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February 2014

Teaching financial responsibility to kids

Teaching financial responsibility to kids
 
 
Teaching financial responsibility to kids
Written by Jim Yih
One of the ways to teach kids about financial responsibility is to model the finances in the home to what it looks like in the real world.  In the real world, very little comes for free.  I also believe that hard work gets rewarded and the harder you are willing to work, the more opportunities that get created.  The hardest thing to teach kids about the real world is the idea of delayed gratification.  In fact, this concept is so hard that even many adults do get the concept.
As a result of these beliefs, I am always thinking about how to instill these thoughts into my kids who constantly want to buy this that and the other thing without really understanding consequences to spending money.
No money tree
I don’t know about you but I do not have a money tree in my backyard growing endless amounts of money.  We are constantly trying to prioritize our spending because we can’t have it all without going into serious debt.  Here are some of my thoughts on teaching my kids financial responsibility.
1.       The secret to financial success is to understand where money comes from.  Whenever I talk to kids about money, I always ask them to tell me all the things you can do with money.  Many kids come up with concepts around SPENDING, SAVING, INVESTING and SHARING. It’s important for kids to understand that you can’t spend, save, invest or share money until you earn it first.  For me, it’s important that we give our kids opportunities to earn money at home.  This is a very valuable real world lesson.
2.       Money that is earned is taxed.  Tax is an economic reality for adults earning income. We can’t spend all the money we make.  Just look at your paychecues.  When you make a dollar, you don’t get to spend a dollar.  You have to pay taxes, benefits and other mandatory deductions.  As a parent, I’ve decided to teach this to my kids by taking half of all the money they make as a tax (25% to savings and 25% to a community pot for the good of our family).  This continues to be a work in progress.  The reality is we have put this money into a separate account and we are not 100% sure what we will do with it.  Maybe it will be used for a family holiday or a new iPAD for the kids.  What I do know is it’s a way to force my kids to save 50% of everything they make and a way to teach them about taxes and how they work.   It’s kind of like running the house like a government.  Mom and dad are the government and the boys are citizens.
3.       Let them control the other 50%.  My kids get to use the other 50% to do what they want as a way to learn on their own.  They get to make mistakes on their own.  It’s important to have them see the outcome of their decisions and their siblings’ decisions.  Responsibility comes from making decisions and being accountable for those decisions.
4.       Be sure to give them lessons along the way.  As someone who teaches adults about money, I think it is crucially important to help my kids make financial decisions along the way.  Kids are curious and it’s important for me to answer their questions when asked.  It’s also important to lead by example and use our own spending as a way to teach the kids.
5.       Keep lines of communication open.  We recently went on a holiday to Sandpoint Idaho for 5 days before school started.  At the end of the trip, I went into the hotel to check out and my third son, Jason, asked why I went to the hotel desk.  I used that opportunity to talk to my kids about how much the holiday cost and whether they thought it was worth the money.  The trip cost about $2000 not including meals and we tried to think about what else we could have done with the $2000 instead of going on the holiday.  In the end, we all agreed that it was money well spent.  I am really happy about the conversation we had because they have a better understanding that holidays are not free and they have some sense of what that holiday was worth.
Responsibility comes when you make people accountable for their actions.
I’m not sure about you, but I think teaching kids about financial responsibility is far from easy.  It’s one of those things you never know what the outcomes will be.  It’s a dynamic process that evolves and changes.
With four boys, I also realize that kids don’t learn the same way.  Sometimes a strategy that works with one does not work with another because they have different motivations and personalities.  That makes teaching kids about money even more difficult.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Scoring High with Credit

Scoring High with Credit
 
 
 
Scoring High with Credit
 
 
Student life -----------
 
 
If you have a credit card or a student loan, you have started to create a credit rating. Since establishing a good credit rating is vital to your financial future, it's important to know how to best manage the money you've borrowed.
A (credit) history lesson
Your credit history begins when you start to borrow money and continues throughout your life. Any time you need to borrow, a lender (e.g. your bank or the government) needs to check how responsible you are.
To evaluate your reliability as a borrower, the lender checks with the credit bureau, an agency that tracks the creditworthiness of individuals. These agencies look for information on your credit rating and credit history.
Just as your resumé describes your work history, your credit history is a record of your financial decisions. And your credit rating is like a mark on a report card - it indicates how well you follow the rules of borrowing.
Advantages of a good credit rating
A good credit rating will help you get car loans, student lines of credit, mortgages and maybe lower interest rates. Having a bad credit rating can hurt your chances of obtaining any of these.
You can start building a good credit history now - by applying for credit sparingly, paying your bills on time and trying not to get stuck with a balance you can't afford to pay back.
How to build good credit
§  Pay on time - Late payments can seriously damage your credit rating.
§  Keep your outstanding credit card balance low - Leave lots of space between your outstanding balance and credit limit. And never exceed your limit! If you do make large purchases on your card or need to keep a higher balance, try to keep a revolving balance (meaning the balance doesn't stay locked in one place for too long). That way, the lender won't get the impression you're stuck in a bad position.
§  Pay more than the minimum - This will bring your balance down more quickly. You'll also save interest charges by paying off as much as you can.
§  Avoid cash advances - Using a credit card for quick cash is an expensive trap, since interest is charged on the money from the day you borrow it. But do keep in mind that cash advances are available - and a handy way to get out of an emergency situation.
It also pays to cultivate some good credit habits. Remember, credit mistakes can remain on your credit report for a long time! Try these additional tips:
  When you make a large purchase, pay it off before you buy something else.
  If you see your outstanding balance growing, leave your credit card at home until you shrink it.
  Make your payments a few days before the due date. If you're forgetful or put things off, find a way to get your payments in on time. Set an alarm on your phone, do whatever you have to do to pay on time.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

