May 2018

Spring has sprung! Now that the income tax deadline has passed, it’s high time we head on out into the sunshine! This is the time of year for new beginnings, clearing out the clutter, and preparing for a summer of adventure.

Spring tends to be a popular time of year to get a start on house-hunting, now that the snow (not that we had much!) is out of the way and gardens are beginning to bloom. The housing market is a popular topic in the news, particularly in Toronto and Vancouver, but here in Nova Scotia we are at the mercy of supply and demand just the same.
If, like most Canadians, you plan on applying for a mortgage to help finance the purchase of a home, you will find that the qualifications for financing have changed as of January 1st. Melissa has more details in her article on the Changes to Mortgage Qualification Rules.

In the same sleeve of home-buying, Melissa also introduces Nova Scotia’s Down Payment Assistance Program in this issue. This program is available to anyone buying a home in Nova Scotia, although the applications for the Halifax Regional Municipality, Hants East, and Hants West are currently closed due to high volume.

Your home may even be a part of your general estate plan, which should be revisited every few years to ensure that your will stays current with your wishes.

The naming of beneficiaries on your investment accounts is another very important aspect of your estate plan. The different types of accounts that are available play a crucial role in how the assets in those accounts flows from you to your loved ones at the time of your death. Rick’s article on How Beneficiary Designations Work provides a comprehensive outline of these various account types and the taxation on receipt of these monies by your beneficiaries.

Big changes in life, like buying a home or a death in the family, bring many clients out of the woodwork, and for good reason. These are pivotal moments in life that require attention to detail and the expertise of a financial planner to ensure that your wallet comes out on the other side no worse for wear.


Articles:

May 2018 Market Watch

Posted 04 May 2018 by Rick Irwin, CFP, CLU; Patricia Bell, PFP

The recent volatility of the world markets follows a period of steady growth that was, in fact, more unusual than the volatility itself. The ever-present uncertainty of the markets has been fueled by both political conflict and consumer-concerning news from...

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New Mortgage Qualification Rules

Posted 13 Mar 2018 by Melissa Allan

For years, we’ve heard about the Canadian housing bubble and the threat of a potential burst, particularly in the Greater Toronto Area and parts of British Columbia. The surging house prices have been jaw dropping to say the least. 

The...

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Nova Scotia Down Payment Assistance

Posted 30 Mar 2018 by Melissa Allan

The 2017 Nova Scotia budget implemented a new Down Payment Assistance Program to help first-time homebuyers qualify for their mortgage, especially given the new mortgage rules.  This program grants eligible first-time homebuyers with an interest-free loan of up to...

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How Beneficiary Designations Work

Posted 08 May 2018 by Rick Irwin, CFP, CLU

Opening an investment account involves a fair bit of paperwork. Depending on the account type, part of this may include the naming of beneficiaries. Often this is done without enough thought and isn’t always revisited as it should be when...

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