Monthly Archives: December 2016

You’re never too old for these fun and stimulating hobbies

By Cher Zevala

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

One of the chief concerns regarding senior citizens, especially those who live alone or in assisted living facilities, is boredom. Experts in senior care know that when a person is bored or feels unstimulated this can escalate to depression, which is already another concern among the senior population.

While the lack of activity could be due to a physical ailment that prevents the person from doing things they loved to do — such as walking, running, or other highly physical activities — in many cases it’s simply that a little nudge and some positive guidance is needed. A caregiver can be instrumental in this role and encourage their client to be more active, mentally or physically.

If you work with or know a senior citizen who needs to be challenged, adding a hobby to their daily routine can make a world of difference in their mood and ultimately their overall health. These are just a few hobbies that are fun, challenging, and can help lift mood and energy levels.


Art is one of the easiest hobbies to introduce because it comes in so many forms. From painting with watercolors to adult coloring books, art brings a sense of freedom and independence as there is no right or wrong way to do it; art is subjective.

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How to create financial sustainability for yourself

Billy & Akaisha Kaderli,

By Billy and Akaisha Kaderli,

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

These days, no matter what the topic, the talk is all about sustainability.

In regards to financial sustainability, there are three legs to the stool: income, spending and Investments.

1.) Income

Income is derived from money you make through your job using physical or mental labor or both. Passive income can be created through property rentals, bond interest, dividends and or capital gains from investments.

Increasing income can be done by learning a new skill, getting a promotion, or taking on a better or second job. Maximizing your skills and continued education either formal or on your own is a valuable asset. This could be as easy as teaching yourself about investments in your down time. There are plenty of online tools available to learn this.

Also, don’t rule out that Social Security [or in Canada, CPP and OAS] will be available once you become eligible.

2.) Spending

How much you spend and the debt you carry are two areas that are completely manageable by you. The categories of largest spending in any household are housing, transport, taxes and food/entertainment. Depending where you live, it may make more sense to rent instead of buying a home, or rent out a room in the home you already own, or rent out a subsection of your home in order to help with the mortgage. Putting off that remodel of the bathroom or kitchen, or the re-do of the back yard will also allow you extra money to put into investments.

Regarding transportation, you could walk or bicycle to work, take public transportation instead of owning your own vehicle, car pool or use Uber or a ride sharing service. The cost of car ownership is over $8,000 per year, roughly $650 per month, or $22 per day according to AAA’s 2016 Your Driving Cost Study. How much of your day is spent covering your car expenses, which according to Fortune is parked 95% of the time?

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Target-date funds hold hidden risks and conflicts of interest

Target-date funds are sold as offering great benefits for investors, but we don’t think you should accept the sales pitch.

Target-date funds go against one of TSI Network’s cardinal rules of successful investing. That is to invest mainly in simple, plain-vanilla investments. This rule limits your choices to two main categories: stocks and bonds (or ETFs that hold those investments). By confining yourself to these two investment categories, you still have all the investment choices you need. You also avoid the hidden risks and conflicts of interest that you’ll find in more complex products.

Target-date funds are mutual funds that take advantage of the widely held view that bonds are inherently safer than stocks, so you should gradually shift your investments out of stocks and into bonds as you near retirement. Target date funds do this for you automatically.

Complexity is not a benefit

The funny thing is that the promoters of complex investments describe the features of these investments as if they were benefits, disregarding the associated negatives. This marketing approach attracts investors who want to make a quick decision. These investors tend to accept the sales pitch at face value.

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Retired Money: Retirement planning is about more than money

Meta at her 100th birthday party early in December

My latest MoneySense Retired Money column was published today. Click on the highlighted text for the full piece: Retirement planning is about more than money.

The piece is based on a recent Seniors’ Luncheon hosted by the Toronto church I attend and as you will read, I was struck by how the experiences of these seniors — who ranged in age from 82 to 100 — reinforced the theme of my recently released co-authored book, Victory Lap Retirement.

In short, every senior at the table believed in continuing to work in some fashion even in their looming old age. Including 100-year-old Meta, pictured. While I changed the names of the other seniors in the article, Meta is a real name and used there and here with her permission.

Here’s the thing. Until she suffered a hip injury earlier this year, Meta was still working one or two half-days a week at a nearby printing firm. And at her 100th birthday celebration earlier this month, this continued work connection meant several of the people celebrating with her were from work, as well as the church, neighbours and various other circles.

And now that the din over her 100th birthday milestone has subsided, Meta told me last week that she wanted to return to work one day a week, because she misses her co-workers and she likes to get out of the house (she lives in the top floor of a house overlooking Lake Ontario, and has been there since the 1960s. The last thing she would want would be to move to an institution catering to seniors.)

The danger of retiring “too soon”

As for the senior men I chatted with that day, one regretted having voluntarily retired “too soon” at the tender age of 58: Kevin (not his real name) said he did so because he had a good teacher’s pension but when his wife passed away soon after, found himself with too much time on his hands.

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