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Manitoba Credit Unions
July 14, 2017
6:28 am
silverffox
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I am looking for members thoughts, opinions regarding the 7 Manitoba Credit Unions. Which of the 7 are better to deal with regarding non registered and registered accounts. I have never dealt with these institutions before but find myself having to expand the number of institutions that I deal with.
Member opinions and/or knowledge regarding such would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

July 14, 2017
7:17 am
Nehpets
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I've had good experience with Hubert customer service. Their online interface works well, and the people answering the phone are reliable and accommodating.

Their interest rate for U.S. savings account can't be beat, though their $CDN interest rate is not the best.

The one year GIC can be useful since it's cashable at every quarter, if you don't mind the slightly lower average interest rate.

Their credit cards are unspectacular, however.

Be sure you are comfortable with all the terms of their customer agreement, and understand the terms of the Manitoba Deposit Insurance.

July 14, 2017
9:32 am
Cranston
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I use.

Hubert. Good to deal with on chat, phone, email and a good ordering system. No cheques or ATM card. Has push pull. A keeper.

Accelerate. Good to deal with on phone and email. System is the regular CU system. All transactions are by phone. Has cheques and ATM card. Does not have push pull. A keeper.

Implicity. Good to deal with on phone an email. They now have chat that I have not tried. System is the regular CU system. Most dealings I do by secure email. Has push pull, ATM card and cheques.

Outlook Financial. Has lots of faults. Has push pull, cheques and ATM card. Not a keeper.

But for rates keep Oaken in mind as well. Good to deal with on phone and a real good ordering system. Does NOT have associated savings accounts for registered accounts. Has push pull. Does not have cheques or ATM card. A keeper.

Each has differences and you may want to tailor what goes where.

July 14, 2017
4:00 pm
Loonie
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I agree with both of the above, although I've only used Hubert.

Hubert stands out for its flexible one-year GIC and its high-interest USD account. None of the others offer these.

July 15, 2017
10:08 am
SG
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I've dealt with Achieva in the past... The $1 per month for going to estatements is nice, but the only 1 free transaction per month limits ths account. I left them in 2011.

I was with Hubert when they first started up (2011ish?). I didn't like the website or statement layout and lack of features (at that time) and didn't stay.

I tried Accelerate financial when they came (2012 or 2013?).. Found banking system to be very archaic and had its limits so closed account after 3 months.

Then I found Implicity Financial in 2013 when they started and I still have accounts with them. Unlimited transactions, debit card, ability to write checks, PAD, clean easy to read statements, and friendly customer service staff... I've really enjoyed banking with them. Unfortunately as my account balance increased their rates were not as good as Alterna Bank (which has all those account features plus bill payment and free debit card pos transactions) , so this year I moved most of my money to Alterna Bank (based in Ontario) but I still have a small amount at implicity and keep accounts there.

Alterna and Implicity use the same banking system... Yet at Implicity I can set recurring transfers to or from my external linked accounts... And at Alterna I cannot, but at Alterna I can transfer between TFSA accounts myself (not withdrawing, just shuffling) yet at Implicity you would have to call.

July 15, 2017
11:34 am
Cranston
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SG, I am not debating your comments. We all feel differently about some FI's and have different needs.

I was with Hubert when they first started up (2011ish?). I didn't like the website or statement layout and lack of features (at that time) and didn't stay.

Hubert has changed there web site and it takes a bit of getting used to but all in all the experience is good. The one only thing I would like them to add to the online GIC order is to give maturity instructions...ie. reinvest or place in to savings account. Not sure if they offer interest paid annually or not and if not in the order entry it too should be added. But no matter what is missing, just email them and they will obligingly update.

I tried Accelerate financial when they came (2012 or 2013?).. Found banking system to be very archaic and had its limits so closed account after 3 months.

They too have changed their web site over to the Crosstown product which is pretty much a same old same old CU site.

Then I found Implicity Financial in 2013 when they started and I still have accounts with them. Unlimited transactions, debit card, ability to write checks, PAD, clean easy to read statements, and friendly customer service staff.

These folks are hard to find for some reason. I have no issues with them BUT will be dropping them. Reason, I have too many bank accounts and what I do with them I can do elsewhere. And once again I have no issues with Implicity.

ps. I only use Hubert, Implicity and Accelerate for investing....not for day to day banking. So some of the features are not needed. I like to have ATM card, Cheques and push/pull but can live with push/pull only as most all Fi's allow GIC order entry on funds that have just been pulled.

