Top 10

If it appeared on the web in North America, is focused on Financial Independence, and involves a list of ten, we may present that blog or column here. For really good stuff, we may admit lists of 5, 7 and other numbers too!

Weekly wrap: Valentines tips, money stress for couples and why budgets are “stupid”

Photo J. Chevreau

If you’re looking for last-minute Valentines shopping ideas that can save money to boot, check out this blog from financial blogger Tom Drake.

You can find more on the same theme here at Financial Highway, where the writer goes beyond the beaten path with his suggestion of writing a love letter. Or a “personal gift card” providing various future services to be rendered. (around the house, of course!)

Try the Everything Store

If you’re really stuck for ideas, try, which has set up a whole page of Valentine gift suggestions, including an Amazon gift card.

 Financial Tips for Couples Continue Reading…

5 tips to avoid a costly retirement

Wes Moss,

Wes Moss, an American author,  financial planner and radio host, has just published a blog entitled 5 tips to avoid a costly retirement.

Previously on the Hub, we have reviewed his book You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think. We’ve also focused some blogs on his “1,000 buck-a-month rule” for estimating how much you need to retire.

Go to Moss’s current blog linked above and you’ll see that the second half was contributed by me. You may also recognize the Canadian and U.S. editions of Findependence Day there as well.

Below are my working notes for my interaction with Wes. Keep in mind this content was aimed at U.S. readers.  Continue Reading…

10 Planning Steps to Take Within 10 Years of Retirement

Roger Wohlner, The Chicago Financial Planner

By Roger Wohlner, The Chicago Financial Planner 

The ten years prior to retirement are when a lot of people start to take a hard look at their retirement readiness. This makes sense, as you are likely in a position to make some decisions about what your retirement lifestyle will look like.

This is also a good opportunity to deal with any retirement shortfalls while there is still some time to make adjustments. Here are ten planning steps to take within 10 years of retirement.

Maximize your retirement savings

The ten years prior to retirement will be among the highest-income years of their careers for many retirement savers. This is a time to maximize your contributions to your 401(k) plan, to IRAs or to a self-employed retirement plan. While these contributions will not have as many years to compound as those made in your 20s and 30s, these late-career retirement contributions are still important.

Review Social Security Continue Reading…

Two ways to downsize

downsizing home to a smaller oneOnce you hit the Decumulation years, a common option new retirees consider is Downsizing from a large urban home. Friends of ours on our street are about to put their home up for sale in order to move to a small town an hour away. The difference in the home values will constitute a major nest egg to supplement meagre government pensions and part-time work.

Wednesday’s Financial Post has two articles on this theme. In the RRSP Special Report (I also contributed an article on a different topic), Garry Marr describes the strategy of finding lower-priced homes in small towns:

The small-town appeal is a huge factor for retirees because it can allow them to sell their house in a large city and extract the equity, which they can then live off for their remaining years.

Top reasons to rent during retirement

Continue Reading…

7 things you may not know about TFSAs

Canadian Tax-Free Savings Account concept word cloudFrom the latest issue of MoneySense comes this list of 7 things you don’t know about Tax Free Savings Accounts. Note to any American readers: Canada’s TFSA is similar to Roth IRAs.

Here are senior writer Julie Cazzin’s seven facts. Click through above link for more complete explanation.

1.) Whatever amount you withdraw from a TFSA is added to your contribution room in the following calendar year.

2.)  Interest, dividends and capital gains in your TFSA are not considered income, even when you withdraw the money. Continue Reading…