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Brooks Financial Did You Forget to Record RRSP Contributions on Last Year's Income Tax Return? We Can Help!

Did You Forget to Record RRSP Contributions on Last Year’s Income Tax Return? We Can Help!

Canada Revenue Agency requires that all RRSP contributions be reported on Schedule 7 for the past calendar year, as well as any contributions made within the first 60 days of the current year. If you forgot to report, CRA will allow you to file an adjustment to record any RRSP …

Read moreDid You Forget to Record RRSP Contributions on Last Year’s Income Tax Return? We Can Help!

Owner Spotlight: Tesia Brooks

I’m Tesia Brooks, proud owner of Brooks Financial and Empowered Divorce Solutions.

I look forward to sharing my story. I hope that you will enjoy getting to know me better.

The most enjoyable part of my job is working with people. I enjoy meeting with my clients and helping them gain confidence throughout their divorce proceedings. Much of my work is focused on helping my clients feel they are not alone and that there is life after divorce.

I have been working in the financial industry for the past forty years. I was employed in the accounting world for fifteen years. For the last twenty-five years, I have been an entrepreneur.

I was going through my own divorce in 2010. My lawyer was delighted that I was able to sort out the tough financial questions on my own. I realized that there are likely many people going through a divorce without the necessary skills or unbiased perspective to objectively sort through their financial affairs. This awareness prompted me to begin my training through the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts. I became a Certified Divorce Financial Analysts.

My values of helpfulness and serving others, instilled in me as a child, give me the tools I need to help clients who are extremely vulnerable during a difficult time.

I grew up and went to school in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

My responsibilities are to both potential and existing clients. I offer prospective clients a free consultation. They can decide if my service is a good fit for them and explore how I may help. During our consultation, I help them envision what their post-divorce life might look like. Together, we review future cash flow issues. If the client chooses to go ahead and engage my services;I work with them to develop financial strategies and a settlement that will benefit them today and into the future, I then can help them through the transition stage – post divorce.

I work an average of eight hours per day; plus extra on weekends during busy times. My typical day includes: reading and responding to emails, returning calls, meeting clients and planning clients’ financial strategies. When I work on a client’s financial plan it’s my priority to protect their interests. During the day, I block time for uninterrupted planning. I believe if the client is paying me to work for them, they should have my undivided attention. At the end of the day, I like to go to the gym and take fitness classes to stay fit.

The three most important skills I use regularly are: financial analysis, applying tax rules, and clear, two-way communications. The combination of these assets allows me to help my clients find a positive path through a difficult period.

I attribute my success to my Mother. She believed that by “doing your best, the best will happen to you”. I take her advice to heart and I live my life continually striving to be the best version of myself. She also instilled in me the importance of getting up and carrying on after you fall. This can-do attitude motivates me to help my clients stay on track during a divorce.

The most satisfying part of my job is when clients tell me that I have provided them with good advice and that my support has helped them. Going through a divorce is extremely painful. So it’s always a pleasure to hear that I have helped ease the burden of this traumatic life event.

My business leadership style has been influenced by other strong feminist women. Their powerful voices offer me the strength to be a powerful, contributing force in this world.

I admire people who have courage to think outside the box and become entrepreneurs. I support companies that treat employees well and have a modern approach in their workplace.

I have always felt strongly about equal rights for all. I consider myself a feminist and have worked with feminist groups. Today, I have concerns about the legal system regarding its treatment of divorce and the family. I believe the system is failing people in huge way. I feel that a new path needs to be forged. Divorce should be viewed as a life transition; we should stop treating divorce as a failure. As humans are living out longer lives; people change and not necessarily at the same speed or direction as their partners. We should not be punished when our relationships end and we seek to move forward in our lives.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending quality time with my partner, Phil, and my two Himalayan Ragdoll cats. I adore making jewelry and have a small Etsy Shop business, Tesia’s Jewelry. I am physically active and enjoy exercise classes and yoga. I enjoy being outdoors and can be found: cycling, rollerblading, hiking, kayaking and canoeing.

I believe all sentient beings are interconnected. We are all here to be of service to our planet and each other. My clients’ best interest always comes first and if I operate that way, I too, will be looked after.

I have enjoyed sharing my story about the things which matter to me and how they influence the way I do business.

If you, or someone you know in Winnipeg or surrounding area, could benefit from our expert advice helping make well-informed choices in divorce finance matters, I invite you to get in touch.

Sincerely,
Tesia

Use our Personal Income Tax Checklist to help you file your taxes in time

Canadian Personal Income Tax Checklist and Filing Due Dates for Your 2016 Tax Return

The personal income tax deadline for filing your return is typically April 30, however, because this date falls on Sunday this year, the CRA will consider you on time if it is received on or before Monday, May 1, 2017. Self-employed individual returns are due Thursday, June 15, 2017, however …

Read moreCanadian Personal Income Tax Checklist and Filing Due Dates for Your 2016 Tax Return

Organizing Your Finances With Divorce In Mind?