August 31, 2017
11:57 pm
moneyhelp
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I've used and still use Achieva and Hubert CU's.

With Achieva, I wanted a place that I can park some money with a higher interest rate than most big banks and since it was referred to me and by research I've done, including this website, I opened a Savings account and TFSA Savings account (which I no longer use). Essentially I keep this account as my emergency fund and when playing the Tangerine quarterly game for better rates, so I'm constantly transferring funds to and from Achieva - Tangerine.

Hubert, I only opened because they offer the best USD savings rate and I only opened the account once they allowed for free EFT to other FI. I also use them for when I receive dividends from my stocks I own and want to do a simple conversion of USD to CAD which offers a better rate than my typical bank or Tangerine. When I have large sums of USD cash (accumulated my USD dividend cash position) then I'll employ a Norbert's Gambit instead, but if I'm simply transferring a few hundred dollars (~$300-400) at a time then I'll take Hubert's Fx rate.

Both have iOS apps, and I've used both, but I'd say that the UI for Hubert is better. Also Hubert has a online chat feature I've used and like, whereas Achieva does not have this option. Also, Achieva's iOS app is not native and employs a connection to html interface. For example, if you have a Tangerine account and use their iOS app, they have the best app I've used (including my major bank RBC) when comparing to Achieva or Hubert.
Both Hubert and Achieva are really good with their email or internal message service (Achieva) and get back to your pretty quickly without having the need to call in.

Frankly, I happened to open Achieva before Hubert again because of the USD EFT, but since their rate is the same as Hubert, I'm debating whether to keep Achieva or close my Achieva account and just keep Hubert. Thoughts?

September 1, 2017
6:56 am
Bill
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I find it useful to never close an account, keep a few bucks there, you never know what's coming down the pipe in the future. Often I've gone back, even after years (e.g. PC Financial), when all of a sudden I get a promo or they have a better rate for some reason than I'm getting elsewhere.
Of course, as my spouse and I have over 30 accounts at various places, I have a list in my locked cabinet (with a photocopy elsewhere) with all the accounts so I don't lose track, and once a year I make sure to print off a current statement plus transfer a few bucks in or out to keep each account "active". Keeping it simple (i.e. summarized, in pencil for the rare deletion or change, on a single sheet of "hardcopy" paper, no electronics) minimizes confusion and time - but maybe I'm still nuts, I don't know.

September 1, 2017
7:15 am
moneyhelp
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Bill said
I find it useful to never close an account, keep a few bucks there, you never know what's coming down the pipe in the future. Often I've gone back, even after years (e.g. PC Financial), when all of a sudden I get a promo or they have a better rate for some reason than I'm getting elsewhere.
Of course, as my spouse and I have over 30 accounts at various places, I have a list in my locked cabinet (with a photocopy elsewhere) with all the accounts so I don't lose track, and once a year I make sure to print off a current statement plus transfer a few bucks in or out to keep each account "active". Keeping it simple (i.e. summarized, in pencil for the rare deletion or change, on a single sheet of "hardcopy" paper, no electronics) minimizes confusion and time - but maybe I'm still nuts, I don't know.  

30! WOW! That would be way too daunting to keep track. I have 4 accounts (RBC, Tangerine, Hubert and Achieva) and I keep track with interest earned and statements electronically in my digital file system. I thought about printing off a statement balance each year as a hardcopy in the event something ever happened to me (looking for wood to knock on) 1 sec...

I also have an RRSP through my work with Manulife; eTrade account through work, my other brokerage Questrade for my non-registered and registered accounts and life insurance through Desjardins.

Often thought what the best way to keep track on things, but mostly not for tracking, as I've created spreadsheets for interest earned to claim for tax purposes, but mainly in the event of my passing (looking for wood...1 sec) so that I can have passwords and balances readily available for my beneficiaries.

For registered accounts I have beneficiaries already declared and life insurance of course, but for my non-registered accounts, all accounts would be liquified and go to my estate, but I'm wondering what others do to declare.

FYI, I'm single, no kids, no will created, but registered accounts have beneficiaries declared, but wondering if I simply write a small letter with passwords and my family could "take over" and close the accounts and take the proceeds.

I assume most will say get a will, I think I haven't done so because I am single with no dependents, and perhaps partly due to cost, so I've procrastinated somewhat.

Any thoughts Bill on best practices? Cheers!

