Monthly Archives: February 2015

Weekly wrap: a Financial Independence Index, Death by Golf, Big OAS and more

silhouette of a man swingingIt seems our labours here at the Financial Independence Hub have not been totally in vain. At the Globe & Mail, Ian McGugan has introduced something he calls The Financial Independence Index, which he says was inspired by Scott Burns’ Financial Freedom Index. McGugan — who was the founding editor of MoneySense magazine — says his index is not about retirement readiness but about financial independence and estimates couples need $4.5 million to be truly findependent (of course he doesn’t use that term, yet). Ian, if you’re reading this, why not shorten it to the “Findex?,” a term coined by certified financial planner Fred Kirby in a little inside joke with me. You can find Fred’s coordinates at the Getting Help section here at the Hub.

Whether it’s Findependence, Retirement or Unretirement, an article in Inc. — Death by Golf — argues Retirement is a bankrupt industrial age idea anyway. The article introduces the term Conation, which it defines as “Committed Movement in a Purposeful Direction.”

At Retirement Redux, Sheryl Smolkin asks the intriguing question whether the government should expand OAS instead of CPP. Or go to the original article here. In the past, proposals to expand the Canada Pension Plan have been referred to as “Big CPP” so I guess we should refer to an expanded OAS program as “Big OAS.”  You heard the term first here at the Hub!

Do you own too many mutual funds? Hard to top the US$1.5 million spread among 35 mutual funds mentioned by Roger Wohlner in his blog at the Chicago Financial Planner. Continue Reading…

Twice as many retirees now rely on home equity: Fidelity survey

By Jonathan Chevreau

House made of money in handSeniors are now twice as likely  to rely on their home equity to fund their retirement than before the financial crisis, says a Fidelity retirement survey. They’re also more likely to work in retirement, provided they can find employment.

Since 2005, the number of Canadian retirees relying on home equity to fund retirement has more than doubled from 14% to 36%, says the survey, commissioned by Fidelity Investments Canada ULC.

Conducted by The Strategic Counsel, the 10th Fidelity Canadian Retirement Survey of retirees or workers 45 or older also finds:

•  Since the financial crisis, the number of retirees saying it has been more difficult than expected to retire has dropped from 28% in 2009 to 20% in 2014

• More pre-retirees expect to work full or part-time in retirement (62% in 2014 compared with 55% in 2005) Continue Reading…

Taking a long-term view of your finances

Robb Engen, Boomer & Echo

By Robb Engen, Boomer & Echo

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

I like to keep tabs on my finances for both the short and long term. A monthly spending summary is great for keeping track of where your paycheque goes, and an annual forecast works well for spotting trends and opportunities for your money.


But it’s also nice to gaze into the future. I want to know what my finances will look like in 20+ years so I use a spreadsheet to take a 50,000-foot view of my long-term finances.

Long-term financial outlook Continue Reading…

Longevity changes everything — why you should think twice about Early Retirement

Here’s my latest MoneySense blog, entitled Why you should re-think Early Retirement. This is a topic I’ve been researching for several months, going back to some blogs I wrote on Mark Venning’s, which challenges readers to “envision the promise of longevity.” He also sensibly counsels that we should “plan for Longevity, not for Retirement.”

As you can see by clicking through to the blog (also reproduced below), some of this message was articulated in a speech delivered Wednesday evening at the Financial Show, and which I also gave Monday night at the Port Credit chapter of Toastmasters.

By Jonathan Chevreau


I recently delivered a talk about how longevity changes everything. I began by showing the front cover of the latest Bloomberg Business magazine, which shows a woman celebrating her 173rd birthday. Continue Reading…

Book Excerpt from The Wills Lawyers: The Knife in Dad’s Heart

I will be one of four speakers tonight at The Financial Show in downtown Toronto. Three books will be distributed, including Findependence Day and The Wills Lawyers. The authors/wills & estates lawyers provided the Hub with a sample excerpt of their book below, a sad little tale that starkly reveals the need to have a will in place before the inevitable occurs. As it has already been published, we have not altered the text.  — JC

Les&BarryBy Les Kotzer and Barry Fish, The Wills Lawyers

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

It’s not as if Kayla and her three brothers had always gotten along with each other; but when Dad’s health started to go downhill, all four siblings agreed amongst themselves that in Dad’s presence, they would never argue and would never speak of sickness or death. All they agreed to speak of in his presence was the upbeat, the comical, only those special warm subjects that make people happy. Continue Reading…