COVID-19 Update


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?

Continue reading

Posted in Financial Planning, Retirement savings

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.



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®


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