September 1, 2017
8:42 am
Bill
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moneyhelp, pretty well all my investments are in a few discount brokerage accounts, plus the high interest savings accounts in favour at the particular moment, so at any point in time 99% of it is in relatively few places. I've got maybe a few hundred dollars scattered in all the accounts I'm not using right now. I have another sheet of paper in my locked cabinet, with a copy elsewhere, of "where my money is today", updated roughly monthly, and my executors know exactly where these sheets are. I've also included directions for how to claim other benefits like life insurance or cash-out of pensions.

A letter with passwords, etc would allow "family" or whoever gets the letter to pretend they are you and clear out the accounts but that would be illegal, I presume, if any activity occurred after the moment of death. No-one can just "take over" your stuff after you die, your estate is created at that moment, and that has to be disposed of according to law.

There's no cost to a Will, if you don't want to pay. You can just write on a piece of paper (entitled My Last Will) who is the executor(s) (get their agreement first), who gets what when you die (beneficiaries), get two witnesses (other than beneficiaries or their spouses) to sign and date verifying your signature and date, tell your executor where you keep the original so (s)he can get at it at the time, and you've got a Will.

I'm sure others will provide details I've missed, plus indicate pitfalls of what I suggest, but if I was you that would suffice for me as a bare-bones Will, free. There's always more info online with suggested wording if you want to make the wording more fleshed-out and legalese. I wrote my own.

If you die without a Will, the laws of the province take over and as far as I know assets are distributed normally in the order (roughly) of who's alive from spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, brothers and sisters, etc. In your case that might be fine with you (e.g. your parents get it all), so you're set. I have one of my children in your situation (i.e. no significant others or descendants) and has no Will, no interest in having one, so it's really up to you.

September 1, 2017
12:32 pm
Loonie
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Just a few thoughts...

I think (but it should be verified) that if you write out the will by hand and sign it (assuming you are not so young that you don't have writing skills), that you don't even need witnesses.

This may seem trivial, but I find it useful. PaperMate makes an erasable pen that is quite good. I prefer it to pencils. On sale at Staples this week. You can erase more than once although paper will not be quite s durable as with pencil. Works for me, and easier for fading eyesight to read.

I must admit that I haven't toted up how many accounts we have. Undoubtedly too many. My current goal is to reduce them, even if that means small losses of interest. Although they are all itemized etc., I am concerned that I might start to lose track if my mind starts to go, and also could be a lot of extra work fo executors. I am thinking of closing all accounts not based in my province as I am concerned about possible tangles with different rules in different provinces for POAs and executing the will - of course, this is easier for me than it would be for some as most of them are already based here. Got rid of Peoples Trust a while ago.

I'm curious who moneyhelp put down as a beneficiary for RSP. I assume you have one as you referred to registered plans (plural). I didn't think you could put down anyone except a spouse for those.

Be careful if and when you marry or choose common law. Wills become invalid upon marriage; and family law has something to say about your assets if you are common law for a certain minimum time period - at least where I live.

It is my understanding that if you don't have a will, that it is a more time-consuming tedious business to get your assets distributed upon death. Somebody has to apply to be the administrator of your estate, and proof must be shown of the identities of your next of kin. It can be difficult to prove a negative, i.e. that you have no children or spouse etc. A will makes things go much more smoothly and quickly. The money defaults to your parents if no kids or spouse. This can be a burden for elderly people to process, and sometimes they need the money. If they're gone, then it's your siblings, then neices/nephews; or failing that cousins.

September 1, 2017
7:01 pm
Bill
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The will Loonie refers to, with no witnesses, is a holographic will, and while they are legal it may or may not be accepted based on the circumstances and/or wording. I think they're seen as useful in emergencies but otherwise they have their own risks - and you can imagine that if there's significant assets and no witnessed will some interested parties might be more likely to step forward and contest it. If it's not accepted as the legal will, it's the same as dying without a will and then that process unfolds. That's my (non-lawyer) understanding.

Though there's some CRA fine-print and conditions, I think the general idea is anyone can be a beneficiary of an RRSP but there will be tax to pay on the value of the RRSP, either by the estate or the beneficiary, in the year of death unless a spouse (including common law) is the only beneficiary - then there's the opportunity for a tax-free "rollover" to the spouse's registered plan.

September 2, 2017
5:55 am
Top It Up
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My Mother had a holographic will - she grew up in an era when you tended to your own knitting and she carried that through to her will.

