MY BLOG
aliko-aapayrollservices.com - Small businessess from 1 to 80 employees outsource your payroll management to us and let us worry about your payroll processing.
RSS Follow Become a Fan

Delivered by FeedBurner


Recent Posts

Tax changes to expect when you’re expecting
2016 Tax Tips for 2015 Filing Year
From Proprietorship to Corporation - When is the Best Time to Incorporate?
Tax Specialists Brief your Clients About CRA Fraud And E-Mail Scams
Bank of Canada cuts rates again

Most Popular Posts

Help your teenager build credit responsibly
Being an Executor of an Estate
Anti-Aging
Student Line of Credit
Principal Residence Exemption

Categories

aliko nutrition store- isotonix
aliko payroll services
canada revenue news and videos
canadian news
CPP ,OAS RRIF ANNUITY
Cross border Tax
Disability awareness and Benefits for disabled
estate planning
FINANCIAL LITERACY
HEALTH & NUTRITION
Home Car Insurance
Income Splitting Strategies in Retirement
INVESTING
kids and money -set your children up for financial success
life insurance
on line safety tips
online safety tips
PAYROLL
Real Estate - Investments / Retirement
RETIRE HAPPY BLOG
Retirement planning
SAVE YOUR MONEY
Save your money
SERVICE CANADA NEWS
small business planning
Tax Information for Students
tax news
tax planning
tax tips.ca
Tech news
TFSA

Archives

January 2016
July 2015
May 2015
April 2015
February 2015
December 2014
November 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013

powered by

MY BLOG

September 2013

Are Canadians using RRSPs properly?

Are Canadians using RRSPs properly?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Are Canadians using RRSPs properly?
 
 
Posted by Jim Yih
Recently I’ve read a bunch of stats and articles on RRSP usage in Canada, which makes me wonder if Canadians are using RRSPs properly.  I also see this in my financial education workshops where I am surprised at the number of people who don’t really understand the basics of how the RRSPs work and how to use them properly for retirement planning.
How many people are buying RRSPs?
According to The Bank of Montreal’s annual report on Registered Retirement Savings Plan intentions, 67% of Canadians have an RRSP (which is up from 61% in the previous year’s study).
The BMO study also reports that 75% of Canadians plan to contribute to RRSPs this year.  Last year’s average contribution was $4,670.
Unused contribution room
Although most Canadians contribute to a RRSP, very few contribute to the maximum.  Only one third of respondents said they “usually” or “always” contribute to the maximum.  As a result there is about $500 billion of unused contribution room in Canada.
Is this a problem?  In terms of the unused RRSP contribution room, it may be a problem for some but it also may not be a problem for others.  I have met with lots of people that have unused RRSP contribution room that should not be using the room up.  Maybe they are in a low income tax bracket.  Maybe they have a really strong defined benefit pension plan or maybe they have ‘enough’ RRSPs already to provide for their retirement income.
Related article:  When not to buy RRSPs
For others, high unused RRSP contribution room is simply a function of poor savings habits and lack of planning.  For many Canadians, RRSPs remain the best way to save for retirement.  These people should develop a strategy to start saving for the future and start using some of their RRSP contribution room.
If you think about it, the whole point of RRSPs is to help save for RETIREMENT.  From a tax perspective, the hope is that your marginal tax rate at the time of contribution is greater than your marginal tax rate at the time of withdrawal.  If that is the case, then you will be a clear winner with RRSPs.
Related article:  The proper use of RRSPs
Withdrawing money from RRSPs
In another recent study by Scotia Bank, more Canadians are withdrawing money from their RRSPs prior to retirement.  According to the study, 36% of RRSP holders reported taking money out of their RRSPs this year.
Tax expert Jamie Golumbek wrote a paper comparing TFSAs to RRSPs in 2011.   In this paper, Golumbek cites data from a CRA study in 2008 showing that 1.9 million Canadians withdrew $9.3 billion from their RRSPs.  Even more alarming was that 80% of these withdrawals were made by individuals below age 60. This suggests that RRSP funds are being used well before normal retirement age to supplement income.
According to a number of other studies by Stats Can, for interpret that out of every 5 dollars contributed to RRSPs, 1 to 2 dollars comes out before retirement. Key life events appear to be highly correlated to withdrawals:
  1. Death of a spouse
  2. Divorce
  3. Loss of job
  4. Birth of a child
  5. Buying a house
  6. Returning to school
Is this a problem?  For some people, withdrawing money from RRSPs prior to retirement may be necessary like for a first time home buyers withdrawal or when you lose a job and need money.
However, for many people withdrawing RRSPs while working can be a significant problem especially if it’s used for consumption, holidays or even to pay down debt.
Here’s some of the reasons Canadians withdrew money from RRSPs according to the same Scotia Bank study:
  • Buy a first home – 40%
  • Pay down debt – 16%
  • Convert to a RRIF – 15%
  • Cover day-to-day expenses – 14%
  • Home renovations – 8%
  • Vacations – 6%
  • Education – 4%
  • Medical – 3%
The bottom line is withdrawing money from RRSPs should be done very carefully and with some proper planning.
Have Tax Free Savings Accounts replaced RRSPs?
 
In 2009, the government introduced the new Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) and there are more and more articles that suggest the RRSPs are now obsolete because of the TFSA.  That could not be further from the truth.
As great as the TFSA is, it will not replace the RRSP as a way to save for retirement.  http://retirehappyblog.ca/tax-free-savings-accounts-tfsas-won-t/ There is room for both the TFSA and the RRSP and for most Canadians, the best solution is to use both.
My five cents
RRSPs are still and excellent savings vehicle when used properly under the right circumstances.  The stats on withdrawals are a little alarming to me but mistakes can be prevented with a little knowledge and planning.  For more information on RRSPs, visit ONLINE GUIDE FOR RRSPs.
 
 
 
 
 

Isotonix™ Advanced B-Complex

Isotonix™ Advanced B-Complex
 
 
Isotonix™ Advanced B-Complex
 
 
 
 
What Makes Isotonix™ Advanced B-Complex Unique?
Isotonix™ Advanced B-complex is a mixture of the eight essential B-vitamins, such as Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pyridoxine (B6), Pantothenic Acid (B5), Folic Acid (B8), Cyanocobalamin (B12) and Biotin. Most of the B-vitamins play a critical role as cofactors in cellular energy metabolism. B-vitamins are important for hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body.
 
 
Vitamin deficiency can lead to fatigue and lethargy, which is why B-complex supplements are excellent energy boosters. Vitamin B12 is not synthesized from plants or animals, and the process of absorbing B12 is very complex. Because of this complexity, B12 absorption may be compromised, potentially leading to B12 deficiency. Thus, absorbability is a key factor in choosing B12 supplementation.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Isotonix Advanced B-Complexis an isotonic-capable combination of the essential B vitamins with magnesium and potassium, which work synergistically to promote a myriad of health benefits and biological processes in the body. Isotonix B-Complex works to promote healthy red blood cell formation, increase energy, promote cardiovascular health and help maintain healthy levels of serotonin. B vitamins are necessary for proper functioning of the nervous system, bone marrow and muscle function. Vitamin B12 and folic acid facilitate steps required for cell division. Vitamin B5 is involved in the Krebs cycle of energy production and is needed to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine as well as producing, transporting, and releasing energy from fats. Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and biotin participate in different aspects of energy production. The large amount of vitamin B12 provided in the Isotonix formula may be capable of forcing small amounts across the membranes of the intestines. This vitamin is carried into the body by forming a complex with Intrinsic Factor, a stomach derived protein. It enters the body bound to proteins, requiring an acidic pH level and proper pancreatic release of proteolytic enzymes. Because many vegetarian diets are lacking in the essential B-vitamins, Isotonix B-Complex meets the need for B-vitamins for vegetarians.
Isotonic, which means “same pressure,” bears the same chemical resemblance of the body’s blood, plasma and tears. All fluids in the body have a certain concentration, referred to as osmotic pressure. The body’s common osmotic pressure, which is isotonic, allows a consistent maintenance of body tissues. In order for a substance to be absorbed and used in the body’s metabolism, it must be transported in an isotonic state.
Isotonix dietary supplements are delivered in an isotonic solution. This means that the body has less work to do to in obtaining great absorption. The isotonic state of the suspension allows nutrients to pass directly into the small intestine and be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. With Isotonix products, little nutritive value is lost, making the absorption of nutrients highly efficient while delivering maximum results.
 