RESP Investment Planning

RESP Investment Planning
 
RESP Investment Planning
.
RESP Facts
There are many points around RESP that you will need to get familiar with but the main RESP facts to get you started are the following.
  • Maximum of $2,500 contribution annually per child for the 20% grant. If you put more than $2,500, you won’t get extra money from the government.
  • Somewhat limited investing horizon with 18 years. You basically assume that you will have to start withdrawing money once your child finish high school and enrols into a university or post-secondary education.
  • Your portfolio grows tax free!
RESP Goals
Your goals are to maximize the government’s contribution and make the account grow to cover at least 4 years of university. How much do you need? It all depends on your choice of post-secondary education and where the student is going to live.
Just like retirement, you want to know how much you are going to need. A ballpark figure is fine and if you can generate a larger portfolio obviously. I have written a post on determining how much retirement might cost you along with how much you may need. In case you have a pension plan and your payments are all figured out, planning your RESP will require some work.
Below are the 2 scenarios for a post-secondary student you need to consider above and beyond having food and clothes.
Live @ Home
  • Transportation
  • Tuition Fees
  • Books
Live Out of Town
  • Lodging
  • Transportation
  • Tuition Fees
  • Books
Estimating Tuition Fees
To estimate tuition fees, you need to take an average of a few post secondary institutions around you. Make sure you take all the spending into account. If you want to estimate down the road, throw an inflation value on it and adjust the numbers as your child grows up. If that’s too much work, do it every 5 years to start with.
Tuittion fees at UBC for one year cost around $6000 (rounded up) for the year plus $1,500 in books (average).  See the UBC site for tutions details. Some programs cost more and up to $10,000 for one year and often times fees go up after the first year.
Transportation is location dependent but a student transit pass in BC for post secondary student is $40 (rounded up) per month. Assuming you do 2 terms per year, you spend $320 for commuting. A vehicle is a very different story as you need to include insurance, gas, and maintenance.
RESP Risk Roadmap
Unlike a RRSP where you would never want to use it all up unless you had other source of income, the RESP can be completely depleted by the end of school. If you have more than one child on a family plan, you need to account for the other child as well Managing risks is managing the type of investments you hold. The higher risks, the higher the potential for return and vice versa. Side note: The Investor’s Manifesto is a great book to educate on the risks of the stock markets.
I like to start by dividing the roadmap in 4 since it makes it easy to get started.
  • First 4.5 years : You want to maximize growth
  • Second 4.5 years : You want to start shifting a percentage to fixed income
  • Third 4.5 years :  You want to adjust the percentage to more fixed income
  • Fourth 4.5 years : You want most of it in fixed income
That’s the premiss of capital preservation. The type of investment to use is where it all gets complicated. My RESP account never really performed early on as I had poor investments (and lacklustre advice). Once I switched my RESP over to my dividend portfolio, I did not want to add risk and I wanted to focus on income. My RESP account is set now and aside from the REITS having lost some value, it’s all DRIPing monthly 1 or 2 shares for each investment.
It’s important you define the risk roadmap you want as it will inform you of the type of investments to look for.
RESP Investment Roadmap
The initial challenge is that you are not adding a lot of money to buy equities and you cannot diversify much. In the first year, you could have 3 investments at $1,000 each. It’s possible if equities are what you want and you can still make monthly contributions by just leaving them in cash until you have $1,000 for example. Your trading cost if your fees are $9.95 per trade amounts to 1%.
Buying ETFs allow you to diversify faster across markets. You can look at applying an index investing strategy early on. ETFs trade like stocks though, so you would have the same trading cost unless your discount broker offer free ETFs. Questrade has free ETFs so if you have taken benefit of the Questrade promotions, you are in luck. You can buy your ETFs with every contributions and benefit from dollar cost averaging.
You can also buy mutual funds but you need to be very selective of what you buy and understand the fees you may potentially pay (front-end or back-end). I am not a big fan of mutual funds.
Now comes the hard work of actually deciding on what to buy. What I suggested my brother do was to do a mix of index investing for US investments and then buy equities for CDN investments in companies he wishes to buy. For the fixed income portion, he can add bonds. Do your own research and define a plan according to your risk appetite. As it happens, he knows how to buy bonds and it’s part of my goal this year to add bonds. I am just unsure if I buy a bond or a bond index. The case for buying an US index is to make sure you have exposure to the biggest market in the world without the tax complication of owning a dividend stock in this account since dividends are taxed.
When it comes to my RESP, I have two goals over the coming years:
  • Add bonds to it in the form of an index or just a bond (which needs a minimum of $5K)
  • Add a US index ETF
RESP Planning Summary
Like any new parents, a new and exciting chapter is about to start. You are ready to put money aside for the future of your child and benefit from the government contributions. Just like your life, you need a plan and it starts with planning your investments. In my future RESP posts, I will go over contributions and the tracking you need to do to plan withdrawal in the future, otherwise you may very well run into trouble.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

5 Ways to Separate Your Work and Play Online

 
 
 
 
5 Ways to Separate Your Work and Play Online
 
 
You get angry at a friend. Next thing you know you’re sending them an angry post on Facebook. Eventually the two of you patch things up. But send an angry Facebook post to a co-worker? That could get you so “unliked” by higher ups that your job could be in trouble.
 
The same goes for Tweeting about your boss in what might seem like an innocent way. If someone reads it the wrong way, it could really haunt you.
 
These are some of the social media slip-ups that could hurt you at work. Are you guilty of abusing social media in ways that could sabotage your job? Here are 5 simple ways to make sure you’re practicing safe cyber.
 
1.  Read The Employee Manual
Many workplaces, especially larger ones, have developed a social media usage policy for employees. It‘s probably published on the company’s private intranet. Take a quick look at it to see the basic guidelines.
 
In particular, check for behaviours that are either discouraged or forbidden. Some of the things you do as part of your normal, personal routine – like using slang expressions, or emoticons – may not be allowed on your company social media accounts.
 
2.  Haters, Bite Your Tongues (or Chew Off Your Input Fingers)
Your job is not the place to show your angry side. We all get frustrated at some point or another. Pressures can build up and you may crave release. But venting about your job on social media (even a little bit) is a bad idea.
 
Even if you set your privacy settings at the highest level. All you need is one of your trusted followers to leak your rant. Try stuffing that genie back into the bottle. It isn’t easy to clean up your digital dirt!
 
3.  Don’t Use Work Time For Personal Social Media
Ever get one of those hilarious photos sent to you via e-mail at work? Yeah, the cat fast asleep on a dog’s head. Or of someone “owling” on a staircase. Funny stuff. But if you take even 60 seconds during the workday to upload that photo to your personal Flickr account, you’re guilty of stealing time from your employer.
 
Similarly for your personal Facebook updates or Tweets. Employers can track your keystrokes and downloads at work if they want to. They may be so put off that even flashing that cutesie cat photo won’t stop them from firing you. Save your playtime postings for after work.
 
4. Don’t Use Work Equipment For Personal Social Media
This tidbit goes hand in hand with Tip 3 above. It applies if you have a smartphone or laptop provided to you by your company. Sooner or later you’ll want to goof around on that borrowed equipment.
 
Guess what: anything you do on that gear gets recorded automatically. You may also be tracked remotely by the employer – in real-time. That’s right, all those copyrighted MP3’s you download withou paying for. And those, ahem, questionable videos you might view. This is true whether you’re on worktime or your personal hours.
 
Think you’ve found a file shredding program that’ll cover your tracks? Or anonymizing software to hide which websites you visit? Then you haven’t been keeping up on the latest in commercial-strength data recovery. Keep it clean and respect your company’s property. If you don’t, it might be a career limiting move.
 
5. Stick To Business On Your Workplace Social Networks
Your employer wants to use social media as a strategic communications tool. You may be practiced in using it only for fun. So remember that when using accounts provided by your employer, you’re actually a representative of your company.
 
This doesn’t necessarily mean stifling your personality. There’s still lots of room for creative expression. It’s just that whenever you post a comment, image, link, or video for work, keep the following question in mind: “How will this reflect on my employer?”
 
When in doubt, check with your boss or colleagues. Or check that Social Media Usage Manual from back in Tip 1. Otherwise find something else to post about. When it comes to social media and your workplace, it’s better to be safe than cyber-sorry.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Pay Yourself First!

Pay Yourself First!
 
 
Pay Yourself First!
 
