Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Only 2 Things are Certain - Death and.... Taxes!

Tax time always seems to serve as a lesson in what "should have" - as in, what I should have done last year with my money.

Last year, it was "you should have borrowed from your RRSP for your house down-payment". The net result? A barely existent return that was only positive because I super-contributed to my RRSP for the last few weeks of the year. This uber-contribution proved to be a benefit in the long run, because the investments I cashed in for my down-payment would've left me paying the tax man on the healthy gain I'd made. 

This year, it was almost the opposite. I didn't contribute enough- or any, would be a better approximation. Having pulled all my money out to buy stocks (which makes logical sense to me - buy low, right), I had no contributions to report this year. So, as it turns out, I will be paying additional taxes this year. 

Does it really yank anyone else's chain when you're told "it looks like you are making too much money and should be in a higher tax bracket." Too much money??!  If I was making more money, maybe I would have some additional to put into RRSPs!  OK, that is perhaps a little unfair, since I did drop a little cash at IKEA last weekend! 

In truth, I really realized that I still don't understand very much about financial planning and personal wealth. I thought I understood my company's retirement options, but if this were the case, then I wouldn't have left H & R Block feeling steamrolled today. Maybe it's time I consider hiring a financial planner, rather than just trying to piece together tidbits of advice here and there. Does anyone else have a financial planner or have you found any really good sites or advice that you feel confident in?


  1. I tackled some of my tax stuff last night and was definitely feeling the woulda, coulda, shoulda stuff. I would highly recommend a discount brokerage account. With my TD Waterhouse account I can buy stocks within my RSP and have a separate account for non-registered savings. Plus the trading rates are way cheaper than what we pay our Financial Planner. Good Luck!

  2. Hmmm.. good advice, Laura! How does a discount brokerage differ from the Tax-Free Savings accounts?