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Retirement Game Plan for the Self-Employed

By Karin Mizgala, Co-Founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

More Canadians than ever before are choosing self-employment. According to Statistics Canada, the current number is 2.8 million. Many more—maybe you—hope to start a business in the coming years.

It’s not surprising; being self-employed allows you a certain level of self-determination that is often lacking when you are an employee. But greater freedom also comes with greater responsibility, especially around money management.

Not only must you manage cash flow to sustain the business and yourself, you are also fully responsible for funding your retirement. In traditional employment, employees often have access to a pension, or retirement contribution matching program; not so for the self-employed.

But if you’re self-employed, you shouldn’t look at this as a drawback, like everything about self-employment; retirement planning is just another area where you can be empowered to succeed. In fact, in a world where defined benefit plans in the private sector are becoming rare, even traditionally employed individuals would do well to think like the self-employed in this area. Continue reading

Posted in Money Coaching


Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor

By Noel D’Souza, CFP®

Questions to Ask Your Financial AdvisorGetting good financial advice in Canada is tricky – trickier than it should be in my opinion. The main challenges facing someone seeking unbiased financial advice can be summed up by the following three questions:

  • Can I find someone qualified to assist me with my needs?
  • Can I rely on this person to have my best interests at heart?
  • Are we a good fit to work together?

Being an informed consumer will serve you well – particularly when it comes to financial services. But you will probably be challenged by the inherent imbalance in knowledge whenever seeking advice of a technical or specialized nature.

If you’re like me, think of the last time you visited a mechanic and were told “Your right rear differential thing-a-ma-jig is leaking fluid and needs to be replaced. It will take 2 hours and cost $2,500. Should I go ahead with the repair?”

Huh?!

After all, you’re seeking advice from an expert because you don’t have the knowledge and experience in that area, right? But there are a few basic principles to remember, and questions to ask, that will serve you well. Continue reading

Posted in For your information, Money Coaching


Income Tax Challenges for the Self-Employed

By Karin Mizgala, Co-Founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

iStock_000018832279SmallWhen people choose self-employment, they are often attracted to the challenge and excitement of creating a business they are passionate about. They may look forward to a more flexible work schedule, or the possibility of earning more than they did as an employee. The one thing most people don’t get excited about is keeping track of all their expenses and planning for their income taxes.

If you are self-employed, you need to be aware of a looming tax deadline. Sole proprietors have until June 15th to file (as do their spouses), but their balance owing is due as of April 30th. If you aren’t paid up by then, interest will be charged until you are.

When your numbers are in order, then reach out to the CRA with a proposed plan to pay off your balance owing. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to save the money for the taxes you are incurring on your new income.

Procrastination in handling the financial side of your business can result in frustration, or even panic, as the tax deadline looms. To help, I’ve outlined a few suggestions on what to do if you find yourself unprepared to file this year’s return, and what you can do differently going forward.

But first, let’s look at some of the challenges and pitfalls you may encounter as a small business owner. Continue reading

Posted in For your information, Money Coaching, Small Business


Money Makeover – Lack of Communication Jeopardizes Couple’s Marriage and Home-ownership Dream

By Karin Mizgala, Co-Founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

 

Meet Marisa and Anthony

Marisa was a 35 year-old, self-employed, physiotherapist when we met. She and her husband, Anthony, a high school teacher, have two children, who were ages four and six at the time. The couple wanted to buy a house, but instead, they were living with Marisa’s parents, arguing about money— largely due to a bankruptcy that Marisa was going through. At times they wondered if their marriage would survive. Their story is real, but we’ve changed their names to protect their identity.

Money Challenge

Until her bankruptcy, Marisa believed that her financial life was hers alone to manage.

“I was raised to be a very independent woman,” she says. “I never even considered having a joint bank account with my husband.”

But without open communication, her husband was in the dark about her business struggles. When Marisa went bankrupt, Anthony lost trust in her, which just increased the stress and tension in their life.  She knew that if she didn’t gain control of her money, her marriage would fail.

