How to retire worry free
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How to Retire Worry-free. Diana Mau, C.A. Copy right by Diana Mau. Objectives of This Seminar.

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How to Retire Worry-free

  • Diana Mau, C.A.


  • Copy right by Diana Mau

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Objectives of This Seminar

  • Sources of retirement income or other benefits provided by governments, who will be eligible, how benefits are calculated, how benefits are penalized or enhanced, and how to maximize benefits.

  • Some tax planning ideas for retirees.

  • How to be really worry free !

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Objectives of This Seminar- Winston Wong

  • How to take advantage of some investment products to maximize retirement income, minimize income taxes and provide security.

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Sources of Retirement Income

  • Old Age Security (OAS), Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and other provincial supplements

  • Canada pension Plan (CPP)

  • Savings from Registered retirement savings Plan (RRSP), Registered pension Plan (RPP) and personal savings

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Old Age Security (OAS)

  • Federally funded from general tax revenue

  • A social security program designed for lower & middle income Canadian residents since 1952

  • Nearly 1/3 of all Canadian residents rely on OAS as their source of retirement income

  • In 2000, OAS paid over 24 billion to 3.6 million seniors; GIS provided 5 billion to 1.4 million pensioners

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Old Age Security (OAS)

  • Full pension – a Canadian citizen or resident who has lived in Canada for at least 40 full calendar years between age 18 and 64.

  • Full pension amount (Oct 2008 to December 2008) - $516.96 per month or just over $6,000 per year.

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OAS - Partial Pension

  • Earned 1/40 of the full pension for each complete year of residence after 18

  • Once a partial pension is approved, the amount cannot be increased for additional years of residence in Canada

  • Minimum of 10 years residence in Canada

  • For non-residents, an applicant must have at least 20 years of residence in Canada after 18

  • If an OAS pensioner leaves Canada, the benefit continues for only the month of departure and 6 months thereafter, unless the recipient has at least 20 years residence after age 18

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OAS Benefits

  • Full OAS pension is $516.96 per month for the last quarter of 2008, or just over $6,000 per year

  • Benefits are adjusted quarterly to reflect increase of cost of living to Consumer price Index

  • Benefits must be applied

  • Retroactive payments are available for up to 12 months

  • Benefits will cease if the recipient dies or becomes a non-resident for more than 6 months unless the recipient has resided in Canada for a minimum of 20 years after age 18

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OAS Clawback

  • Since OAS is designed for low to medium income pensioners, higher income seniors with income over $64,718 in 2008 are required to pay back some

  • The payback is 15% of the amount by which the recipient’s net income is over $64,718 in 2008

  • No OAS when income is over $105,266 in 2008

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Guaranteed Income supplement (GIS)

  • Purpose: GIS is an additional source of income for residents in Canada who are in receipt of OAS but who have little or no other source of income

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Eligibility for GIS

  • Be age 65 or older

  • Be in receipt of OAS (resident of Canada for at least 10 years since age 18)

  • Meet certain low income requirements

  • Be a resident of Canada

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More about GIS benefits

  • Max benefit is $652.51 per month for single or $430.90 for each married/common-law couple for Oct to Dec 2008

  • Subject to a means test

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More about GIS benefits

  • For single individuals, the clawback is 50% of the pensioner’s base income for the preceding year (base amount = net income - OAS)

  • In 2008, the max cutoff for single is $15,672 and couple is $37,584

  • GIS benefits are available equally to all recipients of OAS, regardless of how long one has been living in Canada

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More about GIS benefits

  • GIS is not impacted by OAS benefit

  • GIS must be applied and income tax return must be filed

  • If GIS recipient leaves Canada , GIS is payable for one month of departure and for 6 months thereafter

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GIS Benefit Will Terminate If

  • The pensioner does not file a tax return by April 30th

  • The pensioner’s income exceed the max cutoff

  • The pensioner leaves Canada for more than 6 consecutive months

  • The pensioner dies

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  • Purpose: To provide an additional source of income to qualifying low income seniors who are 60 to 64, married to a spouse or common-law partner who is receiving both OAS and GIS, to enhance their standard of living

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Allowance -Eligibility

  • An individual aged 60 to 64

  • An individual’s spouse or common –law partner receives OAS and GIS

  • The individual is a Canadian citizen or resident at the time of application

  • The individual must have lived in Canada for a minimum of 10 years since age 18

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Allowance Benefits

  • Maximum allowance for Oct to Dec 2008 is $947.86 per month (sum of OAS & GIS, $516.96 + $430.90)

