To every life season plan for change


We will help you plan your financial needs throughout your lifetime. Your most valuable asset is your healthy ability to earn an income. By helping you select the right combination of life and disability insurance protection and wise investments, we can help you achieve financial success. When you have a mortgage or other large loan, term life insurance or critical illness insurance offers cost-effective ways to cover your outstanding debt if you die or suffer a critical illness.

Family Stage

• With children, your needs change –and reviewing your financial security plan is wise. RESPs offer an excellent vehicle to plan for your children’s educative future, and a low-cost life insurance policy can build cash for school.

Empty-Nest Stage

• When your children go to school or move out independently, it may be time to travel and enjoy your marriage. Perhaps you have wanted to visit Rome or take a university course. We will help you achieve these mid-life goals.

Retirement Stage

•When you’re 50 plus, you may want to partially or fully retire. We will help you assess your options.

How can I find more cash to invest?


One thing is true about building wealth. The discipline of spending less money is the surest path to saving more. But you may have to reform your thinking—we do not deserve to buy something now if we can’t afford it today. Here are a few suggested ways to help you spend less:

• Shop with cash. If you carry a debit or credit card, it is too easy to escalate your buying when out at the mall. Better to put a budgeted amount of money in your pocket and spend no more—make sure you include enough for a treat at the café.

• Clean your clothes at home. Try to buy clothing that can be washed at home, using caution not to shrink your fabrics.

• Don’t fire up a temptation. Don’t bother browsing the catalogues, the clothing racks, or the car lot if you don’t have an honest need.

• Look for freebies. Avoid all the little service charges that hotel chains are starting to slip onto your invoice. Try to include extras with your vacation packages. Buy vacations in domestic dollars if you can. Plan to attend one of the numerous festivities municipalities pay for and provide in the summer holidays. Consider that many entertainment venues offer discounts just before the show.

• Borrow DVDs and CDs at the library. Try your library for movies or music—you may be surprised by their free access. Many have shared password to streaming services such as Netflix though they are clamping down on these methods.

• Take portable picnic coolers to avoid eating out. This can save you hundreds of dollars per month. Picnics are great getaways in the summer and can be carried in coolers in your car.

• Learn the skill of cooking. You can add artistry and relaxation to your fine dining experience by learning to cook. It is easy to rack up over $50 or more with a tip when two eat out. Consider splitting larger meals with your partner when you go out on the town. Avoid supersizing fast food, which may cost more, and add calories.

• Limit prepaying your taxes. Adjust your income tax deductions at work to ensure you aren’t pre-paying too much.

• Do a “needs analysis” by asking, “Do we need it?” Make lists and discuss your actual needs. This is where your partner can help you be honest and accountable by simply discussing every purchase, at, say, over $50—set your dollar figure at a point where you involve the other’s advice.

• Liquidate if you have too much stuff. Space costs money, so consider what is essential. Go over your furniture, books, and general stuff, to determine what you don’t or won’t use in the next five years. If you don’t love it, sell it, or give it away.

• Invest your raise. Avoid spending up to any increase in your income. Instead, plan to invest it.

• Assess the unit price and buy in bulk. Everything is sold in quantity and can be compared with a competing brand by ounce, kilo, serving, etc.

• Buy depreciated cars. Buy vehicles used after a year or two with the factory warranty still on them. Avoid the most significant depreciation that occurs among assets.

• Reduce your vehicle’s weight. Unload excess vehicle weight that can cost gas or battery (with an electric vehicle) consumption. Similarly, having your tires carry the correct PSI will offer better gas mileage.

• Know that it all eventually goes on sale. It makes sense to wait it out for the seasonal sales. Stores often begin to sell their seasonal stock, including clothing, before the need. So if you are savvy, mark the best times to buy in your calendar. This is also true of travel bargains.

• Pay cash only for groceries. Have you ever spent double what you intended on items that can be eaten? If you pay money, you are forced to budget regardless of your hunger, sticking to the necessary things.

• Know where the quality brands are. Don’t purchase items that will wear out prematurely and have to be replaced; instead, buy quality, but shop around for the best prices.

• Buy more when it is cheap. If you can buy tuna, salmon or spaghetti at 30% less than usual, why not stock up on it? But don’t buy multiple “on-sale” items if you don’t need higher quantities.

• Make fun fast food. You can make fast food, such as fruit or vegetable trays, for drives, hikes, or stay-overs.

