For those of us who manage wealth on a regular basis, it continues to be surprising to see the growing number of assets that are forgotten or just not optimally put to work. Here are two actions we can all consider to help keep assets working hard for the future:
1. Consolidate financial accounts. The latest data suggests at least $2.5 billion of funds remain unclaimed: the Bank of Canada holds $1.1 billion of unclaimed balances1 and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has 8.9 million uncashed cheques, with a total value of over $1.4 billion.2 This sheer magnitude of funds should remind us of the benefits of consolidating financial accounts to ensure assets do not become orphaned over time. Consolidation can also provide other benefits, including better visibility to optimize asset allocation and tax efficiency, greater simplicity and improved legacy planning, among others.
2. Consider fully maximizing tax-advantaged accounts.
Investing in tax-advantaged accounts can make a significant difference down the road. As one example, consider an investor who invests $50,000 today at an annual rate of return of 6 percent. In 25 years, this investor would have almost $215,000 if invested in a TFSA. Investing the same amount in interest-bearing investments in a non- registered account would yield only $104,000 after taxes.3
Do any unclaimed funds belong to you or your loved ones? To search for unclaimed assets, see: www.unclaimedproperties.bankofcanada.ca/app/claim-search. Check your CRA “My Account” for unclaimed cheques at: www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/uncashed-cheque.html
Do you have available RRSP or TFSA contribution room? The latest statistics suggest that there is over $1 trillion of unused RRSP contribution room available.4 And, as noted in last quarter’s newsletter, the vast majority of TFSA holders, at all wealth levels, have not maximized their contribution room.5
1. nationalpost.com/news/canada/how-to-know-if-you-own-any-of-the-1-8b-in-unclaimed-bank- accounts-in-canada; 2. www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/news/2022/08/approximately-14- billion-in-uncashed-cheques-is-sitting-in-the-canada-revenue-agencys-coffers.html; 3. Assuming a marginal tax rate of 50.25% on interest income; 4. At 2016; Stat Canada T: 111-0040 “RRSP Room”; 5. www.canada.ca/content/dam/cra-arc/prog-policy/stats/tfsa-celi/2020/table1c-en.pdf