 
This means that the first priority when you earn money is to put some of it aside to save for your future.  This is the key to your financial freedom.Use 10% of your gross income for making extra payments on your debt, or10% of your gross income for making contributions to TFSAs10% of your gross income for saving or investing outside of an RRSP15% of your gross income for making contributions to RRSPs.The reason for using 15% for making RRSP contributions is to include your approximate tax savings in your contributions.Example:Your family income is $70,000 per year.  If you are using your pay-yourself-first money to make extra payments on your debt, you would use 10%, or $7,000.If you want to contribute your pay-yourself-first money to your RRSP, you would contribute 15%, or $10,500.  If you are in a 30% tax bracket, your refund for the RRSP contribution will be $3,150.  This means you are out-of-pocket only $7,350.  If you are in a 40% tax bracket, your refund would be $4,200, and you would be out of pocket only $6,300.So, in order to have approximately the same after-tax money as when you are using 10% of your gross income to pay down your debt or save outside of an RRSP, you will have to contribute about 15% of your earnings to your RRSP.  You can then do what you want with any tax refund. Tax Tip:  Pay yourself first!
 
 

Save Money by Starting a Business!

Save Money by Starting a  Business!
 
 
 
Save Money by Starting a  Business!
 
 
One great way to save money on some of your regular monthly expenses is to start a home business. This is especially true if you have expenditures that could be turned into business-related ones.
1. Deductible Expenses
In order for any business to make money, there are often many costs included in the process. For instance, if you have an Internet-related business, there are many expenses that you can count in as a cost. This includes the cost of your Internet service, related phone costs, expenses for Web hosting, and any cost for hiring programmers, Web designers, or marketers.
Of course, you can only subtract the portion of each of these expenses that are business related. If you get an Internet service that is used only for business – the whole cost is a business expense. In addition, you can also subtract any quality business course, college course, or book that will actually help you in your business, too. Even health insurance is deductible, but self-employed people have to pay a much larger portion (100%) of the bill.
Dinners and meals (think backyard barbecues) are deductible, too, as long as there is an honest opportunity to promote your business and possibly gain from it. Vehicles, computers, software, equipment, and more, can also be deducted if they have a reasonable purpose in your business. The CRA requires some equipment to be deducted over several years, however, so this may prevent large deductions – but it still is a great way to save more money.
2. Turn a Hobby into a Business
This is where you can use your creative powers on and figure out how to turn some of your monthly costs into business expenses. You might start looking at a hobby that you enjoy. If it can be turned into making a profit, then you can turn it into a home business – and get tax deductions for some of your regular costs.
 
 
There is no minimum number of hours needed to make it a business. You can work at it either full-time or part-time.
3. Learn about Tax Breaks First
If you should decide to start a business to be able to enjoy more tax deductions, then you should learn about what deductions are available to you. You can go to the CRA Website and find downloadable brochures that will explain which ones are available. By knowing how to save money from the start, it will enable you to get the maximum benefits from deductible expenses.
4. Making Money Is the Key
The CRA  will only consider it a real business if you are frequently engaged in trying to make money from your business. If you cannot prove this goal, then they will simply look at it as a way to evade paying taxes – that won’t be good for anyone. While not every business will see a profit, there must be a clear effort to do so.
5. Keep Accurate Records
If the CRA  should ever have any questions about your business, or about any of the expenses claimed, you will need to be able to show receipts. Good financial records will need to be kept, too, of all expenses and gain from the business. Keeping good records will enable you to save money on a larger scale than if you are a poor record keeper.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Need a hand with your tax return?

Need a hand with your tax return?
 
 
Need a hand with your tax return?
 
 
Did you know?
For some, filling out a tax return can be a challenge. Wouldn’t it be great to have a helping hand?
Good news -- if you are unable to prepare your own income tax and benefit return, you may be able to get help from the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP)! This program, established more than 40 years ago, is a collaboration between the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and community organizations across Canada that host tax preparation clinics. Volunteer tax preparation clinics are generally offered from mid-February to the end of April of each year.
Who can CVITP help?
Over 18,000 CVITP volunteers help complete more than 500,000 income tax returns every year, lending a hand to thousands of people in communities across the country. The CVITP is available to any taxpayer with a modest income and a simple tax situation. This may include:
  • social assistance recipients;
  • newcomers to Canada;
  • seniors; and
  • students.
Volunteers do not prepare tax returns for complex situations, such as:
  • returns for deceased persons;
  • individuals who file for bankruptcy;
  • self-employed individuals;
  • individuals who report capital gains or losses;
  • individuals who report employment expenses; or
  • individuals who report business or rental income and expenses.
Who can CVITP help?
For more information about the CVITP, to find out how to become a volunteer, or to find a participating community organization in your area, go to www.cra.gc.ca/volunteer, or call us at 1-800-959-8281.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

RRSP and RRIF tax traps

RRSP and RRIF tax traps
 
 
 
 
 
RRSP and RRIF tax traps
 
 
Written by Jim Yih
The designation of beneficiaries is a very important component of estate planning especially when it comes to the RRSPs and RRIFs. It has been regular practice for financial advisors and institutions to list a beneficiary designation for the Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP) or Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs).
Generally it is common practice if you have a spouse to list your spouse as the beneficiary because the transfer will qualify for a tax deferred rollover to the spouse and there will be no tax paid. Remember that CRA will get their money later.
With a RRIF only, if you are going to list your spouse as the beneficiary, you may want to designate your spouse as a successor annuitant instead. In this case, the spouse simply takes over from the deceased and continues to receive RRIF payments in his/her place. The investments in the RRIF are not affected by this, as there is no need to execute a new contract.
Watch beneficiaries other than the spouse
When someone other than the spouse is listed as the beneficiary, the RRSP/RRIF is deemed to have been sold just prior to death and the tax burden goes to the estate. Here’s a quick example of this:
Richard was in his second marriage and wanted to make sure that his 2 children, Beth and Art would get part of his estate. As a result, he listed his two kids as the beneficiary of his RRSP. His new spouse would get the house and his pension.
When Richard passed away, the kids got the RRSP money but the RRSPs were still taxable to the estate. When the final tax return was done, there was a significant tax bill but no money in the estate to pay it. The house and the pension did not go through the estate as it went directly to the spouse.
In the end, the kids had to pay the tax but the problem was they spent the money right away. The relationship with their mother-in-law was damaged for life because they felt that she should pay for part of the tax bill.
My two cents
There are a few possible solutions to prevent this trap from happening. The first is to simply watch the designation of beneficiaries on RRSPs and RRIFs. Just remember that no matter who gets the money, there will be tax that has to be paid.
Also remember the joke “Die broke and have fun at it”. The reason it’s a joke is because it’s really hard to do. That being said, when it comes to RRSPs, it’s best to have spent them before you die because they all become taxable when you die. The key is not to die with too much RRSPs but rather spend them while you are living.
And lastly, remember that life insurance can be a great estate planning tool because it creates liquidity. One of the benefits of having life insurance is it can create money in the estate to pay for the tax liability.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Getting the most out of your RRSP

Getting the most out of your RRSP
 
 
Getting the most out of your RRSP
 
 
Jamie.Golombek
 
 
 
 
A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is one of the best ways to save for retirement
for two main reasons. First, it allows you to claim a tax deduction for the amount you
contribute, which can provide a benefit if the amounts contributed are later withdrawn
when you are in a lower tax bracket. Second, an RRSP (and its successor, a Registered
Retirement Income Fund or RRIF) allows you to avoid paying tax on the accumulated
investment income while it remains inside the plan.
Here are five tips for getting the maximum benefit from your RRSP.
1.      Make an RRSP contribution
 
 
 
