Do you have a Collateral Mortgage?

A mortgage is the biggest debt that most Canadians will ever incur. For this reason, it’s of utmost importance that you do you research and know what your options are to minimize the damage to your bank account before you sign any dotted lines. You’d probably like to think that you can trust your mortgage broker to make sure you get the best deal, but the only way to guarantee that is by doing your homework beforehand and being fully informed about the different types of mortgages. One of these options is a collateral mortgage. Not familiar with the term? Luckily, we at MC Wealth Management are here to walk you through to explain all the ins and outs of collateral mortgages and help you decide if this is the right option for you and your mortgage rate. What is a Collateral Mortgage? The online definition of a collateral mortgage is: “A mortgage that secures a loan by way of a promissory note. The money borrowed can be used to buy a property or can be used for another purpose, such as a home renovation or a vacation.” In plain English, a collateral mortgage lets the lender borrow more than the home’s value—up to 125% of the property value, to be exact. That extra cushion of cash sounds great, but be aware that there’s always a caveat. Unlike a standard charge mortgage, a collateral mortgage can be discharged, but not switched or transferred. Keep this in mind if you’re planning on moving in the short term or if you might want to move your mortgage under somebody else’s name. What...

Shopping Around For Your Mortgage?

SHOPPING AROUND FOR YOUR MORTGAGE? Here’s the inside scoop on how to do it right!   First:     Make sure you are working with an experienced professional loan officer.  The largest financial transaction of your life is far too important to place into the hands of someone who is not capable of advising you properly and troubleshooting the issues that may arise along the way.  But how can you tell?   Here are four simple questions your lender absolutely must be able to answer correctly. If they do not know the answers…RUN…DON’T WALK…to a lender that does!   What are mortgage interest rates based on? The only correct answer is the Bank of Canada rate for variable mortgages and mortgage backed securities, specialized mortgage bonds, or Government of Canada Long Bonds for fixed rates. A professional mortgage originator ought to at least know the basics of how your interest rate is determined.  Do not work with a lender who has their eyes on the wrong indicators, or worse yet, has no idea what the indicators even are.  At Northwood Mortgage Ltd we constantly review these indicators and you can therefore be confident in our ability to suggest sound mortgage strategies up front and to manage your mortgage for the long term.   What is happening in the market today, and what do you see in the near future and why?   If a lender cannot explain how Mortgage bonds and interest rates interact and where they are headed, why would you trust their advice for your costliest investment?   What strategy are you recommending and why?   The key here...

Be careful when using your Emergency Savings

Canadians take nearly $8,000 out of emergency savings for non-essentials By IE Staff | September 12, 2014 11:50 Two-thirds of Canadians have dipped into their savings for a non-emergency, taking an average $7,955 to cover indulgences, including electronics, non-essential home renovations, vehicle upgrades, vacations and large gifts, according to a recent survey. The annual BMO Rainy Day Survey, conducted by Pollara, revealed that women are more likely than men to dip into their fund for a non-emergency, but men dip in deeper: The survey found that seven-in-20 women (68 per cent) dipped into their fund for a non-emergency, compared to 61 per cent of men. Men have taken an average of $10,351 for a non-emergency, while women have taken $5,920. While women’s top three non-emergency expenses included vacations, home renovations and large gifts, men’s top three included vacations, electronics, and home renovations. “While it’s promising to see that Canadians consider their rainy-day savings to be primarily reserved for emergencies, their willingness to dip into their fund for an indulgence could be a threat to their financial security,” said Christine Canning, head of everyday banking, BMO Bank of Montreal, in a release. “A better approach would be to hold a designated fund for indulgences, to help keep expenses in check.” The survey was conducted by Pollara between August 5-7, with an online sample of 1,001 adult Canadians. The margin of error for a probability sample size of 1,001 is plus or minus 3.1%, 19 times out of...

Are you a “House-Plus” buyer?