  • Allowance is subject to a clawback. The max income cutoff for the allowance is $28,992 on the couple’s combined income

  • At 65, the Allowance is replaced by the GIS

  • If the Allowance recipient leaves Canada, Allowance is payable for the month of departure and for 6 months thereafter

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Termination of Allowance Benefits

  • The couples combined base income is greater than the max income cutoff

  • The recipient leaves Canada for more than 6 months

  • The couple separates or ceases to live common-law

  • The recipient spouse/partner dies, then change to Allowance for survivors

  • Recipient dies

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Tax Treatment of OAS/GIS/allowance

  • OAS is fully taxable

  • GIS/ Allowance are included in income, but subject to a full deduction, making them effectively not taxable

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Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

  • Became effective Jan 1, 1966

  • Fully funded by employers and employees

  • Not funded by general tax revenue

  • Initially structured on a pay as you go basis

  • By 1990s, demographic picture had changed

  • Contribution rates has increased from 5.6% in 1996 to 9.9% in 2004

  • Employers & Employees contribute 4.95% each

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CPP Benefits Eligibility

  • An individual has made at least one valid CPP contribution

  • Is at least age 65

  • Is between 60 & 64 and has ceased employment or low earnings

  • Ceased employment if one is not working at the end of the month prior to when CPP begins and during the month in which the CPP begins

  • Low earnings if one earns less than the current max CPP in the month before CPP begins and the month in which CPP begins

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CPP Benefits (Con’t)

  • A person cannot be both a contributor to CPP and a recipient of CPP at the same time. Therefore, if an individual is receiving CPP, no further CPP contributions will be required

  • CPP stops at the month of pensioner’s death. There is no guaranteed period.

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Calculating CPP

  • CPP benefit is a function of how much of the contribution and for how long of the contributory period and the age when one chooses to begin retirement benefits

  • CPP benefits = 25% of the average of current & last 4 YMPE (yearly max pensionable earnings) x Average earnings ratio

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Average Annual Earning Ratio

  • Average of annual earning ratios

  • Annual earning ratio is calculated as the unadjusted earnings divided by the YMPE for that year. Any time that the earnings is less than the year’s basic exemption ($3,500), the ratio is zero, any time when earnings are more than YMPE, the ratio is one

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Example of Calculating Monthly CPP Benefit Earnings Ratio

  • Yearly CPP benefit = 25% x average of current & last 4 YMPE x average earnings ratio

  • = 25% x $42,460 x 0.74792 = $7,939

  • Monthly CPP benefit = 1/12 of $7,939 or $661.60

  • Note: there are only 5 years earnings for demonstration purposes. In real life, all contributory years less drop-out periods should be included in the calculation

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Relief for Average Earnings Ratio Earnings Ratio

  • CPP acknowledges interruptions & low income periods by allowing some contributory period to be dropped out of the benefit calculation

  • The drop-out calculation includes:

  • Low earnings while raising children <7

  • Months when the contributor was eligible to receive CPP disability pension

  • 15% of the contributor’s lowest earnings

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How to Get Max CPP Benefits Earnings Ratio

  • To be eligible for max CPP benefits,an individual would require solid employment record throughout the contributory period (from age 18) even allowing for the 15% dropout periods

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Normal, Early & Late Retirement Earnings Ratio

  • Normal retirement for CPP – Age 65

  • Early retirement – from age 60, CPP payment reduction of 0.5% per month or 6% per year, to a max reduction of 30% for 5 years

  • Late retirement – after age 65, payment enhanced by 0.5% per month or 6% per year, to a max increase of 30%

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Assignment of CPP Earnings Ratio

  • Pension sharing between spouses & common-law partners to achieve income splitting

  • Both spouses/partners must assign their CPP

  • Both must be at least age 60, and both must be receiving CPP

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OAS / CPP Website Earnings Ratio


  • Tel: 1-800-277-9914

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Other Governmental Programs for Seniors Earnings Ratio

  • Low-Income Grant Supplement Program- for age 65 or older or receiving disability allowance and whose home is assessed above $1,050,000

  • Low income family of net income less than $28,000 will be eligible for max supplement of $845, between $28,000 to $30,000, eligible for 50%.

