Probate Fee Planning: Understanding the Pros and Cons
There are fees or taxes associated with probate, which vary depending on the jurisdiction and can be quite high. Failing to plan carefully can result in greater tax liability and assets not being distributed among beneficiaries as intended. Fortunately, strategies to reduce those fees can have a significant impact on the distribution of wealth upon death. But while some strategies work in certain jurisdictions, they may not be applicable elsewhere. There are also special ways to reduce fees for those over the age of 65. While probate fee planning is a complex process, it’s valuable – and worthy of guidance from a qualified professional advisor.
Pension Options for the Canadian Business Owner-Managers Retirement
Planning for retirement is an important objective for owner-managers operating businesses in Canadian-controlled private corporations (CCPC). Their options include Registered Retirement Savings Plans, Canada Pension Plans, Quebec Pension Plans, or Individual Pension Plans. Generally, these are funded by the employer for the benefit of employees once they retire. They can either be funded only by the employer or may by the employer and the employee. Each plan has its own rules and timelines regarding contributions, contribution limits, and withdrawals – and there may be penalties for not adhering to the rules. Planning ahead with strategies based on your particular situation can help boost retirement savings. Learn more by reading our article devoted to this topic.
Canadian Business Owner-Manager Remuneration Planning
If you are an incorporated Canadian entrepreneur or business owner, there are two general ways to pay yourself from your corporation. You can use a salary or bonus, and that’s a deductible business expense but is fully taxable as your personal employment income. Or the company can pay a dividend that isn’t a deductible business expense but is taxed at a lower rate to you as personal income. Each option has different personal and corporate tax implications. There may also be some different tax rate advantages or disadvantages, depending on the province. Our article covers the details to provide understanding and strategic tax planning insights.
Will & Estate Planning Considerations for Canadians with U.S. Connections
If you or someone you wish to bequeath assets to in your estate plan is a “U.S. person,” according to the tax authority definition, there are estate planning strategies you can implement to minimize potential U.S. estate taxes. That kind of planning is particularly important if you anticipate exposure to such taxes in excess of the amount that may be protected by available deductions, exclusions, and treaty credits. When considering any proposed plan or strategy, it is also important to factor in the associated costs and ongoing compliance requirements. The applicable tax rules are extremely complicated, and it is strongly advised that you consult a qualified cross-border tax and financial estate planning professional.
Dual Tax Residency in a Canadian Context
Cross-border residency may create numerous significant Canadian tax issues for you, in both countries. That’s increasingly important since many people now work remotely across borders. Certain criteria are used to determine Canadian residency for tax purposes, but filing official forms to determine your tax status may also trigger reviews or audits that are not in your best interest. On the other hand, cross-border taxpayers may avoid double taxation thanks to treaties other countries sign with Canada. Tax rules are always complex, and those involving dual residency can be extremely complicated. That is why insight from an expert cross-border tax planning professional is strongly advised.
Communicating Your Estate Plan is a Vital Part of “The Estate Plan”
Estate planning is a vital part of financial planning and wealth management. But communicating your estate plans is equally vital, to ensure that your plans are executed according to your wishes. That’s especially true when it comes to communicating with the Executor of your estate and those who are designated with Power of Attorney for Property or Personal Care. Too often that communication is overlooked, but you can ensure that those designated persons are well-informed and prepared by writing them a letter that outlines their tasks and responsibilities. The following article includes more information, plus convenient, customizable templates to help you draft those vital communiqués.
Nannies, Housekeepers and Gardeners: U.S. Taxpayer Implications for Household Workers
If you are hiring a household worker in the United States, you need to have an understanding of their status related to income tax purposes and your obligations as the payor. The first thing to determine is whether the worker is an independent contractor or your employee. That status will determine the documentation required for the work agreement, payments made to and for the worker, as well as how you report their income paid by you. If you’re a Canadian resident, you’ll be interested in our next article on hiring household workers in Canada.
Canada’s Underused Housing Tax
The UHT is a new 1% tax on the ownership of vacant or underused housing in Canada, based on the property’s tax appraisal value. It is generally not applicable to Canadian tax residents, citizens, or permanent residents. But those who meet the definition of an “affected owner” must file an annual return (Form UHT-2900) or face significant financial penalties. There are certain exemptions, which depend on who occupied the home and how many days they lived there. Exemptions may also be available if the home isn’t suitable for year-round residency or was uninhabitable due to specific conditions outlined in the UHT rules. Professional tax planning guidance is recommended to assess your options/obligations before the tax deadline.
