carinsurancelethbridgeWhy do you need to buy car insurance? Perhaps the first thing that comes into your mind is that fact that you cannot drive a car without it. That’s true. You cannot go around town driving your car if it is not insured. This is primarily because you cannot get that car registered without getting a Lethbridge car insurance policy. This rule has been set in place for a very good reason.

Everyone who owns a car needs to get themselves and their car insured for the very reason that the road can be a very dangerous place. No matter how skilled you are in driving or how knowledgeable you are of the rules on the road, the risk of you being in an accident has always been there. You will never know how dangerous the road can be, because of other drivers and because of nature itself.

Car insurance at a certain point would look like it is just another one of the extra charges that you have to pay for. Some might even see that it is only valuable when you have the most expensive policy on your side. While others might even say that it is one of the many ways anyone could waste their money on. Indeed, everyone has their own way of saying that getting insurance is one of the things they regret the most.

And yet nobody could say that they don’t need insurance to save them when they meet an accident. Getting insurance is all about finding the right one. More than the money that comes with each type of policy, getting insurance is all about finding the one policy that will help save your life from becoming bad as it is. The goal is to not buy insurance for the fun of it, but to have insurance that will save you all the fun in the future.

You should be getting car insurance that will get you the best medical help ever possible. When you find yourself in an accident that may be fatal, but you are responsible for, all that you can think of is getting the kind of legal support everyone would need. At a glance, nobody would think insurance is valuable, until they realize how much it can change their life. That’s why they realize that they need insurance, no matter how expensive it may be.…

Housing starts rebounded in the second half of 2009 and early 2010 and will stabilize over the next two years, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) second quarter Housing Market Outlook, Canada Edition.*

Following a total of 149,081 units in 2009, housing starts are expected to be in the range of 166,900 to 199,600 units in 2010, with a point forecast of 182,000 units. In 2011, housing starts will be in the range of 148,600 to 208,800 units, with a point forecast of 179,600 units.

“Canadian housing markets have recovered from the low levels posted in early 2009,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist for CMHC. “Moving forward, housing starts will moderate as activity becomes more in-line with long term demographic fundamentals. New measures for government-backed mortgage insurance introduced by the Government of Canada that took effect on April 19, 2010 will continue to support the long-term stability of Canada’s housing market.”

Mr. Dugan also noted that the existing home market will move towards balanced conditions over the next two years as MLS sales ease and inventory levels increase. In late 2009 and early 2010, sales activity included some pent-up demand from early 2009. Once this demand is exhausted, and as mortgage rates gradually rise, the pace of activity in the resale market will ease. As a result, existing home sales will be in the range of 484,000 to 513,300 units in 2010, with a point forecast of 497,300 units, and then move slightly lower in 2011 to be in the range of 443,500 to 504,900 units, with a point forecast of 473,500 units.

With an improved balance between demand and supply, the average MLS price is expected to stabilize through the end of 2010 and then rise modestly in 2011.…

The Bank of Canada today announced that it is raising its target for the overnight rate by one-quarter of one percentage point to 1/2 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly raised to 3/4 per cent and the deposit rate is kept at 1/4 per cent, thus re-establishing the normal operating band of 50 basis points for the overnight rate.

The global economic recovery is proceeding but is increasingly uneven across countries, with strong momentum in emerging market economies, some consolidation of the recovery in the United States, Japan and other industrialized economies, and the possibility of renewed weakness in Europe. The required rebalancing of global growth has not yet materialized.

In most advanced economies, the recovery remains heavily dependent on monetary and fiscal stimulus. In general, broad forces of household, bank, and sovereign deleveraging will add to the variability, and temper the pace, of global growth. Recent tensions in Europe are likely to result in higher borrowing costs and more rapid tightening of fiscal policy in some countries – an important downside risk identified in the April Monetary Policy Report (MPR). Thus far, the spillover into Canada from events in Europe has been limited to a modest fall in commodity prices and some tightening of financial conditions.