  • Call 1-888-355-2700

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Property Tax Deferment Earnings Ratio

  • To defer property for home owners over age 55, surviving spouse or disabled

  • Have to pay back deferred taxes + interest at prime rate + administrative fee before home transferred to a new owner or upon home owner’s death

  • Tel: 250-387-0555

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Shelter for Elderly Renters Earnings Ratio

  • Rental subsidy for seniors 60 or over and pay rent of more than 30% of income and who do not receive provincial income assistance

  • Tel: 604-433-2218

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Home Adaptations for Seniors Earnings Ratio

  • To help homeowners and landlords pay for minor home adaptations such as handrails, lever handles on doors, bathtub grab bars etc.

  • Max assistance is $3,500

  • To qualify, senior household income below $32,500

  • Tel: 604-731-5733

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Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program Earnings Ratio

  • To provide low-income homeowners with fully forgivable loans in 5 years for the repair of lower value homes.

  • Household income below $32,500 in Vancouver

  • Tel: 604-731-5733

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Senior’s Supplement Earnings Ratio

  • Provided by Province of B.C. to low-income seniors whose income falls below the level guaranteed by the province

  • Max monthly supplement of $49.50 for single seniors and $120.50 for senior couples

  • Tel: 250-387-3743 or 1-866-387-3743

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Health Services Earnings Ratio

  • MSP

  • Can apply for premium assistance

  • Pharmacare

  • Home & Community Care and many others

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Other Provincial Programs Earnings Ratio

  • Transit seniors’ fare discount

  • Bus pass for low-income seniors– yearly pass for $45, eligible for those receiving GIS / Allowance

  • Ferry fares

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How to Minimize Income & Not Cash Flow Earnings Ratio

  • Bury money under your mattress?

  • Give away your money ?

  • Tax free savings account ?

  • RESP for grandchildren ?

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How to Minimize Income & Not Cash Flow Earnings Ratio

  • Collapse your RRSP before retirement ?

  • Invest in your home & get a reverse mortgage ?

  • Buy a whole life or universal life insurance ?

  • Prepaid funeral expenses, medical/critical insurance ?

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Registered Pension Plans (RPP) Earnings Ratio

  • Defined Benefit Plan

  • Defined Contribution Plan

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Defined Benefit Plan Earnings Ratio

  • Provides pension benefits based on a defined formula where the benefit is known in advance of retirement

  • Benefit is expressed as a % of yearly earnings multiplied by the number of years of participation

  • For example, benefit equals 2% of average of final three years service x # of years service

  • Public service employees get 2% per year, up to a max of 35 years, or 70%

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Performance of a Defined Benefit Plan Earnings Ratio

  • Plan sponsor / employer /union is responsible or the solvency of the plan and the investment risk

  • Plan member is guaranteed a defined benefit regardless of the performance of the plan

  • Generally is no risk, but nothing is certain

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Defined Contribution Pension Plan Earnings Ratio

  • Contributions into the plan are based on a specific formula, a known quantity. For example, employer and employee each contribute 8% of employee’s salary. The max total contributions by employer and employee that can be contributed to a defined contribution plan in 2008 is the lesser of 18% earnings and $20,000, same as RRSP.

  • The retirement income is based on the sum of accumulated contributions and the plan earnings. Hence retirement income is unknown

  • The plan member retains the investment risk

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RRSP Earnings Ratio

  • Contributions to the RRSP are tax deductible, income earned inside rhe RRSP are also tax free, withdrawals from RRSP are taxable, except the Home Buyers’ Plan or the Lifelong learning Plan

  • Contributions to RRSP are limited to the contribution room

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RRSP on Retirement Earnings Ratio

  • At age 71, one must convert RRSP into retirement income by the end of the year, otherwise the full market value of the RRSP would be included as income for that year

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Conversion of RRSP to Retirement Income Earnings Ratio

  • Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF). RRIF is similar to RRSP, except one may not make any new tax-deductible contributions and one must receive a specified minimum amount every year

  • Annuity

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Minimum Amount From RRIF Earnings Ratio

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Annuity Option Earnings Ratio

  • Buying an annuity means leaving money in the hands of the annuity issuer, usually an insurance company

  • Annuity may be for your life, life of your spouse or with a guaranteed payment in the event of premature death

  • You give up control of your money

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Splitting Pension Income Earnings Ratio

  • Beginning in 2007, individuals who receive pension income that qualifies for the $2,000 pension income amount may transfer up to one-half of this income to a spouse / common-law partner

  • Pension income does not include OAS, CPP, death benefits, retiring allowance, RRSP withdrawals

  • Joint election Form T1032 must be attached to the tax return of each spouse

  • Income taxes deducted must be split in the same proportion

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Use of Your Home to Fund Retirement Earnings Ratio

