COVID-19 Update

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5 Tips for Surviving Economic Uncertainty

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

As uncomfortable as the pandemic has been, this collective “time-out” offered us the opportunity to reflect on what is working well in life and in our world, while shining a light on what isn’t. For Sheila and I, it’s been an important reminder of why we left the traditional financial planning industry and created a company based on our values of service, transparency, trust and collaboration.

financial planning We have had plenty of conversations with our clients over the past two years, and while they were not immune from the financial and emotional turmoil, they have been more financially prepared and resilient than most. Continue reading

Posted in For your information, Investing


RRSPs: 3 Major Things That Matter To Me

By Tom Feigs, CFP®

Tis the season—of retirement planning! With the RRSP contribution deadline on March 1st and tax season only a hop, skip and jump away, Canadians are thinking about their long term financial future. Retirement plans are as unique as each of us, and everyone’s vision of the perfect retirement looks different. With the financial services available nowadays, options can feel endless. When thinking about your RRSPs this year, here are three important factors to take into account: Continue reading

Posted in Retirement savings


5 Ways to Lessen the Impact of COVID-19 on Your Retirement Plans

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

As we enter our third pandemic year, it can be tough to plan for the future. Retirement? What’s that? We’re just trying to make it through the day intact! This attitude is completely understandable, especially if your employment or income has been impacted, or your short-term security and immediate bills have become a primary concern. We’re not out of the woods yet, covid will likely continue impacting our finances for a while yet. However, with some forethought and flexible planning, it can be much smoother sailing for those on the brink of retirement.

Taking stock of your current situation and making slight adjustments in the short-term make it much easier to set yourself up for long-term financial success. Here are some tips to ensure your retirement plans are future-ready in the face of COVID. Continue reading

Posted in For your information, Investing, Money Coaching, Relationship to money, Retirement savings


4 Ways Parents Can Ensure Their Children Leapfrog Their Negative Financial Habits

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

Money lessons start at home. Children and lots of young adults learn by watching and imitating their grownups. Just like teenage driving lessons, it’s all too easy to absorb mom and dad’s bad habits when it comes to money management. When polled, 75.9% of young people cite their parents as being a major influence on their money habits. Better to inherit the family nose than less than stellar financial values. Luckily there are plenty of age-appropriate money conversations parents can have with their children. Here are some practical ways to get money conversations rolling.

Bite the bullet and start talking about money
Many of us learned that discussing money is impolite, and that can be a wall when it comes time to teach kids about financial literacy. Just once or twice a week is enough to do the trick. Opening the lines of communication when children are young by showing them how you pay bills online, explaining the correlation between the hydro bill and a warm home in the winter or giving them an allowance to manage, goes a long way towards keeping a healthy dialogue open as they get older. Continue reading

Posted in Financial Literacy, Kids and Money


Gratitude is the Key to Reducing Money Stress and Enjoying the Holidays

By Karin MizgalaCo-Founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

Being grateful has been shown to positively impact our lives. Our ability to experience and express gratitude influences our relationships, our emotional and physical health and even our careers. Yet, we also live in a culture that tells us we need more. This tension is never more obvious than during the Christmas season, with so much pressure for the “perfect” holiday.

If you’re struggling with your finances, worried about retirement or your children’s education needs, the expectations inherent to the holiday season can make you far more weary than grateful. Even if you’re doing well financially, there’s lots of temptation that can easily pull us off-track, create stress and foster regret.

Luckily, gratitude acts as a form of insurance against holiday-induced FOMO, unnecessary purchases and overspending.

What?

Yup!

Cultivating gratitude removes the pressure to keep up with the Jones’, buy the latest gadgets and perform the perfect holiday season. When we’re content with what we have, this keeps money in our pocket and maintains our sanity during the most stressful time of the year.

