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Financial Year That Was 2020

The year 2020 is a year to be remembered. Unlike 2008 where there was a financial apocalypse, 2020 gave us a Pandemic. The pandemic has caused a financial apocalypse of its own. Whether there will be a quick recovery from it, remains to be seen.

In previous years I have written over 200 articles in a year. In 2020, I wrote a great deal less than 200 articles. I continue to have a huge backlog of unfinished titles, but 2020 was an interesting year. Here is the entire list, missing my #MoneyTalk compilation posts.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

CPP and EI Maximums for 2020, was my most read and searched article all year. I have done these every year for a while, so not sure why it was so popular, but here it is. I have in fact already published CPP and EI for 2021 to see if it is as popular.

My CRA Account another highly searched article, outlining how to set up your on-line CRA account. You really should set that up.

When to Put Money in RRSP I created a step by step reasoning, and naturally someone complained it wasn’t a waterfall. Seems there is no pleasing some folks.

Save up to 50% on life insurance.

Miscellaneous

The Hidden Cost of Land Transfer Taxes is a rework of a much older article. Funny I never hear about this being part of the purchase of a home. This is not an insignificant lump of money.

Moving Expenses for Students are things to remember if you have just graduated. These costs can help lower your initial tax bill.

What to do with Found Money (update) with some added ideas. Remember to wait before making any big money decisions.

Not Asking is Rejection by Default is a simple yet very true statement.

The Financial Echo Chamber is a dangerous place. Many of us live in bubbles, that really don’t help. You need to see opposing opinions, to understand the whole picture.

I Like My Money Like I Like My Coffee a bit of click-bait, that no one seemed to think was funny. Nice photo of a cup of coffee though.

Free Credit Bureau Access sounds lovely doesn’t it? Unfortunately the reasons for it, are not so lovely.

The Dangers of Automatic Reloading I have written about this before. Keep this in mind, when you automate things. The Perils of Automatic Payments is also an area you should audit regularly. If you pay bills from PayPal or a Credit Card, make sure you restrict access to only those bills you want paid.

Credit Card: One Time Services can help if you are late paying your bill. This only comes into play, if you are a customer who normally pays things off on time.

RESP – Registered Education Savings Plans

RESP withdrawals and Taxes was a guest post by a chap from UFILE, a little thin in spots, but still interesting.

A Guide to Understanding the Tax Considerations When Cashing out an RESP was a guest post, that was OK, but missed a few aspects of things, as well.

MER : A Worm in the RESP Money Tree especially if you use the wrong Mutual Fund. Using low MER ETF’s or Index Funds is the way to go there.

RESP Only For the Rich ? There is an argument that this is how it ends up. The poor, don’t open accounts, even though they can earn money without deposit. Banks don’t market them to those with low incomes, thus, RESP’s are for the rich.

RDSP and Disabled Loved Ones

RDSP Statement of Grant Entitlement 2020 another yearly post. I get this document outlining how much money will received matching grants in my son’s RDSP.

Henson Trusts another way to save for a disabled loved one. Some good links to help out, if you wish to go in this direction.

More RDSP Talk in preparation for my chat with Tom Drake a few thoughts came to mind.

RDSP : Quick Points are the notes from my Chat with Tom Drake about RDSPs. As usual a little disjoint, but usable for research.

Specified Disability Savings Plan – SDSP – How Does it Work ? The RDSP is a very long-term savings plan, but there can be exceptions for early withdrawal of funds. The rules are very precise for these early withdrawals.

RDSP after DTC Lost is now much clearer in terms of what to do. The RDSP no longer must be closed within a year, which is a good thing.

Microsoft Canada Surface Book 3 English

Impact of COVID-19 on Small Business and Self-Employed was an excellent article written by my daughter. She is a small business member and COVID has impacted them a great deal.

COVID-19 Are we F*cked ? really was prophetic. The pandemic has made a mess of so many financial things. Interesting to see the comments as well.

Doomsday Finances was an old article I recycled. Whenever you can talk about Star Trek and money together, you know you have a winner.

Post COVID-19 Budget ? but when will you be able to use it? Soon, is the hope, but remember, right now, your life is different. Maybe you can bring some good habits forward, but maybe not.

How to Open a Kids Bank Account in the time of COVID was a lot more complicated than I thought it would be. Still had to go into a bank storefront to complete it, which was annoying.

The Year to Come?

As I have said, don’t count on 2021 being a complete turn around year. I can be better, but it could even be worse. If anything 2020 has taught us is, you can never guess what might be coming next. If you want try some New Years Resolutions, but don’t look too far ahead, you might trip on something in front of you.

