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The Hidden Benefits of Improving your Financial Literacy (and four steps to help you get there)

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

November is Financial Literacy Month and there’s reason to celebrate. Canada has one of the highest financial literacy rates in the world (1), with a recent survey finding that 68% of Canadians are financially literate (2). That also means there’s lots of room for improvement! At Money Coaches Canada, we are passionate about increasing every Canadian’s financial literacy. We know that making the right financial decisions can have a positive impact on so many other areas of our life: our relationships, our self-confidence and our health, just to name a few.

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Posted in Financial Literacy


A Surprising Challenge in Retirement: Spending What you Worked so Hard to Save

By Jenny Reimer, CFP®
Director, Financial Planning

pensions canadaMaking the psychological shift from saver to spender can be surprisingly difficult for many new retirees. We often meet with clients who are hesitant to draw down their investments and who feel overwhelmed by all the choices they need to make to live off their savings in retirement. We came across this insightful article from CNN that discusses why it can feel uncomfortable to spend your retirement savings and how you can make it easier on yourself.

Here are a few of their top tips:
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Posted in Financial Planning, Retirement savings


The 5 Estate Planning Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

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

will estate planningA few months ago, my brother-in-law passed away. He had a heart condition but was only in his early 70’s so we were all unprepared to lose him so soon. While thankfully some estate planning was in place, the legal documentation wasn’t as accessible, up to date or legally binding as it could have been.

When my father was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, we had a few months to make sure that we said our good-byes and that all the legal paperwork was taken care of. More commonly though, death is sudden and unless robust estate planning has been done in advance, bereaved families are often left with legal and financial headaches. Continue reading

Posted in Financial Planning, Will & Estate Planning


Do 6-Figure Professionals Need a Budget?

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

I know it’s only the middle of August, but “back-to-school” season is upon us. I always remember my mixed feelings of dreading the end of the summer but the excitement of new notebooks, pencil cases and fall clothes. Even if you don’t have school aged children or school is a distant memory for you, the fall is a natural time to start afresh and review and revisit your financial goals.

It’s a perfect time to not only look forward and set goals, but to also reflect on how far you’ve come. Looking back at the progress you’ve made over the past 12 months may not seem dramatic, but if you consider the past 10 or even 15 years, so much has likely changed, especially in terms of your career and income.

When you were starting out, you probably had a pretty simple financial plan – pay the bills so the lights stay on. Going out to the movies may have meant you’d have a smaller bag of groceries that week, and you may have dreamed of the day when you’d reach a level of success that you’d never need to budget again.

But like the child who dreams of eating chocolate all day when they become an adult, it isn’t such a good idea when the moment arrives. Now that you have achieved a level of financial success, you probably have a lot more reasons to stay on top of your finances.

You may also be feeling the impact of recent increases in interest rates and higher prices for gas, groceries and travel and don’t want to start slipping behind financially.

So, do 6-figure professionals need a budget? Continue reading

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


6 Simple Keys to Financial Success

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

To say it’s been a tough last few years is a big understatement. We were finally starting to plan for a more normal summer and wham, we’re now facing the aftermaths of the COVID-19 crisis – sky-high gas prices, rising food and travel costs, and interest rates hikes that are wreaking havoc with the stock, bond and real estate market.

According to a recent LifeWorks’ Mental Health Index report, 46 per cent of Canadians are feeling an increased sensitivity to stress than they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, impacting their overall mental health.

With so much negative economic and financial news, it’s not surprising that financial stress levels are on the rise. While there’s no way of escaping a challenging economic cycle, it is a good time to go back to the basics and make sure you are as well-positioned as possible to ride the storm.

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Posted in Money Coaching, Relationship to money


Money Coaches Canada Donates to the National Food Bank

Over the last 6 months, Money Coaches Canada has received 35 completed post engagement client surveys. For each completed survey, Money Coaches Canada donates $5 to Food Banks Canada. We recently made a $175 donation and would like to thank everyone who completed a survey.

Posted in Survey


Plan Well Guide – Planning For When All’s Not Well

By Noel D’Souza, CFP®
Director, Communications

At Money Coaches Canada, we pride ourselves on “Taking the Worry out of Money”. We help our clients use their resources to live their best lives and map out how to achieve their highest goals, while respecting their values and preferences and preparing for the unfortunate and unexpected. It involves a good amount of introspection, to understand who you are and what’s important to you and communicate that to your “life team” – your loved ones and the professionals you hire to help make your plan a reality.

So, when we encountered Dr. Daren Heyland, a critical care physician, researcher, Professor of Medicine at Queen’s University and creator of Plan Well Guide, which has a similar mission but focused on healthcare, we thought we’d take a closer look.

I had the opportunity to ask Dr. Heyland some questions about Plan Well Guide: what it is, who it’s for, and why it’s so important, as well as work through the Guide myself. Continue reading

Posted in Medical Care, Personal Care


Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor

By Noel D’Souza, CFP®
Director, Communications

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 boiled down to 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 as with other situations where there’s a significant imbalance in knowledge about a technical or specialized subject, it can be hard to separate facts from “sales speak”.

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 3 hours and cost $2,500. Should I go ahead with the repair?”

Ummmmm… ok?

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


Life After Work: Planning for and Living in Retirement

By Jenny Reimer, CFP®
Director, Financial Planning

rrsp savings Our co-founder and CEO, Karin Mizgala, was recently invited to speak at an event hosted by Steadyhand Investment Management. In this webinar, Karin and another leading independent financial planner, Jason Heath discuss questions and concerns that often arise as our clients approach retirement, including:

  • How much do I need to save for retirement?
  • When should I start receiving CPP and OAS?
  • When should I convert my RRSP to a RRIF?
  • How can a spending reserve or ‘cash bucket’ provide a safety net for my investment portfolio?
  • What non-financial issues should I consider as I plan for retirement?

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Posted in Financial Planning, Retirement savings


What You Need To Know About Filing Your 2021 Taxes

By Jenny Reimer, CFP®
Director, Financial Planning

What You Need To Know About Filing Your 2020 Taxes

Spring is around the corner, and along with the warmer weather comes tax season. This month, we would like to share some helpful tips for preparing your 2021 taxes.

Since the traditional deadline of April 30 falls on a Saturday this year, the deadline to file your 2021 tax return is May 2, 2022. If you are self-employed or have a spouse or a common-law partner who is self-employed, the deadline to file your taxes is June 15, but all taxes owed must still be paid by May 2. Filing on time is important, not only to avoid penalties on amounts owing, but also to ensure you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled. The CRA has listed the steps involved in filing your 2021 taxes and other useful information here.
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Posted in Financial Planning, taxes