She needed to get clear about where her money was going. Her personal and business expenses were mixed-up together instead of in separate accounts. What she was clear on, was that she needed help. Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting and Cash Flow, Money Coaching, Money Makeover, Relationship to money, Success Stories


Sleep Better at Night with the Investment Report Card

You know that a sound investment strategy is crucial to financial success, and you’re willing to pay an advisor for their advice and expertise. But how much should you pay? And how do you know if they are doing a good job or if your portfolio is performing as well as it should be? Investing is complicated, leaving most Canadians unsure of what questions to ask and equally unsure whether they would understand the answers.

That’s why we’re eliminating the guesswork.

At Money Coaches Canada, we’re proud to introduce the On Your Side Investment Report Card™. This unique report gives you an unbiased second opinion about the health of your portfolio and whether it aligns with your unique personal goals. If you’re in good shape, we’ll let you know so you can move forward with confidence and sleep better at night. If there’s room for improvement, we’ll explain where, why, and how to go about making the necessary changes.

Here are five important reasons you need the On Your Side Investment Report Card. Continue reading

Posted in Investing


Celebrating International Women’s Day & Female Entrepreneurship

By Karin Mizgala, Co-Founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

This year is different. No, really! International Women’s Day 2019 marks a major paradigm shift in both politics and business. The world order is rapidly changing as women assume ever more powerful leadership roles and demand changes to the way both governments and businesses are run.

Need proof? Just take a look at the new political realities in both Ottawa and Washington as women are challenging the status quo and demanding new ethical standards and accountability as well as new ways of solving the problems facing the world.  Sorry gentlemen, no more business as usual.   Continue reading

Posted in Money Coaching


Don’t Let Misconceptions Hurt Your Investment Portfolio

By Karin Mizgala, Co-Founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

The volume of financial advice at our fingertips is unprecedented. Through the phones in our pockets, we have access to newspapers, magazines, financial blogs, podcasts, videos and hundreds of books from financial writers around the globe.

While Canadians certainly have more financial information at hand, are we really any better informed? I’m not so sure. In my day-to-day conversations with clients, I am dismayed by the lack of understanding they have about critical components of prudent investing. And it’s not their fault!

Let’s face it, while there have been some changes to requirements for more transparency and disclosure, it hasn’t gone far enough – not by a long shot.  The investment world still has a vested interest in keeping investors in the dark and many misconceptions abound. Continue reading

Posted in For your information, Investing, Money Coaching, Retirement savings




7 Stages of Financial Well-Being® – Where do you stand?

By Karin Mizgala, BA Psyc, MBA, CFP®

January is almost over. One month down, and eleven to go. How are your financial New Year’s resolutions holding up in 2019?

I hope you are doing better financially, and that you are feeling confident and in-control of your financial future. That’s a lot to ask of just 31 days, but maybe you ‘took the bull by the horns’ and made the necessary steps to change your relationship with money.

If not, and money is a source of worry for you, please read on.

We’ve found that one of the biggest reasons why individuals do not follow through on their financial resolutions is that they don’t have a clear sense of what financial success means. The other reason is that it’s just not easy to do what it takes to be good with money in the complex and fast-paced culture in which we live.

For many clients, we’ve seen that success comes from a deeper understanding of where they stand with money, emotionally and financially, developing concise and attainable goals, getting organized and implementing a manageable plan to move forward.

Of course, it takes less effort to hope that a windfall will suddenly appear. But wouldn’t it be nice to finally feel in control of your money once and for all – on your own terms? Continue reading

Posted in 7 Stages of Financial Well-Being®, Money Coaching, Relationship to money


Five Steps to Setting Your New Year’s Financial Resolutions

By Sheila Walkington, Co-founder and CFO Money Coaches Canada

A new year has begun, and after weeks of holiday spending, many of us are ready to pull-up our socks and create new financial habits. Maybe we resolve to lower our debt this year, or increase our savings, or some other generic, feel good intention.

That’s the problem with most New Year’s resolutions; their reliance on magical thinking. The belief that you will wake-up changed on January 1st, your old habits having melted away. And for a few days, even weeks, it feels like that’s true. But without something more than a wish to support your change, your plans collapse. We’ve all been there.

It doesn’t have to be that way. There is a formula that can increase your chances of making change, at the New Year, or any time. Five steps that can turn a generic resolution into an intention that you feel connected to and invested in. Continue reading

Posted in For your information, Money Coaching, Relationship to money