 
Primary Benefits of Isotonix™ Advanced B-Complex:
·         Helps in the production of red blood cells
·         Aids in tissue formation, and helps prevent neural tube defects when taken prior to becoming pregnant and during early pregnancy
·         Contributes to the development and maintenance of bones and teeth, and the maintenance of proper muscle function 
·         Helps the body to metabolize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to enhance energy production and support cardiovascular health
 
 
 
 
Key Ingredients Found in Isotonix™ Advanced B-Complex:
Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)
Vitamin B12, a bacterial product is naturally found in organ meats, liver, beef, pork, eggs, whole milk, cheese, whole wheat bread and fish. B12 can only be found in animal products, with small amounts derived from the fermented soy products miso and peanuts. It is essential that vegetarians consume a vitamin B12 supplement to maintain optimal health. Vitamin B12, when ingested, is stored in the liver and other tissues for later use. The synthetic form of B12, cyanocobalamin, is not derived from either plants or animals, and is intrinsic in the maintenance of normal functioning body cells, especially those of the nervous system (protecting the sheaths of nerve cells), bone marrow and intestinal tract. These tissues are first to exhibit signs of B12 depletion.  Vitamin B12 itself is responsible for maintaining optimum energy levels, as it plays a vital role in the Krebs energy cycle.
Folate (Folic Acid) 
Folic acid is mainly found in fruits and vegetables. Dark, leafy greens, oranges, orange juice, beans and peas are the best sources, as well as Brewer’s yeast, which supply additional B vitamins. Folic acid plays a key role by boosting the benefits of B12 supplementation. These two B vitamins join forces and work together in maintaining normal red blood cells. Folic acid assists in the normal utilization of amino acids and proteins, as well as supporting the construction of the material for DNA and RNA synthesis. Scientific studies have found that when working in tandem with folic acid, B12 is capable of promoting normal homocysteine levels. This works toward supporting a healthy cardiovascular and nervous system.
Riboflavin 5-Phosphate (Vitamin B2)
Vitamin B2 is a found in liver, dairy products, dark green vegetables and some types of seafood. Vitamin B2 serves as a co-enzyme, working with other B vitamins. It promotes healthy red blood cell formation, supports the nervous system and normal human growth. It supports collagen growth and helps regulate thyroid activity. Vitamin B2 plays a crucial role in turning food into energy as a part of the electron transport chain, driving cellular energy on the micro-level. Riboflavin can be useful for pregnant or lactating women, as well as athletes due to their higher caloric needs. Vitamin B2 aids in the breakdown of fats, while functioning as a cofactor or helper in activating B6 and folic acid. Vitamin B2 is water-soluble and cannot be stored by the body except in insignificant amounts. It must be replenished daily.
Pyridoxine HCl (Vitamin B6)
Poultry, fish, whole grains and bananas are the main dietary sources of Vitamin B6. B6 is a co-factor required for protein and amino acid metabolism, and helps maintain proper fluid balance. It also assists in the maintenance of healthy red and white blood cells.  B6 is required for hemoglobin synthesis. Vitamin B6 is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters in the brain and peripheral nerve cells, and it supports nerve conduction. Some athletic supplements include vitamin B6 because it aids in the conversion of glycogen to glucose for energy in muscle tissue. Vitamin B6, when taken with folic acid, has been shown to help maintain normal plasma levels of homocysteine, which promotes optimal cardiovascular health. Vitamin B6 should be administered as a part of a complex of other B-vitamins for best results.
Magnesium (Carbonate) 
Foods rich in magnesium include unpolished grains, nuts and green vegetables. Green, leafy vegetables are potent sources of magnesium because of their chlorophyll content. Meats, starches, milk, refined and processed foods contain low amounts of magnesium.
Magnesium is a component of the mineralized part of bone and is necessary for the metabolism of potassium and calcium in adults. It helps maintain normal levels of potassium, phosphorus, calcium, adrenaline and insulin. It is also important for transporting calcium inside the cell for utilization. Magnesium plays a key role in the functioning of muscle and nervous tissue, and the synthesis of all proteins, nucleic acids, nucleotides, cyclic adenosine monophosphate, lipids and carbohydrates.
Magnesium is required for energy release, regulation of the body temperature, proper nerve function and regulating metabolism. Importantly, magnesium is also required by the body to build healthy bones, teeth and normal muscle development. It works together with calcium and vitamin D to help keep bones strong. Magnesium, when combined with calcium, helps support the heart muscles in maintaining a regular heartbeat and promoting normal blood pressure. 
Potassium (Bicarbonate)
Potassium is an electrolyte stored in the muscles. Foods rich in potassium include bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, avocado, raw spinach, cabbage and celery. Potassium is an essential macromineral that helps maintain fluid balance in the body. It also plays a role in a wide variety of biochemical and physiological processes. Among other things, potassium is important in the transmission of nerve impulses, the contraction of cardiac, skeletal and smooth muscle, the synthesis of nucleic acids, and the maintenance of intracellular tonicity.
It also promotes glycogen and protein synthesis. Potassium is an electrolyte that promotes normal heartbeat. Potassium is important in releasing energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates during metabolism. Potassium helps regulate water balance, aids in recovery from exercise and helps with the elimination of wastes. Sodium and potassium are two of the most important ions in maintaining the homeostatic equilibrium of the body fluids.
Thiamin HCl (Vitamin B1)
Thiamin plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism and nerve function. Thiamin is required for a healthy nervous system and assists in the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). It is also used in the manufacture of hydrochloric acid.
D-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5)
Pantothenic acid (B5) is the transfer agent for choline to acetylcholine, which aids in proper neurotransmitter activity in the brain. Pantothenic acid is also known as the anti-stress vitamin. It also plays very important role in the secretion of hormones.
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
Niacin is a water-soluble vitamin necessary for many aspects of health, growth and reproduction. It is part of the vitamin B complex. Niacin assists in the functioning of the digestive system, skin and nerves. It is also important for the conversion of food to energy. Niacin (also known as vitamin B-3) is found in dairy products, poultry, fish, lean meats, nuts, eggs, legumes, and enriched breads and cereals.
Biotin (Vitamin B7)
Biotin can be found in food sources such as egg yolks, peanuts, beef liver, milk (10 mcg/cup), cereals, almonds and Brewer’s yeast. Biotin is used in healthy cell growth, the production of fatty acids, metabolism of fats and amino acids. It plays a role in the Citric acid cycle, the process in which biochemical energy is generated during aerobic respiration. Biotin not only assists in various metabolic chemical conversions but also helps to transfer carbon dioxide.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Frequently Asked Questions about Isotonix™ Advanced B-Complex:
What is Isotonix™ Advanced B-Complex?
Isotonix Advanced B-Complex is a blend of all B-vitamins with potassium and biotin. Because of the isotonic state of this blend, one can be sure that the maximum amounts of nutrients are reaching their target areas with utmost efficiency. An isotonic solution is one that actually matches the body’s own osmolarity and is easily absorbed into one’s system. Other isotonic solutions of the body include tears, plasma and mother’s milk. These all-star B-vitamins join in the proper amounts for maximal utilization and absorption. B12 and the other-B vitamins act as members of a team. When taken all together, B12 acts as a key player in the production of energy, cell maintenance and promotion of normal nervous system functioning. Folic acid is also present, playing an integral role in aiding B12 in the healthy utilization of amino acids and proteins, as well as DNA and RNA synthesis.
What is the source of the vitamin B12 in our Isotonix Advanced B-Complex?
Vitamin B-12 is a bacterial product, not synthesized by plants or animals. We get it by taking supplements or by eating eggs or meats. Vegetarians are recommended to take a B vitamin dietary supplement.
Can a person who lacks Intrinsic Factor and has to take B-12 shots get benefits from taking Isotonix B-Complex?
No. Vitamin B-12 requires intrinsic factor, a B-12 binding protein synthesized in stomach parietal cells for proper absorption.
Why are B-vitamins so important in the aging process?
The ability to absorb B-vitamins naturally decreases with age, and various indicators of cognitive impairment are associated with reduced B-vitamin levels. The elderly in general suffer from a reduction in sense of taste, and thus appetite, and may use many acid-reducing medicines that predispose them to B12 deficiency. According to Robert M. Russell of the U.S. RDA’s Human Nutrition Center on Aging at Tufts University, vitamin B12 is probably the single most important nutrient adversely affected by aging. Vitamin B12 is at once an incredibly difficult nutrient to assimilate and digest, as well as one of the most important vitamins for a broad range of bodily functions, including optimal functioning of the nervous system, normal DNA and RNA synthesis, optimal energy production and healthy blood integrity.
I am young and healthy. Why should I take Isotonix Advanced B-Complex?
Health experts estimate that one in five adults is deficient in one of the B-vitamins. Absorption of vitamin B12 is a complex process, which can lead to B12 deficiency. Keep in mind that even in a healthy person’s gastrointestinal tract, there are always other proteins and vitamins competing for absorption alongside vitamin B12, which is so large and complex that it very often must struggle for entrance into the bloodstream. Specifically at risk for deficiency are vegetarians, heavy drinkers, those who take a lot of prescription or over-the-counter drugs, those with digestive disorders, pernicious anemia, recipients of gastric bypass surgery and those with poor diets. A vitamin B-complex is great for athletes, especially endurance athletes who need a natural boost of energy before a workout, due to its beneficial effects promoting the oxygenation of red blood cells.
Is it toxic to take too much vitamin B12?
Studies have found no confirmed reports of toxic side effects from heightened dosages of vitamin B12. However, you should only take Isotonix Advanced B-Complex as directed on the bottle.
Are there any warnings or contraindications for Isotonix Advanced B-Complex?
No. Isotonix Advanced B-Complex is a vegetarian product and contains no wheat, gluten, soy, yeast, artificial flavor, starch, salt, preservatives or milk.
How do I take Isotonix Advanced B-Complex?
Pour one (1) level bottle capful of powder into the overcap. Add water to the line on the overcap (60 ml/2 fl. oz.). Best when taken on an empty stomach. This product is isotonic only if the specified amounts of powder and water are used.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit

Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit
 
 
 
 
Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Price Can$163.24|Price Can$155.08
 
 
What Makes the Isotonix Daily Essentials Kit Unique? Theres nothing more important than taking care of yourself on a daily basis. With the Isotonix Daily Essentials Kit, you can be sure that youre giving your body the essential vitamins, minerals..
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Product Info
Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit
What Makes the Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit Unique?
There’s nothing more important than taking care of yourself on a daily basis. With the Isotonix Daily Essentials Kit, you can be sure that you’re giving your body the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs, thanks to four essential supplements – Isotonix OPC-3®, Isotonix Multivitamin, Isotonix Advanced B-Complex and Isotonix Calcium Plus – to promote long-term health and optimal nutrition.

Plus, by purchasing the Isotonix Daily Essentials Kit instead of buying these products individually, you save nearly 31%!

Caring for your general health starts with Isotonix OPC-3, a powerful antioxidant that provides for the maintenance of good health. Isotonix OPC-3 helps the body function at its peak by combating free radicals throughout your body.