Pretty straight forward stuff, actually - her estate was to be collapsed to cash with the net proceeds to be divided equally amongst the three beneficiaries - three beneficiaries who weren't waiting on the estate to make something of their lives.

While no one was contesting the will, Probate did request a signed letter from each of the beneficiaries attesting the will was in fact written in our mother's own handwriting. DONE.

September 2, 2017
9:16 am
Norman1
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Bill said
The will Loonie refers to, with no witnesses, is a holographic will, and while they are legal it may or may not be accepted based on the circumstances and/or wording. I think they're seen as useful in emergencies but otherwise they have their own risks - and you can imagine that if there's significant assets and no witnessed will some interested parties might be more likely to step forward and contest it. If it's not accepted as the legal will, it's the same as dying without a will and then that process unfolds. That's my (non-lawyer) understanding.

That's what happened with Howard Hughes and his supposed handwritten "Mormon Will".

Relatives, who would benefit tremendously from Hughes dying with no will, litigated and the holograph will was eventually ruled a fake.

That's the challenge: If contested, how does one substantiate that an unwitnessed holograph will is actually authentic and that the person still had mental capacity to make the will at the time?

There was no lawyer present to vouch for the person's mental state.

People don't handwrite much these days. So, getting handwriting samples of the deceased could be challenging.

September 2, 2017
1:21 pm
Bill
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Top It Up, a holographic will is a safer bet where the beneficiaries were raised right.

September 2, 2017
6:07 pm
moneyhelp
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Loonie said

I'm curious who moneyhelp put down as a beneficiary for RSP. I assume you have one as you referred to registered plans (plural). I didn't think you could put down anyone except a spouse for those.

When it comes to registered accounts, you can name whomever you want as a Beneficiary.

If you name your spouse (or common law) they are known as the successor, and have the option of either taking ownership of the registered account, therefore they can have their own and the deceased as two separate registered accounts. They can also choose to amalgamate both registered accounts into one (for easier monitoring) OR they can simply liquidate the deceased's account and take the cash.

I have added a sibling as my beneficiary for both my RRSP and TFSA accounts. With anyone else other than spouse/common law, they can only receive the cash after the account becomes liquidated, they cannot assume ownership even if they wanted to.

With respect to non-registered accounts, you would have to state in your will who you want the proceeds of the sale of the account (as it would also need to be liquidated) to go to, so it becomes part of your estate. I don't know how this applies to spouses/common law.

September 2, 2017
10:20 pm
Loonie
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I see. This could be complicated with the mandatory CRA deduction at source when liquidated. This, presumably, would be accounted for in the final tax return. It could be difficult to establish accurately how much was left after tax, depending on which portion of the tax brackets you attributed it to. Could be difficult for the executor. But perhaps there is a convenient solution I am not aware of.

Wouldn't it be easier to just roll it into the estate and leave a suitable portion of the estate to the people in question, since it is all just cash in the end and they can't retain the registered status?

September 2, 2017
11:02 pm
Norman1
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Loonie said
I see. This could be complicated with the mandatory CRA deduction at source when liquidated. …

According to When an RRSP beneficiary faces a tax liability, there will be no tax withholding on the RRSP deregistration on death of the annuitant. Beneficiary will receive full value of the RRSP.

However, the fair market value of the RRSP will be added to the estate's taxable income for the year of death and taxes will need to be paid by the estate.

September 2, 2017
11:08 pm
Norman1
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moneyhelp said

I have added a sibling as my beneficiary for both my RRSP and TFSA accounts. With anyone else other than spouse/common law, they can only receive the cash after the account becomes liquidated, they cannot assume ownership even if they wanted to.

With respect to non-registered accounts, you would have to state in your will who you want the proceeds of the sale of the account (as it would also need to be liquidated) to go to, so it becomes part of your estate. I don't know how this applies to spouses/common law.  

No need to liquidate. The contents of the accounts can be withdrawn in specie and deposited into a non-registered account of the beneficiary.

September 3, 2017
5:29 am
Bill
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"With respect to non-registered accounts, you would have to state in your will who you want the proceeds of the sale of the account (as it would also need to be liquidated) to go to, so it becomes part of your estate." As far as I know non-registered accounts become part of your estate whether or not you mention in your Will who's to get what's in them.

Regarding estimating how much will be left after taxes, I think it's been mentioned before here somewhere than an executor should always leave enough undistributed in the estate to cover any additional taxes until the final return has been reassessed by CRA and a clearance certificate has been obtained from CRA. If all goes well that could still be about 1.5 years after death.

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