Fiduciary Standard or a Pretender
A Cardinal Point advisor adheres rigorously to the fiduciary standard—a commitment that puts your interests ahead of those of Cardinal Point or any outside organization. Some financial advisors do not; instead, they skew their advice and investment options to ones which benefit them. For Cardinal Point clients, it is most reassuring to know that all recommendations must be made with only one concern: that this is the best thing for you.
Ebook: Canadian Deductibility of 401(K) Contributions and U.S. Deductibility of RRSP Contributions
Residents of Canada: What are the Canadian and U.S. Tax Ramifications when being forced to liquidate a U.S. brokerage account Ebook
Clarifying the U.S. Minimum Distribution Rules
Regulations around Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are quite complex and simultaneously extremely important. Failing to take an RMD will result in a 50% excise tax. There is a precise calculation to determine an RMD amount for a given year, and you can delay your first RMD. There are specific situations that permit extending the period in which you must take a distribution and rules that apply in the event of death. There are regulations around RMDs applicable to inherited accounts, and these have completely changed since passage of the SECURE Act in 2019. Opportunities exist to delay RMDs for a Designated Beneficiary not yet chosen. There are a multitude of tax implications around all of these issues, and Cardinal Point is eminently qualified to offer you tailored guidance in your planning strategies.
Ebook: Cross Border Retirement Income: Canada Pension Plans, Canadian Old Age Security…
Those who have worked in both Canada and the U.S. may be eligible for Social Security (SS), Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Canadian Old Age Security (OAS), but it can be complicated. While SS depends on years worked, OAS is based on years of Canadian residency, and CPP is based on contributions. You may be able to take early reduced benefits or delay them to receive increased payouts. There may be clawbacks based on income levels…
Ebook: Am I a U.S. Tax Resident?
While it is common knowledge that U.S. citizens and green card holders are responsible for filing U.S. tax returns, most people who move to the U.S. on a non-resident visa – such as a TN, E1 or E2, O-1, L-1 – are unfamiliar with the U.S. tax residency rules that can subject them to U.S. taxation on their worldwide income.
Ten Reasons Why Working with One Financial Advisor Is Better Than Two
It may be tempting to consider splitting your investment assets between two advisors. You may be surprised, though, by how many good reasons there are to not do so. This is particularly true for people living a cross-border lifestyle; keeping a home country advisor when you move increases reporting requirements, the number of tax filings, and, possibly, tax liability…
Cross-border Canadian Departure Checklist when moving to the U.S. Ebook
Before Canadians become permanent residents of the U.S., it is important to understand and prepare for the significant differences between these countries as to cross-border financial planning. Mistakes and missed deadlines in these matters can be costly. There are many considerations. Some are obvious, but many are not.
Kris Rossignoli featured in a Financial Post Article, “Getting remarried? Here are some…” | Canada US Border Tax
Americans Exiting Canada Understanding the Five-Year Deemed Disposition Rule eBook
A very common question at Cardinal Point for Americans moving to Canada is how to navigate around the CRA’s Five-year Deemed Disposition Rule. Canada applies an exit tax on unrealized capital gains for Americans returning to the U.S. after minimum five years of tax residency in Canada. Given the increased information sharing between CRA and IRS, failure to file the appropriate forms will result in penalties.
RT Mosaic Wealth Management to Join Focus Partner Firm Cardinal Point, Increasing Cardinal Point’s Scale and Enhancing Its Western Canadian Presence
EBook: The Health Savings Account in a Canada-U.S. Context
A good savings or investment account allows you to avoid tax on contributions, income, and distribution. Not all available options meet these goals. For Americans living in the U.S., the Health Savings Account (HSA) does, in certain circumstances. For Americans living in Canada, though, the HSA’s benefits disappear as contributions cannot continue and tax liability opens up in Canada for income in the plan. Similarly for Canadians living in the U.S., benefits cease for Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) and Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs). Take a look at this e-book for more detail on the savings and investment plans available and see how they compare.
Infographic: Can A Foreign Spouse Claim U.S. Social Security?
US Taxation of Your Canadian Rental Home
For Canadians moving to the U.S., the options for their home are to sell it, to keep it as a secondary residence, or to rent it. Each has its pros and cons.
