COVID-19 Update



By Noel D’Souza, CFP®
Director, Communications

investment strategy

It has often been said that “Cash is King”, but when it comes to personal finance it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that it’s all about CASH FLOW.

Cash flow planning is a key aspect of financial planning that involves monitoring, analyzing, and managing the inflows and outflows of cash over a specific period. Effective cash flow planning is crucial for achieving financial stability, regardless of your age or income. It will help you manage your day-to-day finances, achieve your longer-term financial goals, and live a comfortable life free from money-related stress.

Let’s take a look at how cash flow planning plays a key role at various stages of life:

Early Adulthood

For a young adult just starting out on their own, cash flow planning will help establish a solid financial foundation and good money management habits. You create a cash flow plan, monitor your income and expenses, and manage and reduce your debt consistently.

Cash flow planning will also help you prioritize your financial goals, such as building an emergency fund, saving for a down payment on a home, or investing in your education or career.

You also need to consider disability and life insurance, which at their core are meant to ensure continued stable cash flow for you or your survivors if you are no longer able to generate cash flow to pay your bills by working.

Take Rachel, a new associate at a law firm. She’s managed to land an excellent job with long-term career potential, but life is BUSY! Despite a good income, money is tight. Rachel needs to figure out how much she can reasonably afford to spend on rent, ensure her income is protected if she can’t work due to illness or injury, invest in her career growth, and plan for personal goals which include purchasing a home in a few years… while enjoying what little spare time she has! It’s a lot to juggle, but a cash flow plan will help her map this all out, so she doesn’t overspend in any one area to the detriment of the others.

Middle Age

As one progresses into middle age, financial responsibilities may increase and get significantly more complicated. Cash flow planning will help you navigate these changes and make informed financial decisions.

You will likely need to plan for major expenses, such as post-secondary education for your children, home renovations, vehicle replacements, and of course retirement. By analyzing your cash flow, you can identify areas where you may need to reduce expenses, increase savings, or adjust your investment strategy. It can also help you pay less tax as you optimize your cash flow to minimize the size and frequency of taxable events.

Walter and Skyler are in their early 50’s, married with 2 teenage children. He has a good job and is trucking along according to plan in his career, but boy does the recent spike in inflation hurt. His cash flow seemed to be all good – covering the monthly bills, paying down his mortgage, contributing to his RRSP, putting money aside for his kids’ education – but his variable rate mortgage payments have jumped by almost $1,000 per month, and food, gas… well EVERYTHING is more expensive. Walter also is facing some possible health issues which could impact his ability to work. To avoid having to do something drastic, Walter and Skyler need to adapt their cash flow plan to work with the new environment they find themselves in.

income sourcesRetirement

In retirement, cash flow planning becomes even more critical. You will rely on your retirement savings – along with government and employer pensions, if applicable – to cover your expenses for the rest of your life, which means you need to manage your cash flow carefully.

By creating a solid inflation-adjusted retirement cash flow plan, you will ensure that your income sources are sufficient to cover your needs, not just on Day 1 or Year 1 of retirement but as your needs change over time. This will have implications for your investment strategy because the focus now is likely on generating a stable, reliable cash flow rather than on long-term growth of your portfolio – though with a hopefully long and healthy retirement, you’ll still need some growth too!

Din and Bo have had an exciting life together, with frequent travel to exotic places and adventures to last a lifetime. They worked hard and played hard, and money was never foremost on their minds – they knew they could always get another contract to earn more – but they are slowing down now and looking to retire. They are concerned that their savings may not last them through retirement which might force them to return to work later in life when they are less physically capable. They also have a sizable portion of their wealth in precious metals and need to turn their nest egg into a reliable income stream. Din and Bo recognize that developing a thoughtful cash flow plan that supports the kind of retirement they want is The Way.

As Money Coaches and advice-only financial planners, our specialty is helping our clients master their cash flow regardless of which stage of financial well-being they find themselves. From working with hundreds of clients, we know the challenges they can face due to an unstable or misallocated cash flow, or the anxiety they often feel when faced with turning a retirement portfolio into a tax-efficient income stream to last a lifetime. It’s cold comfort to have a healthy net worth on paper, but not have access to the cash flow you need when YOU need it.

inflation-adjusted retirementUltimately, everything in personal finance is related to cash flow, because without a reliable, consistent cash flow, life becomes stressful and uncertain. While large investment returns and “interesting” tax planning schemes get the limelight, remember that it all ultimately comes down to generating and maintaining the cash flow needed to support the life you have been working so hard to achieve.

Posted in Budgeting and Cash Flow

“Maxed Out” – CPP & EI

repaying consumer debtClients sometime ask why their take home income increases later in the year when they haven’t received a pay raise.

