Monthly Archives: June 2016

How to switch a mortgage to another bank

Large luxury brick home in suburban settingBy Albert Krav

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

If you’re not satisfied with your current mortgage lender, it may be in your best interest to switch to a different bank. In order to accomplish this, you’re going to need to refinance your mortgage, as banking institutions (in the United States) won’t simply take over your existing mortgage. The key difference here is that you already own the house and may have an established payment history.

Is Refinancing worth the effort?

While going through the mortgage process a second time may seem like a hassle, the reality is that seeking out a better rate is often a prudent financial strategy that can be well worth the time spent. After all, even a slight improvement is going to make a significant difference when you consider the long term. Fortunately, according to US News & World Report, the mortgage process is far easier and more straightforward these days than it was before the recession. Here’s a quick rundown on how to set the wheels in motion.

1.) Look into early termination fees

If you refinance your mortgage, the new bank is going to pay off your existing mortgage so you can start with a clean slate. Before you proceed, Continue Reading…

Weathering the retirement storm

Retirement crisis concept as a couple of adirondack chairs sinking in the ocean during a thunder storm as a metaphor for financial investment problems for retiring seniors who lost their savings or broken dreams symbol.By Sandy Cardy

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

Retirement is not just a destination; a time in the future. It’s also a journey; one that requires planning and nurturing along the way — not unlike your health.

While I’m not going to pretend saving money is easy, joining the ranks of those who have comfortable retirement savings may be a more realistic goal than you think. Achieving your savings goals requires a steady income, a commitment to saving, short-term sacrifices, and a smart investment strategy.

The climate

A 2013 study by the BMO Wealth Institute shows that Canadians – especially baby boomers — are falling short of their retirement income goals. Some 46 per cent of people asked expressed doubts about their ability to retire comfortably. (Source)

In the US, the outlook is equally bleak, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) report: The Retirement Savings Crisis: Is it Worse Than We Think?  “The average working household has virtually no retirement savings. When all households are included— not just households with retirement accounts—the median retirement account balance is $3,000 for all working-age households and $12,000 for near-retirement households.” (Source) Continue Reading…

Victory Lap Retirement: A Retirement book about NOT (fully) retiring

Victory_Lap_Retirement_Front_Cover The fun now begins because Jonathan and I finally get to enjoy the fruits of our labours. The book Victory Lap Retirement has been written, the website and blog has come to life and our first pre-orders are starting to trickle in.

But there is much work to be done to accomplish our goal of building the VLR tribe and helping as many people as possible start their own version of a VLR lifestyle. Great things take time but the results are well worth it once you get there!

Everyone needs a reason to get out of bed in the morning

During your primary career, when you worked for money to ensure security for your family, you had a good reason to get out of bed each morning. But in VLR now that you have achieved Financial Independence (FI) and left your primary career you will need to find another good reason and we believe that some combination of work/leisure will satisfy that need for you. If it is work for pay even better!

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3 money hacks for Millennials

Rainy day fund as a piggy bank holding money set aside for financial challenges as a 3D illustration of a piggy bank as a glass with water drops or droplets.By Helen Chevreau, Hub Staff

I think it’s safe to say that by our mid-twenties, most of us millennials have received ample financial advice — be it desired or unsolicited. Oftentimes much of it boils down to the same few nuggets of wisdom. We hear those same phrases over and over throughout our childhood and young adulthood so often that sometimes, the value behind them begins to lose its potency.

I know that personally, the phrase “don’t live beyond your means” was a household mantra. If I had a dollar for every time I’d heard that from my dad growing up, I wouldn’t need to be worried about following it! (Editor’s note: see Helen’s bio below).

This week, we’re lucky enough to be working with TD Canada Trust to get to the bottom of what these oft-heard universal personal finance phrases really mean. According to a recent TD survey, the three most received pieces of advice from parents and guardians to millennials have been to live within their means, to save a percentage of each paycheque, and to save for a rainy day.

These are all wonderful pieces of advice, and every millennial should be following them to the best of their ability. However, sometimes these overgeneralized statements ( especially something like “saving for a rainy day”) aren’t helpful to a millennial who has yet to encounter a “rainy day,” and so doesn’t know what to expect from it.

This is where Shirley Malloy, TD’s associate vice president of Everyday Banking comes in. She is here to share a few ‘Moneyhacks’ that will turn these financial ‘truths’ into measurable goals that any millennial (or other financially-inclined individual) can implement.

Nugget #1: Don’t live beyond your means          

Actionable takeaway: Don’t mistake credit for cash.

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Brexit shocks the world as UK votes to leave EU, pound & stocks plunge, gold soars

2 puzzle pieces: One containing the British Flag and the other the European Union / EU flag. Is UK leaving Europe with the BREXIT?North American investors woke Friday morning to the shocking news that Brexit is a reality: the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union.

Stocks around the world are plunging while the price of gold is soaring.

As I write this just before 5 am, European stocks were down 8%, while gold was soaring almost 15%:  the most in 42 years for British buyers.

One British friend, a banker,  told me on Facebook that “it’s a very sad day for our country and Europe as a whole.”

Investors caught flatfooted

Were investors caught flatfooted?

“Absolutely,” she told me.

So what now? With 52% voting to leave and 48% to stay, the BBC says the report was decisive.

Here is the Economist’s report around 5 am: in an unprecedented move, the British weekly newspaper delayed publication of the print edition in order to get the historic vote in. They called it a “seismic shock.” It said this:

As soon as the results started to come in, the pound started to plunge. From around $1.50 before the polls closed, the pound dropped to $1.45, then $1.40, and then to $1.34, its lowest level since 1985. It was the worst day for sterling since the currency floated in the early 1970s. The shock was also reflected in equity markets, both within and outside Britain. The Nikkei 225 average in Tokyo has dropped 8%.

Pound suffers biggest hit since 1985

Continue Reading…