TFSA accumulated savings – an update

Here’s an update of my post from January 2015 on TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account) accumulation.
Since 2009, one can contribute to a TFSA and any investment income earned is tax free.

Assuming a 4% annual return, and the maximum is contributed each year at the beginning of each year, one can expect to have almost $63,000 by the end of 2017!   The magic of compounding and accumulation.

 

Year Maximum allowed Year-start balance Contribution on Jan 1st Interest    rate Interest earned Year-end balance saved
2009 5,000.00 0.00 5,000.00 4.0% 200.00 5,200.00
2010 5,000.00 5,200.00 5,000.00 4.0% 408.00 10,608.00
2011 5,000.00 10,608.00 5,000.00 4.0% 624.32 16,232.32
2012 5,000.00 16,232.32 5,000.00 4.0% 849.29 22,081.61
2013 5,500.00 22,081.61 5,500.00 4.0% 1,103.26 28,684.88
2014 5,500.00 28,684.88 5,500.00 4.0% 1,367.40 35,552.27
2015 10,000.00 35,552.27 10,000.00 4.0% 1,822.09 47,374.36
2016 5,500.00 47,374.36 5,500.00 4.0% 2,114.97 54,989.34
2017 5,500.00 54,989.34 5,500.00 4.0% 2,419.57 62,908.91

It’s time for a year-end tax planning check-up

It’s amazing how time flies, but we’re almost near the end of another year.   And before we start to celebrate another festive season, let’s review some essential planning items and act now for some additional tax saving for 2016.

  • Harvesting tax losses.   Consider selling investment losers in your non registered portfolios to use as offsets to your capital gains.   Any unused losses for the current tax year can also be carried back three years and forward indefinitely.
  • Good to hold off buying any mutual funds until the new year.   This will avoid any possible surprising and unanticipated income distribution even if you owned the funds for a month or less.
  • Pay these bills before the year-end for 2016 tax benefits/credits –
    medical and dental expenses;
    child care expenses;
    spousal support payment;
    political donations;
    charitable donations;
    investment counsel fees.
  • For self employed taxpayers, consider making your intended capital item purchases (such as an automobile) before year-end to maximize your 2016 capital cost allowance.  You are entitled to claim the maximum business deductions for the year even though you actually only owned the item(s) for a month or less.
  • This is the time to see if it makes sense to contribute to your RRSP for the current year.   You probably know how much income you’ve earned for 2016, and whether a contribution will benefit you in tax savings for the year.
  • Adjust your 4th quarter tax instalment to compensate for possible 2016 over or under payment.
  • It’s always wise to contribute to your TFSA if there’s excess cash for savings and investments.   Doing so in your TFSA will help you avoid taxation on any investment income generated from those contributions.
  • The Home Renovations Tax Credit for seniors and persons with disabilities is still available for eligible individuals.   It’s worth 10% of eligible renovation costs to a maximum of $1,000 in tax credit.    All documentation must be available on request to support the claim.  Details available on the BC Government website.  (* please also see my blog of 2017/02/26 for the Feds’ version of this tax credit.)

And new in the CRA pipeline –

  • Disposition of your Principal Residence – new reporting rules for 2016 and beyond.   Individuals must now report their principal residence disposition occurring in the year.  CRA has published new guidance on its website for compliance and essential reporting.

Deadlines –

  • 2016 personal tax filing – May 1, 2017
  • 2016 personal tax filing with self employment reporting – June 15, 2017
  • RRSP contribution deadline for 2016 – February 28, 2017

 

Save your money $$$

Here are some concrete saving ideas to help you keep more of your money.   Read my recent posts on how to save over $42,500 in just 7 years, even with only a 4% rate of return!

1)   Do not impulse buy, only shop for what’s on your prepared list;
(Studies have shown that as much as $3,700 a year is wasted on unnecessary purchases.)

 

2)   Lunch in (not out) more often;
(A average savings of at least $5 per meal when not lunching out.  Do this twice a week and you will save $520 a year.)

lunch in, save money

lunch in, save money

 

3)   Stop food waste, be creative with leftovers;
(Studies have shown that as much as 35% of our food ends up being wasted, or $2,200 year.)