 
It may seem obvious to say that you should make an RRSP contribution but Statistics Canada
reported that as of 2011, there were 22.7 million people who had total RRSP room of
$772 billion.1 If you’re one of the many Canadians who has not taken advantage of all
available RRSP contribution room, now is the time to act.
Almost anyone with earned income can contribute to an RRSP
Your RRSP contribution limit for a year is 18% of your “earned income” for the prior year
to a maximum of $23,820 for 2013 ($24,270 for 2014), minus your pension adjustment,
plus any unused contribution room from prior years. Earned income includes salary or
bonus remuneration and rental income but does not include passive investment income
such as dividends, interest and capital gains. To claim a deduction for a given tax year,
contributions can be made at any time during the year or within 60 days of year end (by
March 3, 2014 for the 2013 tax year). To the extent that contributions are less than the
limit in a year, the unused RRSP contribution room can be carried forward and contributions
can be made in a future year. Since contributions in excess of the limits (plus a $2,000
overcontribution allowance) can attract penalties, be sure to check your available RRSP
contribution room before putting funds into a plan. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
reports RRSP contribution room on your Notice of Assessment and online through their
“My Account” service at www.cra-arc.gc.ca.
You can claim a deduction for contributions that you make to your own RRSP or to a
spousal or common-law partner RRSP.
If you have kids under 18 who earn money through part-time or summer jobs, encourage
them to file a tax return to report their earned income to the CRA, creating RRSP contribution
room. They can then choose to either make an RRSP contribution with their earnings or,
at the very least, build up that RRSP contribution room for use in a future year, perhaps
waiting until their income becomes taxable.
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you are over age 71, although you can no longer
contribute to your own RRSP, you can still contribute to a
spousal or common-law partner RRSP if you have a spouse
or common-law partner who is 71 or younger. This would
only be applicable if you have RRSP contribution room,
either because you haven't contributed the maximum
allowed during your working years or you continue to
generate new room annually through earned income.
Make a cash-less contribution
If you don’t have the cash available to make an RRSP
contribution, you can transfer investments “in kind”
from a non-registered account to your RRSP. You’ll get
an RRSP contribution slip for the fair market value of
the investment at the time of transfer. Be forewarned,
however, that any accrued capital gains will be realized
on investments that you transfer to your RRSP.
It may at first glance be tempting to transfer an
investment with an accrued loss to your RRSP (or TFSA,
for that matter) to realize the loss without actually
disposing of the investment. Unfortunately, the Income
Tax Act specifically prohibits a loss from being recognized
on such a transfer.
One option, however, may be to consider selling the
investment with the accrued loss and contributing the
cash from the sale into your RRSP (or TFSA). If you want,
you can then buy back the investment inside your RRSP
(or TFSA), but be sure to wait at least 30 days because
of the “superficial loss rule.” This rule prohibits you from
claiming a loss when you sell property and buy it back
within 30 days.
RRSP vs. TFSA vs. the Mortgage
Our report, The RRSP, The TFSA and The Mortgage,2
describes some of the factors to be considered when
choosing, given limited funds, whether to make a
contribution to an RRSP or TFSA, or to pay down your
mortgage.
If you anticipate that you will be in a lower tax bracket
in your retirement years, investing in an RRSP may
be preferable to a TFSA. You might even consider
withdrawing funds on a tax-free basis from your TFSA
and contributing the proceeds to your RRSP. You could
then re-contribute the amount to your TFSA in a later
year once your RRSP contributions are maximized and
additional cash becomes available.
If you’re currently making accelerated payments on your
mortgage or other debt, consider whether making RRSP
contributions might be a better use of your cash. RRSPs
may be a better option than paying down debt when
the rate of return on RRSP investments is expected to
be greater than the rate of interest on debt. The report
referenced above discusses this in detail.
2. Choose when to claim the deduction
for your RRSP contribution
 
 
 
 
 
 
Claim your tax deduction in a later year
You don’t need to claim the deduction in the year
contributions are made and as long as you have the
necessary RRSP contribution room you will not be
penalized, even if your contribution otherwise exceeds
the posted yearly limits. It may make sense, therefore,
to defer claiming a deduction for your RRSP contribution
if you are relatively certain your marginal tax rate for a
coming year will be significantly higher, so you can boost
the tax benefit associated with that deduction.
Get your tax refund with each paycheque
Canadians often rush to submit their tax returns in
advance of the filing deadline so they can get their hands
on their tax refund. Yet a tax refund is simply a sign
you’ve loaned your hard-earned money to the CRA for a
year or longer and you’re just getting your own money
back, interest-free.
If you’re an employee who is subject to tax withholding
at source and you make an RRSP contribution annually,
there’s an easy way to get that tax refund throughout
the year. Simply complete CRA Form T1213, Request
to Reduce Tax Deductions at Source3 in which you list
various deductions, including your RRSP contribution,
that you plan to take when you file your current year’s tax
return. This form must be mailed to the CRA and, once
it’s approved, you will receive back a formal authorization
letter that you submit to your employer authorizing it
to reduce the amount of tax withheld at source from
CIBC February 2014
3
under the HBP must be repaid over a maximum of
15 years or the amount not repaid in a year is added to
your income for that year.
Under the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP), you can withdraw
up to $10,000 per year, or $20,000 in total, to finance
full-time education for you or your spouse or commonlaw
partner. To qualify, the student must have been
enrolled or received a written offer to enroll in a qualifying
educational institution. Most Canadian universities and
colleges and many foreign educational institutions will
qualify. Once the withdrawal is made, the funds can
be used for any purpose and no proof of expenses is
required. You must repay amounts withdrawn under an
LLP over a 10-year period, starting five years after the first
withdrawal or two years after ceasing studies, whichever
is earlier.
Until funds that were borrowed under either the HBP
or LLP are repaid into the RRSP, you forfeit any growth
on the withdrawn funds. Since it may be over 15 years
before you are required to fully repay funds under these
plans, this can have a serious impact on your retirement
savings. It, therefore, generally makes sense to repay
the borrowed funds as soon as possible. There are no
penalties for returning HBP or LLP funds to an RRSP
before the required repayment date, so early repayment
allows you to continue to maximize the tax benefits from
investing within an RRSP as soon as possible.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4. Designate beneficiaries
Holding an RRSP upon death can result in a large tax bill.
The tax rules require the fair market value of your RRSP
as of the date of death to be included on your terminal
tax return, with tax payable at your marginal tax rate for
the year. There are, however, exceptions that may allow
a tax-free rollover to certain beneficiaries.
This income inclusion can be deferred if the RRSP is left to
your surviving spouse or common-law partner. If certain
steps are taken, including that your spouse or commonlaw
partner puts the proceeds into his or her own RRSP
or RRIF, tax will be payable by your surviving spouse or
common-law partner at his or her marginal tax rate in
the year in which funds are withdrawn from his or her
RRSP or RRIF.
each remaining paycheque in the year. Quebec residents
must also complete Revenu Quebec Form TP-1016-V,
Application for a Reduction in Source Deductions of
Income Tax for an Individual or a Self-Employed Person.4
Note that if your employer allows you to make RRSP
contributions through payroll deductions, you won’t
even need to file the CRA (or Revenu Quebec) forms.
Amounts that are directly contributed to an RRSP
through your employer are automatically exempt from
tax withholdings at source.
Once the payroll tax deductions are reduced, you’ll have
more cash available with each paycheque. Starting a
regular, automatic monthly RRSP or TFSA investment plan
may be an ideal way to take advantage of the ongoing
savings.
 
