Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit: If you are 65 years old, and over you could get up to $1,500 to help with the cost of making your home safer and more accessible. The Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit is a permanent, refundable personal income tax credit for seniors and family members who live with them. If you qualify, you can claim up to $10,000 worth of eligible home improvements on your tax return. The amount of money you get back for these expenses is calculated as 15 per cent of the eligible expenses you claim. For example, if you spend and then claim $10,000 worth of eligible expenses, you could be eligible to receive $1,500. The Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit can help with the costs of improving safety and accessibility in your home. Explore the interactive house below for examples of changes you could make. Seniors and their family members at all income levels are eligible.
Home and Vehicle Modification Program: It is possible to receive money to help with the cost of making your home and vehicle more accessible if you have a disability that restricts mobility. This money is a last resort option due to the minimum amount of cash in this program. However, the maximum government contribution for home and vehicle modifications is $15,000 per client for home modifications and/or $15,000 per client for vehicle modifications. The government contribution may be spent on the following goods and/or services: design schematics and professional fees of contractors, architects or other professionals needed to plan construction or installation. In addition, the equipment and supplies needed for the approved modifications, the cost of any warranties and the installation of any equipment, the approved structural alteration of the home and/or vehicle, including labour and/or training on the use of equipment, provided by the contractor/ supplier/ vendor.
Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant: If you are 64 years old and over and own your own home, you are eligible to receive up to $500 to help with the cost of property taxes each year. You are eligibleif your family net income for the previous year was $35,000 or less. The amount you receive is adjusted if you make between 35,000-50,000 and you are not eligible if you make over $50,000 per year. Here is how you apply for the grant: You complete the application for the Ontario Trillium Benefit and Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant, which is part of your personal income tax and benefit return. You have to report the amount of property tax you paid on line 6112 on the ON-BEN application. Remember to use total property taxes paid including the municipal and education property taxes.
You are debt free! Now what? Saving for your children’s education fund should come second to saving for your retirement. Your child’s degree will not pay for you to be able to live comfortably in your retirement. You should also not assume that your children will be able to help you financially in your retirement. Even if they could help you – will they? If you save for retirement first, you will be able to move to the next stage of saving for your child’s education as well. Let’s consider (4) retirement savings options:
3. Non-registered savings and investments (See Part II)
4. Basic savings accounts (See Part II)
RRSP contributions are tax deductible. For example, if you contribute $2,000 to your RRSP in 2015(before March 1), it can be deducted from taxable income when filing your income tax return for 2014. Secondly, the money you contribute to your RRSPs grows and compounds over time.
Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
At the present time, a tax-free savings account allows a yearly maximum contribution of $5,500 and allows savings to grow tax-free. However, you need to research before making contributions and withdrawing cash from this account. Be mindful of maximums because Canada Revenue Agency charges a penalty if you exceed your maximum or otherwise withdraw from the account.
As mentioned in: Retirement First! Then Education Funds…Part I, You are debt free! Now what? Saving for your children’s education needs to come second to saving for your retirement. Your child’s degree will not pay for you to be able to live comfortably in your retirement years. If you save for retirement first, you will be able to move to the next stage to save for your child’s education fund as well.
Non-Registered Savings and Investments
Not only can non-registered savings and investments include savings/chequing accounts but also investments such as mutual funds, stocks and bonds. This is beneficial in terms of short-term savings and is also easier to access in case of an emergency.
Basic Savings Account
Interest rates are usually low. Your money does not grow due to inflation. However, you are saving money and your savings are accessible at all times and protected by the Federal Government to a maximum of $100,000.
Talk to a financial advisor or trustee in bankruptcy for retirement savings advice. Once you have started to save approximately a percentage of your income (hopefully between 5% and 15%), you can then begin to research options to save for your child’s education. Remember: Retirement First!