Billy & Akaisha’s 3 Lessons on how they reached their Victory Lap

Almost 3 decades of retirement and we still have a great time on a boat ride across Lake Atitlan

By Billy and Akasha Kaderli, RetireEarlyLifestyle.com

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

Retirement is a great achievement, but it’s not static. It’s not like once you arrive you can forget about it and put it on auto-pilot. It’s an interactive manner of living that continues to respond to our input, the new skills we learn and how our goals modify. Hopefully we continue to grow and change, making our retirement sustainable and sweeter to live.

Below you will find three of our most effective lessons on retirement that will enrich you and increase your enjoyment along your path in financial freedom.

Control housing costs and you can live anywhere

This is a well-kept secret of retirement. The cost of housing is one of the largest financial outlays in anyone’s household no matter what age you are, and if you modify the price you pay for your residence, you have the financial freedom to virtually afford living anywhere in the world.

In other words, if you could save tens of thousands of dollars a year on mortgage payments or rent, insurance, maintenance and repairs, how would that affect your life? What if you could live in Paris or on a Caribbean island for free? You can do that, if you house sit. Continue Reading…

3 tips for raising a family in a Condo

By Penelope Graham, Zoocasa

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

Healthy demand is forecasted for Canada’s condo markets in 2017, and it’s not just young professionals and investors fueling the boom. As low-rise housing prices grow further out of reach, families are increasingly turning to condo life as an affordable housing option.

For many, condos offer the only affordably entry point into the market, especially in Vancouver and Toronto real estate. And while some buyers choose to “drive until they qualify,” suburb life isn’t desirable to everyone, prompting buyers to increasingly sacrifice space to live within city limits.

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reports demand for high-rise units surged more than any other housing type in 2016, with 20,860 units changing hands – a 19.9% increase. In comparison, detached homes – despite being extremely highly sought – saw a year-over-year change of over 3.10% in the 416 region as sales were limited by tight supply.

Condos still an affordable option

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Banning Investment Commissions – moving beyond “if” towards “how”

On Tuesday,  the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) released a much awaited consultation paper, “Consultation on the Option of Discontinuing Embedded Commissions.”

We say “much awaited” half tongue-in-cheek.  Much in the same way that a large number of Canadians have no idea how or how much they pay for investment products / advice, we expect even fewer are aware of the potentially seismic shifts that are taking place in the regulation of investment advice and advisor compensation practices!

As the title of the paper suggests, the regulators are considering banning the practice whereby investment advisors are compensated by investment product dealers directly through the payment of commissions embedded in fees charged on products such as mutual funds, structured products and others.  Conflict of interest is the key issue that the paper’s summary highlights, as follows :

1.) Embedded commissions raise conflicts of interest that misalign the interests of investment fund managers, dealers and representatives with those of investors;

2.) Embedded commissions limit investor awareness, understanding and control of dealer compensation costs;

3.) Embedded commissions paid generally do not align with the services provided to investors.

The discussion is moving past “if” and heading towards “how” embedded commissions should be banned

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Wealthsimple moves its Robo Adviser service upmarket

Wealth simple founder and CEO Michael Kitchen

My latest Financial Post blog looks at Tuesday’s announcement by Wealthsimple of a new premium service it calls Wealthsimple Black. See Robo-adviser Wealthsimple targeting more sophisticated investors with premium service.

Wealthsimple Black is aimed at investors who have accumulated at least $100,000 in assets with them and brings down the previous annual management fee of 0.5% to 0.4%: a threshold previously reserved for those with $250,000 invested in the automated online investment service (popularly known as Robo Advisers).

The new “premium” service includes personalized financial planning, tax-loss harvesting, tax-efficient accounts and access to more than a thousand airline lounges around the world.

The company now calls the previous version of the service available to investors with less than $100,000 “Wealthsimple Basic.” It charges the 0.5% management fee but manages the first $5,000 for free, and provides automatic portfolio rebalancing and dividend reinvestment, plus “on-demand” advice from portfolio managers.

Wealthsimple is largely a company founded by and targeting Millennials but the new premium service makes it clear it won’t say no to more affluent investors, including soon-to-retire Baby Boomers who are shifting from wealth accumulation mode to so-called Decumulation. In a press release, Wealthsimple founder and CEO Michael Kitchen (pictured above) made it clear the company is now targeting not just young beginning investors but “all investors, no matter how far along they are toward reaching their financial goals.”

Introducing the inaugural winner of the Victory Lap Retirement [VLR] Award

Author Ernie Zelinski

Picking the first winner of the VLR [Victory Lap Retirement] Award was easy for me. Some might consider me a little biased, but how could I not give the award to my friend and mentor Ernie Zelinski?

After all it was Ernie’s books How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free and The Joy of Not Working that basically salvaged my life and gave me the courage to leave a 36-year banking career that was slowly killing me.

If I had read Ernie’s book earlier, I would have probably exited my corporate job even sooner than I did.

Ernie is an interesting guy, who learned early in life that he wasn’t cut out for the corporate world.

He’s a true free spirit, always has been, always will be and I just love his personal story. At the age of 29 he bailed (some might say was fired) from his job as a professional engineer. I say bailed because subconsciously we sometimes do things that will end up giving ourselves the result that we really want, as in “I know if I do this they will probably fire me” and in Ernie’s case they actually did.

In Ernie’s own words: “I Truly believe that had I not left corporate life, I would either be dead today, or suffering from some serious stress-induced illness.” Yours truly was also on this path. Thanks for showing me the way Ernie!

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