COVID-19 Update


I’m Working Really Hard, But Not Getting Ahead. Five Misconceptions Keeping You Stuck

By Alison Stafford, CFP®

How often have you thought—I could get out of debt and save more for retirement, if only I made more money. It appears to make sense; that more money would be the answer to your financial worries. So it may surprise you, that debt often increases with higher income levels.

Stats Canada reported that households earning at least $100,000 had an average debt of $172,400. Compare that to households earning between $50,000 and $100,000, which had an average debt of $95,400. More income, more debt.

More recent data shows that in the second quarter of 2020, household credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income fell from 175.4% to 158.2%, as household disposable income increased 10.8% and the stock of credit market debt remained relatively unchanged. In other words, there was $1.58 in credit market debt for every dollar of household disposable income.

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Posted in Budgeting and Cash Flow, Debt, Relationship to money

Our Top Tips for Navigating the New Financial Planning Reality

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

Navigating Financial Planning

Navigating Financial Planning Realities. Family video calls have become the norm.

As we inch towards the end of the year, our team at Money Coaches Canada has been reflecting on the most talked about topics and conversations we’ve been having with our clients. The subject of a new reality when it comes to financial planning tipped the scales.

The ups and downs of our health and wellness, coupled with an economic rollercoaster, made this year a challenge in many unfamiliar ways. That said, we’re impressed by how so many of our clients and coaches were able to pivot, adjust, and adapt to the new circumstances and to use the last few months as a time of reflection and re-evaluation.

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Posted in Financial Planning

Why Financial Literacy Isn’t Enough 

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

November is financial literacy month, and this year is its 10th anniversary. Interesting timing with COVID-19 raging in our midst and financial well-being feels more precarious than ever before. 

There are some bright spots – many Canadians are spending less and saving more, interest rates are low, the stock market has been remarkably resilient, and there’s an opportunity to reflect and re-evaluate our goals and priorities.  

As we navigate all the changes that we are experiencing, it is a good time to check in on our individual and collective financial well-being. What’s working, what isn’t? 

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Posted in Financial Literacy, Relationship to money

Our Founders’ Story

A lot has happened over the past decade since we launched Money Coaches Canada in 2010. When Sheila and I started working together our initial desire was a simple one. We wanted to offer our clients truly independent and meaningful financial advice so they could use their money to fulfill their financial needs and to live their lives to the fullest. We were part of a wave crying out for more transparency and accountability in the financial-services industry, and we are so proud to be part of the solution.

As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we give heartfelt thanks to all of our supporters and champions – especially our amazing team of Money Coaches who share our vision and our commitment to always putting our clients first. But most of all, we have to thank our clients who have placed their trust in us over the years, and invited us into their lives to help bring more ease, even some joy, into their financial world.

Our Founders’ Story Continue reading

Posted in Meet Our Money Coaches

The Joy of Giving Back

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

I think it’s safe to say that 2020 is a year none of us will forget. And even though we are optimistically making our way forward, the uncomfortable truth has settled in. Recovery from this pandemic—medically, economically and emotionally—is going to be a longer road than we had hoped

And as we travel this road, many Canadians are in need of support in a myriad of ways. But the charities and organizations that usually provide a lot of that support, are suffering also.

The Canadian research and educational institution Cardus reported in July that 69 percent of charities have experienced a significant decrease in revenues, down 30 percent on average, since the pandemic began. Continue reading

Posted in Money Coaching, Will & Estate Planning

Setting New Financial Goals during the Pandemic

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

It’s been almost six months since phrases like; shelter-in-place, work from home, physical distancing, and social bubbles, have become part of the daily conversation. Wearing a mask in public started out feeling odd, but for most of us it’s become routine. But our ability to adapt doesn’t mean that anything about the COVID-19 pandemic has been easy.

I think it is safe to say that every Canadian has been affected by this virus; physically, mentally, or financially. For the first few months we were all trying to get our equilibrium back; people were out of work, others were working from home, students were learning online, and only essential services were open. Life was very much about the present moment, and what would happen tomorrow. Most long term goals and plans were placed on hold.

But as we look for solid footing in this new normal, many Canadians are thinking a lot about the future and whether the things they valued only a few short months ago are the things they value today. And when your values change, very often your financial goals and priorities change along with them. Continue reading

Posted in Money Coaching, Relationship to money, Retirement savings

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 Budgeting and Cash Flow, Money Coaching