Choosing to rent creates tax and capital gains issues in Canada and in the U.S., ongoing tax filing requirements, and the need for a dependable local property manager. Decisions need to be made in a timely way to maximize available tax exemptions. It is complicated, but it may be a wise choice. Cardinal Point’s cross-border specialists can help you decide if it is right for your specific situation and then show you how to use the Canada/U.S. Tax Treaty provisions to your advantage.
Ebook: U.S. IRAs Can Be a Taxing Issue for Canadian Beneficiaries
A Canadian inheriting a U.S. IRA faces different tax implications than an inheritance in Canada would generate, namely, income tax and income withholding in the U.S. and income tax in Canada. It may be possible, though, for such a beneficiary to defer taxes in both countries by establishing an Inherited IRA account.
Social Security vs. Distributions in a Down Market
When markets decline, there can be a temptation to begin taking government retirement benefits (Social Security, Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security) early to allow your portfolio time to recover. But there are a multitude of factors to consider in deciding, such as rate of return assumptions, life expectancy, spousal benefits, and how benefits will impact tax planning. Also, what you need to consider varies from one type of retirement benefits to another.
Ebook: Income Tax Implications of RRSP Withdrawals as a Non-Resident of Canada
There are many income tax implications to leaving Canada and establishing tax residency in the US. Ask Cardinal Point about its many publications on this topic. The tax issues become very complicated when a nonresident of Canada takes an early distribution of a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). Cardinal Point, registered and licensed in Canada and the US, is well-positioned to provide financial, tax, and investment advice. Their approach is to manage investment and tax accounts on a Canada/US tax-effective basis, ensuring that Canadian withholding tax paid can be recovered over time.
Press Release: Pro Ice Management Group Team to Join Focus Partner Firm Cardinal Point
Focus Financial Partners Inc. (NASDAQ:FOCS) (“Focus”), a leading partnership of independent, fiduciary wealth management firms, announced today that the team from Pro Ice Management Group Inc. (“Pro Ice”) will join Cardinal Point Capital Management ULC (“Cardinal Point”). The Pro Ice team is expected to join Cardinal Point in the third quarter of 2022.
Infographic: Canadian Expat – Selling Your Principal Residence
For individuals moving from Canada to the U. S. and planning to sell their Canadian home, there are different Canadian and U.S. tax implications. To avoid or minimize tax liability, specific criteria need to be met around the questions of whether tax residency is in Canada or U.S. when the sale occurs and if the home qualifies as a principal residence. If sold while still a Canadian tax resident, a status that can be maintained for a period beyond the moving date, exemptions apply. Additional compliance requirements need to be met when the property is sold by a U.S. tax resident.
Deemed Departure Tax Canada
For Canadian tax residents moving to another country, the Canadian Deemed Departure Tax has significant and complex ramifications that should be carefully considered. Advice in advance of a move from a qualified cross-border tax specialist and financial planner can reveal strategies to best prepare yourself for this tax, including possible exemptions and deferrals.
Moving from Canada to the U.S. – What you need to know Ebook
If you are considering moving from Canada to the US, you should plan well in advance—especially for financial and tax considerations. Residency is a key tax issue, and as it is not specifically defined but more inferred by the Canada Revenue Agency, extreme care must be taken to ensure compliance. Cardinal Point specializes in precisely these issues and can offer you a complete checklist of very specific actions to take as you move through this complicated process as well as expertise in both Canadian and US investment opportunities.
Retirement Planning: Three Simple Questions
Perhaps you have your financial house in order for retirement. But have you thought through questions around how long and how well you will live when you’re retired? Non financial issues are often neglected, and yet they are often the ones with greater impact on your quality of life. Ask yourself these three seemingly simple questions. Your answers should guide you to a more satisfying retirement.
East Coast Taxes for Retired Divorced U.S. Citizen
Where is the right place to retire – Canada or USA? Which province or state? These are difficult questions with lots of factors to consider, many of which are personal. Taxes should not be the most important issue, but neither should it be ignored. Cardinal Point’s experts can guide you through the implications of each option you are considering.
Secure Act 2.0: What You Need To Know
There are a number of rules changes proposed by Congress that will impact retirement accounts. The changes will benefit US residents and also Canadians with IRAs and other retirement accounts. There are many ways this could be advantageous for you, possibly deferring tax or extending benefits. Cardinal Point, as the leading cross-border specialist, can show you how.
