Introducing the new Oaken Blog!
We all know the importance of financial literacy. Understanding the basic principles and terminology of financial planning is essential to a sound financial future. And it’s up to each one of us to become financially literate.
November is Financial Literacy Month
Here at Oaken, we understand that we have a part to play in this too. That’s why we’re promoting Financial Literacy Month in Canada, which occurs each November and is now in its 5th year. It’s a good time to get acquainted (or re-acquainted!) with the basics of personal finance, and to encourage your friends, kids and grandkids to do the same. To help you get started, visit the federal government’s web page dedicated to FLM.
We’re keeping you informed all year round
To coincide with Financial Literacy Month, we’re also taking this opportunity to launch our brand new Oaken Blog. Through several postings every month throughout the year, our aim is to educate, inspire and engage you with great insights and tips on saving, as well as other related topics. It’s a great way for you or your family members to keep up to speed with financial knowledge, and another way for us to interact with our readers too. So we encourage you to leave any comments or questions you may have relating to each article. The Oaken Blog will be available on our website, but we’ll also be posting links to the individual topics here in Oaken Update every month.
What to expect from a new majority government
The election of the Liberal Party to a majority government on October 19 means change is coming to Ottawa, and to your personal finances. Among the personal finance policies that the Liberals announced during the campaign, here are a few that we may be hearing about over the coming months:
TFSA contribution limit
The previous TFSA contribution limit was $5,500 per year, and then it was raised to $10,000. Now we expect it will almost certainly be going back down to $5,500. You’re still allowed to contribute $10,000 in 2015—and you can carry any unused room over into future years—but it’s probably best to plan on a $5,500 limit again starting in 2016.
Under the Liberals, taxes are changing. Income between $45,000 and $89,000 will likely be taxed at 20.5%—a drop of 1.5 percentage points. Income over $200,000, however, is expected to be taxed at 33%—an increase of four percentage points over the previous maximum rate of 29%.
Income splitting and child benefits
Income splitting within families will likely be phased out, although it is expected that pensioners will still be able to shift income from one spouse to another for tax purposes. Meanwhile, the new Canada Child Benefit may only be available to families earning less than $150,000 a year.
Old Age Security
The age for collecting Old Age Security cheques is expected to be rolled back to 65, from the current threshold of 67.
Update on RIF withdrawal changes
As we noted in previous Oaken Updates, the new rules for RIF withdrawals introduced in April change the math for retirees. Where the minimum withdrawal rate at the age of 71 once began at 7.38%, it’s now at 5.28% (with the percentage rising every year thereafter).
The expanded minimum withdrawal table for RIF holders can now be found on the main RIF page of our website. This table sets out the exact percentages you’ll be required to withdraw for every year, starting from the age of 60, to give you a chance to plan ahead.
We will automatically adjust your withdrawals to align with these new minimums starting in January 2016, so you don’t have to take any action. However, if you do wish to withdraw an amount that is higher than the required minimum, please contact us and we’ll be happy to arrange that for you.
Out and about this weekend
Every chance we get to meet with our customers and friends is a special occasion for us, and later this week we’ll have two!
On Friday and Saturday (October 30 and 31) we’ll be at the World MoneyShow in Toronto. Taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, this show is the largest self-directed investor and active-trader conference in the country. It’s a great opportunity to brush up on your financial knowledge—with panel sessions, talks from investment pros, and the chance to meet face-to-face with some of the biggest names in personal finance. Best of all, it’s free! For more information and to register, simply click here and follow the links.
If you can’t make it to the Convention Centre, you may still be able to catch us at the Toronto ZoomerShow. Happening this coming Saturday and Sunday (October 31 and November 1) at Exhibition Place, the ZoomerShow is a lifestyle expo that features live entertainment, guest speakers and information about everything from retirement planning to personal health. Click here for more information about the show, and you can also click here to book your free tickets!
We’ll be on hand at both events as always, and look forward to chatting with as many of you as possible. Not to mention, some lucky visitor to our booth at either show will also become the winner of a $500 GIC!
Congrats to our recent winners
It’s always a great pleasure when we announce the winners of our $500 GIC draws, so we’re doubly happy to announce the latest two. Cliff Stuber from Calgary won our draw at the Kerby Expo 2015 in Calgary last month, which means he now has a $500 GIC courtesy of Oaken. And Ken Moy from Toronto is our in-store winner for July-September 2015, so Ken also wins a $500 Oaken GIC. A warm congratulations to them both!
Remember that aside from the shows we attend, we also hold a draw every quarter for our loyal customers and friends who come and visit us—simply drop by one of our stores and fill out an entry form.
And finally, a few prizes for all
When it comes to reading, there’s no need to enter one of our draws—everyone’s a winner! As we do every month, we’re providing you with links to some of our favourite recent items below.