In previous years this is the time we may have been shopping for that special present, getting a tree and preparing to cook the traditional Christmas meal. This year will be different. Many will be reluctant to travel, so many may be celebrating with just the household instead of a house-full! Instead of crushes of people at the mall, our Christmas presents will be dropped at the front door by UPS, USPS or Amazon Prime. No 22 lb. turkey this year for the family members visiting from far and wide; just a small one for the few of us. While this year may be different, it may get us to slow down a bit and perhaps savour the special time of year and what we really celebrate.
We turn our thoughts to themes of “Peace on Earth” and “Goodwill to Men!” We think of our Savior’s birth in Bethlehem and the beginning of this chapter of salvation history. We think of family, both the ones we celebrate with this year in person and those who might only be present on Zoom. But we’ll make it through the season; we’ll have even more to celebrate next year.
Each year I remind my readers of some important financial issues as we move through December and hit year-end. As you slow down here are some financial issues to consider at the end of the calendar year.
- The Christmas season as we all know is the time for sharing gifts with loved ones and friends. There is something that you might not have considered before and that is life insurance. Now some of you might be saying, wait a minute my wife or children wouldn’t exactly appreciate a life insurance policy in their stocking. I can’t argue with that point, but a life policy doesn’t have to be the only gift you provide for them. Don’t put off reviewing your insurance needs by thinking there is a perfect time to do it. The best time to apply for insurance is now when you’re healthy.
- Because we’re so late in the year, you may have met your individual or family deductible on your health insurance plan. Financially this may be the opportune time for some minor procedure to be scheduled; or that visit to a specialist you may have put off. The same is true about dental insurance and sometimes even for vision coverage.
- If you have earned income for the year, what amount will you want to contribute to your RRSP or TFSA? Are you eligible to contribute much more based on the “catch up” provision? You won’t have to make that contribution until before March 2, 2021, however, now is the time to start making plans.
- Speaking of RRSP’s, have you put them into a RRIF and received your required minimum distribution for this year (for those turning 71)? If not, Revenue Canada’s penalty is a hefty % of the amount you should have received!
All these issues come with lots of rules and regulations, so don’t go it alone. Give me a call and I will be happy to discuss any of these issues…and you can do it safely, virtually with me on the computer from the comfort of your home.
As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, let us be thankful for all the graces God has showered on us, especially the gift of his Son, our Savior! “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:5