Next, Isotonix Multivitamin contains essential vitamins and minerals to complement your diet. With today’s fast-paced lifestyles, it is important to ensure the body is getting the fuel it needs. Isotonix Multivitamin supplements dietary deficiencies and helps maintain normal metabolic functioning.
http://ca.shop.com/alikoshoppingmall/healthnutrition-a+898.xhtml

To provide the energy you need to function throughout the day, this kit includes Isotonix Advanced B-Complex. B-vitamin deficiency can lead to fatigue and lethargy, which is why B-complex supplements are excellent energy boosters and anti-stress formulas.

Finally, Isotonix Calcium Plus delivers a potent package of calcium and complementary nutrients to keep your bones strong. While calcium supplements in tablet form can be difficult for the body to absorb, the unique Isotonix delivery system and the inclusion of beneficial vitamins and minerals – including vitamin D – make Isotonix Calcium Plus more readily available and easily absorbed by the body.

With this 90 day kit, you will not only receive the nutritional support you need to lay a solid foundation to start every day, but you also save money.
 
 
 
 

Primary Benefits of Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit:  
·         Great savings! You save nearly 31% - a $70.45 value! 
·         Essential vitamin and mineral supplementation
·         Supports cardiovascular health
·         Reduce tiredness and fatigue by enhancing energy production
·         Helps normal functioning of muscles, strong bones and teeth
·         Helps maintain immunity and antioxidant protection 
·         Frequently Asked Questions about the Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit:
·         Can the Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit products be taken at the same time? 
Yes. The Isotonix Daily Essentials Health Kit products can safely be taken at the same time, provided that one follows the recommended serving size for each product.
·         Why are Isotonix® supplements better than standard supplements?
Isotonix® formulas are more effective than standard supplement formulas because they offer the best way to get the maximum delivery of vitamins and minerals into the bloodstream. Isotonix formulas are also the fastest and most effective way to receive vitamins, minerals and nutrients. The stomach has very little work to do because the pH and tonicity are carefully designed to allow the stomach to quickly release all the nutrients into the small intestine. With the Isotonix formulas, this process takes about five minutes, where a standard vitamin tablet can take up to four hours.

What sets Isotonix® OPC-3 apart from other bioflavonoid products?
Isotonix® OPC-3 offers scientifically-supported oligomeric proanthocyanidins, or OPCs, found to be the most powerful antioxidants for human health. This selection of Pycnogenol®*, red wine extract and grape seed extract, is unique to Isotonix OPC-3, as is the Isotonix delivery system, which enables rapid and highly efficient absorption of the OPCs. These potent nutrients, in combination with the highly effective delivery system, makes OPC-3 a powerful free radical scavenging product.      
·         Why do I need to take a multivitamin?
A good quality vitamin and mineral supplement creates a sound micronutrient foundation to accompany a balanced diet. Vitamins and minerals help to support a healthy immune system, promote the conversion of food into energy, support a healthy cardiovascular system, support strong bones, promote mental clarity, maintain normal metabolic functioning, promote healthy growth and repair of tissues, help maintain normal blood pressure, and help maintain water and electrolyte balance in the body.
 
 
 
 
·         Why should I take calcium?
According to the Surgeon General, taking a calcium supplement daily is key to preventing and treating calcium deficiency, and to helping reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Clinical studies indicate that women and many aging men are likely to become susceptible to osteoporosis. 
 
 
 
 


Everyone needs calcium. Practically no one ingests enough calcium in their daily diet. Besides being helpful in supporting and maintaining bone integrity, calcium serves a dynamic role as a mineral. It's very important in supporting the activity of many bodily enzymes and maintaining proper fluid balance. Isotonix Calcium Plus also promotes the normal contraction of skeletal and muscle.  
·         Are there any warnings or contraindications for the products in the Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit?
Isotonix® OPC-3, Isotonix Multivitamin, Isotonix Advanced B-Complex and Isotonix Calcium Plus are vegetarian products, and contain no wheat, gluten, soy, yeast, artificial flavor, starch, salt, preservatives or milk.
·         If you are currently using any prescription drugs, have ongoing medical condition, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should consult your healthcare provider before using these product.
 
 
 
 
 

9 beliefs of remarkably successful people

9 beliefs of remarkably successful people
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
9 beliefs of remarkably successful people
 
 
 
 
 
 
1. Time doesn't fill me. I fill time.
Deadlines and time frames establish parameters, but typically not in a good way. The average person who is given two weeks to complete a task will instinctively adjust his effort so it actually takes two weeks.
Forget deadlines, at least as a way to manage your activity. Tasks should only take as long as they need to take. Do everything as quickly and effectively as you can. Then use your "free" time to get other things done just as quickly and effectively.
Average people allow time to impose its will on them; remarkable people impose their will on their time.
2. The people around me are the people I chose.
Some of your employees drive you nuts. Some of your customers are obnoxious. Some of your friends are selfish, all-about-me jerks.
You chose them. If the people around you make you unhappy it's not their fault. It's your fault. They're in your professional or personal life because you drew them to you--and you let them remain.
Think about the type of people you want to work with. Think about the types of customers you would enjoy serving. Think about the friends you want to have.
Then change what you do so you can start attracting those people. Hardworking people want to work with hardworking people. Kind people like to associate with kind people. Remarkable employees want to work for remarkable bosses.
Successful people are naturally drawn to successful people.
3. I have never paid my dues.
Dues aren't paid, past tense. Dues get paid, each and every day. The only real measure of your value is the tangible contribution you make on a daily basis.
No matter what you've done or accomplished in the past, you're never too good to roll up your sleeves, get dirty, and do the grunt work.  No job is ever too menial, no task ever too unskilled or boring.
Remarkably successful people never feel entitled--except to the fruits of their labor.
4. Experience is irrelevant. Accomplishments are everything.
You have "10 years in the Web design business." Whoopee. I don't care how long you've been doing what you do. Years of service indicate nothing; you could be the worst 10-year programmer in the world.
I care about what you've done: how many sites you've created, how many back-end systems you've installed, how many customer-specific applications you've developed (and what kind)... all that matters is what you've done.
Successful people don't need to describe themselves using hyperbolic adjectives like passionate, innovative, driven, etc. They can just describe, hopefully in a humble way, what they've done.
5. Failure is something I accomplish; it doesn't just happen to me.
Ask people why they have been successful. Their answers will be filled with personal pronouns: I, me, and the sometimes too occasional we.
Ask them why they failed. Most will revert to childhood and instinctively distance themselves, like the kid who says, "My toy got broken..." instead of, "I broke my toy."
They'll say the economy tanked. They'll say the market wasn't ready. They'll say their suppliers couldn't keep up.
They'll say it was someone or something else.
And by distancing themselves, they don't learn from their failures.
Occasionally something completely outside your control will cause you to fail. Most of the time, though, it's you. And that's okay. Every successful person has failed. Numerous times. Most of them have failed a lot more often than you. That's why they're successful now.
Embrace every failure: Own it, learn from it, and take full responsibility for making sure that next time, things will turn out differently.
6. Volunteers always win.
Whenever you raise your hand you wind up being asked to do more.
That's great. Doing more is an opportunity: to learn, to impress, to gain skills, to build new relationships--to do something more than you would otherwise been able to do.
Success is based on action. The more you volunteer, the more you get to act. Successful people step forward to create opportunities.
Remarkably successful people sprint forward.
7. As long as I'm paid well, it's all good.
Specialization is good. Focus is good. Finding a niche is good.
Generating revenue is great.
Anything a customer will pay you a reasonable price to do--as long as it isn't unethical, immoral, or illegal--is something you should do. Your customers want you to deliver outside your normal territory? If they'll pay you for it, fine. They want you to add services you don't normally include? If they'll pay you for it, fine. The customer wants you to perform some relatively manual labor and you're a high-tech shop? Shut up, roll 'em up, do the work, and get paid.
Only do what you want to do and you might build an okay business. Be willing to do what customers want you to do and you can build a successful business.
Be willing to do even more and you can build a remarkable business.
And speaking of customers...
8. People who pay me always have the right to tell me what to do.
Get over your cocky, pretentious, I-must-be-free-to-express-my-individuality self. Be that way on your own time.
The people who pay you, whether customers or employers, earn the right to dictate what you do and how you do it--sometimes down to the last detail.
Instead of complaining, work to align what you like to do with what the people who pay you want you to do.
Then you turn issues like control and micro-management into non-issues.
9. The extra mile is a vast, unpopulated wasteland.
Everyone says they go the extra mile. Almost no one actually does. Most people who go there think, "Wait... no one else is here... why am I doing this?" and leave, never to return.
That's why the extra mile is such a lonely place.
That's also why the extra mile is a place filled with opportunities.
Be early. Stay late. Make the extra phone call. Send the extra email. Do the extra research. Help a customer unload or unpack a shipment. Don't wait to be asked; offer. Don't just tell employees what to do--show them what to do and work beside them.
Every time you do something, think of one extra thing you can do--especially if other people aren't doing that one thing.  But that's what will make you different.
And over time, that's what will make you incredibly successful.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Understanding withdrawal restrictions, suspensions and other consequences

 
 
 
 
Understanding withdrawal restrictions, suspensions and other consequences
 
 
Understanding withdrawal restrictions, suspensions and other consequences
 
 
 
 
Posted by Jim Yih
One of the key decisions that needs to be made around Group RRSP and pension plans is whether employers want to allow employees to withdraw money from the Group retirement program.
More and more, we are seeing employers who are concerned at the high number of withdrawals being taken out of Group RRSP plans.  I’ve seen one group where 70% of the money that went into the plan came out in the same year.  In my experience, plans with withdrawal restrictions operate more effectively than those without.  Here are some examples and variations of withdrawal restrictions.
No withdrawals
The first example of a withdrawal restriction is just not allow withdrawals from the plan.   In these cases, a defined contribution pension plan would be ideal because pension legislation does not allow for withdrawals from pensions while members are employed.  Even if the member terminates, members can take their money and move it into a Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA), but they are still limited to their ability to withdraw money.
The whole point of preventing employees from accessing their retirement funds prior to retirement is mainly to protect them from being their own worst enemies.
Some plans will take a middle ground and will allow some withdrawals but not all contributions.  An example would be a plan that allows members to withdraw their own contributions but not allow withdrawal of employer contributions.
Withdrawal suspension
Another example of a withdrawal restriction is to impose withdrawal suspensions.  A good example of this is where employer contributions will be suspended for a period of time if the employee makes a withdrawal from the plan.  Often the suspension is for 1 year.  The challenge with a withdrawal suspension is the tracking falls on the shoulders of the employer and typically the person that does payroll.  Sometimes the slightest consequence makes people think twice about pulling money out.
 