Infographic: Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption & Qualified Small Business Corporation
The Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption (LCGE) is available to all Canadian residents and Americans living in Canada as a tax deduction on the sale of a Qualified Small Business Corporation (QSBC). It is indexed to inflation, and it can be used in part. Three tests must be met to claim an LCGE, and there are complicated regulations governing each of these.
Infographic: Cross-Border Implications of Holding a 529 Plan Infographic
Canadian families returning to Canada from the US must consider significant tax implications associated with any existing 529 Plans, including whether a Canadian higher education institution is eligible under the Plan. Also, there is the likelihood of new Canadian tax liability as well as the possibility the 529 may be deemed a resident trust. Transferring ownership of the 529 may avoid triggering new taxes.
West Coast Taxes for Retired Divorced U.S. Citizen
Overview of U.S. Expatriation
US citizens who renounce citizenship or Green Card Holders who surrender their Green Cards may be subject to US Expatriation Tax. If you are considering this, it might be wise to seek advice about questions around citizenship, long-term residency, and Covered Expatriate status, as well as the required forms, applicable rules, and tests surrounding this tax. Cardinal Point has the answers to these complex issues and offers advice specific to your unique circumstances.
Cross-border Wealth Management – Canadian Residents with U.S. Real Property
For Canadians owning property in the US but with no residency or tax ties there, the question of how to pass such property on to their heirs is much more complex than they may think. A seemingly generous but in reality ill-advised decision can have massive negative financial implications. Relevant Canadian and US tax regulations, forms, and exemptions frequently change. Cross-border financial and tax expertise is needed to navigate here, and at Cardinal Point, we specialize in precisely these areas.
New E-Book: Options for U.S. IRA account holders when living in Canada
Few financial advisors are licensed or equipped to provide investment advice for American and Canadian cross-border clients, and there is a lot of bad counsel circulating at present. The best advice usually leads to a choice from three main options, but which one? Cardinal Point is an advisor firm that specializes in this area as it meets the highest industry standards and is licensed to manage investments in both countries.
Cross-Border Financial Planning: Currency Conversion Considerations
While currency exchange is not recommended for speculation, many clients will need a different currency in the future. For them, fluctuations in currency exchange markets create opportunities to time conversions that need to be made eventually. However, there are numerous factors to consider beforehand, such as when the need will be, capital gains tax questions, historical averages, conversion costs, and availability of investment opportunities.
New E-Book: Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption & Qualified Small Business Corporation
The Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption (LCGE) is available to all Canadian residents and Americans living in Canada as a tax deduction on the sale of a Qualified Small Business Corporation (QSBC). It is indexed to inflation, and it can be used in part. Three tests must be met to claim an LCGE, and there are complicated regulations governing each of these. There are implications regarding succession planning, and its benefits can be multiplied through use of family trusts. An LCGE can be a significant deduction, and Canadian or dual Canada/US tax residents need professional help devising a tax-efficient strategy.
CRA & IRS Administrative Issues Cross-Border Tax Filers Should Be Aware of
Administrative challenges inherent in the IRS and CRA create serious roadblocks to efficient tax filing for cross-border taxpayers. This is particularly true for Canadians claiming foreign tax credits on Canadian returns; they are often asked via a Review Letter from the CRA for a U.S. Tax Account Transcript. Because of severe IRA backlogs, obtaining this document can be difficult in the extreme, but Cardinal Point has had success arranging CRA filing extensions, thus avoiding undue tax and penalties.
New Ebook: Cross-Border Implications of Holding a 529 Plan
Many Canadians move for career opportunities to the U.S., work and raise families, and then plan to relocate back to Canada. A qualified tuition and educational savings plan for children (a 529 plan) is exempt from taxation in the U.S., in most cases even when a child attends a Canadian university. If you are a Canadian who is considering such a plan, and especially for anyone with an investment in a 529 plan who is moving back to Canada, clear expert advice from a cross-border financial specialist is a very prudent step.
Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption & QSBC
The Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption (“LCGE”) is a once-in-a-lifetime tax deduction that is available for every Canadian resident individual on up to $883,384 CAD (2020, and indexed to inflation on an annual basis) of capital gains realized on the sale of Qualified Small Business Corporation (“QSBC”) shares and certain other capital properties. In order to claim the LCGE, the capital gain must be realized by an individual, trust, or partnership (with the gain allocated to an individual) with an available LCGE balance.
