Do you want your investments to fund the government or your retirement?

We often forget that it’s not the money we make that funds our lifestyle in retirement — it’s the money we keep.

But how can we keep money in our investments when we are no longer earning a living through work?

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“Tax optimization and tax efficiency using investment strategies are among the most overlooked aspects of portfolio construction,” says Dan Keil, CIM, a senior wealth advisor with Scotia Wealth Management. On Feb. 13, he is hosting two free seminars on tax efficiency using investment strategies at Beach Grove Golf Club in Delta.

“We’ve been told for a long time that the only certainties in life are taxes and death,” he says. “While this is true, not all individuals pay the same rate of taxes and there are things we can do to streamline our tax strategies.”

The seminar will focus on the differences between Canadian dividends and interest income. Dan will explore ways to lower your effective tax rates through the possibility of diverting interest income into dividends.

As well, dividends from investment in Canadian companies are taxed at a lower rate than dividends from investment in American firms. “There are strategies we can put into place to convert foreign dividends into Canadian dividends,” he says.

He will also touch on ways to most effectively manage RRSPs.

“My clients often ask me to tell them how quickly they should draw down savings from RRIFs. My answer, tongue in cheek of course, is to give them a pen and ask them to write down the exact day they are going to die. With that information I can give them a mathematically perfect answer.”

With absence of that information, he says, he has to use actuarial calculations and a comprehensive financial plan to draw up the most advantageous scenarios and plan of action.

And while taxes are inevitable, this strategy includes keeping as much money as possible in his clients’ accounts.

Anybody who is approaching retirement or is retired should consider attending the Feb. 13 workshop if reducing taxes and tax implications are important to them, he says. The workshop is free but people are required to pre-register here, call 604-601-1572 or email Attendees have the choice of 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Dan Keil is also hosting 7 Key Steps to Ensure You Don’t Outlive Your Money (Feb. 27) and Investing for Income — 6 Key Strategies (Mar. 12).

Dan Keil, CIM, is a Senior Wealth Advisor with Scotia Wealth Management™ | ScotiaMcLeod®, a division of Scotia Capital Inc. ® Registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under licence. Scotia Wealth Management® consists of a range of financial services provided by The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank®); The Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Company (Scotiatrust®); Private Investment Counsel, a service of 1832 Asset Management L.P.; 1832 Asset Management U.S. Inc.; Scotia Wealth Insurance Services Inc.; and ScotiaMcLeod®, a division of Scotia Capital Inc. Wealth advisory and brokerage services are provided by ScotiaMcLeod, a division of Scotia Capital Inc. Scotia Capital Inc. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund.

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