 
Withdrawal consequence
The last example of a withdrawal restriction is a withdrawal consequence (which is similar to a withdrawal suspension).  Let’s say you have a tiered plan where employer will give a 2% match for employees up to 3 years of service, 4% match for 3 to 10 years of service and 7% match for 10 years plus.  If the employee withdrawals money from the plan, they automatically drop to the lowest tier for 3 years.  That’s the consequence for taking money out of the plan.
My five cents
I believe that people always have good intentions but not always good discipline.  When we see plans with no withdrawal restrictions, suspensions or consequences, we tend to see higher withdrawals, which hurts the overall performance of the plan.
Far too many times, I’ve seen people take money out of their Group RRSP plan for vacations, cars, quads, renovations, paying off consumer debt and other modern day emergencies.
As a result, I believe that withdrawal restrictions are an important part of a successful Group retirement plan.
Jim Yih is a partner with Clearpoint Benefit Solutions who specializes in Group RRSPs and Pensions.  If you need help implementing a new plan or reviewing and existing group retirement plan, contact Jim through the Clearpoint Website.
 

Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit

 
 
Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit
 
 
 
Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Price Can$163.24|Price Can$155.08
 
 
What Makes the Isotonix Daily Essentials Kit Unique? Theres nothing more important than taking care of yourself on a daily basis. With the Isotonix Daily Essentials Kit, you can be sure that youre giving your body the essential vitamins, minerals..
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Product Info
Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit
What Makes the Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit Unique?
There’s nothing more important than taking care of yourself on a daily basis. With the Isotonix Daily Essentials Kit, you can be sure that you’re giving your body the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs, thanks to four essential supplements – Isotonix OPC-3®, Isotonix Multivitamin, Isotonix Advanced B-Complex and Isotonix Calcium Plus – to promote long-term health and optimal nutrition.

Plus, by purchasing the Isotonix Daily Essentials Kit instead of buying these products individually, you save nearly 31%!

Caring for your general health starts with Isotonix OPC-3, a powerful antioxidant that provides for the maintenance of good health. Isotonix OPC-3 helps the body function at its peak by combating free radicals throughout your body.

Next, Isotonix Multivitamin contains essential vitamins and minerals to complement your diet. With today’s fast-paced lifestyles, it is important to ensure the body is getting the fuel it needs. Isotonix Multivitamin supplements dietary deficiencies and helps maintain normal metabolic functioning.
http://ca.shop.com/alikoshoppingmall/healthnutrition-a+898.xhtml

To provide the energy you need to function throughout the day, this kit includes Isotonix Advanced B-Complex. B-vitamin deficiency can lead to fatigue and lethargy, which is why B-complex supplements are excellent energy boosters and anti-stress formulas.

Finally, Isotonix Calcium Plus delivers a potent package of calcium and complementary nutrients to keep your bones strong. While calcium supplements in tablet form can be difficult for the body to absorb, the unique Isotonix delivery system and the inclusion of beneficial vitamins and minerals – including vitamin D – make Isotonix Calcium Plus more readily available and easily absorbed by the body.

With this 90 day kit, you will not only receive the nutritional support you need to lay a solid foundation to start every day, but you also save money.
 
 
 
 

Primary Benefits of Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit:  
·         Great savings! You save nearly 31% - a $70.45 value! 
·         Essential vitamin and mineral supplementation
·         Supports cardiovascular health
·         Reduce tiredness and fatigue by enhancing energy production
·         Helps normal functioning of muscles, strong bones and teeth
·         Helps maintain immunity and antioxidant protection 
 
 
 
·         Frequently Asked Questions about the Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit:
 
 
·         Can the Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit products be taken at the same time? 
Yes. The Isotonix Daily Essentials Health Kit products can safely be taken at the same time, provided that one follows the recommended serving size for each product.
 
 
 
·         Why are Isotonix® supplements better than standard supplements?
 
 

Isotonix® formulas are more effective than standard supplement formulas because they offer the best way to get the maximum delivery of vitamins and minerals into the bloodstream. Isotonix formulas are also the fastest and most effective way to receive vitamins, minerals and nutrients. The stomach has very little work to do because the pH and tonicity are carefully designed to allow the stomach to quickly release all the nutrients into the small intestine. With the Isotonix formulas, this process takes about five minutes, where a standard vitamin tablet can take up to four hours.

What sets Isotonix® OPC-3 apart from other bioflavonoid products?
Isotonix® OPC-3 offers scientifically-supported oligomeric proanthocyanidins, or OPCs, found to be the most powerful antioxidants for human health. This selection of Pycnogenol®*, red wine extract and grape seed extract, is unique to Isotonix OPC-3, as is the Isotonix delivery system, which enables rapid and highly efficient absorption of the OPCs. These potent nutrients, in combination with the highly effective delivery system, makes OPC-3 a powerful free radical scavenging product.      
·         Why do I need to take a multivitamin?
A good quality vitamin and mineral supplement creates a sound micronutrient foundation to accompany a balanced diet. Vitamins and minerals help to support a healthy immune system, promote the conversion of food into energy, support a healthy cardiovascular system, support strong bones, promote mental clarity, maintain normal metabolic functioning, promote healthy growth and repair of tissues, help maintain normal blood pressure, and help maintain water and electrolyte balance in the body.
 
 
 
 
·         Why should I take calcium?
According to the Surgeon General, taking a calcium supplement daily is key to preventing and treating calcium deficiency, and to helping reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Clinical studies indicate that women and many aging men are likely to become susceptible to osteoporosis. 
 
 
 
 


Everyone needs calcium. Practically no one ingests enough calcium in their daily diet. Besides being helpful in supporting and maintaining bone integrity, calcium serves a dynamic role as a mineral. It's very important in supporting the activity of many bodily enzymes and maintaining proper fluid balance. Isotonix Calcium Plus also promotes the normal contraction of skeletal and muscle.  
·         Are there any warnings or contraindications for the products in the Isotonix® Daily Essentials Kit?
Isotonix® OPC-3, Isotonix Multivitamin, Isotonix Advanced B-Complex and Isotonix Calcium Plus are vegetarian products, and contain no wheat, gluten, soy, yeast, artificial flavor, starch, salt, preservatives or milk.
·         If you are currently using any prescription drugs, have ongoing medical condition, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should consult your healthcare provider before using these product.
 
 
 
 
 

Why TFSAs trump RRSPs for the young and lower-paid

 
 
 
Why TFSAs trump RRSPs for the young and lower-paid
 
 
 
Love the tax refund you get when you make an RRSP contribution? Too bad it doesn’t love you back.
“People are so fixated on the windfall of the refund that they don’t really understand the mechanics,” says Jamie Golombek, managing director of tax and estate planning with CIBC Private Wealth Management.
 
 
If you master the mechanics, Mr. Golombek argues in a paper to be released Thursday, you have a strong argument for considering tax-free savings accounts over registered retirement savings plans as a way to put money away for the years after you quit working. Of course, this assumes you don’t have the bucks to max out both RRSPs and TFSAs.
 
 
Young adults just entering the workforce and middle-income earners are particular candidates for using TFSAs, which were introduced two years ago and allow people aged 18 and older to invest or save up to $5,000 a year and pay no tax on their gains.
 
 
 
TFSAs are an all-purpose savings vehicle, in large part because you can take money out and then put it back again in a later calendar year. The conventional view is that RRSPs are just for retirement, but Mr. Golombek’s take is that people view them more as a mechanism for reducing income taxes in the here and now (note: there’s no tax break on TFSA contributions).
 
 
He argues that the refund resulting from an RRSP contribution is money you have to repay later on in retirement when you generate taxable income by making a withdrawal from your plan. You avoid tax today, but pay it decades in the future.
 
 
“That’s why I called my report Blinded By The Refund,” Mr. Golombek said. “It [the refund] is not a windfall, it’s a deferral of tax.”
 
 
Exactly how much tax you pay on an RRSP withdrawal in retirement depends on your tax rate at the time. Conventional thinking is that your tax rate will be lower than it is when working, but Mr. Golombek said this won’t be the case for many people whose RRSP withdrawals bump up their income enough to trigger a clawback of federal government benefits for seniors.
 
 
Let’s say your marginal tax rate is 35 per cent today and 30 per cent in retirement. Mr. Golombek said that a clawback of your Old Age Security payments alone would have the same impact as adding an additional 10 percentage points or so to your tax rate. Effectively, then, your marginal tax rate could theoretically jump to 40 per cent in retirement from 35 per cent in your working years.
 
 
OAS payments start to be clawed back when your annual retirement income reaches about $67,000 in today’s dollars, Mr. Golombek said. One way to stay below this threshold is to use TFSAs for retirement saving.
Money withdrawn from a TFSA is tax-free, so it won’t layer on top of your other sources of retirement saving and bump up your income to a level where the OAS clawback is a factor. RRSP withdrawals represent taxable income, so they have just the opposite effect.
 
