Corporate profits expected to decline during second half

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According to a recent report conducted by the Conference Board of Canada, the profits of Canadian corporate businesses are expected to decline during the second half of the year.

The report refers to the soft U.S. economy as a major factor in this forecasted trend, as exporters and consumer confidence will weaken.

The CBC relies on different indicators to compile its report. Its leading indicator for profitability, which tracks 49 industries nationwide, contracted recently – the first time it has done so in a year – as it fell 0.1 percent after being flat the previous two months. Continue reading

Canadians need to be increasingly aware of homes’ past

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A recent article in The Montreal Gazette explained that Canadian homeowners need to be aware of their residence's past, as an increasing number of owners have stumbled upon disturbing facts about their properties.

According to the article, one family in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, recently bought a home, understanding that a small drug ring had operated out of the property prior to purchasing it. However, after looking at provincial court and municipal documents for the first time after moving in, they were shocked to realize the operation was much larger. Furthermore, city inspectors had ordered a large-scale cleaning process to rid the home of its former products. Continue reading

Tips for an effective move

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A recent Globe and Mail article provided several tips for consumers to ensure a move is effective and safe.

The article references a family that recently moved, but had to store their belongings in a van between move-out and move-in dates. Unfortunately, the van was broken into during this time. While not much was stolen, items were damaged. Thus, the article recommends consumers invest in property insurance, which can cover stolen or damaged items. Continue reading

Drunk Driving Highest in Interior BC Towns, Not Urban Areas

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According to ICBC investigation records, as accessed by Global News in an exclusive investigation, the postal code areas showing the highest rates of alcohol-related suspensions are within interior towns, not heavier populated urban areas.

The top 10 highest volumes of alcohol-related suspensions per postal code – ranging from 12-hour license suspensions to impaired driving causing death – were found in the following locations, as reported from April, 2010 to April, 2011:

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Quebec government changes rebuilding rules for flood victims

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According to a recent CBC News report, the Quebec government has amended its rebuilding rules for those affected by floods.

The province has given its permission for those in need of repair to rebuild their homes, however, if more than half of a property is damaged, some limits will be in place.

The government stated that consumers cannot rebuild their properties in the region's most vulnerable area, known as the zero-to-two-year zone, where floods are expected to occur at least every two years. Public security minister Robert Dutil relayed, however, that many homes in this area were built to endure flooding.
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Canadian investors need to focus on several major areas for retirement

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According to Peter Drake, vice president of retirement and economic research at Fidelity Investments in Canada, more of the country's investors need to focus on several areas to effectively reach retirement at a reasonable age.

Drake, speaking at the Canadian Institute of Financial Planners annual conference in Ottawa, relayed that investors and pre-retirees need to augment their previous financial planning with new methods and strategies.

Among the risks Canadian investors need to pay attention to are longevity, inflation, asset allocation, withdrawal rate and healthcare.

Canadian citizens are living longer, and the cost of living has increased. Thus, investors need to account for these trends with their savings, or else they could run of out of money during retirement.

As the stock market fluctuated drastically in 2008 through 2009, investors needed to pay stricter attention to their portfolio. Drake recommends having a diversified portfolio to reduce any risks.

Finally, investors need to be aware of healthcare costs in retirement, which many believe will increase. In fact, 39 percent of those responding to a recent survey believed the costs related to health insurance and care beyond what the government offers would deplete their funds during retirement. 

Retirement worries bothering many Canadians

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According to a recent poll conducted by the Royal Bank of Canada, retirement worries are currently plaguing more than a third of Canadians.

RBC’s 2nd annual Retirement Myths & Realities poll discovered that, while many Canadians – 90 percent – over the age of 50 are anticipating a successful retirement, 36 percent feel they do not have enough saved to live happily after retiring.

Furthermore, many Canadians over the age of 50 responding to the poll expect to live into their mid-80s. Forty-six percent attribute this belief to their family’s longevity and 17 percent to their current good health. With seniors living longer and the cost of living increasing, financial worries have also increased among this demographic.

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Fluctuating mortgage rules making home loans for Canadians a challenge

In the past several years, Ottawa has adjusted its rules for obtaining a mortgage, tightening the requirements necessary for citizens to obtain these home loans.

The government has done so in fear of citizens accumulating greater debt. With low mortgage rates and increasing property values, residents could quickly find themselves overwhelmed by debt and possibly become delinquent.

In response to these fears, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has adjusted the rules for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Now, those seeking a home loan are required to buy mortgage loan insurance if a buyer has less than a 20 percent down payment. Also, those with less than this payment can only obtain a mortgage for 30 years instead of 35. Furthermore, these buyers can only refinance their mortgage for 85 percent of the home’s value instead of 90 percent.

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Poll: Healthcare, not economy, is consumers’ top concern

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A poll by the Canadian Medical Association and Canadian Nurses Association has found that health insurance is the top concern of most consumers in regards to the national budget.

The Nanos Research poll found that more than 45 percent of consumers felt that healthcare should be the “top priority” for the government. The economy was second with 35 percent of responses, while the environment garnered nearly 15 percent of the vote.

In addition, nearly 85 percent said the budget needed to address the current challenges with the healthcare system.

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Most Canadians not prepared to care for loved ones

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With people living longer than ever, a recent survey finds that as Canadians’ older relatives continue to age, many feel that they would be “overwhelmed” if they had to care for them, and say that the current health insurance system doesn’t give enough support.

The poll, conducted by Leger Marketing for We Care Home Health Services, found that 64 percent of people said they wouldn’t be able to handle taking care of an elder. In addition, 62 percent said that the public health insurance system doesn’t give enough homecare support to those in need.

“With the rapid growth of our aging population, more and more Canadians will find themselves suddenly having to care for a loved one and that’s going to have a profound impact on the caregivers’ time, emotions, finances and energy,” said Sue Kelly, director of Health and Wellness for We Care Home Health Services.

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