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# Saturday, 29 November 2008
Saturday, 29 November 2008 15:29:42 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00) ( General Life )

Starting in 2009, Canadians will be able to contribute their money into a tax-free savings account. This type of account will be available to all Canadians age 18 and over (19 in some provinces where 19 is the age of majority) who have a Social Insurance Number. A tax-free savings account (TSFA) can be a great addition to retirement planning as well as other financial planning needs. Due to the flexible nature of the account it can be used for all savings purposes.

The new tax-free savings account offers several advantages to Canadian residents. As much as five thousand dollars can be contributed annually (this amount will increase with inflation throughout the years in $500 increments), and any unused room can be carried forward if the maximum contribution is not met. Withdrawals are tax-free as well as creating future contribution opportunities. While contributions are not deductible, capital gains as well as other investment income that is earned in the TSFA are not subject to taxation. As well, any income earned as a result of this account and/or withdrawals will affect the person's eligibility for federal income-tested benefits and/or credits. Contributions to a spouse's (including common-law) TFSA are allowed; assets are transferable to the account upon the death of the spouse.

The TFSA will be a great savings tool for seniors and those who are planning for retirement. TFSAs provide more financial flexibility, as withdrawals are not subject to taxation (i.e. RRSPs). As circumstances can quickly change in a person's life, having financial options that come without being 'penalized' can provide more options that will not have a negative impact on locked-in financial assets. Along with other retirement savings plans, the TFSA will be a great addition for this goal.

The TSFA will be available starting in 2009 at most financial institutions; discuss with your financial advisor/banker when this will be available for you. It’s a wise idea to research all of your retirement savings options, including the type and/or amount of your life insurance.

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# Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Wednesday, 19 November 2008 14:08:28 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00) ( General Life )

Canada Savings Bonds are an option for Canadians looking for investment options. These bonds are issued by the Government of Canada and can be a safe and secure addition to your investment portfolio. Canada Savings Bonds (CSBs) and the Canada Premium Bond (CPBs) both offer a variety of features.

Canada Savings Bonds can be cashed in anytime of the year; the Premium Bonds can only be cashed in once a year. Both types of bonds are backed by the Government of Canada which makes both types of bonds more safe and secure for investors. These bonds are available for purchase for six months per year, beginning in early October until April 1. Be advised however, that the Minister of Finance has the ability to end the sales of these bonds at any time.

CSBs and CPBs are available in either:

Regular Interest Bonds:  These bonds earn simple interest at the rates which are determined by the Minister of Finance until the earlier of maturity and redemption. The simple interest is paid to the bond's owner on each annual anniversary until maturity, or at the time of redemption.

Compound Interest Bonds:  These earn compound interest as well as simple interest. The compound interest rates are determined by the Minister of Finance until the earlier of either maturity or redemption based on the earned interest on each annual anniversary of the issue date prior to maturity. Compound interest is payable at the time of redemption.

Compound interest CSBs may be exchanged at any time before maturity for the same denomination in regular interest CSBs of the same series. Payment of interest as well as compound interest CPBs may be exchanged for the same denomination in regular interest bonds of the same series plus payment of earned interest. Prior to 10 months of their issue date, regular interest CSBs can be exchanged for compound interest CSBs of the same series; regular interest CPBs may also be exchanged for the same denomination in compound interest CPBs of the same series.

The ownership of bonds can be transferred in certain situations, such as:

• Name change due to divorce, marriage, adoption and legal name change.
• To a beneficiary due to the death of the registered owner.
• If the registered owner has a spouse, or the bonds are owned/held by spouses, in the event of divorce; they can also be   stipulated in the written separation agreement in a form that is acceptable to the Bank of Canada.
• If transferred to the Canada Retirement Savings Plan and/or to the Canada Retirement Plan.

Additional names may be added as co-owner with the right of survivorship; the Bank of Canada must be notified via completion of the prescribed forms. Be advised that the term 'surviving co-owner' is not valid or applicable in Quebec; transferring ownership must apply to specific provincial laws.

Canada Savings Bonds may be redeemed by the lawful owner at any time. This can be accomplished by contacting any authorized sales agent in Canada; proper identification must be presented. CPBs may be redeemed either on the annual anniversary of the issue date or within 30 days afterwards. If the CPB is cashed in within the 30 day period no interest will be earned for the following period of the anniversary date. CPBs may be redeemed at other times under the following circumstances:

• Death of the lawful owner.
• Court order.
• Redemption proceeds are required by the lawful owner for the purposes of:
    To avoid bankruptcy.
    To be used to purchase a home using the Home Buyer’s Plan.
    To be used in furtherance of pursuing education via the Lifelong Learning Plan.

If bonds are redeemed within the first 3 months after their issue date, no interest is earned on them. As well, no interest is earned on bonds for the calendar month in which they are redeemed.

Bonds may only be purchased with Canadian currency and can only be owned by legal Canadian residents. More detailed information can be found at http://www.csb.gc.ca/home.

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