 
 
Mr. Golombek said it’s widely thought that people with incomes of less than $40,000 while working shouldn’t contribute to RRSPs because of the risk they could trigger a clawback of OAS and other government benefits for seniors. TFSAs are the natural alternative.
 
 
What do low-salaried young adults who are starting out in the workforce care about clawbacks in their senior years? Not much. But they can still benefit from using TFSAs to save for retirement.
 
 
Someone who lands a first job with a salary of $40,000 would be at a low marginal tax rate and thus qualify for only a comparatively modest tax refund for an RRSP contribution.
 
 
 
Flash ahead to retirement and it’s not a stretch to see this person in a much higher tax bracket. Thus the tax hit on an RRSP withdrawal could be larger than the refund generated when the money was first contributed to the plan. As well, the RRSP withdrawal could end up causing a clawback of government benefits.
 
 
 
Mr. Golombek said there’s a case for putting RRSPs ahead of TFSAs for high-income earners who expect a six-figure annual retirement income. These people benefit in a big way from the tax-reduction of making RRSP contributions and, with annual income in excess of $110,000 or so in today’s dollars, they can expect all their OAS to be clawed back.
 
 
TFSAs are a good retirement savings option for lots of people, but Mr. Golombek rejects any blanket dismissals of RRSPs. “The message I don’t want to get out there is that RRSPs are bad, because they’re not.”
 
 
TFSAs v. RRSPs for retirement saving
Dick and Jane both make $60,000 per year and both need an after-tax income of just over $44,000. Here’s how Dick gets there by generating a tax refund with a $5,000 RRSP contribution and Jane gets there simply by putting $3,442 in a TFSA. Note that tax will have to be paid on the RRSP contribution when it’s withdrawn from the plan in retirement, whereas no tax will apply to a TFSA withdrawal.
 
 
DickJane
 
 
 
Income$60,000$60,000RRSP contribution($5,000)n/aTaxable income$55,000$60,000TFSA contributionn/a($3,442)Net cash, pre-tax$55,000$56,558Total federal, Ontario tax *$10,734$12,292
 
Net cash to spend$44,266$44,266
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Why Canada's banks are wrong about emergency savings

Why Canada's banks are wrong about emergency savings
 
 
 
 
Why Canada's banks are wrong about emergency savings
 
 
 
 
September is survey season in the financial services industry. It gives the big banks an opportunity to shame and encourage us to get our financial houses in order.
Some surveys can really leave you scratching your head, though. Take the latest intelligence from Bank of Montreal that says just over half of Canadians have less than $10,000 socked away for emergencies.
It goes on to recommend we set aside three to six months income for emergencies like major car or home repairs, or job loss.
Three to six months income? Really?
Here’s an emergency: we’re drowning in debt.
According to Statistics Canada the average household owes more than $1.60 for every dollar it takes in each year.
The latest survey from the Canadian Payroll Association says 42 per cent of us live paycheque to paycheque, and 40 per cent spend all or more of our net pay.
With so many people struggling with debt it’s hard to believe BMO’s claim that nearly half of Canadians actually have $10,000 socked away for an emergency.
BMO’s advice is to keep that emergency money in its “Smart Saver” account, which currently pays out 1.1 per cent annually.
 
 
 
 
Time to crunch the numbers
What BMO is really offering after one year on that $10,000 at 1.1 per cent, compounded monthly, is $111.
During the same year, the bank can take that $10,000 and make $1,047 on a typical consumer loan at 10 per cent.
The point is; if you are that guy with the consumer loan you’re much better off using that $10,000 to pay down debt and saving $1,047 a year in interest payments.
Taking it a step further, a good chunk of consumer debt is balances owing on credit cards. Major credit cards like Visa and MasterCard impose interest rates in the high teens. $10,000 at 20 per cent generates interest of $2,194 after one year.
And then there are major credit cards sponsored by the big retail chains like The Bay that charge nearly 30 per cent on balances owing. At that rate applying $10,000 against the balance would save the card holder $3,450 after one year.
What about emergencies?
There are no emergencies if you are prepared.
According to the same BMO study 27 per cent of respondents have access to a line of credit. The interest rate on a line of credit can vary depending on the customer but it is possible to establish one at about 10 per cent.
Establishing a line of credit requires advance planning and a good credit rating with the bank.
In the event of an emergency coming up with the cash is as easy as an online transfer to a savings or chequing account.
Keep in mind you only take what you need for the emergency and pay interest on that amount – not the whole $10,000. With some discipline you can chip away at the amount owing and lower the total interest cost over time.
Customers with equity in their homes to back the loan get the best deal. A home equity line of credit can provide instant cash for as little as 3.5 per cent. Even if you needed the entire $10,000 for a full year the interest would only come to $356.
BMO isn’t the only bank to tout the need for an emergency fund. It is in the best interest of banks to get their customers to give them cheap money while charging the same customers more to borrow – and with interest rates on the rise, business is booming.
 
 
 
 
 

Legal Ways to Reduce Business Taxes in Canada

Legal Ways to Reduce Business Taxes in Canada
 
 
 
Legal Ways to Reduce Business Taxes in Canada
 
 
About the Author – Allan Madan
 
Allan Madan is a CPA, CA and the founder of Madan Chartered Accountant Professional Corporation . Allan provides valuable tax planning, accounting and income tax preparation services in the Greater Toronto Area.
 
 
Incorporate Your Small Business:
The first of these legal ways to reduce business taxes in Canada is by incorporating your company. Corporations pay a very low tax rate of only 15.5% on the first half million dollars of profit. Individuals, on the other hand, can pay as high as 46.4% in taxes if their income exceeds $130,000. So, you see, you can save about thirty percent in taxes by simply incorporating your small business.
 
 
 
Add Lower Income Spouse as Shareholder:
The second of the five legal ways to reduce business taxes in Canada is by adding your spouse to your existing corporation as a shareholder. As a shareholder of your company your spouse can receive up to $40,000 in dividends, tax free, per year, from your company, provided that your spouse does not have any other source of income.
Even if your spouse is working and is earning significantly less than you are through your business, it’s still advantageous to pay dividends to your spouse, because you will reduce your family’s overall tax burden. This is because you are in a higher tax bracket and your spouse is in a lower tax bracket.
 
 
 
 
Write-Off Donations Made to Charities:
The third path on this list of ways to reduce business taxes in Canada by following the law is through donations. Corporations that make donations to registered charities can write-off the entire amount of the donation as an expense as long as the corporation is profitable.
 
 
 
 
Promote Your Business and Get a Tax Deduction:
The fourth way is to promote your business and get a tax deduction. Advertising expenses are fully deductible; and purchases made for gifts to give to clients are also fully deductible. Finally, meals and entertainment incurred, for example, for wining & dining clients, are fifty percent deductible.
Multiply the
 
 
Small Business Deduction:
The fifth of these legitimate methods to save business taxes in Canada involves multiplying the small business deduction. The small business deduction means that the first $500,000 in profits that your corporation earns is subject to a low tax rate of only 15.5%. Profits in excess of half a million dollars are subject to a really high tax rate of about 30%. There is a legitimate way to multiply the small business deduction by two so you can receive a whopping one million dollars small business deduction limit.
The way to do it is as follows. Your spouse will incorporate a company that she owns the shares of one hundred percent. You will also incorporate a company that you own the shares of one hundred percent. As a result, the combined small business deduction limit is one million dollars.
 
 
 
 

Why Cash Allowance?

Why Cash Allowance?
 
 
 
 
Why Cash Allowance?
 
 
7 Compelling Reasons to Use Cash Instead of Credit
 
 
 
 
 
1. Purely Psychological.
Credit cards make it too easy to spend money. Just swipe the card and you can bring home the latest smart phone/tools/clothes. It’s much harder for us to let go of our hard earned cash. The physical action of handing over cash to someone else is a lot more difficult than swiping a card. Try handing over $100 cash for a pair of shoes. It’s much more painful than just swiping a card.
2. Easier to budget for discretionary spending.
 
 
Both of you each get $80/week to spend on whatever we want. That’s  your  budget for discretionary spending (plus groceries). Once you run out of your $80, you  have to wait until the next week before buying something. When you are using the credit card for discretionary spending,  you  usually loose  track of how much  you spent already.
3. No consumer debt.
If you use cash, then you won’t have a problem with consumer debt. Credit cards enable us to spend the money that we don’t have and it’s easy to lose control. How else do you explain the average US household’s credit card debt of $15,263?
4. Delayed gratification.
When you  need to make a larger discretionary purchase,  you  have to save up for it. This delays the purchase and many times,  you will  find out  that  you didn’t really need it after all. Putting off purchases  also gives you time to research for a better product and deals.
5. Less guilt.
When you have cash left at the end of the week,  you  don’t feel guilty about spending it on yourself. Sure, you  can save it too, but usually you  just go out for happy hour or something like that.  You can enjoy it because you  know it’s already budgeted.
6. Change jar.
This is a small side benefit. You must  hate carrying coins and you  always put them in a change jar when you  get home. This is a side saving that builds up over time. It’s always a nice little surprise when you drop by the bank to deposit it.
7. Cash is not traceable.
 
 
Your credit card purchases can be easily tracked and if you’re on the run, the cops will catch up with you very quickly.
Of course, the cash allowance might not work well for everyone. There are some downsides. It’s more difficult to keep track of every penny you spent when you use cash. You also lose out on reward points if that’s something you care about.
Many of you probably can control your credit card usage much better  but You should really try the cash system to see if it makes any difference. You might surprise yourself. Have you tried it?
 
 
 
 
 

Happy New Year (in September)

 
 
 
Happy New Year (in September)
 
 
Happy New Year (in September)
 
 
Start the next year three months early
 
 
 
Written by Sarah Yetkiner
 
 
“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” – Carl Bard
 
I don’t know if it’s because I have a background in teaching but September always feels like the start of a new year to me. After the lazy days of summer, the back to school activity coupled with the changing seasons brings an energy and excitement that feels like a fresh beginning.
 