Continue reading

Posted in Money Coaching, Relationship to money


Things to Consider When Deciding When to Take CPP and OAS

By Noel D’Souza, P.Eng, CFP®

Introduction

You’ve worked long and hard in Canada for years, quite possibly several decades, and now the finish line is in sight. Retirement. That Holy Grail.

Just one minor thing: How are you going to pay for it?

You may have a company-sponsored pension to support your income needs during retirement, or you may have had to sock a hefty chunk of money away in an RRSP, bit-by-bit over many years.

But if you’ve worked in Canada as an employee or self-employed person, you’re likely entitled to receive Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement benefits as well as Old Age Security (OAS). These government programs form a significant component of Canadians’ post-retirement income, so it makes sense to spend a bit of time understanding how they work and what to consider when deciding when to start taking them. Continue reading

Posted in Financial Literacy, Financial Planning, Retirement savings


Where Can You Turn to When Coping with Debt?

Our long-time business associate and good friend Bruce Sellery was recently appointed CEO of Credit Canada Debt Solutions. We had a chat with him about the challenges that so many Canadians face around financial well-being and who they can turn to when coping with debt.

Here’s what Bruce and his team had to say:

Coping with debt can be incredibly difficult. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about how to manage debt, where to seek help, and what kinds of debt relief services are the best for your needs.

Canada’s household debt to income is hovering around 170% and many people continue to experience volatility in their employment because of the after effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Debt is a constant concern for many. Continue reading

Posted in Debt, Financial Literacy, Money Coaching


Do-It-Yourself Investing – Is it right for you?

By Steve Bridge, B.A. (Hons.), CFP®

Investing is one of the most popular personal finance topics out there. And why shouldn’t it be? Bitcoin! Tesla! NFTs! Buy! Sell! Hot stock tips! These are so much more exciting than budgeting, taxes and insurance. And investing is a great water cooler or dinner party topic; lots of people have success stories of their aunt or brother-in-law who bought Apple or Amazon or weed stocks when they were at bargain basement prices. It sounds so easy, but the reality is a different story. Successful do-it-yourself (DIY) investing requires a combination of technical savvy, behavioural discipline, and a broad range of related knowledge. Continue reading

Posted in Investing


Best Tips for Smart Savings

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

I often get asked ‘how can I save more?’  This might help to get you started. Which statement currently best describes your situation?

Income minus Savings and Needs = Spending

Or Income minus Spending and Needs = Savings

The first statement is pro-active and ultimately allows you to have savings for your goals. Added bonus- it helps you to live within your means (aka no/minimal additional debt). After paying your essential costs (housing, groceries, debt payments etc), make sure savings are set aside for your most important goals. Your discretionary spending is then the remaining money. Set your goals and prioritize them. Are they a need? Or are they a ‘nice’ to have?

The second statement is more reactive and the result is that sometimes you might save, but more often you can’t. You spend first and then see what is left over for savings. It’s like accidental savings and it often can’t happen because you have already spent too much by the time you get to setting aside savings.

Without being proactive with savings, you will end up spending more than you thought because unexpected or urgent costs will always come up (think car, home, kids or pets).  More often than not this leads to a heart-sinking credit card bill or a line of credit that keeps increasing. Continue reading

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


Financial Facelift, Money Coaches Offer Their Best Tips

Our Money Coaches are often asked to offer advice to readers of The Globe and Mail Financial Facelift column. It is a popular feature with readers as it offers a glimpse into someone else financial affairs while offering helpful recommendations that can be applied to others lives or at least lead them to seek their own professional counsel.

Here are Financial Facelift features from the past 12 months featuring our Money Coaches.

Please note: the links below lead to the articles posted on The Globe And Mail website and some may be available to subscribers only. We have gathered the articles in PDF format which are available on our Media page. If you are unable to access the article on the Globe and Mail, be sure to read them on our website here.

Looking for money advice yourself? Connect with one of our money coaches today.

Can Luke get out of debt and develop better money habits so he can buy a home with his partner?

Published on May 15, 2020
Continue reading

Posted in Money Coaching