 
 
 
3. Leave funds in an RRSP
Once you’ve contributed funds to an RRSP, you’ll get the
most benefit by leaving funds to accumulate on a taxdeferred
basis until funds are needed in retirement. Our
previous report, Just do it: The case for tax-free investing,5
showed that RRSP investments can earn income that
is completely tax-free when personal tax rates remain
constant. Once you make a regular withdrawal from an
RRSP, you aren’t able to re-contribute the withdrawn
amount so you’ll lose the tax benefits that would have
been available for income earned within the plan.
If you find that you need RRSP funds before retirement,
consider other sources of funding. It might be preferable
to take funds from your TFSA or incur debt, rather than
disrupting your retirement savings plan for short-term
needs. If you have no other sources of funds, there are
two federal programs that may allow you to temporarily
borrow money from your RRSP and later return the
withdrawn funds to your plan without penalty.
The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) allows you to withdraw up
to $25,000 from your RRSP to purchase or construct a
new home. Spouses or common-law partners may each
be able to withdraw $25,000, for a combined total
of $50,000. You generally will not qualify for an HBP
withdrawal if either you or your spouse or common-law
partner has owned a home in the past five years and
occupied it as a principal residence. Amounts withdrawn
CIBC February 2014
4
Alternatively, an RRSP may be left to your financially
dependent child or grandchild and used to purchase a
registered annuity that must end by the time your child
or grandchild reaches age 18. The benefit of doing this
is to spread the tax on the RRSP proceeds over several
years, allowing the child or grandchild to take advantage
of personal tax credits as well as graduated marginal tax
rates each year until he or she reaches the age of 18. If the
financially dependent child or grandchild was dependent
on you because of physical or mental disability, then the
RRSP proceeds can instead be rolled to his or her own
RRSP and effectively only taxed when withdrawn.
While these tax-free rollover options may be available
whether eligible family members are named as
beneficiaries in your will or in the RRSP contract itself,6
the latter option may avoid provincial probate fees
(where applicable).
 
 
 
 
 
 
5. Plan for RRSP conversion prior to
age 71
If you turned 71 this year, you have until December 31
to make any final contributions to your RRSP before
converting it into a RRIF or registered annuity.
It may also be beneficial to make a one-time overcontribution
to your RRSP in December before conversion
if you have earned income this year that will generate
RRSP contribution room for next year. While you will pay
a penalty tax of 1% on the over-contribution (above the
$2,000 permitted over-contribution limit) for the month
of December, new RRSP room will open up on January 1
of next year so the penalty tax will cease come January.
You can then choose to deduct the over-contributed
amount on your return for next year or a future year.
As noted above, this may not be necessary if you have a
younger spouse or common-law partner, since you can
still make contributions to a spousal or common-law
partner RRSP until the end of the year your spouse or
common-law partner turns 71.
 
 
 
 
Conclusion
As the end of February approaches, many Canadians
rush to make an RRSP contribution. With these five tips
for making the most of your RRSP, you’ll be able to save
smarter throughout the year and reap maximum benefits
from your RRSP savings.
 

Retirement Considerations

 Retirement Considerations
 
 
 Retirement Considerations
 
Convert your RRSP to a RRIF by age 71
If you turned age 71 in 2013, you have until December 31 to make any final contributions to your RRSP before converting it into a RRIF or registered annuity.
It may be beneficial to make a one-time overcontribution to your RRSP in December before conversion if you have earned income in 2013 that will generate RRSP contribution room for 2014. While you will pay a penalty tax of 1% on the overcontribution (above the $2,000 permitted overcontribution limit) for December 2013, new RRSP room will open up on January 1, 2014 so the penalty tax will cease in January 2014. You can then choose to deduct the overcontributed amount on your 2014 (or a future year’s) return.
This may not be necessary, however, if you have a younger spouse or partner, since you can still use your contribution room after 2013 to make spousal contributions to their RRSP until the end of the year your spouse or partner turns 71.
Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Retirement Benefits
If you are between ages 60 and 64 in 2013 and are considering taking CPP pension benefits prior to age 65, you may wish to apply by December 31, 2013. If you start CPP benefits in 2013, your pension will be reduced by a “downward monthly adjustment factor” of 0.54% for each month before age 65 that you began receiving it. Starting in 2014, however, the downward monthly adjustment factor will increase to 0.56% (and will gradually continue increasing to 0.6% by 2016), thus decreasing your CPP pension.
If you start to receive CPP retirement benefits after age 65, you will receive an additional 0.7% for each month after age 65 that you begin receiving benefits, up to age 70. Retroactive benefits are available after you reach your 65th birthday but only for up to 12 months, including the month that you apply. You should, therefore, apply for benefits before the month that you turn age 71 at the very latest, to avoid missing out on payments.
Old Age Security (OAS) benefits
In July 2013, Service Canada implemented a process to automatically enroll seniors who are eligible to receive the Old Age Security pension. If you can be automatically enrolled, Service Canada will send you a notification letter the month after you turn 64. If you do not receive an automatic enrolment letter, you must apply for your Old Age Security pension.
As of July 2013, you can also choose to defer your OAS pension by up to 60 months beyond the date on which you become eligible. Your monthly OAS pension payments will be increased by 0.6% for every month that you delay receiving the pension beyond age 65, to a maximum of 36% at age 70. You will not be eligible CIBC 2013 Year End Tax Tips – November 2013 5
to receive OAS benefits, such as the Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance and Allowance for the Survivor, until your OAS pension begins and these benefits will not be increased as a result of the deferral.
Effective March 1, 2013, if you have been receiving the OAS pension for less than six months, you can cancel the pension and defer the start date to receive a higher amount, although you will be required to repay any OAS pension and related benefits that you have already received.
You can also request payment of OAS pension to which you were entitled but that you did not receive. Pension payments will only be made retroactively for a maximum period of 12 months, including the month of application, so be sure to apply by the month in which you turn age 71 at the latest, to avoid missing pension payments.
The OAS pension is “clawed back” (reduced or eliminated) if your net income exceeds $70,954 in 2013. To minimize the clawback and maximize your OAS pension, consider the following strategies:
• Delay converting your RRSP to a RRIF (to a maximum of age 71), to avoid annual RRIF minimum withdrawals and minimize net income prior to conversion.
• Canadian dividends can accelerate OAS clawback, since 138% of eligible dividends and 125% (118% in 2014) of non-eligible dividends is included in net income due to the gross-up. Consider the composition of your non-registered investments to reduce the clawback impact, perhaps looking to half-taxable capital gains.
• Consider deferring the start of your CPP pension after you reach age 65 to reduce your annual net income and the impact of the clawback.
6. Review asset allocation
Non-registered Investments
Year end is an excellent time to review the types of investments that you hold, and the accounts in which you hold them.
In non-registered accounts, Canadian dividends are still taxed more favourably than interest income due to the dividend tax credit; however, in all provinces except Alberta, the highest marginal tax rate on eligible dividends exceeds the highest marginal tax rate on capital gains. Consider whether tilting a non-registered portfolio towards investments that have the potential to earn capital gains is the right move for 2014. You should also consider the impact of any tax rate changes anticipated for future years, such as those described for B.C., New Brunswick and Ontario.
Registered Investments
RRSP Contributions
Although you have until March 3, 2014 to make RRSP contributions for the 2013 tax year, contributions made as early as possible will maximize tax-deferred growth. If you have maximized RRSP contributions in previous years, your 2013 RRSP contribution room is limited to 18% of income earned in 2012, with a maximum contribution of $23,820, less any pension adjustment.
You can withdraw funds from an RRSP without tax under the Home Buyer’s Plan (up to $25,000 for first-time home buyers) or the Lifelong Learning Plan (up to $20,000 for post-secondary education). With each plan, you must repay the funds in future annual instalments, based on the year in which funds were withdrawn. If you are contemplating withdrawing RRSP funds under one of these plans, you can delay repayment by one year if you withdraw funds early in 2014, rather than late in 2013.
TFSA Contributions
There is no deadline for making a TFSA contribution. If you have been over age 18 and resident in Canada since at least 2009, you can contribute up to $25,500 to a TFSA in 2013 if you haven’t previously contributed to a TFSA.
If you withdraw funds from a TFSA, an equivalent amount of TFSA contribution room will be reinstated in the following calendar year, assuming the withdrawal was not to correct an overcontribution. But be careful, because if you withdraw funds from a TFSA and then re-contribute in the same year without having the necessary contribution room, overcontribution penalties can result. If you wish to transfer funds or securities from one TFSA to another, you should do so by way of a direct transfer rather than a withdrawal and recontribution to avoid an overcontribution problem.
If you are planning a TFSA withdrawal in early 2014, consider withdrawing the funds by December 31, 2013,
 
