Oaken Blog

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How an extended absence impacts Canadian pensions and benefits

Extended Absence and Your Pension and Benefits
March 7, 2016

A couple of months back, we published a piece in the Oaken Blog outlining how the sharing of border information now makes it easier for U.S. and Canadian authorities to track how long travellers spend outside their home country. The article looked specifically at the implications for Canadians spending considerable time in the U.S., and … read more

7 tips to stretch your travel budget

7 travel trips
February 19, 2016

With the holiday season now long behind us, and several months yet until the busy summer travel season begins, we’ll soon be into what the travel industry refers to as the “shoulder season”. Running from April to mid-June, the shoulder season is a good time to look for travel bargains before prices rise, as inevitably … read more

RSPs, TFSAs and your retirement strategy

RSPs, TFSAs, and your retirement strategy
February 1, 2016

The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) was frequently in the news during last year’s federal election campaign. TFSAs made headlines again when the newly-elected government followed through on its pledge to roll back the TFSA annual contribution limit. With the RSP deadline now looming, conversations are once again turning to TFSAs and the annual question of whether … read more

Creating retirement income with an annuity

January 21, 2016

When it comes time to convert your RSPs or other accumulated savings into steady retirement income, the choices primarily come down to transferring funds into a RIF, or purchasing an annuity. Both can provide a reliable source of income for your retirement years, but there are important differences between the two. We’ve previously looked at … read more

Will rising healthcare costs put your retirement at risk?

January 4, 2016

You’ve diligently saved for the day when you can finally leave the daily grind behind. You’ve crunched the numbers, and are on track to have the funds you figure you’ll need to afford the retirement you’ve been promising yourself your whole working life. Good job. But are you sure you haven’t missed something critical in your … read more

Capital gains and your principal residence

December 15, 2015

Like most homeowners, you likely chose your particular house based on a desire for certain features, such as a two-car garage or backyard pool, as well as the more practical issues of price and location. Sure, you hoped and even expected that the property would increase in value over time. But few actually base their … read more

Ottawa to change mortgage down payments in new year

December 14, 2015

On Friday, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that Ottawa intends to increase the minimum down payment requirement for some new home purchases early in the new year. In order to qualify for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) mortgage insurance, as of February 15, 2016, down payment requirements will increase from 5% to 10% for the … read more

Finance Minister Bill Morneau confirms TFSA roll back

December 8, 2015

There was no mention of reducing the annual TFSA contribution in last Friday’s throne speech, however Finance Minister Bill Morneau confirmed the following Monday (December 7) that the $10,000 annual contribution limit would be rolled back to $5,500. In an interview with CBC Newsworld on Monday morning, Morneau stated that the $10,000 limit would remain … read more

Enhanced border tracking helps IRS target Canadian snowbirds

Enhanced border tracking helps IRS target Canadian snowbirds
November 26, 2015

If you’re one of the thousands of Canadians who spend long stretches of time in the U.S. each year, you need to keep the number 183 in mind. Here’s why. In 2011, Canada and the U.S. agreed to the Perimeter Security Pact, which ties together the entry and exit data of the two countries. This … read more

Five things you need to know about RIFs

November 9, 2015

For every Canadian with a registered Retirement Savings Plan (RSP), an important event looms on the horizon – converting your RSP into a retirement income source. If not done earlier, you’ll be forced to convert your RSP by December 31 of the year you turn 71. At this point, you’re probably asking two questions: “what … read more

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