Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Era of Offshore Bank Secrecy is Dead

David Rotfleisch-03-500W
David Rotfleisch. Photo by Brian Kilgore

By David Rotfleisch

Rotfleisch & Samulovitch Professional Corporation

Special to the Financial Independence Hub 

Imagine dad dies. The widow and children miss him terribly, but he made good money and they’ll be taken care of financially. What they don’t realize is that dad left them “black money.” He kept most of his money in a secret offshore bank account — black money  —unreported to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). He also left his heirs a big problem.

Governments and tax collectors around the world have come down hard on the banks that harbour secret accounts. The crackdown came after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as terrorist cells need financing and want to remain under the radar. That got the ball rolling worldwide. As well, governments began cracking down on money laundering from the proceeds of crime (drugs, guns, human trafficking, exotic animal parts smuggling, and so on).

A True Story

This is a true story, with the details changed a bit to protect the heirs from embarrassment. The widow called my firm, distraught and I was able to provide some comfort. It’s good news that the money is not lost forever. But it will take a while to get it back to Canada, and the family will have a Canada Revenue Agency tax bill to pay.

The best news is mom and the kids have no fear of going to jail for tax evasion. They can sleep at night.

Offshore Banking and Tax Havens ConceptAt my firm, 2015 started with a call from a Canadian businessman who spends part of his time outside Canada.  He was given bad advice years ago by his Canadian stock broker to set up an offshore account. Now the offshore broker is getting out of business, has sold the portfolio and wired funds back to the businessman.  But the offshore portfolio was never reported to CRA. The businessman recognizes his obligations, and we are doing voluntary disclosure to bring him onside, once again ending fear of criminal charges. Continue Reading…

Rocco Galati and COMER win another round of appeals against Bank of Canada

Rocco Galati at Toronto’s New City Hall Saturday

Yesterday (Jan. 26), COMER (Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform) and constitutional lawyer Rocco Galati won another round of appeals in its ongoing (since late 2011) court case against the Bank of Canada.

Galati, a prominent constitutional lawyer, discussed Monday’s result shown here at Hub Videos.  In it, he said he does not believe Canada is a democracy any longer and that the media is controlled by the government.


Continue Reading…

Reflections From The Early Days of Spending In Retirement, Part 1

Patricia Gass

By Patricia Gass, CPA, CFA

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

I need to get this right. I’ve only got one chance.

Running out of money in retirement is NOT an option, especially for the “conservative accountant” in me. I refuse to be a burden to my children (or anyone else for that matter)!

It’s been 10 months since my husband and I received our last “official” corporate paycheque. Early retirement has been a true blessing: complete control over our life, time and money. We know there will be bumps in the road but so far so good. We are both happier than we’ve ever been. Life is great! Continue Reading…

Managing Inflation in Retirement

Roger Wohlner, The Chicago Financial Planner

By Roger Wohlner,

Special to the Financial Independence Hub 

Inflation may seem like a tame or even non-existent threat. We are actually witnessing deflation in the price of oil and other commodities as I write this. Even so, it’s highly unlikely that inflation is dead. The U.S. economy continues to recover from the financial crisis and times of economic recovery are often a trigger for higher inflation.

An annual inflation rate of 2 per cent or 3 per cent over a period of years can seriously erode the purchasing power of your retirement nest egg.  At 2.5 per cent inflation, US$1 today will be worth approximately 78 cents in 10 years, 61 cents in 20 years, and 48 cents in 30 years. This could have a major impact on those entering retirement and those already in retirement.

Managing inflation in retirement is crucial;  here are some thoughts you need to consider. Continue Reading…

Retirement, Findependence or Unretirement?

Chad Smith (

Certified financial planner Chad Smith has written a piece called Retirement, Findependence or Unretirement. Which path are you on?

Safe to say we all know what the word Retirement refers to. Those coming to this website will also know Findependence, a contraction for Financial Independence. Smith credits financial planner and blogger Michael Kitces for pushing for Financial Independence as a more useful term than Retirement, especially for Millennials.

This observation was also made by Alan Moore of XY Planning Network at this blog here at the Hub late in 2014.

I had also made a similar recommendation at a blog I wrote about the same time for Roger Wohlner’s The Chicago Financial Planner.  And on the same theme, I gave a little talk for Toastmasters on this, which I later expanded here at the Hub. Continue Reading…