 
 

Ios 7 TIP: How to re-download apps, music, movies and TV shows

Ios 7 TIP:   How to re-download apps, music, movies and TV shows
 
 
Ios 7 TIP:   How to re-download apps, music, movies and TV shows
So, did you just delete an app from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch that you wish you hadn’t? Don’t panic.
Thanks to iCloud and iOS 7, you can get that missing app—or purchased song, TV episode or movie—back in just a few clicks, for free.
It’s a great way to conserve space on your device, or to restore your iTunes purchases in case something bad happens to your handset.
Indeed, you can re-download just about anything you’ve bought from iTunes, over and over, so long as you’re logged into the correct iTunes account.
The exception?  Apps like Flappy Birds that have been pulled from the App Store for some reason or another.
Same goes with media like TV shows, music, and movies, which is why you’d be wise to back up all your iTunes purchases on a Mac, PC, or external hard drive.
So, ready to re-download? Let’s get started…
For apps (iPhone, iPod Touch):
  • Open the App Store by tapping the App Store icon.
  • Tap the “Updates” button in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  • Near the top of the following page, you’ll see an option that reads “Purchased”; go ahead and tap it.
  • You’ll now see a list of every app you’ve ever purchased using your iTunes account. To re-download any of them, tap the little cloud icon to the right.
  • You can also filter the list by tapping the “Not On This iPhone” tab at the top.
 
 
You can see a list of all your re-downloadable iPad apps by tapping the Purchased button from the App Store application.
For apps (iPad):
  • Tap the App Store icon from the iPad’s home screen.
  • Tap the “Purchased” tab at the bottom of the display, just to the left of “Updates.”
  • Now you’ll see a sortable list of all the apps purchased through your iTunes account. Tap the “Sort by” button to sort by app name or most-recently purchased apps. You can also filter by tapping the “Not On This iPad” tab.
  • Last but not least, tap the blue “iPad Apps” link in the top-left corner of the page, then select “iPhone Apps” from the drop-down menu to see apps specifically designed for iPhone.
For music, movies or TV shows (iPhone, iPod Touch):
  • Launch the iTunes Store app, tap the “More” button in the lower-right corner of the screen, then tap “Purchased.”
  • Next, you’ll get the choice of viewing your purchased music, movies, or TV shows; just tap the option you want.
  • You’ll now see a searchable list of your purchases. To re-download a show, movie or song, tap the little cloud.
For music or TV shows (iPad):
  • Tap the App Store icon from the home screen, then tap the “Purchased” tab at the bottom of the screen.
  • On the next screen, you’ll see a list of all your purchased songs from iTunes, organized by artist. Tap an artist’s name to see which songs are available for re-downloading.
  • You can also tap the “sort Songs by” link to sort your iCloud-stored music grouped into albums rather than individual songs.
  • Want to check out your downloadable movies and TV shows? Tap either the “Movies” or “TV Shows” tabs at the top of the screen.
Bonus tip
You can save yourself some steps by letting the iOS Music and Videos apps display all your iCloud media, including songs, TV shows and movies that aren’t stored on your iPhone or iPad.
Tap Settings, iTunes & App Store, find the “Show All” heading, then flick the switches next to “Music” and “Videos.”
Keep in mind, though, that any music or videos you download over your iPhone or iPad cellular connection will count against your monthly data allowance.
 

Understand Your Canadian Payroll Deductions

Understand Your Canadian Payroll Deductions
 
 
 
 
Understand Your Canadian Payroll Deductions
Ever tried to deduce your source deductions? Do you understand the large discrepancy between your gross pay and net salary?

Grab your latest pay stub because this article is riddled with helpful links to tools and tables for all workers in Canada. I found the online
payroll deductions calculator; it calculates Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Employment Insurance (EI) and tax deductions in just a few keystrokes. Read on to learn what portion of your hard earned money goes where before you get the chance to (sniff) say goodbye.
 
What is a Pay Statement?
 
Your pay statement is a record of the money you earned and the deductions you paid during a specific period. Paychecks are generally issued twice a month, totaling 24 checks per year, or they are paid every two weeks, which would amount to 26 checks in a year. You can also get paid weekly or monthly. Your statement will show your hourly rate and the number of hours pertaining to the pay period.
 
The Plusses
 
The amount under or next to “Total Earnings” holds top rank for being the biggest dollar value on your pay slip. It combines your gross income and your taxable benefits such as RRSP top-up payments made by your employer, or taxable allowances like travel per diems, car and cell phone payments or any perk you write off on your expense report that is paid or reimbursed to you by the company. Your premiums and tax rate is determined by your total insurable earnings.
 
The amount under or next to “Gross Income” is the second highest amount on your pay slip. It’s the amount of  your regular salary, wages, commissions or earnings before deductions.

The Minuses
 
“Net Pay” is the diminutive baby bear, the third largest number on your pay stub and several hundred dollars lower than your gross income and total insurable earnings. This is the amount of salary left over once all the deductions are removed.
 
Here’s where your money went:
 
Government Pension is the number one line item under the deductions subheading. This refers to your mandatory Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contribution.
 
*Quebecers pay into the QPP. The other Quebec exception is the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) premium. Revenue Quebec provides online access to a source deductions calculation program to help employers figure out these amounts.
 
Employment Insurance (EI) is the next premium that gets deducted from your salary. Your premium payment will be $1.73 for every $100 of insurable earnings until you pay out the maximum contribution amount of $747.36. Quebec residents pay $1.36 per $100 of insurable earnings up to $587.52.
 
Following CPP and EI is federal and provincial income tax. You file a TD1 form when you start your job, telling both levels of government what you can claim as tax credits. The TD1 data is used to determine your tax deduction rate.
 
Finally, you have non-compulsory deductions. If you pay child support directly out of your paycheck you’ll incur it as a minus. If you pay group insurance premiums these contributions will show up on your pay stub on a separate line. These premiums will vary between companies based on the plan purchased and the employer contribution. You might also see your RRSP deductions if you pay into your company RRSP matching plan.
 