 
 This year I’ve decided to try harnessing some of that energy by abandoning my 4 quarter altogether and declaring September as Q1 of a brand new year!
 
 
 
 I’m working on the theory that ramping up activity, rather than winding it down, in the last few months of the calendar year could have some great benefits and give me a head start on everything I want to achieve financially, professionally and personally in 2014.
 
 
Getting ahead of the game
 
 
One of the big advantages of making September the start of the year when it comes to financial goals is that you’re refocusing your energy three months before one of the most expensive times of the year, the Holiday season. This gives us an opportunity to plan exactly what we want to spend and allows us to save enough to meet our goals so that we’re not dealing with giant credit bills in January and February.
 
 
Getting ahead of the game through the Fall means that we’re in a stronger position to hit the ground running again in January with more energy and fewer obstacles and that increases the chances that the positive energy will carry through into the spring, leading to greater success.
 
 
 
September or January?
 
 
Professionally, one challenge with having a year end in December is that it falls in the middle of holiday season. Vacation time, businesses operating reduced hours and the psychological winding down that happens in the weeks running up to the holidays mean that December can often be fairly unproductive compared to the rest of the year. Anyone who’s ever run a race knows that you need to keep your focus on a point beyond the finish line so that you don’t lose momentum before you’ve crossed the line; the worst time to slow down is right before the finish line.
 
 
This is what makes December a challenging month for a year end because, at the very time when you need to be putting energy into making that final push towards hitting your goals and planning for the upcoming year, everything around you is slowing down.
 
 
 Now, it could be argued that having a year end in August, right in the middle of vacation season, might have the same effect. However, I’m working on the logic that businesses operate in much the same way over the summer as they do during the rest of the year so there’s no reduction in opportunity.
 
 
 There’s also the additional incentive that if you push to hit your goals early you can take a guilt-free break at a time of year when the weather is at its nicest and you don’t have to get on a plane in order to relax by the water!
 
 
 
Are you running out of steam?
 
 
 
On a personal level, as summer starts to fade it can be hard to find the same level of commitment to our goals that we had at the beginning of the year. If we’re making good progress then the fact that the finish line is in sight can be ample motivation to keep pushing towards the goal.
 
If we’ve lost a little momentum over the summer though, it can be tempting to just coast through the next few months with the intention of getting fired up again in January.
 
 
That’s the point that I’m at and I know myself well enough to know that if I don’t try something new then there’s a good chance I’ll have run out of steam by October and the last two months of the year will be frustratingly unproductive.
 
 
I am a great starter; I love the creativity and fresh energy that comes with starting new projects and what I like most about declaring September my New Year is that I’m not abandoning the goals I’ve set for 2014;
 
 
 I’m just redefining the action plans with a new timeframe and a fresh commitment to hit the finish line strong.
 
 
With a recent house sale, new living arrangements, improved cash flow and new opportunities on the horizon it feels like a good time for me to declare a new year. At the end of the day, our perceptions and attitudes are
 
 
key factors in increasing or decreasing our chances of success at achieving any goal.
 
Starting the next year three months early is my strategy for injecting a little extra energy into my goal setting; I’d love to hear yours!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Isotonix OPC-3™

Isotonix OPC-3™
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Isotonix OPC-3™
What Makes Isotonix™ OPC-3 Unique?
 
 
 
 
Isotonix™ OPC-3 is an isotonic-capable food supplement that is made from a combination of bilberry, grape seed, red wine, pine bark extracts and citrus extract bioflavonoids. In addition to being powerful antioxidants, the OPCs in Isotonix OPC-3 have been shown to provide a variety of health benefits including, but not limited to, cardiovascular health, helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels, supports healthy blood glucose levels and demonstrates anti-inflammatory properties.
 
 
Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) are bioflavonoids (complex organic plant compounds) found in fruits, vegetables and certain tree barks that provide exceptional nutritional benefits to the human body. Studies have shown OPCs to be many times more powerful than vitamin C and vitamin E.  Isotonix OPC-3 contains OPCs from grape seed extract, red wine extract, bilberry extract, Pycnogenol from pine bark and citrus fruit. Our grape seed extract is a superior source of OPC, containing 92 percent of active ingredients with pine bark containing 84 percent of active OPC ingredients. The red wine extract contains flavonoids called leucocyanidins from the skin of red grapes. These are the three best sources of oligomeric proanthocyanidins available. Over 20,000 different flavonoids have been discovered, of which a select few are water-soluble and easily absorbed by the body. Isotonix OPC-3 contains the top three of the most bioavailable and potent forms of OPCs. Pycnogenol in Isotonix OPC-3 is the most clinically researched and potent bioflavonoid.
 
Isotonic, which means "same pressure," bears the same chemical resemblance of the body's blood, plasma and tears. All fluids in the body have a certain concentration, referred to as osmotic pressure. The body's common osmotic pressure, which is isotonic, allows a consistent maintenance of body's tissues. In order for a substance to be absorbed and used in the body's metabolism, it must be transported in isotonic fluids.</SPA
 
 
 
 
 
 
Primary Benefits of Isotonix™ OPC-3*:
 
·         Antioxidant for the maintenance of good health
 
 
 
 
 
* This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Key Ingredients found in Isotonix™ OPC-3*:
 
 
Grape Seed Extract: 25 mg
Grape seed extract is typically extracted from the seeds of red grapes (instead of white), which have a high content of compounds known as oligomeric proanthocyanidins. Grape seed extract is extremely rich in polyphenols, a compound high in antioxidants. Grape seed extract has even been found to promote healthy cholesterol levels.
  
Red Wine Extract: 25 mg
Red wine extract contains rich beneficial active ingredients. This extract is found in grape vines, roots, seeds and stalk, with its highest concentration in the skins. In the late 1990s, scientists took note of a phenomenon among the French. There were very low rates of heart disease in the provinces where residents consistently ate high fat foods and drank red wine. Scientists concluded that the protective properties of red wine have helped the French maintain heart health for years and subsequent scientific studies have further proven the fact that the OPCs found in red wine are greatly beneficial to maintain general well-being.  
 
 
Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol®): 25 mg
Pycnogenol is a natural plant extract from the bark of the maritime pine tree, which grows exclusively along the coast of southwest France in Les Landes de Gascogne. This unspoiled and natural forest environment is the unique source of pine bark. Pycnogenol represents a natural combination of genetically programmed constant proportions of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids.
 
 
The extract has three basic properties — it's a powerful antioxidant and promotes the production of endothelial nitric oxide, which promotes the normal dilation of blood vessels. As one of the most potent natural scavenger of free radicals, Pycnogenol combats many aggressive free radicals before they cause oxidative stress to vital organs. Its super-antioxidant capabilities promote cardiovascular health.
 
 
Bilberry Extract: 25mg
Bilberry extract is derived from the leaves and berry-like fruit of a common European shrub closely related to the blueberry. Extracts of the ripe berry are known to contain flavonoid pigments known as anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants. Scientific studies confirm that bilberry extract supports healthy vision and venous circulation. Bilberry extract helps maintain healthy circulation by strengthening capillaries, arteries and veins.
 
 
Citrus Extract (Bioflavonoids): 25 mg
Bioflavonoids are found in certain plants to act as light filters protecting the delicate DNA chains and other important macromolecules by absorbing ultraviolet radiation. They have been found to promote cardiovascular health, help maintain healthy circulation by strengthening capillaries, arteries, and veins and demonstrate anti-inflammatory activity.
 
 
 
 
Frequently Asked Questions about Isotonix™ OPC-3:
 
 
What is OPC-3?
OPC-3 is a dietary supplement that bears some of the most powerful bioflavonoids currently known to research scientists. These bioflavonoids are scientifically termed "oligomeric proanthocyanidins," commonly abbreviated OPC. The purest and best-researched OPCs chosen for OPC-3 are prepared from grape seed, red wine, bilberries, Pycnogenol from pine bark and citrus fruit. This combination of potent OPCs is unique to OPC-3, as is the Isotonix delivery system, which enables rapid and highly efficient absorption of the OPCs. Isotonix OPC-3 has been shown to provide a variety of health benefits including, but not limited to, helping promote cardiovascular health, helping reduce mild menstrual cramping, supporting healthy sperm quality, demonstrating anti-inflammatory activities, helping support visual health and healthy blood glucose levels, and helping maintain joint flexibility.
   
What is a bioflavonoid?
Bioflavonoids are complex organic plant compounds. Plants and fruits differ in colors based on the specific bioflavonoids they contain. Bioflavonoids have always played an important nutritional role. An increasing number of clinical studies show how versatile bioflavonoids support health. Bioflavonoids found in OPCs play a key role for cardiovascular health and maintaining vascular integrity. Clinical studies have demonstrated support of healthy blood flow and cell vitality. Normal collagen renewal is promoted, which supports firmness of the skin, joint cartilage and connective tissue. And OPCs help the body's immune response.
 
 
What sets Isotonix OPC-3 apart from other bioflavonoid products?
OPC-3 offers exclusively OPCs, scientifically proven to be the most potent for human health in the optimal servings. In addition to being powerful antioxidants, the individual OPCs have been shown to provide a myriad of specific health benefits. This science-driven selection of OPCs is unique to OPC-3, as is the Isotonix delivery system, which enables rapid and highly efficient absorption of the OPCs. The potent nutrients in combination with the highly effective delivery system make OPC-3 the most powerful natural free radical scavenger, anti-aging and cardiovascular health protecting product available.   
 
