By Jam Michael McDonald, Zoocasa
Buying a home takes a lot of planning and can be an expensive endeavour. You have to think about your down payment, your mortgage and mortgage payments, your expectations on your space, your timeframe, your closing costs—the list is endless.
So if you’re spending a bunch of money, how can buying a home make you more financially independent?
First, change your perspective
Some investments are a lot clearer: put your money into this GIC and you’ll receive this return in this many days. It’s easy to see, easy to calculate, and easy to do.
Investing in real estate is an entirely different game, so you have to think of it differently. You’ll have initial costs, you’ll be forking out money, and you’ll feel kind of broke. And that’s okay. These “expenses” when buying a home should be looked at as part of the overall investment. There are some that are pure cost—home inspection, lawyer fees, other closing costs—but they all allow the transaction to occur, and they’re not extravagant compared to the cost of the home.
Think of a real estate investment as long-term, not short-term; complex, not simple; hands-on, not passive.
You can make real decisions about your home to save you money
By Akaisha Kaderli, RetireEarlyLifestyle.com
The other day I read an article about women and retirement. In this piece, the number one premise for motivation was that we should be afraid. Very afraid. It said that for the most part, men did the planning for retirement and that we as women rely on them blindly.
I dislike reading articles such as this, first, because it is fear-based but second, it doesn’t take into consideration the talents women contribute to the mix of partnership and planning. While it might be true that men are “wired to provide for the household,” women have moved into professions which pay grandly. Many marriages today are a different blend of partnership than what our own parents or grandparents enjoyed. Along with their jobs, many women still run the household, so why not get involved in retirement planning in a proactive manner?
Retirement is a boring word
The word “retirement” conjures up images of old people on pensions or perhaps pictures of those who no longer contribute powerfully to society with their expertise and knowledge. I prefer the description “financially independent” for the freedom, influence and self-reliance it implies.
One can choose financial independence at any stage of life and it’s an exciting and worthy goal. The younger a person begins on this path, the more you have in your favor.
Women, listen up
How much money do you really need to retire? On sister site Financial Independence Hub today, we ran a guest blog by Boomer & Echo’s Marie Engen on this topic, something I also mentioned in a talk last week at Durham LifeLong Learning.
Here’s the link to Marie’s blog at the Hub.
I also referred extensively to this blog in a piece at Money.ca, although I couldn’t locate the actual link. As I said in the piece, when determining how much you need to retire, it all depends on your lifestyle expectations. The short answer is that a Canadian with very modest needs can get by without saving a penny. The catch is you’ll have to wait till age 65, at which quite generous Government pensions like Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) kick in.
The bad news is that if you have expensive tastes and have no employer pension, you’ll need to be a millionaire, or even a multi-millionaire to retire with the kind of lifestyle you enjoyed when working.
Those who have toiled at one or two employers with Defined Benefit pension plans can enjoy a more lavish middle-class lifestyle strictly on those pensions, CPP and perhaps some OAS. Again, if you don’t want to travel in luxury or eat out in expensive restaurants, you may not need to save much extra, although of course the more you sock away in an RRSP and ideally a TFSA, the better.
If you’re reading this, odds are you’re still working, have expectations for a more lavish retirement lifestyle and perhaps are not fortunate enough to have a DB pension, or switched jobs too often for a single one to really “take.” If you earned a decent salary along the way hopefully you maxed out your RRSP throughout, as well as your T Read more
By Josh Miszk, Invisor
Special to the Financial Independence Hub
Almost half of married couples say their investing styles differ from that of their spouses, and about one-quarter of couples fight over money, according to a BMO survey.
While your romantic Valentine’s Day dinner may not be the best time to discuss finances, most of us agree that these discussions really do need to happen between couples. Here are a few tips that will help contribute to a sound financial future for couples.
Keep it open and honest
It’s important for couples to be on the same page when it comes to goal planning and how you intend to achieve these goals together. Adopt the “yours, mine and ours” approach and make your finances visible to your spouse so that you both will be in a better place to plan together for the future. For example, some advisors offer a consolidated household online view of their portfolio, which provides easy access to investment accounts for each spouse. Not only does that allow you to have a more holistic view of your position, but having it all in front of you at once can make it much simpler to digest. Read more