Keep in mind you can keep track of all the deductions by pay period or lumped into a sum by looking at the Year To Date column (YTD).
 
It’s your responsibility to understand your deductions and monitor your pay so that in the event of a calculation error by the employer you can catch it and have it rectified pronto.
 
If you have any questions about your pay slip see or speak with your manager, company payroll specialist or contact the Canada Revenue Agency.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Understand Your Canadian Payroll Deductions

Understand Your Canadian Payroll Deductions
 
 
 
Understand Your Canadian Payroll Deductions
Ever tried to deduce your source deductions? Do you understand the large discrepancy between your gross pay and net salary?

Grab your latest pay stub because this article is riddled with helpful links to tools and tables for all workers in Canada. I found the online
payroll deductions calculator; it calculates Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Employment Insurance (EI) and tax deductions in just a few keystrokes. Read on to learn what portion of your hard earned money goes where before you get the chance to (sniff) say goodbye.
 
What is a Pay Statement?
 
Your pay statement is a record of the money you earned and the deductions you paid during a specific period. Paychecks are generally issued twice a month, totaling 24 checks per year, or they are paid every two weeks, which would amount to 26 checks in a year. You can also get paid weekly or monthly. Your statement will show your hourly rate and the number of hours pertaining to the pay period.
 
The Plusses
 
The amount under or next to “Total Earnings” holds top rank for being the biggest dollar value on your pay slip. It combines your gross income and your taxable benefits such as RRSP top-up payments made by your employer, or taxable allowances like travel per diems, car and cell phone payments or any perk you write off on your expense report that is paid or reimbursed to you by the company. Your premiums and tax rate is determined by your total insurable earnings.
 
The amount under or next to “Gross Income” is the second highest amount on your pay slip. It’s the amount of  your regular salary, wages, commissions or earnings before deductions.

The Minuses
 
“Net Pay” is the diminutive baby bear, the third largest number on your pay stub and several hundred dollars lower than your gross income and total insurable earnings. This is the amount of salary left over once all the deductions are removed.
 
Here’s where your money went:
 
Government Pension is the number one line item under the deductions subheading. This refers to your mandatory Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contribution.
 
*Quebecers pay into the QPP. The other Quebec exception is the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) premium. Revenue Quebec provides online access to a source deductions calculation program to help employers figure out these amounts.
 
Employment Insurance (EI) is the next premium that gets deducted from your salary. Your premium payment will be $1.73 for every $100 of insurable earnings until you pay out the maximum contribution amount of $747.36. Quebec residents pay $1.36 per $100 of insurable earnings up to $587.52.
 
Following CPP and EI is federal and provincial income tax. You file a TD1 form when you start your job, telling both levels of government what you can claim as tax credits. The TD1 data is used to determine your tax deduction rate.
 
Finally, you have non-compulsory deductions. If you pay child support directly out of your paycheck you’ll incur it as a minus. If you pay group insurance premiums these contributions will show up on your pay stub on a separate line. These premiums will vary between companies based on the plan purchased and the employer contribution. You might also see your RRSP deductions if you pay into your company RRSP matching plan.
 
Keep in mind you can keep track of all the deductions by pay period or lumped into a sum by looking at the Year To Date column (YTD).
 
It’s your responsibility to understand your deductions and monitor your pay so that in the event of a calculation error by the employer you can catch it and have it rectified pronto.
 
If you have any questions about your pay slip see or speak with your manager, company payroll specialist or contact the Canada Revenue Agency.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Prime Joint Support Formula by Isotonix®

Prime Joint Support Formula by Isotonix®
 
 
 
Prime Joint Support Formula by Isotonix®
 
 
 
 
What Makes Prime™ Joint Support Formula by Isotonix® Unique?

As the body ages, many people experience joint discomfort. One option is to take a joint supplement to help promote overall bone and joint health. When looking at a joint supplement, there is one main non-controversial ingredient found in most products on the market, glucosamine.
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The research behind glucosamine is consistent and its benefits effective. Prime Joint Support Formula contains glucosamine, naturally produced by the body and a key component of cartilage. An aminomonosaccharide (a combination of the amino acid — glutamine and a sugar — glucose), glucosamine is concentrated in joint cartilage and has been scientifically proven to support healthy joint function and promote the normal production of synovial fluid, which lubricates your joints and regenerates cartilage. 

Prime Joint Support Formula also contains the powerful antioxidant Pycnogenol®, which science has shown to inhibit the body’s overactive inflammatory processes associated with the normal aging process.
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The body’s inflammatory response is a natural process. It is an essential component of the body’s defense system and can be triggered from numerous internal and external factors. Pycnogenol has been shown to help support the body’s defense system by inhibiting overactive inflammatory responses associated with the normal aging process.

Furthermore, Prime Joint Support Formula is the only product on the market delivering glucosamine and Pycnogenol in isotonic form.

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 in an isotonic state.

Isotonix dietary supplements are delivered in an isotonic solution. This means that the body has less work to do to obtain maximum absorption of the nutrients. The isotonic state of the suspension allows nutrients to pass directly into the small intestine and rapidly absorb into the bloodstream. With Isotonix products, little nutritive value is lost, making the absorption of nutrients highly efficient while delivering maximum results.
 
Isotonix is a Market America trademark registered in the United States.

As the body ages, many people experience joint discomfort. Prime Joint Support Formula contains the powerful antioxidant Pycnogenol®, which inhibits the body’s overactive inflammatory processes associated with the normal aging process. By taking Prime Joint Support, you can contribute positively to maintaining healthy cartilage and healthy joints. Prime Joint Support Formula is the only product on the market delivering needed glucosamine and Pycnogenol in an isotonic form. The isotonic state of the suspension allows nutrients to pass directly into the small intestine and rapidly absorb into the bloodstream. With Isotonix products, little nutritive value is lost, making the absorption of nutrients highly efficient while delivering maximum results.
Pycnogenol is the registered trademark of Horphag Research (UK) Ltd.
*These products are not manufactured or distributed by Market America, Inc., and all associated trademarks are the property of their respective owners
Primary Benefits of Prime™ Joint Support Formula by Isotonix®:
·         A factor in maintaining healthy cartilage  
·         Helps to maintain healthy cartilage  
·         A factor in maintaining joint health  
·         Helps to maintain joint health 
·          
 
·          
 
·          
 
·         Key Ingredients Found in Prime™ Joint Support Formula by Isotonix®:

Glucosamine (HCl): 1500 mg
Glucosamine is a molecule that is naturally synthesized in the body from glucose and the amino acid glutamine. Glucosamine is an important constituent of glycosaminoglycans in cartilage matrix and synovial fluid. As our bodies age, we are less able to produce glucosamine, resulting in cartilage that is less flexible and weak. Although the mechanism is currently unclear, studies have shown that glucosamine supplementation can support normal, healthy cartilage cell production to help maintain overall joint health.
·        

Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol®): 37.5 mg
Pycnogenol is a water-soluble flavonoid complex with powerful benefits. Pycnogenol, similar to the proanthocyanins found in grape seeds, is extracted from the bark of the French maritime pine tree. Numerous studies have examined the anti-inflammatory properties of Pycnogenol.

