We answer your questions about Cascades, the retirement income calculator for brokers and financial advisors in Canada.
What is Cascades?
Cascades is an accurate, comprehensive tool for calculating the optimum balance of income drawdown for clients, with the specific aim of reducing if not eliminating OAS clawback.
How does Cascades work?
Cascades works within Excel, so you use it just like any other spreadsheet. You enter the details on the specially designed, easy to use interface, and then click on “Process data”. Cascades instantly sends your data to our master server here at Cascades HQ, where our system calculates the results using the latest rates, tax codes, etc. The data is then returned to your PC, usually in less than 60 seconds, appearing as new tabs on the spreadsheet you’ve just put the data into. You can then print reports direct from the tabs or save them as PDFs for clients.
What software do I need to run Cascades?
Cascades is designed for Windows PCs, and runs on versions of Excel from Office 2010 for Windows onwards. Cascades is currently not available for Macs, due to our use of ActiveX controls and HiveLink integration.
When I open Cascades, my computer warns me about macros. Is this normal?
Absolutely. In fact, Cascades runs on macros. A macro is a mini program inside Excel that performs specific functions and/or calculations. The macros in Cascades are there to make it function smoothly and easily. They will not affect the running, integrity or security of your PC in any way.
How many clients can I have on Cascades?
You can calculate using Cascades for as many clients as you wish - your subscription is per user, not per client. You will need a new .xlsm file for each client, as you need to enter a unique set of data. Simply duplicate the master Cascades spreadsheet file for each new client. Once the file is created and data for each client entered, the data can be changed and recalculated as required without the need to re-enter all the data.
I’ve been asked to log into HiveLink - why?
Cascades is powered by HiveLink, a service that allows for the secure transfer of Excel data. When you want to create your first report, you’ll be asked for your HiveLink user details. These are the same as your Cascades user login details. Once you’ve entered these details, you can opt to Save Login Info. If you do this, you’ll never have to enter them again, so long as you use the same computer each time. If you choose not to save them, you’ll need to enter your login details every time you want to generate a report.
How much does Cascades cost?
Cascades is available only by subscription. Our current introductory offer is just $85/month + Ontario HST (13%), which gives you unlimited calculations for as many different clients as you wish.
Can I use Cascades on my laptop or tablet?
Laptop yes, tablet not yet but we’re working on it.
Is Cascades just available in Canada for Canadian tax calculations?
Currently Cascades is only available to calculate Ontario provincial taxes, but we are hoping to extend to all provinces very soon.
Can I create reports for couples that include individual details?
Absolutely. Reports for a married/common-law couple break things down regarding the individual partners, including income splitting amounts received from/attributed to the other. It also displays some summary totals where they are combined “as a couple”.
Who is behind Cascades?
Cascades has been created by a team of experienced financial professionals, including financial advisors, brokers and life insurance experts, based in Ingersoll, Ontario. It has been created from the ground up with brokers in mind, and follows standard practice and terminology, so it should feel very familiar from the first use. The team will update Cascades with the latest information on an ongoing basis, and may add new features and functions as required.
Cascades. A new framework for retirement income and estate planning