 8 years 150 K$ and 30 K$) as soon as I retire. Is this a general rule, or have I been ill-advised?
    Thanks again,
    Paddy



  21. Wally on December 3, 2022 at 12:59 PM

    Hi Ed,

    I love the blog and YouTube channel!

    Here is some feedback on your questions:

    – what is best course of action after maxing both RRSP/TFSA?
    – what are your views on Ray Dalio’s book, The New World Order and based on his ideas, what do we do differently to create/protect wealth over the long term?
    – leveraged investing with HELOCs (not in a smith manoeuvre context)
    – what do your financial plans look like? what is the return on investment if someone were to invest in your services?
    – how to build wealth on a low (or average) income?
    – anything on the Rempel maximum – how do we build the most amount of wealth, and accelerate this, in unconventional ways that are not taught from other experts in the field
    – strategies to move from lean FIRE to Fat FIRE
    – as Mary mentions in her comment on this post, how do we best tap into your services without the full-service investment management?

    I enjoy both the blog posts and YouTube videos!

    Thanks,
    Wally



  22. Daren A on December 2, 2022 at 6:53 PM

    Hey Ed, I’ve recently been wondering about a topic for business owners that I cannot find good information on anywhere, so maybe you’ve got some thoughts on it?

    Is it acceptable for a OpCo or HoldCo to lend money to a shareholder in the form of a longer term loan at a reasonable interest rate (equal or over prescribed rate) without it being considered income to the shareholder after the 1 year rule? Of course assuming the interest is properly paid to the Corp.

    If so, what would the financial difference be between investing for retirement inside the OpCo/HoldCo vs. having the Corp loan to shareholder and they invest personally in a non-registered account? I would assume the interest paid to be tax deductible on that loan?

    Thanks!



  23. Enzo on December 2, 2022 at 10:00 AM

    Hi Ed, Thank-you for your many thoughtful insights.

    My wife and I have saved for retirement and have fully topped up our TFSA’s and have a substantial amount in our RRSP. I retired this year at age 63 and am receiving a monthly pension from my previous employer. My wife is 59 and plans to work for another year or so and does not have a pension from her employer, but does have an RRSP.

    We expect that once we are both retired that my pension will be enough to cover our basic living costs including the cost of utilities etc for our home. For tax purposes we can split my pension between the two of us to keep our taxes as low as possible. We will however also need to dip into our RRSP’s/TFSA’s/& mutual funds in open account every year to some extent to pay for any extras…possible travel, car expenses etc. Also when we turn 71 we will convert the RRSP’s to RRIF and receive a small income from those, and then of course we will aslo receive CPP and OAS.

    My question is, for tax purposes, should we be taking some monies out of our RRSP’s every year and possibly also crystalizing some of the capital gains in our open account so that we both have the same income each year and also level annual income over our lifetime? This would result in us paying more tax now in the hope that we would pay less tax in the future. Does it make sense to do this knowing it is going to increase our taxes now or should we just leave as much as possible in the RRSP’s and similarly leave the Capital Gains in the open account and pay the taxes much later in life? And of course as part of this strategy, every year we would keep our incomes below the OAS clawback level so that we can get the maximum OAS.

    I hope I explained this well enough. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.



  24. Edward Caruso on December 1, 2022 at 8:48 PM

    I’d love to hear your feedback on the infinite banking concept or being your own banker where you utilize life insurance and loans. I don’t hear you talk about this concept to much!



  25. Mary on December 1, 2022 at 6:42 PM

    My spouse and I are both retired with defined pensions and no room in our TFSAs. We still have eligible RRSP room and have a substantial amount of money that is not tax sheltered. Should we contribute more to the RRSPs?



  26. Jeanette Lewis on December 1, 2022 at 4:57 PM

    Thanks for all the good information you share with readers/listeners. I do prefer your written posts but, will occasionally watch your videos. No burning questions!



  27. Pat on December 1, 2022 at 3:22 PM

    Hi Ed, long time follower of your blog and have always enjoyed your viewpoint.
    Could you cover the topic of optimum timing for taking CPP and OAS to maximize income and after-tax estate value. Most financial planners automatically recommend seniors take CPP and OAS at 70. They promote this strategy because of the extra guaranteed income available at age 70 by delaying CPP and OAS without considering all the other variables that determine cashflow and the after-tax estate at various stages of retirement. I think planners would be better off advising their clients to let the math determine the correct strategy for when to start CPP and OAS. Each individual or couple’s situation is unique and a detailed financial plan prepared using various portfolio withdrawal scenarios will provide the best strategy. Thanks



  28. Mary on December 1, 2022 at 2:48 PM

    I’ve been pondering about using your services for few years now. You’re a fee for service financial planner which usually means you’re unbiased. However, I see that you offer full service investment management for a 1% fee on investments. These two don’t work together I believe hence why I haven’t use your planning services. Please help me understand, thank you!



  29. Kel on December 1, 2022 at 2:42 PM

    I would love to hear more on where we should invest our children’s RESPs. We have 3 kids and have maxed them out each year since birth.
    Thank you!



  30. Richard Martin on December 1, 2022 at 2:37 PM

    I note that all 3 øf Canada’s ETF suppliers have launched all-in-one ETF portfolios that include options for invest ors with different risk profiles from conservative to aggressive. I am tempted to recommend this to my two kids who neither have the time nor inclination to handle their own portfolios. I would appreciate your take/analysis.
    Thanks very much. Richard Martin



  31. Rico on December 1, 2022 at 1:52 PM

    With fairly significant RSP’s for both my spouse & myself, ( we are both retired in our late 60’s) is there a tax efficient way to transfer these funds to our children should we both suddenly perish? The RSP’s are setup so that they transfer to the surviving spouse when either of us dies & hopefully we have another 30 years left to live, but I really don’t want CRA to take half of our RSP’s if we should perish in an accident at the same time. Perhaps you are familiar with Maximum Tax Actuarial Range (MTAR) as 1 option? Thanks & have a Great Day!



  32. Jason on December 1, 2022 at 1:30 PM

    A lot of pundits advocate defensiveness and holding onto cash. Even Ray Dalio has changed his mind on his long-held view of “cash is trash”.

    My question is: When investment firms convert their clients’ positions into cash aren’t they essentially admitting that they don’t know what to do? Or is it that they just don’t want to communicate (temporary) losses to their clients?

    The reason I ask is I believe it is understood that value investing can underperform for long periods of time – so if these investment firms were so smart why aren’t they moving their clients into value instead of holding cash?

    I’d really like to understand the mental gymnastics on this point.



Leave a Comment