 

4)   Pay your credit card bills on time;
(It’s obvious, many dollars can be saved when you stop those 18% to 20% interest charges levied by your credit card companies.)

no more credit card late payments!

no more credit card late payments!

 

5)   Look for cheaper phone plans;
(Even a savings of $20 a month in your phone plan will save you $240 a year.)

 

Add up all your savings and you are well on your way to top up your TFSA for a more secured future!

see your money grow!

see your money grow!

Save up to $15 a day for your TFSA

My yesterday’s blog shows that you can amass $42,600 in tax free savings with only a 4% return and in just 7 years.

The difficult part for most of us is coming up with the money to contribute to our TFSA (tax free savings account).  For 2015, the yearly maximum is $5,500 or about $15 a day.

$5,500 is a lot of money for most people.  But $15 is more attainable.   So focus on what you can save each day, instead of the huge end sum of $5,500.  If you can’t possibly save $15, try $10 or even $5 a day.   Any amount will work and get you started.

Put real cash saved each day into a glass jar so you can actually see it before depositing the money into your TFSA account at the end of the month.   Start all over for each month.   I’m certain you’ll be surprised how your TFSA will build over time.

Save $15 a day = $5,475 yearly!

Save $10 a day = $3,650 yearly!

Even just save $5 a day = $1,825 yearly!

Now isn’t this worth pursuing?   And what a great way to start a January.

TFSA tax free $ accumulation – how cool is that!

I can’t think of a better way than the chart below to illustrate the power of tax free savings accumulation.

If the maximum contribution to a TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account) has been saved since its inception in 2009, one can expect to have almost $42,700 by the end of 2015!   This is assuming only a 4% rate of return.   If the investments in the TFSA yield a higher return, the accumulation would be even higher.

Brilliant!!!

 

Automate your financial life

automate to organize

Life’s not always a beach.   There’s work to be done and things to plan for before you play.   So let’s start the new year off on the right foot, and make a simple plan for your 2014 saving plan.

Don’t want to have to scramble (again) to deal with last minute financial tasks, like RRSP contribution and tax filing organization?   Well, you can make life easier on yourself by sparing a few moments now to plan ahead.    Here is a financial 5’er list on what to automate now to simplify your life for the rest of the year.

  1. Automate your files for your tax filing papers:   Set up a few folders to handle all the tax papers that should be arriving soon for this year’s tax filing – tax slips, investment activities summaries; donations, medical and other receipts, etc.  Keep these paperwork organized by keeping receipts categorized using envelops and folders.   Make sure you mark them clearly to indicate their paper contents.   A good starting point is to see what receipts were used from your previous year’s filing.
  2. Automate your RRSP contributions (*) for this year:  For many tax filers, this is still a good way to save money and defer/reduce tax at the same time.   Setting up an automatic savings plan for as little as $50 a week will yield you at least $2,600 a year in contributions!;
  3. Automate to maximize your TFSA contributions (*) for this year:  Although your contributions are not tax deductible, the income generated is tax free.   You can save your annual contribution limit of $5,500 by setting up an automatic savings plan of only $106 a week.;
  4. Automate to maximize your RESP contributions (*) for this year:   There’s free money from the government (grants) to help with your child or grandchild’s post secondary education.  Up to 20% of your contributions to a maximum of $500 a year is available per child.   By setting up an automatic contribution of $50 a week will add up to $2,500 a year, and the plan will also be entitled to the maximum $500 grant.;
  5. Automate your donations for this year:  Registered charities prefer receiving regular donations from their supporters than one time donations.   It helps them to budget their operations better and for you, it is a no-brainer way to donate.   You can set up as little as $20 a month automatic donation to yield you a $240 donation receipt at the end of the year.   Check here for information on the super credit available for first time donors.

 

It’s a good idea to set up these automatic savings and out-transfers at the same time as when your paycheques are deposited into your chequing account.   That way, you’ll be more likely to reduce your spending because the money is not in the account anymore.

Now pat yourself on the back for a job well done.   You’re set for a more organized and well planned out 2014!

 

*    You are strongly advised to meet with your financial advisor/accountant/tax preparer to determine your optimal contributions level for your specific circumstance.