The Financial Realities of Retirement during the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Karin Mizgala, co-founder and CEO money Coaches Canada

These are disquieting times. The way we live has been upended. For many Canadians, after their physical health, their financial well-being has been top-of-mind. And while many financial investments have bounced back from the shock they took earlier in the year, uncertainty is still with us.

This is especially true for retirees who are already drawing from their investments. At a time when they thought they would be travelling and pursuing personal goals, many find themselves feeling anxious and financially vulnerable.

But like in any stressful situation, it’s good to take a deep breath, look at the whole picture and take focussed action when and where possible. Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting and Cash Flow, Money Coaching, Retirement savings

Is Financial Freedom Still Possible?

By Karin Mizgala, co-founder and CEO money Coaches Canada

COVID-19 has rattled us to the core. It has threatened our health and taken lives. It has damaged our economy and taken livelihoods. It has physically kept us apart, yet we have pulled together. When this is over we won’t be the same. But maybe we can be better.

I recently took the BC disease centre survey which, along with the expected medical questions, also asked some excellent and surprising qualitative questions.  The one that stood out for me was; state two things that were positive and two things that were negative about COVID-19 pandemic time.

My teacher cousin thought that there should have been a children’s version of the survey and took it upon herself to ask her grandchildren some of the questions. When she asked her young grandson what was positive about the COVID-19 situation, he didn’t give the more screen time, less school time answer you might expect from an eight year-old, instead he said, “It was very good for the environment and it will be very good for us to learn more things for future pandemics.” (Eight year-olds are more informed than in my day!)

While I in no way want to diminish the negative, even tragic, impact of the pandemic, my young cousin reminded me that we are all (even eight year-olds) being asked to stop and reflect on deeper life issues. Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting and Cash Flow, Investing, Money Coaching, Relationship to money, Retirement savings

Will Impact Investing Thrive in a Post COVID-19 World?

By Karin Mizgala, co-founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

We invest to secure our future, and for years that predominantly meant securing our financial future. With that end in mind, a significant criterion for choosing an investment was its financial performance. But for many investors, there has been an evolution of what securing our future actually means.

More and more of my clients are looking for investments that are aligned with their values. The popularity of socially responsible investments has increased over the years. Even mainstream investment companies are including Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) filters when choosing stocks and bonds to invest in. Many use the research and scoring information from the company Sustainalytics.

But being socially responsible is no longer enough for many investors who are increasingly interested in impact investing. Continue reading

Posted in Investing, Money Coaching

Decluttering your Money and Taking Control

By Karin Mizgala, co-founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

Week 7 of the lockdown. Unlike some of my friends and family, I haven’t taken up baking, crafting or the ukulele, but I am following the news more than ever. A bit obsessively, I must admit. I keep hoping with every article I read to find the facts or insights that will predict the impact that COVID-19 will have on our clients, our coaches, our business and on the whole concept of long range planning.

Nope, the future isn’t clear yet. And, I know I’m not the only one who finds this stressful. 

With so much out of our control, I have found that focusing on small organizing tasks that I get a sense of completion and satisfaction from, like reorganizing my bookshelf, doing the dishes, deadheading flowers, is helping me stay grounded. 

Here are a few financial tasks that you might want to check off your list during the next few weeks. Continue reading

Posted in Money Coaching

5 Ways to Lessen the Impact of COVID-19 on Your Retirement Plans

By Karin Mizgala, co-founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

This is a hard time to focus on the future. If your employment or income has been impacted by COVID-19, understandably your short-term security and immediate bills are your primary concern. That makes sense, you need to take care of yourself, your family and your community and to make sure everyone is safe and healthy.

Eventually the crisis will pass and things will return to “normal,” well maybe a new “normal,” but one where we can breathe again and start thinking about the future.

There are however, some habits you can change and actions you can take now. It’s important that the choices you make today are in the context of a proactive game plan for both short and long term financial security. Continue reading

Posted in For your information, Investing, Money Coaching, Relationship to money, Retirement savings

Cash Flow in the Time of COVID-19

By Sheila Walkington BBA, CFP®

No matter what your financial circumstances, you’re probably at least a little bit freaked out by the impact that COVID-19 is having or could have on your day to day cash flow. Whether you are employed, self-employed or drawing income from your investments in retirement, COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate. It’s hitting us all where it hurts financially, myself included. 

The antidote to fear is knowledge and a plan.  Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting and Cash Flow, Money Coaching

Is Now a Good Time To Invest?

By Karin Mizgala, co-founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

Non-Registered InvestmentIn the conversations we’d had with our clients in the recent weeks, there is certainly concern and questions about the market and economic fallout from COVID-19, but most are staying the course with their investment plan.  

And perhaps that’s the point. They have an investment and financial plan. While no one could have anticipated the timing and severity of the current pandemic, our clients do have a plan that is based on realistic rate of return assumptions that takes the ups and downs of the market into consideration. They have the comfort of knowing that the investment and financial decisions they have made so far are based on a full analysis of their goals, values and their personal and financial circumstances.   

A client of my colleague Sheila summed it up: “we are grateful we have had your guidance for so long and can focus on health instead of worrying about money at a time like this”.

In fact, we’ve had more questions from clients about whether this is a good time to invest with money they have sitting in cash.     Continue reading

Posted in Money Coaching

Should I Defer my Mortgage Payments?

By Sheila Walkington BBA, CFP®

As the financial impact of COVID-19 is being felt by more and more Canadians, we are working with our clients to help them find the best solutions for their circumstances. There are many financial support programs offered by the government, banks and businesses that are emerging. Details are still being worked out, and in some cases changing which can be frustrating when trying to make informed and responsible decisions.

With this in mind, we will share the most pressing questions our clients are asking and the information and advice we’re providing.  As new information emerges, we will do our best to keep you updated and informed on how we are addressing the issues with our clients.     

Should I defer my mortgage payments?

If you are experiencing financial hardship from income loss or reduction due to COVID-19 and don’t have the means to pay your mortgage, then it may make sense to apply for a deferral with your lender.  Continue reading

Posted in Money Coaching

5 Tips for Surviving Economic Uncertainty

By Karin Mizgala, co-founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

It certainly has been a challenging start to Spring as we’re all grappling to make sense of the events around us. What will the immediate impact be on our jobs, businesses, investments and our physical and emotional health? When will we be able to “get back to normal”? And what will the longer-term implications be on our economy, our children, our retirement?

calculator-385506_1280The most difficult thing for all of us is that no one knows for sure, and that includes our experts and leaders. Instead, we are being asked to sit tight, stay in the moment and wait. This is not comfortable for an action-oriented world where speed and growth have been our norms.

On top of that most of us are facing immediate consequences within our own families and communities. In the last 2 days I got word that my niece was laid off and prospects in the fashion industry are well, nil for the foreseeable future. My sister-in-law’s father is in the hospital with a blood clot – and because of COVID, no one is allowed to visit him. A good friend is very ill but tests and surgeries are being postponed. Continue reading

Posted in For your information, Investing

Ask a Money Coach: Which Tax Software Would You Recommend?

Few people look forward to tax time, but with the help of a good software program it doesn’t have to take long or be painful. Most of the well-known options available to Canadians are quite similar, so how do you choose which one to use? The differences arise around support and which features are offered at what cost. Here is a quick overview of some of the most popular options. Continue reading

Posted in Ask Your Money Coach, For your information, Money Coaching, taxes