I have observed that there are some general differences between that are generational.  The following article is an interesting study of the Gen X era, those born approximately 1961 to 1981, after the Baby Boomers. TD Survey finds most Gen Xers want budget flexibility to afford other things in life TORONTO, Sept. 9, 2014 /CNW/ – Today’s Gen X Canadians overwhelmingly consider themselves “House-Plus” buyers who want enough flexibility in the budget to afford things like travel after paying their monthly mortgage. Only one in seven (14%) Gen X Canadians consider themselves “House-All” buyers who go to the higher end of what they can comfortably afford when it comes to their mortgage, leaving less room for discretionary spending. But, according to a recent TD survey, Gen Xers are fairly evenly split between those who see themselves living in their current home forever (42%) and those who see it as a stepping stone to a different property (45%). “More than two thirds of Gen X Canadians have told us they don’t want their entire budget allocated to mortgage payments,” said Nupi Zubair, Associate Vice President, Retail Products at TD. “It’s possible to own a home and not feel handcuffed to the mortgage, but it does require careful saving and planning before signing on the dotted line. Buyers need to purchase a home at a price they can afford, while still budgeting for the other things on their list of priorities.” Zubair says that, in addition to the sale price of the home, Gen X Canadians need to factor in other costs of homeownership – such as taxes, maintenance, closing costs and...

RRIF rules causing withdrawal pains?

The day has come – RETIRED!  Yikes, now what?  This is such an exciting time of your life and should be a positive change.  For many of my clients, this brings the need to evaluate your finances and balance spending with keeping money for later.  I am a fan of balancing this and ensuring you enjoy life now and in the future.  One part of this puzzle is what to take, when from your Registered investments.  Click here to get some great insights into how people are managing this decision and feel free to contact me at www.mcwealthmanagement.ca for more information....

The Five Ages of Can’t

Up to Age 30 I can’t save now. I’m just getting my start in life. I don’t make a lot yet and I am entitled to a little fun when I am young. There is plenty of time. Wait until I start making a little more money. Then I’ll save… Age 31 to 45 I can’t save now. I have a growing family on my hands. Children and a house cost a lot of money. It takes all I have to keep them going. As soon as they are a little older, it’ll cost less. Then I’ll save… Age 46 to 55 I can’t save now. I’ve got two children in college. It’s all I can do to pay their expenses. In fact, I had to borrow for their tuition last fall. This is the most expensive period of a person’s life. I can’t save a penny… Age 56 to 65 I can’t save now. I know I should but things aren’t coming together like I thought they would. It’s not easy for a person my age to step out and get a better job. I’ll have to ride along where I am. Maybe something will break… Age 66 I can’t save now. We’re living with my son and his wife. My Canada Pension doesn’t go far. I wish I had started saving 20 years ago but it’s too late now. You can’t save when there is no income. Keeping your best interests on mind! Debbie McCulloch is the President of the Whitby East MC Wealth Management and can be reached at...

The Top Eight Misconceptions about having a Financial Advisor

1. I don’t have enough money to make it worth using an Advisor
 This is an understandable misconception, however, Advisors such as myself prepare the written plan at no to you. You will then have a road map that you can use to guide you through your life decisions. Even a contribution of $50 per month to an RRSP should be done with the correct investments and should match your long or short -term goals. So don’t worry, call an Advisor and get that road map started so you can ensure that you are making the best decisions for your own future. 2. I don’t have any money to spare It is amazing how preparing a financial plan can actually uncover ways to allocate your current expenses in a better manner for you without you having to come up with any additional money. 3. I’m in my 30’s/40’s so don’t need to think about retirement yet Since retirement is such an important aspect of everyone’s future, planning for it can never start too soon. Money has a way of growing when left untouched so the sooner you start investing the less in total you will have had to put away, leaving money to spend now also. Investing in vehicles such as RRSP’s will reduce the taxes you pay. Also Planning is not just about preparing for retirement, it includes saving for the children, estate planning, saving for a cottage and all the other things you want to do while you are working. 4. I know how to invest myself
 This is probably true of many people, however, as with...

Financial Planing

Is Your Financial Plan Up-To-Date? “…an effective financial plan will give you and your family protection against the financial perils of illness, disability and death.” In Times of Transition The only constant in life is change. When your life moves in a new direction, it is wise to seek the advice of a financial planner. If you are newly married, recently graduated, starting your own business or beginning your first job, it may be the right time for your first financial plan. Then, as your circumstances evolve, it is appropriate to review and revise that plan. A new baby, a family inheritance, a job promotion or job loss, the divorce or loss of a spouse – any of these passages may call for a financial planning review. Your Financial Plan Of course, financial advice can come from a variety of sources and take many forms. Your accountant may give tax advice, and friends and loved ones may also offer ideas. So how do you assess these fragments of information and advice against your financial goals? A sound financial plan provides the context for all your financial decisions. The total financial planning process consists of: analysing your current financial situation; identifying your financial and lifestyle goals; identifying your financial problems; drafting a written plan with recommendations and alternative solutions; implementing a strategy to ensure that you achieve your goals; and reviewing your plan periodically. Attaining Financial Security Your financial advisor will help you meet one of life’s major challenges: attaining financial security. Financial advice helps individuals achieve their life goals through wise management of their financial resources. Whether you wish...

