It's RRSP Season
Too often, that means a last-minute dash to deposit funds, which qualify as the previous year’s contribution. For many, sheltering money in an RRSP delivers a tax refund. For others, the Tax Reduction means writing out a smaller cheque to "Rev Can" for tax monies that are calculated as owing. Consider either of three methods for taking effective advantage of the RRSP refund or saved money.
1) Pay down the mortgage. Contributing to your RRSP is a bigger win when you direct the refund toward your mortgage. Even small pre-payments or top-ups add a supercharged benefit by decreasing mortgage amortization, which saves thousands of dollars in interest payments over time.
2) Invest in a Tax Free Savings Account - TFSA. Just like an RRSP, investment-growth in a TFSA is sheltered from taxation. But, unlike an RRSP, there’s no tax penalty on withdrawals.
3) Deposit a 2016 RRSP contribution early, using any refund created by the 2015 RRSP.
Mortgage Insurances – What are they? And why consider them?
Mortgage Loan Insurance -Typically required by the mortgage Lender when a homebuyer has a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price. This type of insurance helps protect Lenders against mortgage default, and fees can range from .3% to more than 6% - the greater the down payment the lower the fee.
Mortgage Life Insurance - A policy that pays the balance of a mortgage to the Lender if a person listed on the mortgage passes away. It is usually offered by the Lender and can be added to monthly mortgage payments. However, look into the advantages of having a separate Life Insurance policy that is not directly tied to the mortgage. It may be more economical, as well, it gives beneficiaries more flexibility to make decisions in tragic circumstances.
Mortgage Disability Insurance - is designed to provide funds equal to the monthly mortgage payment, should the mortgagor become disabled. When evaluating the policy, take a close look at the Insurer's definition of disabled – to see how restrictive it is. And take note of limitations on how fast payments start, and how many months the payments cover.
There's lots of mortgage choices in the market. Just call to discuss options, or if you need a guide to resources.
Where Does The Dryer Vent?
Generally, dryers should be vented to the outside, avoiding excess moisture venting into a home. However, if there's a lack of humidity inside, and you use an electric dryer, the dryer may be able to be vented indoors during the winter season. Buy an indoor dryer vent kit. It has a summer/winter lever and a filter to prevent lint from escaping into the living area. Remember to switch the lever to vent outside during spring and summer.
CAUTION: Never vent a gas dryer into the home - harmful fumes may be released through the hot-air vent.
Board Meetings - Can't Attend? Send A Proxy.
It's always a good idea to attend your Condo Board meeting. However, when you can't, don’t miss the chance to make your "voice" heard. A "Proxy" is a person authorized to stand in as a substitute and exercise your voting rights as an owner. The person appointed as Proxy does not have to own a unit or live in the building.
It's all about planning. Be sure you know the rules and have the specific "Proxy" forms required by your Condo Board. If the Proxy isn't registered correctly, your "stand-in voice" could be ruled as, "not valid."