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Happy New Year 2021 and #MoneyTalk

Happy New Year, and with this new year we can finally say, “Hindsight is 2020”. Sorry for the Dad Humour, but that is only way I can laugh at 2020. Truly a year that will be one we talk about for a long time.

Planning any great New Year Resolutions? I think they are for suckers, you can change any time of the year. I’ll bet the Gyms take a big beating as most are closed and all those folks who want to get in shape for the New Year can’t sign up for a year long subscription. I am not dissuading you from making a Financial Change, just be realistic. Start with small changes, they add up slowly.

Many folks think that the New Year will be a panacea for how bad 2020 was, but I am skeptical. This year has potential to be better later on in the year, but the Winter has potential to be as bad as 2020. Hope is a good thing, as I have mentioned before, but don’t get your hopes too high.

Will we all be working at home more, after things settle down? Maybe, but don’t be so sure it will continue as it did during the Pandemic. I can work remotely, but many teams cannot for many reasons. I am hoping for a hybrid solution for me. Less days in the office, would be nice, but I am not sure it will happen that way.

I turn 60 this year, so that makes me a Senior, I suppose. Given I am part of the privileged class (old white guys), I don’t feel that privileged. Must be subscribing to the wrong magazines?

Inflation (year over year November 2020) 1.0% ⬆️
Bank of Canada Overnight Rate December 24 th 0.25%
Unemployment Rate (as of November 2020)8.5%
Real GDP By Expenditure (Q3 2020)(quarterly change)8.9%
Population of Canada (Est July 1, 2020)38,005,238
CIBC current prime rate2.45%
BMO current prime rate2.45%
Scotiabank prime lending rate2.45%
TD prime lending rate2.45%
Tangerine prime lending rate2.45%
Some Useful Financial Data for Canadians as of December 31st 2020

COVID19 Data Canada

Click here to find an up to date graphic from the Government of Canada

Total Cases572,982
Total Deaths15,472
Data as of December 30th 2020

Past Writings

As the year closes, I realize I have not driven too much this year. I will write more this coming year, but not sure on which topic. More on RDSPs, but maybe a few other topics. Maybe I’ll try to become an #Influencer? 💩

  • The Perils of Automatic Payments outlines why you need to audit your automatic payment situation. If you use PayPal or allow companies to take money from your bank account, you need to know who is doing it. I was astounded to see how many were set up on my PayPal.
  • Merry Christmas 2020 are my Christmas wishes for this year. I also linked to all my previous Holiday Wishes. I have been doing this a long time.
  • Weirdest Boxing Day Ever? Certainly from the retail store perspective it was. In Ottawa most stores only did curb side sales. The Costco near me was not busy at all. On-line things may have been different.

EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

Good Bye 2020, and Good Riddance?

This belief that 2021 has to be better than 2020, is naive. For some folks 2020 was a great year (ask Jeff Bezos). It is all a question of perspectives.


Password Security

PC Magazine published a list of the most common passwords. I have written previously about insecure pins, but these are wild. Take advantage of the year end to update your passwords!

Most common passwords for 2020
From PC Magazine’s Best Products of 2020 https://www.pcmag.com/

Internet Gouging?

Ellen Roseman points out that Canadians are getting gouged, and not just at the pump.

Canadians continue to get gouged for their Internet

Dancing Robots?

Great now even Robots dance better than me?


All Those Happy New Years

Yes, for about 15 years I have wished you a Happy New Year

  • I must have had an inkling about 2020, as I didn’t wish you a Happy New Year to start things. Hopefully with this post I have helped make the year better?
  • In 2019 I was too practical with Tangible Financial New Years Resolutions but still worthwhile thinking about it, eh?
  • For Happy New Year 2018 I had a great photo of being stuck on the 401 during a snowstorm, and links to previous New Year Messages.
  • 2017 I pointed out that you start paying CPP and EI again, so your net pay is going to be lower.
  • 2016 Happy New Year, just didn’t happen, not sure why, must have been having a grinchy holiday?
  • 2015 Happy New Year and I included a really bad joke about it being the year of the RAM in the Chinese Calendar.
  • 2014 Happy New Year again I pointed out that CPP and EI rates were increasing as well, I really am a kill joy.
  • 2013 was a Happy New Year, a celebratory Sunday was the photo to start the year.
  • 2012 I used to post best of Twitter posts, and it seems to have fallen on a Sunday as well.
  • Merry New Year! It All Starts again…  was how 2011 started, and I included a bunch of resolutions in that article.
  • 2010 New Year began with me in a new job, which was very nice, given I had been unemployed for a while.
  • 2009 started a little bleak, in that I was unemployed, and was looking for a job, during a major economic crisis.
  • Belated Happy and Prosperous New Year was how 2008 started, the economy was booming, employment was high, but there were hints of the systemic failure that was coming soon.
  • A New Year Brings Tax Breaks? The tax breaks appeared in 2007 but later disappeared, unfortunately.
  • 2006 I was still figuring out what this whole thing was going to be, but I did show some signs of a ranting good time.

