Oaken Blog

Welcome to the Oaken Blog!

Will Canada join the negative interest rate club?

Negative Interest Rates in Canada
April 11, 2016

In discussing its recent decision to hold the benchmark lending rate steady at 0.5 percent, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz did not rule out the possibility of implementing a negative interest rate if the economy doesn’t show increased strength in the coming months. While Canada has never adopted a negative interest rate before, the … read more

2016 federal budget highlights

March 23, 2016

The 2016 federal budget released on Tuesday afternoon (March 22) introduced a number of changes, but little that would be considered a shocker. Billed as the “infrastructure” budget, $120 billion over the next ten years was committed to public transit, waste management and social housing. Even the projected deficit coming in at $29.4 billion was … read more

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