• Use public transit. By not driving all the time, you may save some money. Many municipalities offer cheap bus or train transportation. Some prefer not to go if they live in a large city such as Vancouver or Toronto. There are car-sharing co-operatives in larger cities. They can mitigate insurance, fuel, and repair costs on top of any lease or loan payment (along with interest). Car rentals can be cheaper in the winter and on weekends.

• Cut your hair between significant cuts. Sometimes a minor home trim will add another week before you must visit the barber or hairdresser.

• Utilize the secondary market. Most of the world’s literature is available online for under $5 for the entire life-work of an author, sold on Amazon Kindle. If you are a bookworm, or may help you find the book; or perhaps find a camera on eBay at 50% off the cost.

• Make the park your gym. Why not walk around the park’s pond and get outside as a bonus?

• Adjust your thermostat. You can save a few hundred dollars per year by juggling temperatures by one to two degrees on your thermostat (wear sweaters or shed clothing).

• Know how and when to return merchandise. Ask about return policies when shopping. Many admit mistakes or displeasure with a product and promptly return it according to policy—in the free market, that is more than fair! Often it is wise to reassess a purchase in a day or two.

• Pre-pay certain vacation costs. Prepaying for a resort food plan in domestic dollars to avoid paying later for dollar-exchange loss can make budgeting sense because you’ve got to eat anyway. Likewise, prepaying museum ticket passes can save money and side-step long lineups.

Stop—don’t shop! Tell yourself to stop shopping when you have no imminent need. Try walking, sitting in a café or reading instead.

How do I make financial agreements with my fiscal partner?

When establishing a financial strategy involving other stakeholders, such as paying down a mortgage, develop a written plan that all parties agree on. You can create written point-form agreements for each to sign in investing, registered investment planning, debt repayment, etc.

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When determining your goals, it is essential to think positively and avoid language such as, “We will never have enough to retire,” “We can’t seem to get ahead,” or “This debt is killing us.” Statements like this often become self-fulfilling.

Instead, it is essential to design an action plan and start working towards it with all the stakeholders, such as your spouse or partner, referred to as your fiscal partner. Write your goals out regarding financial concerns such as:

Reduce or eliminate debt. One of the encumbrances of investing for retirement is that you may be servicing too much credit card debt, much of which is interest. Both fiscal partners may have credit cards doubling the family debt load and vastly reducing your net worth. Thus, paying down the debt on all credit cards makes sense, starting with those with the highest interest rates first. Aim to be 100 % debt-free of abnormal debt-weighting in your net worth statement where possible (mortgages and car payments are typical).

You and your fiscal partner will appreciate the new clarity and increased financial freedom this gives. Slavery to debt repayment is financial bondage and will increase fiscal-related emotional stress on responsible partners.

You can start or maximise your monthly investment plan. Your plan will depend on your income and expenses. If you are young, begin investing now. Any given sum can frequently double depending on time and interest rate growth. At 6 %, it can double every 12 years; at 4 % every 18 years. Divide the interest rate into 72 to get the years until doubling occurs.

This simple mathematical illustration reveals the importance of beginning to invest while you are young. If you are near retirement, you may ascertain that you need to ramp up your investing, increasingly over the fewer years you have. The average Canadian retires now at age 62. Become aware of your retirement options, choosing agreed strategies with your partner beforehand.

Reallocate assets as you near retirement. A portfolio still invested in nearly 100 % equities near retirement is risky. To reduce stock market risk, a portfolio may have some fixed income (government bonds, corporate bonds, safe mortgages, and real estate)—your partner’s risk tolerance while investing.

Take advantage of tax-saving vehicles. Registered investment vehicles can help you reduce or defer the tax hit. Some plans can offer government grants that supplement your investment contribution to help your children attend post-secondary school. Discuss the viability of tax arrangements using registered investments best suited to both fiscal partners.

Don’t sell suitable investments amidst a volatile market loss. It may be better to stay invested and adjust your portfolio after the market begins to retrace upward, any losses after a market volatility period. If you hold an excellent fund, the stocks within that fund are probably good. Nevertheless, please keep your investment goals in mind, get periodic updates, and review the situation with your fiscal partner. Your financial partner may be unable to handle the stress caused by a volatile market, so plan with this in mind.

