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Mortgage Rules Tightened

In an effort to crack down on speculators and to discourage people from taking on too much debt, Ottawa is tightening mortgage rules again. These new rules are expected to take effect April 19, 2010.

There is growing concern that the housing market in Canada may be overheating. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty stresses that while there is no bubble in Canada's real estate market now, these new mortgage measures are a proactive step to help prevent a housing bubble from occurring.

Budget Your Way to Financial Independence

For the book The Millionaire Next Door, researchers asked the question, 'Do you know how much your family spends each year for food, clothing and shelter?' Almost two thirds (62.4 percent) of the millionaires said 'yes.' Only about 35% of non-millionaires said they did, even though they are high-income earners.

The millionaires also budgeted very carefully for savings and most save 20% or more of their gross income. Few save less than 15%. 'Why save so much,' you ask? Quite simply, for emergencies, opportunities and to provide future income.

Tax-Free Savings Plans

When Sophia first heard the term Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), the first thing that came to her mind was a low- or no-interest account at a bank. She soon learned that just about every investment option available to her in an RRSP is also available to her in a TFSA plan.

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Passing it on to Your Heirs

Ralph and Mary have accumulated a nice estate, a good portion of it in cash. They want to leave it all to their children when they die, but they also want to do something for them today. Being part of the Savings Generation, they are reluctant to give large sums to their kids today, as they are part of the Spending Generation. Ralph and Mary also want to treat their children as fairly as possible.

When someone dies, their estate falls into three basic categories:

Part 1 - Proceeds that can be passed on by way of a named beneficiary designation.

These Rainy Days Aren't About the Weather

The last year or so has been a very rude awakening for many. Too many people today are so busy living a lifestyle, they forget that emergencies may need to be dealt with. It's all too easy to take one's cash flow for granted and get lulled into the belief that it will go on uninterrupted. Those who are best able to handle the financial rainy days that inevitably come along are in the habit of living well below their means and paying themselves first.

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