The body’s inflammatory response is a natural process. It is an essential component of the body’s defense system, and can be triggered from numerous internal and external factors. Pycnogenol has been shown help maintain the body’s natural defenses by inhibiting over active inflammatory responses associated with the normal aging process. Research has shown that Pycnogenol may inhibit the activation of NF-kappa B and AP-1, both of which are proinflammatory mediators. Pycnogenol supplementation can also promote normal COX-2 and 5-LOX gene expression and support healthy leukotriene biosynthesis. In addition, studies have shown the ability of Pycnogenol to cross-link collagen fibers and strengthen connective tissue proteins.
·         Frequently Asked Questions about Prime™ Joint Support Formula by Isotonix®:
·          
 
·        

What is the recommended dosage?
Pour 3 level, white bottle capfuls of powder into a cup. Add 6 fl. oz of (the line on the overcap indicates 2 fl. oz.) of water and stir. Maximum absorption occurs when taken on an empty stomach. This product is isotonic only if the specified amounts of powder and water are used.

What other products should I take with Prime Joint Support Formula by Isotonix to support my joint health?
Heart Health™ Essential Omega III is a great pair with Prime Joint Support Formula, as omega III fatty acids have been shown to support healthy joint lubrication.

How often should I take Prime Joint Support Formula by Isotonix? 
This product is most effective when taken daily.

How much Pycnogenol® is in Prime Joint Support Formula by Isotonix?
There are 25 milligrams of Pycnogenol in each daily serving.

Who should not use this product?
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use this product. If you are currently taking warfarin (Coumadin) or any other antiplatelet/anticoagulant drugs, anti-hypertensive drugs, any prescription drug or have an ongoing medical condition, you should consult your healthcare provider before using this product. If you have a known allergy to shellfish, do not use this product.
 
 
 
 
 

Digestive Health Kit

Digestive Health Kit
 
 
 
Digestive Health Kit
 
 
 
What Makes the Digestive Health Kit Unique?

The Digestive Health Kit contains two products specially formulated to work within your body to promote digestive wellness. The first, Ultimate Aloe Juice, is made with the patented, concentrated ActiveAloe™ that enhances the aloe vera’s biological activity. Ultimate Aloe boasts the coveted IASC (International Aloe Science Council) seal that certifies the aloe content and purity. Pasteurized to ensure a durable, high quality product, Ultimate Aloe contains fibre as well as nutrients, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Not only is Ultimate Aloe fortified with healthful nutrients, but also it is free from high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. Ultimate Aloe contains no thickeners or emulsifiers, and is virtually free of emodin or aloin, but rather contains natural aloe vera leaves, harvested and processed quickly and under the most sanitary conditions to ensure your body receives maximum results. Ultimate Aloe is also great tasting and refreshing, while many other aloe products are bitter or heavily laced with artificial sweeteners.
 
 
 
 


The second product in this kit, the Isotonix Digestive Enzyme Formula, is an isotonic-capable food supplement, blending amylase, protease, cellulase, lactase, maltase, sucrase and lipase enzymes. Enzymes are important for the body’s proper absorption and utilization of food. Over time, the body’s ability to make certain enzymes decreases as part of the natural aging process. Many scientists now believe that maintaining normal levels of key enzymes is important to maintaining overall health. Enzymes are responsible for every activity of life including proteases (aid in digesting protein), amylases (aid in digesting carbohydrates), and lipases (aid in digesting fats) which are digestive enzymes, which function as the biological catalyst to breaking down food.
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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 maximum 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 the Digestive Health Kit:
·         Save over 30% compared to purchasing these products separately
·         Ideal for those seeking digestive health
·         Isotonix Digestive Enzymes Formula contains a digestive blend of amylase, protease, cellulase, lactase, maltase, sucrase and lipase enzymes
·         Contains Ultimate Aloe Juice, which contains ActiveAloe and is a source of over 200 nutrients, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, including 13 of the 17 essential minerals needed for good nutrition
Frequently Asked Questions About the Digestive Health Kit:

What are digestive enzymes?
Digestive enzymes are special catalytic proteins that help our bodies break down food to utilize the complete spectrum of nutrients in the food we eat. Isotonix Digestive Enzyme Formula acts to supplement and maximize the activity of the body’s own enzymes in an easy-to-take, pleasant-tasting drink.

Isotonix Digestive Enzyme Formula provides additional digestive enzymes for the body in order to maximize the absorption of nutrients from the food we eat.
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How do enzymes function in the body?
Enzymes are the workhorses of our cells. They are proteins that catalyze many thousands of biochemical reactions in the body. While most enzymes work inside our cells, digestive enzymes operate outside the cells in the gastrointestinal tract.

The start of digestion begins with digestive enzymes secreted by salivary gland cells into our mouths. Cells lining the gastrointestinal tract also contribute enzymes such as pepsin in the stomach. In addition, digestive enzymes are produced in the pancreas and are emptied into the upper part of the small intestine.

These enzymes help to break apart proteins, allowing the body to optimize its effort to digest proteins from plant and animal sources, as well as break down starch, lactose, fats, and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). The result is a more complete digestive process, resulting in better nutritional absorption.

Isotonix Digestive Enzyme Formula supplies enzymes that are not inactivated by stomach acid. What this means is that the supplemental enzymes mix with and work in concert with the ingested food and begin to work with the body’s own digestive enzymes to release as many of the nutrients as possible.
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What are the three basic enzymes and the four specialty food enzymes?
There are three basic food enzymes that help us digest our food. Each has a specific function and purpose, and each is necessary for the releasing of nutrients into our bodies. They are: protease (which digests proteins), amylase (which digests starch) and lipase (which digests fats). In addition to these basic enzymes, there are also some specialty enzymes including: lactase (for the sugar lactose in dairy products), maltase (for the sugar maltose in foods), sucrase (for table sugar and fruit), and cellulase (which helps us digest cellulose fibres). Each of these enzymes play a significant part in the body’s overall health by promoting better digestion of food and absorption of nutrients.
 
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What is ActiveAloe™?
Ultimate Aloe Juice contains the ingredient ActiveAloe™, which is protected by a patented process that actually enhances aloe vera’s biological activity by isolating the polysaccharide fraction from the plant. This is important because the healthful benefits of aloe come from polysaccharides of a certain size. ActiveAloe™ is produced under ultra-sanitary conditions; employees go through sanitation every time the work area is entered, and the entire area undergoes wash down each night. It contains a novel proprietary method enabling the dehydration of aloe while maintaining flavour, colour and nutrients.
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I noticed the IASC Seal on the Ultimate Aloe Juice bottles. What is it, and what does it mean for me?
The seal is a certificate from the International Aloe Science Council (IASC). It demonstrates that the quality of aloe in Ultimate Aloe Juice has been validated and certified by an independent group of professionals. Market America has made a strong commitment to sell a standardized, well-defined, thoroughly tested product that meets the rigid standards of the Council.
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What is the shelf life of Ultimate Aloe Juice?http://ca.shop.com/alikoshoppingmall/927290379-p+898.xhtml?vid=243360
 
 
 
 

If unrefrigerated and unopened, Ultimate Aloe Juice will last approximately one year.

How long will this kit last me?
The Isotonix Digestive Enzymes contains a 90 day supply. If you drink Ultimate Aloe by the suggested serving size, you will have a 96 day supply of assorted Ultimate Aloe juices.