Stock Market Integrity
Financial service providers who accept commission based on the investment vehicles they recommend are inherently conflicted. Cardinal Point’s only revenue source is fees directly paid by clients which places their interests ahead of our own. Cardinal Point advocates tighter regulation generally for investment advisors. There are also good reasons supporting proposed congressional bills to ban U.S. legislators from trading individual stocks. Existing laws are inadequate, and temptation to use nonpublic information for personal gain is high.
Infographic: Options for U.S. IRA account holders when living in Canada
Few financial advisors are licensed or equipped to provide investment advice for American and Canadian cross-border clients, and there is a lot of bad counsel circulating at present. The best advice usually leads to a choice from three main options, but which one?
Qualified Employee Stock Purchase Plans: Cross-Border Financial Planning
One of the many ways for employers to compensate employees beyond salaries is via an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP). Ensuring that you maximize the benefit of an ESPP while minimizing the tax burden is particularly important in cross-border tax situations.
Non Financial Retirement Planning
Thorough retirement planning is about more than just finances. Sure, it’s important to have a large enough nest egg to support your desired lifestyle during those golden years. But where do you want to live? What do you want to do? Who do you want to do it with? In this blog post, I’ll help you explore the other details you need to consider before you make the transition from worker to retiree.
Rental and Sale of Your Canadian Home as a Non-Resident of Canada
If you’re a non-resident of Canada but are planning to rent out or sell a home you own within the country, you’ll face certain tax consequences. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the most common tax obligations associated with both rental and sale of a Canadian principal residence.
Update to Required Minimum Distributions
Good news on the tax front as the IRS lengthens life expectancies for its RMDs. The result of this may be an effective tax cut for you. If you are a US citizen or expat living in Canada, Cardinal Point Wealth Management can assist with complicated cross-border financial and tax planning.
Canada Non Resident Tax – Cardinal Point Wealth Management
If you’re a non-resident of Canada but receive income from sources within the country, you may still have Canadian tax obligations. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at Part XIII and Part I tax laws and how they may apply to your situation.
The Value of Diversification Looking Towards 2022
Financial planning doesn’t come with a crystal ball. No one—not even the best investment consultant—can say with absolute certainty how the market will move over a given period of time. We can, however, make predictions based on historical trends while diversifying the portfolios we manage in such a way as to capitalize on possible growth and mitigate potential loss. Learn more about how we do so in this article and explore our vision for the coming year.
Winter 2021 U.S. Income Tax Highlights
Here we are again! We are almost at the end of the year and Congress is debating and tweaking a bill that would significantly change tax law. If implemented, these changes would have important implications for future tax years and there is planning that would need to be executed now for certain taxpayers. In this case, the year is 2021, and the bill is the 2,135 page Build Back Better Act (BBBA). The effective dates of the various tax measures are mostly for years starting after December 31, 2021.
Winter 2021 Canadian Income Tax Highlights
Tax law in Canada was fairly stable in 2021 but Tax Brackets continue to creep up since they are indexed to inflation. The inflation factor was actually only 1% for 2021, so the changes to the brackets were minimal. The federal tax rates themselves did not change substantially.
December 2021 Income Tax Highlights for U.S. Citizens living in Canada
If you are a U.S. citizen living in Canada, you probably know that one of the responsibilities attached to United States citizenship is to file an annual income tax return reporting your worldwide income, unless you are under the filing threshold. You will also pay U.S. income taxes, to the extent they are not offset by foreign tax credits for taxes legally paid or payable to Canada – your country of Tax Residence.
Canadian ‘Change of Use’ Rules for Cross-Border Real Estate
When our clients move from Canada to the U.S. or vice versa, they often leave real estate behind. While some choose to sell their former residence, others want to convert it into a rental property. Whichever action they take, tax considerations must be made. Learn more about the Canadian ‘change of use’ rules that should influence these decisions in this article.
Does the Timing of Required Minimum Distributions Matter?
The answer is a resounding yes. If you’re 72 years of age or older and need to meet the minimum distribution requirements for your qualified retirement plans each year, several factors need to be considered when determining the best time to do so. Learn more about them in this blog post.
Cardinal Point to Join Focus as a New Partner Firm, Bringing Cross-Border Tax and Wealth Management Expertise to the Focus Partnership
Focus Financial Partners Inc. (NASDAQ: FOCS) (“Focus”), a leading partnership of independent, fiduciary wealth management firms, announced today that Cardinal Point Capital Management Inc. and Cardinal Point Wealth Management, LLC (together, “Cardinal Point”) have entered into a definitive agreement to join the Focus partnership. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to the receipt of regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.