  • Consider renting out part of your home

  • Selling or downsizing your home

  • Reverse mortgage – for seniors over age 62 borrowing using the home as a collateral. Interest & principal deferred until the property is sold

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Other Financial Resources Earnings Ratio

  • Personal assets such as cash, marketable securities, rental properties

  • Business - proprietorship or corporation, to sell or to continue. $750,000 capital gain exemption on sale of small business corporation

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Combined Income Tax Rates Earnings Ratio

Combined Income Tax Rates 08

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2008 Personal Amounts Earnings Ratio

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Disability Amount - $6,890 Earnings Ratio

  • A non-refundable tax credit used to reduce income tax payable

  • May be used for yourself, or transferred to your spouse /common-law partner, or another supporting person

  • Has to be certified by a qualified practitioner on Form T2201 and be validated by Canada Revenue Agency

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Claiming Disability Earnings Ratio

  • Your eligibility is easier than you may think

  • Your physical or mental impairment has lasted or expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months and you are markedly restricted in any one of the basic activities – speaking, feeding, hearing, dressing, walking, mental functions, bowel or bladder elimination

  • Markedly restricted means all or substantially all the time, you are unable to perform one or more of the basic activities even with the use of therapy, devices or medication

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Claiming Disability (Con’t) Earnings Ratio

  • Your physical or mental impairment has lasted or expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months and you are significantly restricted in two or more of the basic activities – speaking, feeding, hearing, dressing, walking, mental functions, bowel or bladder elimination

  • Significantly restricted means you are not quite markedly restricted, but you ability to perform a basic activity is still substantially restricted

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Medical Expenses Earnings Ratio

  • In addition to disability amount, medical expenses of up to $10,000

  • Disability and medical expenses can be claimed by yourself

  • If your income is too low to utilize, then disability & medical expenses can be transferred to your supporting relatives, usually your children

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Caregiver Amount - $4,019 Earnings Ratio

  • For those who provide care to relatives who live with you & dependent on you

  • Parents & grandparents age 65 or over

  • Children or grandchildren & other relatives who are 18 or over and physically or mentally infirm

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Pension Income Amount - $2,000 Earnings Ratio

  • Individuals 65 or over can claim lesser of $2,000 or pension income from RRSP, RRIF, life annuity from qualified pension income

  • Individuals under 65, life annuity out of pension plan, or annuity arising from all other pension income by virtue of the death of spouse/common-law partner

  • OAS, GIS, CPP etc. are not qualified pension income

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Use pension splitting to maximize the $2,000 pension income credit

  • Commencing 2007, individuals who receive pension income that qualifies for the $2,000 pension income amount any transfer up to 50% of this income to a spouse or common-law partner

  • Each can claim $2,000

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Amounts transferred from spouse credit

  • If one spouse /common-law partner has no income tax payable and has not fully utilized a certain portion of non-refundable credits, e.g. the age amount, pension amount, disability amount, the unclaimed balance of these amounts can be transferred to the other spouse/partner.

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Tax Free Savings Account TFSA credit

  • TFSA is a registered account that allows taxpayers to earn investment income tax-free inside the account. Contributions are not tax deductible and withdrawals of contributions and earnings are not taxable

  • Commencing Jan 1, 2009, any individual who is a resident of Canada and age 18 or older would be eligible to open an TFSA

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TFSA Contribution Amount credit

  • $5,000 per year

  • Any withdrawals made in previous year would be added to the contribution room

  • Any unused contribution from a previous year would be added to the contribution room for the year

  • Example: In 2009,contribute $2,000, in 2010, withdraw $1,000. What is the contribution room in 2011?

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TFSA no impact on income-tested benefits & credits credit

  • Income earned & withdrawals are not be taken as income, hence would not reduce benefits based on income level, such as OAS, GIS, Allowance, GST, age credit etc.

  • Seniors should contribute to a TFSA

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Budget Your After Tax Retirement Income & Expenses credit

  • Estimate your after tax retirement income

  • Estimate your expenses in retirement. Do you over estimate your expenses? Keep your life simple

  • Income > expenses ?

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How to Retire Worry Free credit

  • More important than finance is physical & mental health

  • Physical Health – diet and exercise

  • Mental Health – if you’re worried thinking you don’t have enough, then no matter how much wealth you have, you never have enough. You will always be worried.

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You’ll Be Truly Worried Free credit

  • If you can let go, let your greed goes

  • Can you really change your mental thoughts?

  • You come with nothing, you go with nothing