 
Is Isotonix OPC-3 safe?
Yes! OPCs are among the most valuable constituents of a healthy human diet. OPCs have been researched and used for over 30 years throughout Europe. Extensive safety studies were conducted and laboratory testing revealed no evidence for human toxicity or allergic reactions. OPC-3 contains pure OPCs in combination with carefully balanced quantities of potassium and little sugar, which set up the isotonic delivery system. OPC-3 is free of harmful chemicals, preservatives and alcohol. OPC-3 should be taken as directed.
 
 
How long does it take for me to benefit from Isotonix OPC-3?
OPC-3 not only provides the most potent OPCs available, the unique Isotonix delivery system ensures that the small intestine rapidly absorbs the OPCs, which are available in the blood stream within minutes. This is because the OPCs are delivered in liquid form. The liquid is isotonic, which means it duplicates the environment in our cells and blood stream regarding pH, electrolytes, etc. This enables the OPCs to enter the body easily and with a high level of bioavailability.
 
 
Though you might not notice it, within minutes after consumption, Isotonix OPC-3 will begin to support your blood circulation. This is not an assumption, but objectively measured in clinical trials. OPC-3 immediately begins to work to strengthen capillaries, arteries and veins, which helps maintain your circulation. Further, OPC-3 supports healthy blood vessel dilation and platelet activity.
 
 
What is the advantage of taking Isotonix OPC-3 regularly?
Many effects of OPC-3 start to work after a single serving. Studies with human volunteers have found that particular health merits of OPCs may take a while to occur. This may be the case in health concerns resulting from everyday wear and tear, where time simply has taken its toll. Taking Isotonix OPC-3 daily enables the body to sustain a consistent antioxidant defense.
 
 
Isotonix OPC-3 enhances the vitality of our cells, and the cells, in turn, will continue to fulfill their individual tasks efficiently. Take for example, those cells producing collagen. These cells will continue to produce collagen and skin will maintain its elasticicity, and the health of blood vessels and joint cartilage will be supported. Another example is immune cells, which will maintain healthy duplication in the bone marrow and support healthy synthesis of antibodies. OPC works to maintain and enhance overall cell vitality.
 
 
Why should everyone take Isotonix OPC-3?
Free radical damage and oxidative stress are reality. Everyone is subject to it. Free radicals develop as byproducts when cells of the body generate energy from burning calories with oxygen. These molecules behave somewhat like hot sparks, which destroy any other cell matter they come into contact with by ridding the other cells of their excess energy. This damage doesn't cause noticeable harm at first, yet it adds up over the years. This process is largely responsible for the aging process. If you do not have adequate protection from free radicals, you could appear to age faster and experience health problems you could have avoided. Free radicals have been linked directly to premature aging, poor circulation, poor heart health and poor immune health.
 
 
OPCs are the most powerful natural free radical neutralizers and you get the best of all OPCs by taking Isotonix OPC-3. This product should be taken for a long healthy life. Regular use every day is vital to keep free radicals in check. Laboratory studies have shown that OPCs are more powerful antioxidants than vitamin C and vitamin E. Isotonix OPC-3 demonstrates anti-inflammatory benefits and helps maintain normal levels of histamine secretion. Isotonix OPC-3 strengthens capillaries and supports healthy circulation by helping to maintain normal blood pressure and blood lipid profiles healthy. Women experience a reduction of mild PMS symptoms.
 
 
Can you take Isotonix OPC-3 in soda, juice, coffee, etc., rather than water?
It is possible but not recommended. This product should only be taken as directed. In order to keep the product in an isotonic form and to achieve the maximum delivery speed, it needs to be taken on an empty stomach with two ounces of water per capful. Mixing the products with anything else besides other Isotonix and water slows down the delivery time and may also affect the percentage of uptake.
 
 
I'm healthy and athletic, why should I take Isotonix OPC-3?
Everyone is vulnerable to the aging process caused by continuous free radical damage. Athletes tend to be exposed to elevated levels of oxidative stress. Free radicals develop as byproducts during metabolism when calories are processed with oxygen. Athletes inhale 10 to 20 times more oxygen during physical activity over rest periods. The increase in activity creates additional free radicals. In fact, these free radicals are known to limit performance, as free radicals appear to take their toll on muscle tissue. Studies on recreational athletes have shown a 20 percent endurance increase with OPCs, as compared to a control group receiving placebo. Another study has shown that athletes using OPCs suffered significantly less muscle cramping during and after performing. Isotonix OPC-3 helps to maintain healthy blood flow and this supports oxygen supply to muscles.*
 
 
Does OPC-3 have visible benefits?
As OPCs support collagen production in the skin, an increase of smoothness and elasticity is the natural result. Such an effect was objectively measured in women aged 40 years and older. Skin smoothness was increased after 3 months as measured by 3-dimensional topography. Likewise, increased skin elasticity was recorded with a special instrument (cutometer). It requires patience until skin cells have renewed significant amounts of collagen to show visible effects. It is essential to continuously take OPC-3 to keep skin cells at their peak vitality.
 
 
On a short-term basis many people notice a fresher-looking skin complexion. This is a result of healthy blood micro-circulation, which helps detoxify the skin and improves the nutrient supply. Regular use of OPC-3 helps defy photo-aging of the skin.*
 
 
Does OPC-3 have a rejuvenating effect?
The damage caused by free radicals adds up with time. A cause for more worry is the fact that your body's own mechanisms to keep free radicals in check decline with increasing age — when you need them the most. Suddenly, we find ourselves confronted with some typical age-related problems. Some cells of our body are more vulnerable to free radicals than others. OPC-3 has the ability to go in and do a knock-out job, cleaning and scavenging the free radicals that feast on cellular energy, and take it away from vital processes.
 
 
A typical example is cells of the nervous system. Their membranes are highly vulnerable to free radicals and OPCs have shown to significantly protect nerves. These studies were controlled with groups receiving inactive dummies.
 
 
Some parents wish to have a child but then it turns out that the father-to-be has sub-fertile sperm. Again these cells are rich in poly-unsaturated fatty acids, which are extremely vulnerable to destruction by free radicals. Moreover, sperm require 90 days to develop from progenitor cells into fully functional mature sperm. This leaves 90 days for free radicals to harm sperm membranes while they develop. In clinical studies sub-fertile men were treated with OPCs for 90 days, to secure protection of the developing sperm. The results indicated that the OPCs supported sperm quality.*
 
 
What are the proven heart health benefits of OPC?
Scientist Albert Szent-Györgyi, who received the Nobel Prize for the discovery of vitamin C, discovered OPCs. Szent-Györgyi found that OPCs work in a similar fashion. They strengthen walls of arteries, veins and capillaries.
 
 
In the past 20 years scientists discovered that OPCs bear a lot more benefits for the cardiovascular system. Epidemiological studies have shown that regular intake of powerful OPC antioxidants supports a healthy cardiovascular system. OPCs appear to be particularly helpful in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and healthy arteries.
 
 
Pycnogenol in Isotonix OPC-3 plays a key role, as it stimulates an enzyme in the body to promote healthy nitric oxide (NO) levels. NO is a tiny molecule which serves as a key messenger molecule in the blood stream. It promotes relaxation of smooth muscle-surrounding arteries and supports normal artery diameter and blood flow. Healthy NO levels help maintain normal blood pressure. This benefit has been explicitly demonstrated with Pycnogenol in two clinical studies. NO also promotes healthy blood platelet activity thus preserving a normal, fluid environment. OPCs are especially helpful for smokers. OPC-3 packs a powerful punch when it comes to maintaining excellent heart health. 
 
 
How can OPC-3 help my eyes?
Loss of eyesight is the disability people fear more than all others. Isotonix OPC-3 contains specific OPCs successfully tested for eye health.
 
 
Pilots of the Royal Air force used bilberry OPCs during World War II for support of nighttime vision and adjustment to darkness. Bilberry extract was shown to also help maintain overall eye health in the vast majority of people in a study.
 
 
Pycnogenol has demonstrated to support healthy capillaries in the eye. Pycnogenol was demonstrated to support healthy capillaries in the eye. Isotonix OPC-3 helps maintain visual health and supports visual acuity.*
 
 
Does OPC-3 have benefits specifically for women?
Some OPCs were shown in clinical trials to help women who suffer from mild pain and cramping during the menstrual period. When women were supplemented with OPCs, starting at least a week before their menstrual period, pain values were found to be significantly lowered.
 
 
What exactly is Pycnogenol?
Pycnogenol is the trademark of Horphag Research (UK) Ltd. for a standardized extract of bark of the French maritime pine tree. Pycnogenol is particularly renowned for its extensive clinical research with more than 120 studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals. The flavonoids in Pycnogenol act as powerful antioxidants and stimulate an enzyme which generates nitric oxide (NO). NO plays a key role in regulating cardiovascular health. NO promotes normal relaxation of arteries, supporting the normal diameter of blood vessels and supports healthy blood pressure and circulation. NO promotes normal platelet activity allowing the blood to maintain a normal, fluid viscosity. Pycnogenol has been awarded various patents for its ability to influence platelet activity.
 
 
How do I take OPC-3?
Each capful of Isotonix OPC-3 contains 125 milligrams of bioflavonoids, of which 75 milligrams are oligomeric proanthocyanidins in an isotonic-capable base. That means that the OPC-3 active ingredients will be delivered in the highest concentration to the small intestine, where most absorption of nutrients occurs.
 
 
To start using Isotonix OPC-3 for its benefit as an antioxidant and free radical scavenger, take two level capfuls for every 150 pounds of body weight for the first seven days. This is referred to as the saturation serving. Then, switch to a daily serving of one capful, per 150 lbs. of body weight, as a maintenance dose. For example, if you weigh 190 pounds, you would take three servings of Isotonix OPC-3 per day for seven days, and then switch to two servings per day for long-term health maintenance.
 
