Hello, and welcome to Episode 26 of Retire Me.
On today's episode we discuss the importance of a will and why it is important for soon-to-be retirees to have an up-to-date will.
- Article in the Guardian last week
- Greece is trying to boost their economy by attracting retirees
- They will offer a flat 7% income tax rate
- “The logic is very simple: we want pensioners to relocate here,”“We have a beautiful country, a very good climate, so why not?” - Athina Kalyva , head of tax policy at the Greek finance ministry
- “We hope that pensioners benefiting from this attractive rate will spend most of their time in Greece,” says Kalyva, adding that, ultimately, the aim is to expand the country’s tax base. “That would mean investing a bit – renting or buying a home.”
- Aimed at european countries, but as long as Greece has a tax treaty with the country you are moving from, you can apply (Canada DOES have a tax treaty with Greece.)
Retirement Headline - Canada Pension Plan Delay
- Article in the globe and mail last week by Bonnie-Jean Macdonald explains that less than 1% of Canadians choose to delay taking CPP and the rest are missing out
- Most often, Canadians take CPP immediately at age 60
- In a 2018 Poll - The survey asked Canadian residents between ages 40 and 64: Do you think it’s possible to delay the start of your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement pension? Of nearly 4,000 participants, slightly more than a third answered correctly. Even more alarming, 40 per cent of respondents had already started taking their CPP benefits.
- I did a deep dive on when to take CPP in Episode 3 -https://walhoutfinancial.ca/retire-me/retire-me-episode-3-when-should-i-take-cpp & https://walhoutfinancial.ca/retire-me/a-case-for-delaying-cpp-and-oas
- With lifespans being longer, the return you can get on bonds now being so low, delaying CPP may have never been as compelling as it is now
- It can be difficult to turn down a new pay cheque when it is offered to you
- Delaying CPP is effectively a guaranteed 8.4% risk-free growth of your income for each year you put it off making it the best annuity that money can buy, IMO (inflation adjusted for life)
- A will is a basic legal document that you create with the help of a lawyer that lays out your wishes for what happens with your assets when you pass away.
- Your will is the cornerstone of any estate plan, and is possibly the most important document you will ever sign
- In the absence of a will - your stuff is distributed based on a set formula that is laid out by the province
- Special Note - the government does not take away your stuff when you pass away, even if you don't have a will. (spouse, children, parents, siblings, nieces/nephews) - only after all of those avenues have been exhausted, does the government keep your stuff
- In the event you pass away, this is how the government will distribute your assets
- This is for a hypothetical retired couple:
- Spouse & 2 Children
- Spouse is entitled to first $200,000 of the estate (preferential share)
- Children divide 2/3 of the balance
- Ie. if the value of the estate was $320,000
- Spouse would receive the first $200,000
- Remaining $120,000 would be divided with $80,000 (2/3 of $120,000) going to the kids and $40,000 (1/3 of the $120,000) going to the spouse
- But, bear in mind, there are many assets that do NOT pass through the estate and can go directly to your spouse:
- House (if owned jointly)
- Beneficiary designations on RRSP's, TFSA's, and life insurance plans
- In many cases, the lack of a will won't impact the way the estate would otherwise have been distributed
- Jointly owned home, all RRSP's and TFSA assets, no non-registered assets
- You will have to go through a possibly lengthy process with the courts, but things *may* work out just find in the end
- But, there are many ways that a retiree's estate wishes may not fit the provincial template for dying without a will:
- You are living common-law - common-law spouses do not necessarily have the same rights as legally married spouses in the event of a death
- You are in a blended family relationship, with children of each spouse (intestacy law in Ontario doesn’t do anything for step children)
- You may own your own business, or be a part owner with other partners
- You may want to treat your children differently in the distribution of your assets
- Ie. if you have 2 children and you have given extra help to one during their lifetime, you may want to equalize that in your estate - without a will this won't happen
- You have a large estate (ie. well over the $200,000 preferential share) and the "template" doesn't work for you
- You want to make special arrangements to care for someone who is incapable of looking after themselves (spouse that doesn't have a lot of financial acumen, a child with disability, child that is really bad with money - trusts)
- Why keeping a will updated is important
- Having an old will may be just as bad as having no will
- While only 1/3 of Canadians have up-to-date wills
- Many wills I read for people that are getting set to retire are quite out of date
- They named guardians for children that have long-since left the home
- They have since owned and sold family businesses
- They have acquired significant property (ie. cottages, condos)
- An out-of-date will has the potential to be challenged by heirs
- If you don’t have a will, go get a will done by a qualified estate planning attorney. If you haven't updated your will in a long time, it's time to get it updated.
- In the next episode we will talk about building your estate team and the people who will need to help you manage your estate - executor, powers of attorney, and trustees (using trusts) to help you administer your estate
Thanks for tuning in, have an amazing Canada Day week, and I will speak with you in a couple of weeks!
Disclaimer - This podcast is for informational purposes only. Please consult with a financial advisor familiar with your unique financial situation before making any decisions. Nothing in this broadcast constitutes a solicitation for the sale or purchase of any securities. Any mentioned rates of return are historical or hypothetical in nature and are not a guarantee of future returns. Mark Walhout is the owner and lead financial advisor at Walhout Financial and an Investment Fund Representative at Investia Financial Services Inc.