The British Columbia (BC) Speculation and Vacancy Tax
If you’ve been living in the US or elsewhere abroad and plan to purchase property in British Columbia in the future, you are going to encounter the SVT or BC Speculation and Vacancy Tax. Designed to address real estate affordability, the tax is imposed annually based on factors including residency status and where you derive and report your income. Learn more about the SVT and its complex cross-border implications in this article.
Combating Inflation Risk Within a Diversified Portfolio
If you have been paying any attention to economic news lately, you’ve likely been inundated with articles about inflation. While some economic media outlets are predicting sustained inflation over 3%, it is truly impossible for anyone to know what the future may hold. That is why our Investment Committee continuously meets to review market conditions and discuss any additions that may provide value to our client portfolios. Learn more about how we combat inflation risk with diversification in this article.
Structuring Options for a Canadian Owning U.S. Vacation Property
Home equity in Canada has significantly increased, and some Canadians are now thinking about purchasing vacation homes. Thanks to a favorable Canadian-to-U.S. dollar exchange rate, many of them are also considering the U.S. as the possible location of such vacation property. If you are among them, you need to consider your wealth structuring options before you make a purchase. Learn more in this article.
Terry Ritchie on Life and Retirement Traps for Cross-Border Clients
From dangerous assumptions and differing tax rules to inadequate health coverage and life insurance considerations, there are several common traps U.S. retirees moving to Canada may face without the guidance of a cross-border wealth manager. Terry Ritchie recently shared his insight into these traps with ThinkAdvisor, an online resource for financial and investment advisors.
The Health Savings Account in a Canada-U.S. Context
Everyone should save for retirement and rainy days. However, once you’ve established an emergency fund in a basic savings account, the decisions you’ll need to make about how to invest your money become more complex. This is doubly so if you’re moving from the U.S. to Canada or living cross-border. In this article, we’ll take a look at why health savings accounts (HSAs), which are tax friendly in the U.S., may not be as tax friendly in Canada.
The Importance of Neighborhood Choice When Moving Cross Border
With so many factors to consider when planning a move across the Canada/U.S. border, it is easy to neglect researching the history and ethnic diversity of the neighborhoods in which you may want to buy your new home. Learn more about why these details matter in this firsthand account of one family’s experience.
How Much Risk is There in Bonds?
With recent headlines touting hidden bond risks, you may be wondering if you should be concerned about your bond holdings. In this piece we’ll take a look at why Cardinal Point views bonds as a means to provide stability in client portfolios and not an area of dramatic long-term risk.
Should You Consider a Continuing Care Retirement Community?
Whether you’re planning your own retirement or helping an older relative with his or her later-life decisions, a continuing care retirement community may be a good housing option. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the definition of continuing care, the various levels available, and other considerations to make when evaluating facilities.
Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance Investing
Would you like to align your investments with your personal views? If so, ESG investing—also known as socially responsible investing or impact investing—may be for you. In this blog post, we’ll take a brief look at recent growth in this investing model as well as the various factors evaluated within it.
Moving to Canada Amidst COVID-19
At present, only Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada are permitted to enter the country. If you’re planning to move to Canada during this pandemic, you’ll need dual citizenship or to travel as the immediate or extended family member of a Canadian citizen. You’ll also have to follow specific protocols before and after entry into the country
An Alternative Cross-Border Lifestyle
Scott and Marie McFarland lived and worked in Canada for many years as well as in the U.S. for a time. They eventually retired to the United States, choosing the Sun Belt as their home. The McFarlands are not wealthy. However, they will gladly tell you that they feel rich.
Canada Non-Resident Planning: A Guide to Retirement Account Unlocking
Canada Non-Resident Planning: A Guide to Unlocking Your Retirement Account
Are you a former Canadian resident with a Canada-based retirement account or pension? If so, and you’ve permanently departed the country, you may be able to unlock these retirement savings. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various provincial rules surrounding this opportunity.
Does Canada have a Tax Treaty with the US?
What You Need to Know About the Canada and U.S. Tax Treaty
Are you considered a taxpayer in both the U.S. and Canada? If so, a better understanding of the two countries’ income tax treaty—established in 1980—may help you minimize your tax burden. In this blog post, we dissect several examples of residency and the treaty’s implications.
