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Paying Your Mortgage in Times of Rising Interest Rates

By Barbara Knoblach, Ph.D., CFP®

The mortgage game is a complicated one where the rules change often. Canadian mortgage borrowers can be placed into one of two camps – the ‘variable rate’ or ‘fixed rate’ camp.

Variable rate borrowers are those that are willing to ride changes in the interest rate and like the flexibility of these products. Fixed rate borrowers, on the other hand, like the certainty that their payments will not change over the term of their mortgage.

Both approaches are sound, but both can also force borrowers to deal with rising interest rates at some point. This is especially true in the current mortgage market. Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting and Cash Flow


How to Make the Most of Your Inheritance

By Janet Gray, B.A., B.Admin, CFP®, CHS, EPC, CPCA

Waiting for an inheritance is not a solid financial plan. But the fact is, Stats Canada reports that the total net worth of Canadians 65 or older is $2.30-billion, and much of that legacy will be passed on. Those on the receiving end of a generous bequest can make a real impact on their financial well-being, but only if they make the right choices in the short and long term.

There are many ways to use a large inheritance, and we’ll look at several of them in this article. But, whenever you receive any kind of financial windfall, the first thing you need to do is catch your breath.

Take a Deep Breath and Park Your Money

The gift of an inheritance is bound to the sadness of loss. Allow yourself time to grieve. Don’t make important decisions for at least three or four months. Park the assets in a high interest savings account until the emotional fog begins to lift. In fact, parking your money is good advice for any sudden financial windfall. The shock needs to normalize before you make decisions.

When you are ready to make some decisions, they should be made within the parameters of a comprehensive financial plan.

Here are some of the options to consider. Continue reading

Posted in Ask Your Money Coach, For your information, Money Coaching, Will & Estate Planning


Investment Fees Matter… More Than You Think

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

Canadians have a reputation for being polite. Maybe that’s why for years we’ve put up with investment fees that were confusing, often hidden, and higher than necessary.

But polite doesn’t necessarily mean passive. Over the past several years, Canadians have demanded more transparency from their financial advisors and financial institutions. And thanks to changes implemented by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) over two years ago, we now have access to more information.

But do you feel better informed?

I meet many people who still wonder if the investment fees they pay are too high, and who question the value of the financial advice they receive but aren’t sure what to do about it or where to turn.

First let’s recap what the CSA has put in place, and then examine how fees impact your finances. Continue reading

Posted in Financial Literacy, Investing, Money Coaching, Retirement savings


Should I take CPP at age 60?

By Barbara Knoblach, PhD, CFP®

Mature couple walking in countryside

The long summer evenings are over. The kids are back at school; homework, lessons and sports practice have begun to fill the family calendar again. Summer holidays and backyard BBQs are now just photo memories on our phones and social media accounts. But that’s OK.

It’s a time to look toward new challenges at work, winter vacations and even plans for next summer. Because, really, what is all our hard work for, if not, at least in part, to afford time with friends and family?

In fact, as you ease into a busier fall schedule, it’s a great opportunity to pause and remember why you work hard, and to recommit to your life goals—including your important retirement goals. Who doesn’t dream of the day when all four seasons are theirs to shape and enjoy?

But retirement looks very different to everyone, and one of the most important things to consider when planning yours, is the optimal time to apply for Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits. All it takes is a bit of calculated foresight, to make the decision that will best suit your circumstances.

Here’s a look at some basics:

Canada Pension Plan benefits can be drawn as early as age 60 (reduced 0.6% for each month before 65) or as late as age 70 (increased 0.7% for each month after 65).

The average life expectancy for Canadians is age 80 for men and 84 for women. Statistics Canada predicts a continued rise in life expectancy of roughly two years over the next 15 years.

Things to consider:

Life expectancy

Contemplating your mortality may feel uncomfortable, but your health and whether or not longevity is a family trait, are things to consider when making your decision.

