OTTAWA — It’s an option for many people buying their first home, but when deciding whether to tap into RRSPs, investment advisers urge caution.“Whether or not it is a good idea to use the homebuyers withdrawal plan, I would say the answer is maybe,” says Kelly Gares, an adviser with BlueShore Financial in West Vancouver, B.C.“It does depend on your particular circumstances.”You kind of give up some of the potential growth that you have in the RRSP that actually funds your retirement.Under the homebuyers’ plan, people can withdraw up to $25,000 from an RRSP to help buy or build a first home. They need to repay the amount to their RRSP and generally have up to 15 years to put the money back in their account.In essence, people are borrowing money from themselves. And while they don’t have to pay themselves any interest on the money they take out, they are giving up any gains they might have made on the money had it remained invested in an RRSP.Mortgage payments aren’t the only cost to buying a new home. There are maintenance costs, property taxes and utility bills. People need to be sure they’ll also be able to repay their withdrawal within the allowed time as well as continue saving for retirement.Crystal Wong, senior regional manager for financial planning at TD Wealth, says when saving for a first home, she would encourage people to use a regular savings account or a tax-free savings account instead.New mortgage rules for homes over $500,000 take effect, as Liberals aim to limit risksWhy business owners shouldn’t bother with an RRSPWhat you should look for when picking stocks to hold in your RRSPWith a TFSA, people don’t pay any tax on the investment gains in the account and they don’t need to repay the money they withdraw.However, Wong said if people find themselves short, they can consider going into their RRSPs.“The pro to that is that you’ve got the money that you’ve saved, so it is your funds,” she said. “The con would be that you kind of give up some of the potential growth that you have in the RRSP that actually funds your retirement.”Gares says there are times when it does make sense to use retirement savings to help buy a home. He pointed to a situation where taking money from an RRSP might allow people to make a 20 per cent down payment and avoid the need for high-ratio mortgage insurance.“Avoiding those types of transactional costs, that is certainly a scenario where I think it is justifiable to use the homebuyers’ plan,” Gares said.However, he warned that if a person’s only real asset is in real estate and they don’t have any other savings or investments, they are not truly diversified.“That’s one thing I would caution against,” he said.“If you’re really utilizing all of your liquid assets for the purpose of making that purchase, then you might need to consider if that’s really an affordable expense for you.”The Canadian PressIllustration by Chloe Cushman, National Post read more


BIARRITZ, France — G-7 leaders are wrapping up a summit dominated by tensions over U.S. trade policies and a surprise visit by Iran’s top diplomat.U.S. President Donald Trump and summit host French President Emmanuel Macron will finish off the three-day summit with a joint news conference Monday.But first the leaders of the Group of Seven rich democracies — the U.S., France, Britain, Germany, Japan, Canada and Italy — are holding a string of meetings on climate change, how digitalization is transforming the world and other issues.The troubled world economy is overshadowing the meetings in the French Atlantic resort of Biarritz.Macron also took a big gamble by inviting the Iranian foreign minister to Biarritz, hoping to secure a breakthrough in global tensions over Iran’s nuclear program.The Associated Press read more


“We will develop a roster of people who have received a great deal of training about what in fact are the containment procedures, what is influenza, what is the nature of the threat,” Acting Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) global influenza programme Keiji Fukuda told a news conference in Geneva.These experts will consist of epidemiologists, laboratory specialists, plus experts in logistics, ethics and communications.Dr. Fukuda was speaking after a three-day WHO meeting of dozens of experts and regional representatives aimed at building on a global strategy to help nations develop model plans on how to address any outbreak of pandemic flu through strengthening national surveillance, assessment and health response capacities.He said recent scientific studies and reports gave hope that under certain conditions the early transmission of a new pandemic could be halted, although it was also clear that such moves could fail.But there were good chances that efforts such as the revised rapid response and contain strategy could very well slow down the spread of a pandemic virus early on and increase the availability of vaccines, thus giving more time for national authorities to prepare.For containment to be practical, the WHO expects countries to move and act quickly and begin antiviral treatment for infected people and to identify people who have been in contact with them, Dr. Fukuda said. The WHO also recommended that countries stockpile antiviral drugs.In order to fill gaps where medicines were lacking, the pharmaceutical company Roche has donated 3 million doses of drugs which would be reserved for containment procedures. The company pledged an additional 2 million doses to WHO which will be received in September.It is evident that the world will witness new and emerging diseases in the foreseeable future, and examining the needs arising from addressing bird flu will help experts assess and detect new and emerging diseases, WHO said.At the moment the current H5N1 bird flu is rarely deadly to humans and globally only 175 people have fallen ill, 96 of them fatally, in the two-year-old outbreak, with almost all infections caused by very close contact with sick or dead birds.But the great concern is that the virus could change into a type that spreads easily from person to person, hence the need for containment. The so-called Spanish flu pandemic that broke out in 1918 is estimated to have killed from 20 million to 40 million people worldwide by the time it had run its course two years later. read more