November 24, 2017

Preparing to Take Assets Out of RRSP

Early in the year, we talked about taking time to think and analyze the possibilities surrounding future withdrawals from our investment accounts. In the initial stage, our reflection concentrated on questions like how? And how much? At this point, we will sadly report that our efforts have not significantly paid off. We have not demystified the 4% rule yet. Neither did we develop or stumble upon a better alternative.

All that analysis still eventually oriented us towards the when?

Too Much RRSP May Equal Too Much Tax

As a result, we recently discovered our RRSP value may be too high and are now considering withdrawing money from it sooner than expected. In that context, it looks like we will deregister an important portion of our RRSPs to avoid future tax problems. Essentially, we discovered that too much money in our RRSPs may result in paying a lot more tax later in life or having a big tax bill attached to our heritage, mostly destined to our lovely daughter.

We will admit having too much money is a good problem to have. But it’s important to start taking measures now to possibly avoid wasting an important chunk of it later. With retrospect, investing more in TFSAs instead of RRSPs would have been a better choice, from a fiscal standpoint at least. Fortunately, it’s not too late for some type of gradual rebalancing.

Our RRSPs grew up faster with larger contributions and higher returns than projected. In that regard, part of the credit can be attributed to our successful DIY investing approach.

Changes in our pension plan conditions also greatly impact our future financial situation. Unfortunately, planning for an early retirement kind of goes against the grain. Consequently, we made very conservative assumptions during the last round of negotiations as initial talks amputated pension benefits by almost half for early retirees like us.  

The final agreement was better or less bad than anticipated, we will only lose about 10% of our retirement payouts. Again, this will probably end up generating additional taxable income later.

With all those factors combined, the perspective of paying more tax during retirement than in active life unexpectedly becomes very probable.

As an example, you can see from the Leaving Money in RRSP Chart that, just a 100K$ portion accumulated in your RRSP today, at 45, could generate a nasty tax bill of more than a million bucks 40 years down the road. RRSPs can be a great tool to avoid paying taxes now as it differs your fiscal obligation. But if your ultimate tax rate is high like in this example at 50%, you might end up paying a big chunk of that deferred tax back.

Now that we know we are going to take money or stocks out of our RRSPs, it’s time to explore related technicalities.

Gradual Transfer to Tax-Friendly TFSA

Let’s briefly get back to how much? Projecting income and corresponding tax levels over an extended period is far from exact science. You can still have a general idea of fiscal implications and take actions that should improve the situation.

November 12, 2017

Portfolio Update November 2017

Once again, it’s time for another update of our DIY Portfolio. As usual, our following update can be expected in about 12 weeks, in February 2018.

Meanwhile, you can have a look at previous portfolio updates here:

The weak US dollar is still hurting our DIY Portfolio a bit, but the bleeding at least stopped in early September and we have seen signs of a meaningful turnaround since. As we talked about before, we can still expect more interest rate hikes from the Bank of Canada that should put additional pressure on the relative value of US vs CAN dollar.

November 09, 2017

Wacky Golf Fact (Revisited) – Getting Lost in a Bunker

The Wacky Golf Fact Series was originally posted in 2016.

Our initial plan was to add new articles to this fun series but the Rules Modernization proposed by the golf authorities caught us of guard.

Even though these new rules won't be in effect till January 1st 2019, they still propose major changes and will completely revolutionize they way we play golf and enforce the rules. Don't get us wrong, we welcome these changes and they should be great for golf! We are just not ready to talk and write about them yet. 

So you will note that our article still refers to the actual and soon to be thing-of-the-past golf rules.

This article was originally posted on December 18, 2016

Everyone has heard about getting lost in the desert. In some countries, it’s even considered a common occurrence, especially when a violent sand storm is raging.

But have your ever heard about getting lost in a bunker (or on the beach as some say)? Not in a military bunker but rather a golf bunker a.k.a. a good old sand trap!

Many clumsy or impatient golfers lose a lot of strokes in them...but actually losing your ball in a bunker is rare.

Beware these special bunkers that seem to act like quicksand and swallow your ball.

November 03, 2017

Housekeeping The 12-Minute Way (Revisited)

The 12-Minute Series was originally posted in 2012.

We’ve decided to republish it integrally because we believe it can still help as everyone aspires to make things better.

Let’s hope it stirs up the discussion and stimulates you to change the world 12-Minute at a time!

This article was originally posted on April 12, 2012

Living in a clean environment can contribute to your well-being and happiness but proper housekeeping takes time.

So, here are some 12-Minute Ideas to keep your house neat and tidy. Hope this helps make your home more peaceful, relaxing and inspiring.