The vast majority of us are fortunate to live in Canada as Canada consistently ranks as one of the best countries in the world in a variety of different measures. Earlier this year, US News and World Report placed Canada as #3 in overall rankings as best country and #1 in overall quality of life.
Particularly impressive is our very own Golden Horseshoe/Niagara region. Of the 415 communities ranked by Maclean’s Magazine, Burlington, Grimsby, Oakville, Brant, Niagara on the Lake, Haldimand County, Milton, Lincoln and Hamilton were placed among the Top 25!
Life expectancies are increasing. In 1900, the average life expectancy in Canada was 49 and in 2018, it was almost 83. We can attribute this to science and research as these fields are improving diagnostic processes and treatments. Older people are now living meaningful and independent lives well into their 90s because of their better quality of life.
All of this is good news but the result is a significant strain on our medical system that we simply cannot ignore. Our aging population will require more health care, long term care, home care and palliative care.
It is incumbent that we come together for health agencies and hospital networks, like Hamilton Health Sciences. One way that you and I can assist is by using features in our income tax system to donate in various ways to charities like Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation to make an impact on patients now and in the future. Charles and Margaret Juravinski are leaving $100 million to medical research. They have set the example with this extraordinary bequest. And now, we can all step up and include our own charities of choice as beneficiaries in our wills and estate plans. Not only do these gifts help a charity, you will also help to reduce your income tax payable during your lifetime and for your estate. Canada has the most progressive and generous tax rules around charitable giving in the world. We all can take advantage of this.
Here are a few general ideas to consider:
- Simply leave a specific bequest in your will to your favourite cause. For example, a $10,000 bequest could give your estate a tax savings of $4,500.
- Assigning a life insurance policy that you no longer need to a charity. This could result in a tax receipt upon the transfer of the policy.
- Purchase a new life insurance policy with the charity owning the policy. You pay the premiums by way of making an equivalent donation to the charity every year realizing the tax benefits of your donation annually.
- Transferring specific investments to a charity during your lifetime or through your estate. Any capital gains that the investments have generated will be tax free and you or your estate receives the tax benefit of the charitable donation.
The majority of us have had or will have the benefit of being served by our health care sector. We all can assure the continued high quality of services by being generous in our lifetime and in our estate plans. To plan your estate and will in such a way to minimize tax and provide a bequest to Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation, contact your advisor or be in touch with Carrie, Development Officer, Legacy & Individual Giving at 905-575-6383 to speak about legacy giving.
Principal Financial Planner and Advisor
Goldring Financial Leadership Inc.