If you take your CPP starting at age 60, your breakeven point with someone who waits until age 65 is when you both turn 74. Confused? Let me put it another way; if Mary takes her CPP at 60 and Brenda takes hers at 65, Mary’s monthly CPP payment will be 36% lower than Brenda’s, but she will collect five years longer. They will be 74 when Brenda pulls ahead of Mary for overall amount collected. Continue reading

Posted in Ask Your Money Coach, For your information


How Your Approach to Investing Should Evolve as You Age – Part Two

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

In part one of this post, I wrote about financial and investment considerations for those in their 20s. If you read that article, you may remember that I mentioned time as being one of the greatest assets young investors have. Time to take advantage of compounding interest. Time to bounce back from dips in the market. Time to create financial habits that will serve them throughout their life.

But time is only part of the equation. Investing is not a matter of filling your financial crockpot while you’re young and letting it simmer, unattended, until you retire. Your investments need to “feed” you throughout your life, not just in your senior years. You have to lift the lid on that slow cooker and keep an eye on things. You do that with an annual investment review. Continue reading

Posted in Ask Your Money Coach, Investing, Money Coaching, Retirement savings


Top 5 money challenges small business owners face

By Charmaine Huber, Money Coach

Portrait Of Couple Running Coffee Shop Behind Counter

Most people who start a business don’t do it for the sole purpose of making money. There are much easier ways to make money than to build a business.

At the risk of sounding too mystical, it’s more often a soul purpose that creates the energy behind entrepreneurial success. People who start businesses are passionate about what they do. But here’s the thing, people who stay in business, the people who thrive and grow, are also practical about what they can and can’t do.

They know that even if they don’t feel comfortable in the world of profits and losses, debts, taxes, budgets and retirement, learning how to take control of their money and having a financial plan in place will make them more successful. And allow them to continue doing what they love.

Here are the top five money challenges you’ll face as a small business owner: Continue reading

Posted in Money Coaching


The Clean Money Revolution; Rethinking Money’s Impact on the World

By Karin Mizgala, C0-Founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

Much is written about money; usually its prescriptive advice for making more. However, in The Clean Money Revolution: reinventing power, purpose, and capitalism,—Joel Solomon wants us to think about the impact our money has on the world.

By some estimates, over the next 30 years, $50 trillion will transfer from the baby boomer generation to the millennials. The biggest transfer of wealth ever, and that’s just North America. Joel, a baby boomer himself, sees the potential for, in his words, “an economy that serves both people and planet.”

An economy built on clean money.

Joel defines clean money as “money aligned with a purpose beyond self-interest.” Meaning; “Clean money thinks through where materials came from, who assembled them, and whether that process was just or unjust, regenerative or destructive.” Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Relationship to money


Are You in Control of Your Finances?

Listen to the VoiceAmerica.com podcast featuring Tom Feigs: “Are you in control of your finances?

Posted in Podcasts


How Your Approach to Investing Should Evolve as You Age – Part One

by Karin Mizgala, CEO and Co-founder, Money Coaches Canada

An annual financial check-in is important to your financial success.

Life is busy, but most of us make time for tasks, big and small, that we consider essential: an annual medical check-up, one or two dental cleanings, oil changes for the car, fresh batteries in our smoke detectors, furnace maintenance, and getting our taxes done by April 30 are just a few examples.

But surprisingly, an annual investment check-in isn’t always on that priority list.

Why? There are many reasons, but simplistically, people are either nervous that they aren’t doing enough and they don’t want to think about it, or they believe that the investments they setup years ago are just quietly doing what they need to do. But denial or complacency is not going to build a strong financial future for you or your family.

Our lives change, so our investment needs change too.  An annual financial check-in ensures that you stay aligned with your goals. Continue reading

Posted in Investing, Money Coaching, Relationship to money


Do 6-Figure Professionals Need a Budget?

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

The fall is a natural time to begin looking forward setting financial goals. I know it’s still the middle of August, but the days are already getting shorter, and the colder weather will be upon us. Yes, a little depressing, but think about how much better you will feel if you start thinking about your financial goals before you get consumed with back to school, Halloween and Thanksgiving.

This is the perfect time to not only look forward and set goals, but to also to reflect on how far you’ve come. Looking back at the progress made over the past 12 months may not see dramatic, but if you consider the past 10 or even 15 years, so much has probably 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.

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

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