Emergency Planning – Where do you keep your important papers?

We have all heard of it, someone had 5 minutes to get out of the house and flee to safety – what would you do? Would you know where to find the vital papers such as insurance policies, warranties, your will and power of attorneys, etc? Are they all in one place or scattered around the house? Unfortunately disaster can strike anywhere at anytime and we need to acknowledge that this could happen to any one of us.  A simple plan can be all that is needed to ensure you are not adversely affected by any disasters. This could also include disasters such as death or accidents where you can not physically get home to retrieve these items yourself. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself and your family: 1.  Gather all of your financial papers, documents and information plus any personal identification. The following is a list of some of these items but feel free to add to this list yourself: Prior income tax forms/receipts; credit card statements; insurance policies and employer benefit statements; mortgage and loan statements; titles, deeds and property/vehicle registrations; identification records such as drivers license, passport, SIN card, health card; marriage and divorce certificates; appraisal certificates and bank account statements, investment records and original share certificates. 2.  Decide where you are going to keep all of these items. For storage at home, a fire proof box or filing case is your best alternative, preferably something that is portable so you can take it with you when you flee the house. If you prefer offsite storage, a safety deposit box is an option,...

Estate Planning

“Our goal is to help you realize your goals.” Estate planning is a strategy, and a process, that ensures the orderly transfer of your assets, in the event of your death or incapacity, at the smallest financial and emotional cost to you and your family. Estate planning is not just for the elderly or the wealthy. While you may not think your nest egg is substantial, even a mortgaged home can become a valuable asset if the mortgage is life-insured. Why you need Estate Planning Will Executor Tax Planning Life Insurance Bequests to charity Guardian Power of Attorney The Process Estate Planning Facts 49% of Canadians have not yet prepared a will* 21% of Canadians who have a will have not discussed it or their wishes with their named Executor* 56% of Canadians have not designated a personal or financial Power of Attorney* 25% of Canadians expect to experience a conflict with family members over a will* *Source: September 1998 Compas Inc. Poll Why you need Estate Planning A properly structured estate plan allows you to choose your beneficiaries, maximize your assets and minimize your taxes and costs. Most importantly, it relieves uncertainty. Without careful planning, your property could pass to unintended beneficiaries, or it could be reduced in value by unnecessary or unexpected taxes and costs. You want your loved ones to inherit assets, not problems. Estate planning consists of several components, the most important being your will. Will Your will is the only legally recognized document that allows you to choose how your estate is to be distributed. It directs your estate’s assets to your beneficiaries, or...

Debunking the myths of financial planning

Providing financial advice to individuals and business owners has put me in contact with hundreds of people who are concerned about their financial futures. While the individual situations of my clients vary, I’m frequently surprised by the degree to which people share the same concerns. Based on the most common questions I’m asked, I’ve put together a list of what I feel are the top three “myths” about money management. It is my hope that by addressing them in this column, I might help to dispel some of the concerns and ease the intimidation that is so often associated with the investment industry. Myth #1: Only the very wealthy need the services of a financial advisor. This is perhaps the most dangerous of the untruths because it undermines what should be a basic goal of every Canadian: to take responsibility for his or her own financial future. Strange to think that it was just a generation ago people felt planning for their retirement meant investing in Canada Savings Bonds and awaiting their Canada Pension Plan at age 65. That’s no longer the case. Today, governments are handcuffed by enormous deficits, inflation nibbles away at savings and the individual is struggling under the weight of an increasingly heavy tax burden. As the average Canadian struggles to meet the demands of daily life, there is less and less time to manage the ever more complex legal, financial and tax affairs which are important to one’s fiscal health. None of this seems likely to change. The good news is however, that there are average Canadians who are having success in meeting their...