The answer is CPP (Canada Pension Plan) and EI (Employment Insurance) contributions.


As Canadians, anyone who earns employment income is required to contribute to the CPP program.

If you are an employee, your CPP contributions are deducted at source from your payroll until the maximum annual amount is reached. Once this maximum is reached, the deductions stop and your take-home pay will increase.

Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting and Cash Flow

The Challenge of Important, Not Urgent

By Noel D’Souza, CFP®
Director, Communications

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
― Abraham Lincoln

We live busy lives. We’re pulled in so many different directions, sometimes it’s a wonder how we manage to get anything done.

Thankfully, we humans are highly efficient, rational beings. We prioritize our important goals and diligently and consistently allocate our precious time to focus on only the most important activities to achieve those goals.


In truth, we know there are things we should have taken care of a long time ago, important tasks or projects that REALLY need to get done, yet somehow, they still sit on our mental To-Do list. And those are just the things we know we need to do… there’s probably a list of things we need to tackle that we aren’t yet aware of.

Instead, we spend our days focused on what seems to be urgent, rather than what’s truly important.

When it comes to our finances, the pull of the urgent is all too familiar. Managing endless bills, paying off debt, dealing with unexpected expenses, filing our taxes… there are a host of time sensitive activities that scream for our attention.

But what about those things that aren’t urgent, but are vitally important for our financial well-being? Continue reading

Posted in Financial Planning

Is Now a Good Time To Invest?

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

Non-Registered Investment

In the conversations we’ve had with our clients in recent weeks, there is certainly concern and questions about the market and economic fallout from COVID-19, high inflation, and rising interest rates as central banks respond, 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 pandemic and its economic after effects, 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.   

During the depths of the pandemic, 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

Better Coaching through Collaboration – The Money Coaches Canada 2023 Conference

An undeniable advantage of working together as a team – as we do at Money Coaches Canada – is the opportunity for on-going collaboration and mutual learning.

In May the Money Coaches Canada team assembled to review what we do – and more importantly, WHY we do it – and how we can grow as financial coaches to better meet the needs of our varied clients and guide them along their lifelong financial journeys. This year we gathered on beautiful Salt Spring Island in British Columbia.

We thought we’d share a few pictures of the team and the breathtaking and inspiring view from our conference venue. Continue reading

Posted in Money Coaching

The Value of Financial Advice

By Jenny Reimer, CIM, CFP®
Director, Financial Planning

We’ve all seen the commercials and maybe even read an article that attempts to measure the value of financial advice. Simply put, most people who work with an advisor build more wealth over time. Research shows that this is due to a combination of appropriate investment strategies, better savings habits, and coaching to avoid costly mistakes.

investment management

As Money Coaches, we have seen there are also significant intangible benefits to seeking out personalized financial advice and putting it into action. Continue reading

Posted in Financial Planning

Decluttering Your Money and Taking Control

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

From January to April most Canadians are knee deep in financial paperwork. With tax and RSP season almost behind you, you may be left wondering what to do with all the financial paperwork that has accumulated over the months or in some cases years.

The question of what to keep, what to toss and how to stay on top of financial paperwork comes up a lot with my clients. With the movement toward digital financial records, it can be easier to be organized and less cluttered with paperwork.

Now is a great time to check-in on your financial management systems and to implement these easy ways to simplify and stay in control!

Here are a few financial tasks and organizing tips that you might want to check off your list before you kick back and relax into summer mode. 

Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting and Cash Flow, Money Coaching

Workcation: 5 Things you need to Know when Living and Working on the Road

By Karin Mizgala, CFP®
Co-founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

living on the road

Wayne and Karin with their rig

To say that my husband Wayne and I are quite different is an understatement. He’s an artist and I’m a financial planner. Say no more! However, the one thing we are in perfect agreement on is that we love road trips. Any chance we get, we hit the road and often use this opportunity to dream and set goals and intentions for our life together.

Over the years one of our big dreams was to buy an RV and bring our home with us on our adventures.

We hit a few roadblocks when the time came to make this a reality. I had envisioned a little cozy 20-foot van and he had his sights on a Willy Nelson celebrity bus to the tune of $300K+. With my financial planner hat on, I quickly kiboshed that idea.

We (ok I) set a budget and started shopping. Wayne had always wanted a big red truck, so we settled on a modest truck and travel trailer to see if this life was for us.

While Wayne is a retired history prof, I’m still several years away from retirement so a big consideration was whether it was possible (or even desirable) to work on the road. I knew that, at least in theory, I could work from anywhere but was it doable in practice?

If you’re considering working on the road, here are a few of the lessons that we learned so far with some input from my intrepid traveler colleague Steve Bridge: Continue reading

Posted in Financial Planning, Working on the road