Activity in Canada is unfolding largely as expected. The economy grew by a robust 6.1 per cent in the first quarter, led by housing and consumer spending. Employment growth has resumed. Going forward, household spending is expected to decelerate to a pace more consistent with income growth. The anticipated pickup in business investment will be important for a more balanced recovery.

CPI inflation has been in line with the Bank’s April projections. The outlook for inflation reflects the combined influences of strong domestic demand, slowing wage growth, and overall excess supply.

In this context, the Bank has decided to raise the target for the overnight rate to 1/2 per cent and to re-establish the normal functioning of the overnight market.

This decision still leaves considerable monetary stimulus in place, consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target in light of the significant excess supply in Canada, the strength of domestic spending, and the uneven global recovery.

Given the considerable uncertainty surrounding the outlook, any further reduction of monetary stimulus would have to be weighed carefully against domestic and global economic developments.…

Over the last few weeks, thousands of Canadian high school students have been deciding on whether or not to accept university and college entrance offers. Given that total expenses for a four-year degree can run as high as $60,000 or more, some families may be struggling to find the funds to finance post-secondary education.

As the costs of a post-secondary education increase, BMO advises Canadians to consider opening a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).

RESPs allow a parent or guardian to save money for their child’s university or college education. They offer several advantages, including:

– Tax-free growth (while the investments remain in the RESP)

– Up to $500 a year in Canada Education Savings Grants ($7,200 lifetime per child)

– A wide range of investment options

– Lower tax rates when the growth and grants are withdrawn for post-secondary education purposes (taxed at the student’s marginal tax rate)

However, simply opening an RESP is not enough. “Given the mounting costs associated with a post-secondary education, it’s critical that parents not only open an RESP as early as possible, but contribute to it regularly as well,” says David Sharone, Product Manager, Registered Plans and Solutions, BMO Mutual Funds.

BMO Financial Group offers the following RESP savings tips for parents and their campus-bound children:

– Give the gift of an education – Encourage family members and close friends to contribute to your child’s RESP on birthdays and holidays instead of, or in addition to, conventional gifts

– Know your limits – Parents, or young couples with plans to have children, should work together to determine a monthly budget that accounts for long-term savings, with a focus on RESPs

A paper bag lunch is all gravy – Bringing a lunch from home every day can save upwards of $100 per month, resulting in extra funds which can be used to increase your pre-determined RESP contributions…

A new BMO survey shows that Ontario business owners are apprehensive when it comes to how they will be affected by the introduction of the harmonized sales tax (HST) on July 1.

The survey, conducted by Harris/Decima, found that 51 per cent of Ontario business owners expect the impact will be negative, while 33 per cent believe it will have a positive effect.

“The Ontario Government estimates that the HST will save businesses in the province about $4.5 billion annually,” said Sal Guatieri, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. “The savings will encourage investment, helping to boost productivity and the province’s competitiveness.”

“Businesses in Ontario will be affected by the implementation of HST as it will lower costs and should encourage investment in the province,” said Mark Shoniker, Director, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. “But businesses will also have to make some adjustments so they are ready for the changes that will come with the HST.”

Tips and Advice on Preparing for the HST Include:

Revise Your Budgets

Some items you would normally purchase and recover under the provincial sales tax (PST) may not be recoverable with the HST, which could affect your budget. Conversely, most businesses that now sell GST-taxable goods and services, including exports, will be able to claim input tax credits (ITCs) for any HST paid on assets and expenses.

Adjust cash flow forecasts

Purchases that are currently exempt from PST, such as telephone equipment and computers or office supplies, will now include HST which can be claimed as an ITC. The cash flow for your business may be affected because of the time interval between paying for the HST and getting the ITC refund. Take this lag into consideration and revise the projections for your cash flow.

Modify invoices

All invoices should be changed to include the new tax rate on applicable goods and services. They should state the proper rate, your GST/HST registration number and any other information that should be indicated according to Canadian Revenue Agency regulations.

Review eligibility for credit

Businesses that make less than $2 million in annual revenue from taxable sales are eligible for a $1,000 credit from the Ontario government. If your business falls into this revenue category, fill out a form to receive the credit.…