Do you know how to reduce your divorce legal bill?

Get a handle on your finances by organizing your information so realistic financial goals can be set. That sounds simple but it can be an overwhelming task. Lawyers agree, it is essential for their clients to be as financially aware as possible.

This can be a particularly difficult task if you were not the one responsible for the finances during your marriage.

Become more financially aware before you separate:

  • Learn how your daily and monthly expenses are managed
  • Determine where the money is coming from and how it is applied toward your budget
  • Become familiar with your family investments such as RRSPs, TFSAs and cash investments

One of the first things you should do when contemplating a separation or divorce is to gather all your family’s financial information.

Source: Divorce Financial advice, news and information by Empowered Divorce Solutions

About the Author

Tesia Brooks CFP® MFA™ CDFA™ successfully completed the course material for “The Financial Aspects of Divorce”, passed the examinations and was awarded the CDFA™ designation in the spring of 2010. She has a professional financial background that spans 40 years, graduating as a Certified General Accountant in 1991 and being awarded the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation in 1998. Tesia has experienced divorce first hand giving her personal insight and compassion for those who are going through the experience of divorce.

Your Divorce Settlement – Know What You’re Asking For

A while back we worked with Tracy who came to us after her husband announced that he was having an affair and wanted a divorce. She was bitter and angry after their 28 years of marriage ended with the ultimate betrayal. She had devoted herself to the family, sacrificing her career to care for their children. Now it’s just about time to retire and her retirement dreams were shattered.

From a place of deep hurt she decided that what she really wanted was for him to pay for the rest of his life in the form of spousal support. She came to us firmly in that mindset.

During our work with Tracy, we analyzed their family assets & debts and prepared four different settlement scenarios, showing cashflow and growth of assets into the future.

In the end, Tracy decided that she would be better off financially if she took a larger share of the assets. The spousal support would have been fully taxable as income each year while her assuming the transfer of assets did not have a tax consequence.

This story illustrates the point that what you think you want may not necessarily be the best option.

Tracy came to realize that her desire for spousal support was not in her best interest while taking her share of the family assets put her in a much stronger financial position and it gave her a sense of empowerment.

Before you begin negotiating your settlement, as yourself these questions:

  • Why do I want what I am asking for?
  • Do I need what I am asking for?
  • Would it be to my advantage to divide the family assets and debts another way?
  • What will my financial situation be five years from now if I agree to a specific proposal?
  • Is what you want now what you will need in five years and beyond?

Source: Divorce Financial advice, news and information by Empowered Divorce Solutions

➨➨ TO BOOK A COMPLIMENTARY 1/2 HOUR CONSULTATION WITH TESIA BROOKS CALL: ☎ (204)-594-1020 OR
EMAIL: ✉ INFO@BROOKSFINANCIAL.CA

Tesia Brooks CFP® MFA™ CDFA™ successfully completed the course material for “The Financial Aspects of Divorce”, passed the examinations and was awarded the CDFA™ designation in the spring of 2010. She has a professional financial background that spans 40 years, graduating as a Certified General Accountant in 1991 and being awarded the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation in 1998. Tesia has experienced divorce first hand giving her personal insight and compassion for those who are going through the experience of divorce.

Negotiate Knowing All The Facts

Imagine trying to sell your home if you have no idea what the current market value is.

One of the first things you do when you decide to sell is contact your real estate professional who will then do their work to discover what your home is worth, so you know what you are negotiating for. Selling your home without an asking price is like giving all the power to the purchaser who can offer you any price. Without a benchmark to work from it’s just you versus the buyer.

In divorce, the approach to negotiations is often an “us versus them” mentality. The divorcing parties have forgotten that their marriage used to be an “us” situation. All that goes out the window.

The first step in the divorce process is to prepare a statement of your financial facts, you cannot begin to negotiate until you have accurate, complete financial information, a financial benchmark to work from.

Unfortunately, it is too common for unadvised divorcing couples to negotiate with an incomplete settlement proposal.

A woman I worked with received a proposal settlement from her husband, a successful businessman. The proposal was all words with no values attached to any of the assets. She asked me to read it to ensure there were no financial pitfalls, such as potential capital gains taxes, that she should be aware of before signing. On the surface it appeared generous but closer examination revealed that he neglected to include the value of his business. A business started during the marriage and definitely a marital asset. We advised our client to hire a business valuator, who would be able to analyze the business and place value on this asset.

Once we had the value of the business we were able to effectively evaluate her husband’s settlement proposal.

Successful negotiation of a settlement agreement involves both parties:

  • Giving complete cooperation and full disclosure in listing all their assets and debts.
  • Considering the needs of the entire family.
  • Constructing an agreement that truly reflects the needs of the entire family.

Tesia Brooks CFP® MFA™ CDFA™ successfully completed the course material for “The Financial Aspects of Divorce”, passed the examinations and was awarded the CDFA™ designation in the spring of 2010. She has a professional financial background that spans 40 years, graduating as a Certified General Accountant in 1991 and being awarded the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation in 1998. Tesia has experienced divorce first hand giving her personal insight and compassion for those who are going through the experience of divorce.

