The Motley Fool

How to Make Your CRA CERB Money Last Longer

Image source: Getty Images

For now, eligible Canadians can get $2,000 per month of Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) money. This is needed relief money, as COVID-19 has disrupted industries and driven many Canadians out of work.

The Canadian government expects to pay out a total of about $70 billion in CERB money by the end of the summer. That’s a big bill to pay to keep Canadians fed and the economy going.

CERB payments will stop at one point. Here’s how you can make your CRA CERB money and your savings last longer.

Invest with a focus on income

By focusing your investments on income, money will flow in regularly to help you pay the bills for utilities, groceries, and other necessities. If there’s any extra income, you can also get yourself a treat.

Many dividend stocks have sold off in light of the COVID-19 disruptions to the economy. The pullbacks are legitimate. However, many of these companies have the balance sheets to withstand economic downturns.

For example, it’s a good time to accumulate shares in Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD)(NYSE:TD) for long-term investment.

Surely, this year, its earnings will be meaningfully impacted by the recession in Canada and the United States. However, its earnings should still be enough to cover its dividend. Its payout ratio is estimated to be about 65% this year.

To be prudent, the bank might halt dividend increases in the near term. Nevertheless, the depressed stock has lifted its dividend yield to 5.3%, which makes it worthwhile for investing.

In a normal market, the best yield investors can get from TD stock is about 4%. So, investors can get extra income of close to 33% today!

It could take at least two years for TD’s earnings to normalize. To be safe, investors should have an investment horizon of at least three years. By that time, buyers now would have collected some nice income, and the stock should recover to about $80 per share.

The 10 Best Stocks to Buy This Month

Click here to learn more!

Real estate is another source for big income

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) that have any retail exposure have come under pressure, including H&R REIT (TSX:HR.UN). The diversified REIT is now trading at levels last seen during the global financial crisis in 2008/2009.

Its office, residential, and industrial properties are holding up well during the pandemic with rent collections of 99%, 92%, and 90%, respectively, in May. In comparison, it collected 50% of rents from its retail portfolio. Overall, it collected 80% of its rents for that month.

H&R REIT cut its cash distribution by 50% in May. It believes that this move will provide the “additional financial flexibility to absorb any income interruption related to the pandemic in the near term, and allow for significant capital reinvestment into our properties to address tenant turnover without increasing the REIT’s financial leverage.” Therefore, another cash distribution cut is unlikely.

Now, when the economy is stressed, is the best time to invest in H&R REIT for long-term income generation. It currently yields close to 6.9%. Last time it cut its cash distribution in 2009, it steadily increased the payout when economic conditions improved. Thus, it could do it again this time. If so, buyers today will get even more income as things improve.

Right now, analysts think the stock can appreciate about 48% higher over the next 12 months. Over three years, it’s highly possible for the stock to get back to even more normalized levels of $19, which would represent 89% upside on top of the rich dividend income it provides.

Notably, the stock will report its Q2 results on August 12, which is not too far off into the future. So, by all means, feel free to wait for the report for more clarity on the COVID situation before deciding to invest in H&R REIT or not.

Speaking of stocks that churn out juicy income...

The 10 Best Stocks to Buy This Month

Renowned Canadian investor Iain Butler just named 10 stocks for Canadians to buy TODAY. So if you’re tired of reading about other people getting rich in the stock market, this might be a good day for you.

Because Motley Fool Canada is offering a full 65% off the list price of their top stock-picking service, plus a complete membership fee back guarantee on what you pay for the service. Simply click here to discover how you can take advantage of this.

Click Here to Learn More Today!

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Kay Ng owns shares of H&R REAL ESTATE INV TRUST and The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss an important event.

Iain Butler and the Stock Advisor Canada team only publish their new “buy alerts” twice a month, and only to an exclusively small group.

This is your chance to get in early on what could prove to be very special investment advice.

Enter your email address below to get started now, and join the other thousands of Canadians who have already signed up for their chance to get the market-beating advice from Stock Advisor Canada.