Yes, I really did start in 2005.


Random Thoughts from the Past

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CPP and EI for 2021

CPP and EI rates for 2021 (as usual) are a little higher.

One of my most popular posts in 2020 was CPP (Canada Pension Plan) and EI (Employment Insurance) rates for 2020, so I figure I’ll keep going with a winner. Interestingly interest in this topic is year round. CPP and EI rates for 2021 (as usual) are a little higher.

We can hope that 2021 will be a better year. Hopefully a year where you don’t need to receive EI as CERB is now gone.

As we start 2021 (a new year), all of us who receive pay cheques (the Japanese term is Salaryman), get to start paying CPP and EI premiums again. Depending on how much you make this might be a short-term issue or a year long pain.

If you pay CPP and EI premiums all year long, don’t worry, this is not for you. For those who have an end date for your CPP premiums, read on.

EI this year is again a bit lower:

  • The maximum insurable earnings for 2021 is $56,300, up from $54,200 in 2020. This is the EI maximum insured income for the year. If you earn more than this, and claim EI, this is what your benefits will be based on.
  • The rates have remained the same as last year:
    • Workers rate (self-employed folks should research further, or if you live in Quebec) $1.58 per $100 earned.
    • Maximum premium paid $ 889.54, once you reach this point no more EI will be deducted from your pay
    • Max difference from 2020 $ 33.18 more, over the year.

CPP rates continue to rise. The system is under more pressure from more Boomers retiring.

  • Maximum Pensionable Earnings: $61,600 (up from $58,700 in 2020)
  • Employee Contribution Rate : 5.45 % (rate is up 0.20 % over 2020)
  • Maximum contribution for year: $ 3,166.45 ($6,332.90 if self-employed)

Guess How Much Bill Makes

Somewhere around July, Bill (a friend) says he has paid off his CPP & EI, can we construe from this how much Bill makes (given he lives in Ontario and is not self-employed)?

MonthBi-Weekly PaysApprox Gross IncomePer Pay EIPer Pay CPP
January2$761,110.00 $444.77 $1,583.23
February4$380,555.00 $222.39 $791.61
March7$217,460.00 $127.08 $452.35
April9$169,135.56 $98.84 $351.83
May 11$138,383.64 $80.87 $287.86
June13$117,093.85 $68.43 $243.57
July 15$101,481.33 $59.30 $211.10
August17$89,542.35 $52.33 $186.26
September20$76,111.00 $44.48 $158.32
October22$69,191.82 $40.43 $143.93
November 24$63,425.83 $37.06 $131.94
December26$58,546.92 $34.21 $121.79
If your co-worker tells you they have “paid off CPP for this year” helpful table

So from this helpful table, we can guess Bill makes less than $100,000.00. Isn’t this a fun game to play? Also if Bill told you what the approximate EI deduction is on his pay cheque, you can also guess his gross income, using this cool table.

Microsoft Canada

Past CPP & EI

Yes, it is a topic I write about, as it is important to me. Here are a few from the past years, to compare and contrast (hint see how much CPP has gone up).

Reference:

These are the sites I gleaned the information from

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Weirdest Boxing Day Ever?

Welcome to the weirdest Boxing Day ever? Certainly (in Canada) one of the most different Boxing Days in my lifetime. In most of Canada, most storefronts are only open for pickup. Will this somehow blunt the Frenzy that is Boxing Day? We shall see, but I suspect On-Line Boxing Day will be crazy. I feel for the delivery folks over the next few days.

Black Friday NT Times
Where Do They Keep the Cheese Straighteners?

When we first moved to Ottawa, Boxing Day was a day of rest. No stores were open, but that slowly started changing. I grew up in Montreal and there, stores opened at Noon on Boxing Day, and then it was a bit of a mad house. Up until this year, Ottawa would be a mad house starting at 8 AM, with sales and huge lineups.

Is it all worth it?

Looking for your next great read?

Previous Boxing Days?

I have written on the topic of Boxing Day a few times.

EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

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Merry Christmas 2020

It has been quite the year. There is hope that the coming year will be better. I have said that a few times, but 2020 certainly does fit the bill.

Find the Cat in the Tree
Save up to 50% on life insurance.

Christmas Past?

I have wished you good reader Happy Christmas a few times, and here are a few of the times I have:

Turkey Bacon
Happy Christmas All

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