‘Til Retirement Us Do Part: ‘Silver Splitter’ Divorces Up By Three Quarters In Generation

The rise of the so-called “silver splitter” is set out in an official study showing that the number of people over 60 getting divorced has risen by three quarters in just 20 years.

For centuries couples getting married have promised to be faithful “’til death us do part”.

But according to the Office for National Statistics, dramatic changes in life expectancy have prompted many couples to reconsider whether they really want to grow old together.

The ONS singled out the fact that people are living longer as the most likely cause for the surge in people heading for the divorce courts as they reach retirement age.

More relaxed attitudes to divorce among the “baby boomer” generation in comparison with their parents and greater financial independence among women were also cited as possible explanations.

But, significantly, the figures show that, in stark contrast to other age groups, men over 60 are as likely to file for divorce as women.

While in 1991, a typical 60-year-old man in England could expect to live another 21 years that figure has risen to 26 years. The pattern for women is similar.

Among men the divorce rate fell from 13.6 per 1,000 in 1991 to 10.8 in 2001.

Divorce lawyers said it could be a combination of men experiencing a “delayed midlife crisis” and unhappily married men waiting until they felt they had fulfilled their responsibilities to their wife and family before starting a new life.

But in some cases, they said, it could be the result of a “silver fox” phenomenon with men increasingly living longer and still retaining a wandering eye.

In some cases the desire by one partner to travel the world on a late life “gap year” also proves to be the trigger for a divorce, they added.

Overall the there were 15,300 people of either gender over the age of 60 getting divorced in 2011, the most recent year for which official figures are available. By contrast in 1991, there were just 8,700.

It came at a time when the overall divorce rate fell markedly from a peak in the early 1990s.

But among men over 60 the reverse happened with the rate rising from 1.6 per 1,000 to 2.3 per thousand.

It is the first time that the ONS has produced a specific study on the so-called “silver splitter” phenomenon.

“This means that even with a small chance of divorce during each year of marriage, marriages are now more likely to end in divorce and less likely to end in the death of one spouse than they were in 1991,” the ONS explained.

The figures underline how momentous a decision getting divorced is for older people. While the average divorcing couple has been married for just 11 and a half years, over 60s who do so have been together for around 30 years on average.

And while overall only a third of divorces granted were initially triggered by applications from the husband, among over 60s they are as likely to be granted to men as women.

Andrew Newbury, head of the family department at Pannone Solicitors, said: “It may come as a surprise to find that older men are responsible for breaking up a marriage.

“However, while it used to be thought that men would have a limited life expectancy beyond retirement, they now live longer.”

He added: “In the past you had midlife crises in fortysomething men – what we are tending to see now is sixtysomething men running off with fortysomething women, it could be a late midlife crisis.”

He said that the stereotypical image of the “silver fox” was undoubtedly a factor in the greater numbers filing for divorce after turning 60.

But he added that some unhappily married men chose to “do their duty” and put off separation while their children are growing up.

“Once people have retired from work there is also a feeling that you don’t have those responsibilities any more – it is not just a responsibility to work it can be a responsibility to family and a new found sense of freedom,” he suggested.

But he added that for people of both genders retirement can trigger a wider reappraisal of their lives.

“I think there is also a growing appreciation of the idea of having a 20 or 30 year retirement ahead of you and finding you have nothing in common with your partner, having fallen out of love,” he said.

“What we also tend to see, which is surprising, is people suddenly wanting to travel the world – it is the ‘bucket list’, the idea of having 1001 things you should do before you die.

“Certainly when you are looking at the baby boomer generation, a lot of those people have immense amounts of financial security: they have ridden across several housing booms and they have generally got decent pensions.

“I think this could be a baby boomer phenomenon.”

Louise Halford, a partner in family law at Irwin Mitchell, said: “It is unfortunate but simply not uncommon in modern times to see couples drift apart as a result of ‘empty nest syndrome’, when their children head off to university or move out of the family home.

“This can have a major impact on the dynamic between a couple and bring issues to the fore which may have been hidden by their continued responsibilities to their offspring.”

Ruth Sutherland, chief executive of Relate, said: “It is clear from today’s statistics that there are many pressures facing couples as they grow older.

“Relationships are often missing in the current debate on our ageing society but 83 per cent of people we surveyed aged over 50 told us that strong personal relationships were the most important factor to a happy later life.

“This data shows once again that this is a very real issue for many older people.”

James Riby, partner at Charles Russell said the increased simplicity of the financial aspects of divorce law could be a factor.

“Since 2000 the Courts have used simple 50/50 division of assets as the yardstick, whereas previously there would be an argument about what the weaker financial party would need for the rest of their life,” he said.

“Pension funds can also now be split and equalised, but care and professional advice is needed when doing this because comparing some pensions, with their differing contributions and different rights, is not like comparing like for like.”

Source: The Telegraph

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