Family Financial Matters Meetings
From insurance policies to checking and saving accounts, loan payments, and other monthly bills, who will handle your assets and obligations should you die unexpectedly? If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that unpleasant surprises are always possible. Meeting annually with your spouse, significant other, or a trusted family member or friend to go over your financial and personal wishes can give you peace of mind in an otherwise uncertain world. Learn more about the details you should review in this article.
Hedging Currency in your Portfolio
Do you have assets in two or more countries? If so, you’ll want to read this blog post about managing the different currencies in your portfolio. In it, you’ll learn more about Cardinal Point’s philosophy on currency hedging including considering your future income needs.
Estate Planning when moving from the U.S. to Quebec
If you’re a Canadian living in the U.S. or elsewhere in Canada and planning a return to your home province of Quebec, there are a number of factors you’ll need to consider including the ramifications of such a move on your current estate plan. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at differences between Common Law and Civil Law and how they relate to estate planning.
Gifting Strategy for U.S. Citizens with a Non-U.S. Citizen Spouse Planning a Relocation to Canada
There are notable instances where having a non-U.S. citizen spouse results in complications when it comes to tax and estate planning. For example, there is no estate tax marital deduction when the donee spouse is not a U.S. citizen unless a QDOT, a form of qualified domestic trust, is used. This QDOT structure is not an ideal planning structure in many situations.
What’s in Your Index?
It is estimated that over $11 trillion USD is indexed or benchmarked to the S&P 500 index, or what many investors consider ‘the market.’ However, while that index does capture a good chunk of the public stock market capitalization in the U.S., it omits the rest of the globe. The criteria by which companies are included—which involve a secret selection committee and very general guidelines—are also somewhat murky.
Matt Carvalho, CIO, Featured in ETF.com
Matt Carvalho, CIO, was recently interviewed by ETF.com and discussed an ETF addition to our core broad market allocation. As a new year approaches, it’s a natural time to review your investments and make any necessary changes. If you think this may include adding additional ETFs to your portfolio, this article on the picks of […]
Should I Be Triggering Capital Gains Before December 31st?
As a result of COVID-19 and numerous other economic factors, the fiscal climate going into 2021 is relatively uncertain. Canada and the U.S., along with essentially every other country in the world, have significant government deficits to repay. There has been much talk about how this will be accomplished, and an increase to capital gain tax rates is a commonly referenced possible solution. The below outlines the current tax treatment of capital gains in Canada and the U.S., the appetite for change in each country, and a few questions to ask your financial planner about realizing capital gains before December 31, 2020.
Terry Ritchie on Sending Money Between the U.S. and Canada
Cross-Border Implications of Holding a 529 Plan
529 plans are a popular U.S. higher education savings option. However, if you have any intention to move back to Canada in the future or think your child might choose to attend a college or university outside the U.S., you should consider the possible tax implications before investing in a 529 plan. Learn more about how these plans work and cross-border tax considerations in this article.
Moving Across the Border and Leaving Your Aging Parents Behind
The senior population—defined as those age 65 and older—is exploding in both the U.S. and Canada. If you’re planning a move across the border for work or retirement, it’s likely you have an aging family member or two to consider. In this article, we’ll explore the documents you need to have in order as well as other steps to take before you relocate away from the senior citizens you love.
What can Snowbirds do with their U.S. Vacation Property During the Pandemic?
Thanks to COVID-19, fleeing Canada’s winter will be impossible for many snowbirds this year. But what should you do with your U.S. vacation home when you’re unable to visit? From renting to selling, Cardinal Point Wealth Management’s Vice President, Terry Ritchie, shares his insight into associated tax implications in an article for The Globe and Mail.
Terry Ritchie in Podcast: Tax Implications for Americans Living in Canada
Canada – Can I Deduct Home Office Expenses During COVID-19?
Have you been working from home as a result of a stay-at-home order in your area during the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, you may be able to deduct related expenses from your 2020 Canadian personal income tax return. In this article, we will discuss specific qualifying conditions that must be met as well as eligible expenses and necessary supporting documentation.
Silver Linings – Financial Planning Opportunities During the Coronavirus Turmoil
As the old saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. While the past month has brought the steepest stock market correction in history along with unprecedented volatility, it has also created a number of positive opportunities for Cardinal Point clients. In this article, we’ll take a look at a few metaphorical silver linings including why our current economic environment is prime time for tax-loss harvesting, mortgage refinancing, and currency conversion.