 
Isotonix OPC-3 has a pleasant natural grape flavor, is a vegetarian product and mixes instantly when added to water. This product should be taken on an empty stomach for the fastest, most effective delivery of the active ingredient. OPC-3 is a natural food supplement that should be taken for a lifetime.
 
 
What is the history of OPCs?
In 1534, French explorer Jacques Cartier was leading an expedition up the St. Lawrence River. Trapped by bad weather, Cartier and his crew were forced to survive on a ration of salted meat and biscuits. Cartier's crew began to suffer from severe deficiency of vitamin C and showed symptoms of scurvy. Many crewmembers died before the surviving members encountered a friendly Native American who saved most of their lives. He told them to make a tea from the bark and needles of the pine tree to cure their malady. They complied and, as a result, Cartier and many crewmembers survived.
 
 
Some 400 years later, Professor Jacques Masquelier of the University of Bordeaux, France, read a book by Cartier detailing their expedition. He concluded that pine bark not only contained some vitamin C, but obviously was a good source of bioflavonoids, whose effects are similar to those of vitamin C. Further studies and research revealed that the pine bark contained an array of proanthocyanidins complexes. These compounds were also found in a variety of plants, including grape seeds, cranberries, peanut skin, lemon tree bark and citrus rinds. Masquelier termed the active ingredients of the pine bark "pycnogenols", which today are referred to in the scientific community as oligomeric proanthocyanidins, or OPCs.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

RESP Government review

RESP Government review
 
 
 
RESP Government review
 
 
Written by Jim Yih
 
 
 
Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) have been around for a long time but back in 1998, the government introduced the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) which really catapulted the popularity and use of the RESP.
 
 
The Canada Education Savings Grant is a grant from the government given to those that contribute to a RESP.  For every dollar contributed to a RESP up to a $2500 maximum, the government will contribute 20 cents into the RESP plan through the CESG.
In 2007, the government enhanced the CESG program which provides a greater grant for lower income families.
Most recently, the government has conducted a statistical review of the RESP and CESG programs.  I’ll provide some highlights of the report but you can also download the full report here.
 
 
 
RESP Contributions and CESG payments
 
Families contributed $3.54 billion to their children’s RESPs in 2011. This represents an increase of $110 million over 2010, when they had contributed $3.43 billion.
Overall the introduction of the CESG has increased the use of RESPs as a savings vehicle for education.  As you can see, annual contributions into the RESP have steadily increased year after year and so has the annual CESG payments accordingly
YearAnnual RESP contributions ($Billions)Annual CESG ($Billions)19980.870.15119991.570.29120001.710.31820011.870.34820021.990.37020032.060.38920042.270.42620052.460.47020062.670.51420072.990.57920083.100.60320093.180.62720103.430.67820113.540.703
Although any person can be named by a subscriber of an RESP to receive money for education after high school, the Annual Statistical Review only reports on those who have received any of the Government of Canada incentives to save in RESPs which are available to children 0 to 17 years of age.
 
 
 
Contributions per beneficiary
 
Not all families contribute to their RESPs each year. As of 2011, there were 3.02 million kids aged 0 to 17 years eligible for the CESG. Of this total, 2.31 million (77%) received contributions to their RESP and hence received the CESG.
Of the children who had contributions deposited into their RESPs:
·         Only about 12.6% of RESP beneficiaries received contributions greater than $2500
·         38.8% received between $1,001 and $2,500 in contributions
·         48.7% received less than $1,000 in contributions
·         24.5% received $500 or less.
The average contribution per beneficiary ranged from a low of $1284 in 2002 to  high of $1463 in 2010.
 
 
 
 
 

RESP carryforward rules

RESP carryforward rules
 
 
 
RESP carryforward rules
 
 
Written by Jim Yih
 
 
Back in 1998, the government enhanced RESP contributions by introducing the Canada Education Saving Grant. Basically for every dollar contributed to an RESP up to a maximum of $2000, the government would contribute 20% into the RESP. In 2007, the government increased the maximum contribution eligible for the CESG from $2000 to $2500 per child.
Being a father of 4 children, it is really tough to contribute the maximum amount each and every year. The good news is there is no requirement to contribute the maximum amount into RESPs every year because every Canadian child under 18 accrues a CESG entitlement each year, retroactive to 1998.
In my case, my oldest son Robbie was born in December 2003 and unfortunately we did not open an RESP before the end of the year. Thankfully, we did not lose the opportunity to contribute for 2003 and qualify for the 20% Canada Education Savings Grant. In the following year, we contributed $4000 to the RESP and got a CESG of $800 because the amount from 2003 was carried forward.
We made contributions of $2000 in 2005 and 2006 to Robbie’s RESP. Remember In 2007, the government increased the contribution limit eligible for the CESG to $2500 from $2000. In 2007, we contributed $2500 and got $500 for the CESG.
For 2008, 2009, and 2010 we did not contribute to the RESP because we were building a house and my income was considerably lower because I sold the business. The good news is although we did not contribute for the past two years for Robbie, we could still make up those contributions in 2011 and in future years because the amounts carry forward. The catch is we can only catch up one year at a time.
One year at a time
The rules state that there is no annual limit but there is a lifetime limit of $50,000 per child. On that basis, I could contribute $7500 to the RESP but I would not get the CESG on the entire $7500 contribution. For the RESP, you can only make up the past carry forward amounts one year at a time.
Ideally,to catch up on Robbie’s RESP,  I should contribute $5000 in 2011 which would be eligible for the $1000 CESG. In 2012, I could once again contribute $5000 and then in 2013 I could contribute another $5000 to fully catch up on the three years I missed and still collect the $1000 per year CESG.  Here’s a little spreadsheet I put together to track Robbie’s RESP contributions:
YearAgeContribution LimitActual ContributionCESG20030$2,000$2,000$400.020041$2,000$2,000$400.020052$2,000$2,000$400.020063$2,000$2,000$400.020074$2,500$2,500$500.020085$2,500$0$0.020096$2,500$0$0.020107$2,500$0$0.020118$2,500$5,000$1,000.020129$2,500$5,000$1,000.0201310$2,500$5,000$1,000.0201411201512201613201714201815201916202017202118Totals$25,500$25,500$5,100
 
Are you confused? It took me a while to sort that all out but my real problem is not figuring out the carryforward rules, it’s finding the money to maximize the RESP for 4 kids. That’s $10,000 per year I can put into RESPs.
 
 
 

Saving for Education Using the RESP

Saving for Education Using the RESP
 
 
 
Saving for Education Using the RESP
 
 
Written by Jim Yih
 
 
 
 
This time of year we are all looking for gift ideas. I’ve always said that an RESP may be one of the best gifts for children and grandchildren. I know it’s not as interesting or exciting as the latest toy or trendy outfit but given some of the latest statistics on post secondary education, it may be the most practical gift to give children. It will allow children to receive traditional or online masters degree programs at little to no cost to them once they are grown up.
What is an RESP?
A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), is a tax deferred education savings vehicle through which the federal government allows a subscriber to save money for a beneficiary’s post-secondary education. Money invested into the RESP is not tax deductible like the RRSP but the growth of the investments is tax deferred.
In 1998, the government made some very significant changes to the RESPs to make them much more attractive. In this article, we will discuss some of the more important basics of the RESP.
Understanding terminology
Before we go too far, we need to establish an understanding of some of the important terms with regards to the RESP.
·         A subscriber is the person who creates the plan and who makes contributions to the plan. This could be anyone. However, if the RESP is a family plan, the beneficiaries must be related by blood or adoption to the subscriber. For this purpose, blood relationships include children, brothers, sisters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The subscriber is responsible for tracking the total amount contributed to all RESPs on behalf of the beneficiary.
·         A beneficiary is the person who will draw upon the RESP to finance their education.
·         An individual plan is an RESP set up by a subscriber for one beneficiary. A subscriber may designate anyone as the beneficiary of the plan, including themselves, a spouse or common-law partner.
·         A family plan is an RESP set up by a subscriber on behalf of one or more beneficiaries. However, each beneficiary must be under 21 years of age at the time of designation and must be related to the subscriber by blood or adoption. Children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters are considered blood relations, while nieces and nephews are not.
The most significant change made to RESPs is that the government has created the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) to promote education savings and give a boost to RESPs. The government will contribute 20 per cent of the annual contributions made to an RESP, up to a maximum of $500 per calendar year per beneficiary.
The CESG and the accumulated earnings, when paid out to the beneficiary for educational purposes, are taxed as income in the hands of the student. The return of contributions to the subscriber is not taxable because contributions to an RESP are made with after-tax money.
Money invested into an RESP must be used for the purpose of education. The money can be used to cover the student’s tuition, housing, transportation, books, supplies and other incidentals relating to the student’s education.
What happens if the child does not go to school?
This is the most common question that is asked about RESPs. Before the changes in 1998, the RESP was very restrictive in terms of options if the child did not go to school. Today, the RESP rules provide more options in case the child does not go to school. No matter what happens, the subscriber is able to withdraw the original contributions without any tax implications.
·         Option 1 – Change the beneficiary. The replacement beneficiary must be connected to the subscriber by blood or adoption. The CESGs paid into the family plan can be used by the replacement beneficiary or any of the other beneficiaries as long as the they are under the age of 21.
·         Option 2 – Transfer earned income to the RRSP. The subscriber may transfer up to $50,000 of the earned income to the RRSP or that of your spouse or common-law partner, provided unused RRSP contribution room is available.
·         Option 3 – Pay the tax and penalty. Any accumulated income you receive that is not transferred to an RRSP will be fully taxed in your hands at your top marginal tax rate. In addition, you will pay a penalty of 20 per cent of the withdrawn accumulated income. For example, if the subscriber is in a 40% tax bracket, the accumulated income would be taxed at 60%.
·         Option 4 – leave the money for a while. You may wish to leave money in the plan for a few years in case the beneficiary changes his or her mind.