Maintain financial accounts with transparency. Total honesty is necessary. Spouses and partners who share mutual financial goals have a right to be aware of the banking and investment accounts and the movement of funds via frequent, transparent discussion. One spouse should only borrow and use credit with the other spouse’s agreement, where funds must be accounted for together in mutual fiscal arrangements.

There should only be personal boundaries where agreed, such as business agreements, risk, or debt and income necessary for solvency. You can set such boundaries in advance, or hard feelings can develop. Business accounts or contracts increasing risk should not co-mingle with personal finance or funds if you are incorporated. Sole proprietors should view business debt as personal debts.

When is the best time to sell or buy a new home?

People begin putting their homes on the market early in the year, though peak home purchasing occurs around June once school has ended, the weather warms up, and vacations begin. In mid summer people begin to have more time to house hunt. Income tax refunds can also increase payments, adding to the increase of volume.

While buying is steady in the summer, it begins to taper off in early fall, with another spike in mid-Autumn when overly optimistic home sellers in Spring, begin to lower their prices.

Like investing in the stock market it pays to be a patient house hunter. Though there are more Springtime homes to choose from, sellers hold their prices to the ceiling because of demand. During the late fall and early winter between Thanksgiving and New Years Day sellers can be more motivated to except a lower offer (people want to limit the time to sell during these holiday seasons when they are busy with families).

Large layoffs or announcements of a planned corporate headquarters moving out of a neighbourhood can result in more homes on the market for the short term with lower pricing by motivated sellers. Conversely, a corporation coming into an area can result in increased home prices.

Homes can sell for 3-5 percent more than the annual average in May through June; closer to the average annual price in very early Spring and Autumn; dropping to 3-5 percent below the average annual price prior to winter in December and January.

Sellers generally have a larger buying market during May through August during which time nearly half of the annual sales close. Bear in mind, that while deed transfers peak between May and August, most of those sales began one to three months earlier (it takes time to close home transactions).

Don’t be too stubborn. A home priced unreasonably high (up to 15% above market value) may be difficult to sell at any time, especially in a buyer’s market (in most cases is in early Spring). A “buyer’s market” in a city means more inventory is available, whereas a “seller’s market” means fewer homes are for sale.

Where possible, place your home for sale far in advance of buying the new one. This removes the possible need to juggle two mortgage payments in addition to the other complications of home selling. You will have more time; as well as more choices if you start during your new region’s peak inventory season.

Movers book up solid in the summer so plan this well in advance once you know your closing date. Shop around and call for an estimate. Book tentative dates until you know for sure adjusting your strategies as you go along.

The Internet offers virtual tours, and neighbourhood data, to help the decision-making process. With the advent of commission free websites, some sellers are listing their homes on sites such as without the traditional real estate agent or fees. However it is important to get listed on MLS, and few people know the intricacies of bringing an offer to the status of a concluded deal.

How can I assess the expense of leasing or buying a car?


The rising cost of driving.

The rising cost of fuel is making many consumers change their thinking with regard to driving expenditures. On May 5, 2011,the following was reported:

    “General Motors Co. (GM-N) reported its highest quarterly profit in more than a decade, helped by fuel-efficient cars and smaller SUVs that were in demand as gas prices marched higher. The biggest U.S. automaker said Thursday that it earned $3.2-billion, or $1.77 per share, in the first quarter. It was a great start in a challenging climate that would have sunk the company just a few years ago when it was too reliant on gas-guzzling pickups and SUVs for profit.”

On average you will need to work 30 weeks to pay for your vehicle (not counting fuel or repairs). Because driving a car is one of the largest expenses in an individual’s budget, plan this expenditure carefully. From the graph you can see that expense accumulate given a payment of an average vehicle payment of $500 per month plus gas.

Kilometres are presented as the average busy driving use per vehicle as promoted by vehicle manufacturers of 24,000 km per annum. Both monies spent on a car payment and for fuel are added in the final column. Adviceon does not claim accuracy for the numbers represented as extrapolations in the table, and uses them only for illustration. Errors and Omissions are excluded.



Plan to anticipate changing circumstances

Financial AdviceFinancial planning must anticipate change. Your plan will reflect your specific financial goals and objectives, with a consideration of your level of investment risk tolerance.

Your plan can be flexible enough to anticipate life’s many changes. Financial circumstances and responsibilities often change over time such as a career or income change; the birth and education of your children or grandchildren; major purchases such as a home; retirement; and other life events, such as a disability or need for long-term care.