Terry Ritchie on Unraveling Cross-Border Financial Planning
Snap Projections, a financial planning software company, recently featured Cardinal Point’s Partner and Director of Cross Border Wealth Services, Terry Ritchie, on their Growing Your Financial Advisory Practice podcast. Given Terry’s more than 30 years of experience in cross-border financial, investment, tax, and estate planning, it’s no surprise that Snap Projections chose to tap into his insight for this primer directed at financial planners who want to serve US-Canada clients.
Sweeping New Changes to U.S. Based Retirement Accounts in 2020
Terry Ritchie featured in article, “Could cross-border partnerships be the key to serving ex-pat clients?”
In today’s increasingly mobile society, it’s not that unusual for people to give up residency in their nation of birth in order to work or retire in another country. In fact, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, there were an estimated 271,642,105 ex-pats around the world in 2019. But what does this globetrotting mean for the financial professionals who advise them?
The Politics of Investing
We all know politics is an uncomfortable topic for many people. In fact, a recent research paper from the University of Nebraska found that politics was making Americans physically sick. According to the study, nearly 40% of Americans reported that they were stressed out by politics, while 20% said they were losing sleep over politics. In recent conversations with clients, politics is certainly on many people’s mind and is hard to avoid.
Cardinal Point Wealth Management Featured in ETF.com
Terry Ritchie, Director of Cross-Border Wealth Services, and Matt Carvalho, CIO, recently sat down with Lara Crigger at ETF.com and discussed some of the tricky aspects of moving abroad. When your expenses are in a different currency from your income, currency hedges and dollar-cost-averaging are normal ways to deal with uncertainties in global markets. But […]
My typical days the last 16 years may involve some combination of reading the latest academic research paper, running different scenarios of minor adjustments to a model portfolio or keeping tabs on the newest investment vehicles available to clients- all in the hopes of trying to eek out a few extra basis points of return. When this far in the weeds, it can be easy to forget the reasons we invest our money in the first place.
Health Insurance Options for Seniors Moving to the U.S.
One of the most important considerations for Canadians moving to the U.S. is health insurance. Coverage in the U.S. can be expensive, especially for those with pre-exisiting conditions. Find out how long it would take you to qualify for Medicare and what some of your other health care options are in the U.S.
Understanding the Canada-U.S. Totalization Agreement
Many Canadians and Americans face the reality of a career that spans both sides of the 49th parallel. Amidst an era of globalization, it is common for promotions to create cross border opportunities and for company restructurings to force a long-term cross border move. The result of having a career on both sides of the […]
Managing Exchange Rate Risk
Where do you see the exchange rate going? This is a common question amongst our client base, many of whom enjoy a cross border lifestyle. In fact, as Americans living in Canada may have noticed, the exchange rate is right up there with hockey and the weather in Canada’s national conversation. The trouble is, accurately […]
Cross Border Retirement Income: Canada Pension Plans, Canadian Old Age Security, U.S. Social Security and the Windfall Elimination Provision
Calling all eligible benefit holders of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Canadian Old Age Security (OAS) and U.S. Social Security (SS)… Does your or your spouse’s story narrate a history of employment in both Canada and the U.S.? If so, you may have the privilege of drawing from SS, OAS and CPP. The confusion lies […]
Terry Ritchie in “Weak loonie, competition from U.S. home buyers work against Canadian snowbirds”
In past years, with a strong Canadian dollar, Canadian Snowbirds were able to pick up investment properties or vacation homes in popular locations such as Arizona, California and Florida. With a softer Canadian dollar, snowbirds are finding some competition for these types of homes. Cardinal Point Capital Management’s Terry Ritchie discusses the current state of […]
Terry Ritchie in “Yes, you can buy your way into U.S. citizenship”
For Canadians looking to move to the U.S. permanently, one increasingly popular option is the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. This program, created by Congress in 1990, is known as the “million dollar green card” and offers a green card and a path to citizenship for an investment of between $500,000 and $1 million USD. Conditions […]
Cross Border Transition Planning – RESPs
“How do I move my financial life to another country?” It’s a question we hear from many clients as they begin making a cross-border transition. When you are making the move to the U.S., you want to transition your finances smoothly and seamlessly while saving time, headaches, and every dollar you possibly can. Much like […]