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Get Financially Fit with 96.1 BOB FM and Westoba Credit Union

Financial Services Representative, Erin Chisholm will be on air Wednesday and Friday afternoons to answer listeners questions!

If your question is answered on air you’ll get some expert financial advice and win a $50 Co-op gift card! Get Financially Fit during November with Westoba Credit Union and 96-1 BOB FM!

Submit your Financial Questions here.

Q: I would like to start a savings account. Is it possible to automatically put funds away into something like a TFSA? 

Yes absolutely  we can!  Setting up the transfer is easy!  You would want to sit down with your advisor to talk about the amount you should invest, which day works best for you, and where the funds should go.  There are many different savings avenues and we can help you choose which is right for you.

Q: What is the best savings account that allows you access to your money?

We have both registered and non registered savings accounts that allow withdrawals at any time.  Having the flexibility to access the funds at any time often means investing at a lower rate.  Depending on your personalized goals and needs, this may or may not be the best option for you.  Sitting down with your advisor will help to determine your needs and figure out your own financial plan.

Q: I got a bonus at work should I use it to pay debt or save in an RRSP?

Congratulations on the bonus!    The answer to this question would really depend on your personal financial situation.  It’s never a good idea to carry high interest debt but a financial advisor will look at your entire net worth picture to help determine the best use of those funds.

Q: I plan to work until 65 and have a pension, should I still contribute to RRSP’s?

This is a very common question that we get!  This really depends on your income, retirement goals, your pension plan, and your current and future financial needs.  It’s always good to save and plan ahead and we can help you look at your financial picture to see if you should be contributing to RRSP’s or possibly something else.

Q: How can I start to save money when I live paycheque to paycheque?  I only cover bills with nothing leftover.

At Westoba, we can also help with budgeting!  Some people think they should only come and see us when they have excess funds but we are also here to help you budget and possibly find extra money.  There are also budgeting tools on our website if you want to get started at home before your appointment.  Consolidating debt to reduce payments may also be an option that one of our advisors would want to discuss with you.

Q: Is it better for me to put money into an  RRSP or a TFSA?

This is also a very common question that we get.  It’s very important to save for your future and knowing whether an RRSP is the right savings vehicle for you depends on your personal financial situation.  A tax free savings account allows your investment to grow tax free while RRSP contributions provide an income deduction for tax purposes.  It’s best to talk to your financial planner about what’s right for you.

Q: Somethings come up and I need funds from my savings. Should I withdraw from my RRSP?

You’re working hard to save for retirement and it can be too easy to allow one decision derail your plans.  There really isn’t a simple answer to this question but it is an important one because life happens! We are here for you and if emergencies come up, come and see us so we can help look at all of the options that you have and any future implications.

Q: What benefits can a financial advisor offer a small business?

We have specialized business advisors at Westoba Credit Union that you can meet with to discuss a comprehensive financial plan.  These specialists focus only on business members and have the knowledge and experience to answer any questions related to commercial lending or deposit services.  We have competitive rates and unique products for small business members.

Q: Our Farm has several equipment loans.  After a good productive year would it be beneficial to try and pay off some of those loans or keep building our nest egg?

It may not be in your best interest to pay off your loan early as there are often tax benefits associated with a commercial loan.  There may also be penalties to pay out the loan early.  Having adequate cash flow is also important.  We would suggest you speak to your accountant as well as your business advisor to talk about the best option for that extra cash.

How does a credit union differ from a banking institution?

Credit Unions are financial co-operatives, and like all co-operatives, we are owned and controlled by the people who use our services.  These people are members, and they all own shares in the credit union empowering them with a vote and the potential for dividends.  Member deposits at the credit union are 100% guaranteed through Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba.  We pride ourselves on our member relationships and our members are more than just a number.

Q: What is the best age to take CPP?

This is a great question.  This is going to depend on your current income situation.  Electing to take your CPP early could have current and future unfavorable repercussions.  This is something you will want to discuss with your financial advisor who may also refer you to your accountant.

Q: Can I pay my utility bills at Westoba?

Yes you can!  There are many different ways to pay your bills through Westoba.  You will want to chat with a representative about our personalized account packages that suits your individual needs.  Once you have a package that’s right for you, we will discuss your bill payment options and what will work best.

Q: Can I transfer my mortgage over to Westoba from my bank?

Yes absolutely you can.  Call our TeleService team at 1-877-937-8622 to book an appointment with a Financial Services Representative so we can help you do this.   We have different mortgage options, competitive rates and additional monetary benefits for our full service members.  We will make the transition seamless and easy.

Q: What is a good savings plan for a small inheritance?

Our members have many investment options available to them at Westoba Credit Union.  Talk to a financial planner to discuss your financial goals and current needs.

Q: At what age should I start contributing to my RRSP?

While it’s important to save for your future, knowing whether an RRSP is the right savings vehicle for you depends on your personal financial situation and it’s best to talk to your financial planner about what’s right for you.

Q: How does an RESP work?

A Registered Education Savings Plan allows you to save for your child’s future education while also being supplemented by government of Canada grants.  Currently the government provides up to 20% of your annual contribution to a maximum of $500 per year.  You may also qualify for additional grants depending on your own financial situation.  At Westoba you have lots of different options to invest in your children’s future.

Q: Can I set up an RESP through Westoba?

Yes you can!  Call our TeleService team at 1-877-Westoba to set up an appointment with a financial planner!  You can also visit our website for more information or to chat with a representative today.

Q: What are the benefits to a TFSA?

A tax-free savings account allows your investment to grow tax free.  Contribution rooms carries forward so even if you’ve never opened a TFSA you will have the ability to invest up to the year to date maximum.  You can make withdrawals at any time without tax consequences with the option of reinvesting the withdrawn amount the following year.  Regardless of which life stage you are in, a TFSA might be the right option for you.

Q: How can I save money for a down payment on my first home?

 There are different ways to save money for a down payment.  The best thing to do is create a budget and stick to it.  Westoba has different tools to offer to our members to assist them with their budgeting.  Together we can create a personalized plan to help you become a home owner even quicker.

Q: How can I pay less interest on my debt?

 If being debt free is your financial goal, it’s our job to help you get there sooner.  We pride ourselves on offering our full service members the best rate and options for them.  We would be able to look at your full financial picture to determine if one reduced payment at a lower rate is possible.

Q: I’m getting close to retirement, what should I do with my RRSP?

If it works for you, you have the option to start taking payments from your RRSP.  But, sometimes the correct action is no action.  Every members needs are different.  If you’re nearing retirement it’s a good time to come in and see your financial planner to evaluate your needs.