Weekend Reading – Christmas cash giveaways, navigating financial uncertainty, another FIRE journey and 2021 TFSA limit!

Weekend Reading – Christmas cash giveaways, navigating financial uncertainty, another FIRE journey and more!

Hey folks!

Welcome to my latest Weekend Reading edition where I share some of my favourite articles from the week that was across the personal finance and investing blogosphere.

You can find my previous Weekend Reading edition below!

Weekend Reading – Low-cost ETFs, The Masters, Biden and your finances and more!

This week, I found a host of articles to check out.

First and foremost, you should know that the new 2021 TFSA contribution limit is (a not-so-surprising) $6,000 again per adult Canadian this year.

With this TFSA dollar limit announcement, this makes the total contribution room available in 2021 for someone who has never contributed and has been eligible for the TFSA since its introduction in 2009 is $75,500.

I say not-so-surprising because the annual TFSA dollar limit is indexed to inflation and rounded to the nearest $500. The Canada Revenue Agency’s indexation increase for 2021 is 1.0%. A BIG reminder that TFSAs can be the “ideal” retirement investment vehicle for younger Canadians (forget it as a savings account people!) who are starting their working lives and expect to be in higher income tax brackets in the years ahead. While contributions to a TFSA are not tax deductible, future withdrawals will be tax free. Check out my posts below about TFSAs including some great ways to save and invest inside your TFSA to build wealth. Lots of it.
 

Tax Free Investing – TFSAs 101

Great things you can do with your TFSA

How to diversify my TFSA using ETFs

Now onto Weekend Reading!

Have a great weekend and enjoy!

Mark

Weekend Reads

My friend Stephen Weyman has another HUGE Christmas giveaway on his site. Win $500 as the 1st place prize and there are other prizes there as well. Enjoy and I hope you win. Great work Stephen. 

Mike Smith, a fan of this site, posted this infographic on Twitter citing 10 recommendations to navigate financial uncertainty. I think these tips are great, but very difficult to go 10-for-10 consistently and stay on top of everything. I would imagine if you could go 8/10 that would be great. Financial management takes time, energy, and commitment and most of us just don’t have right now. Stay patient with yourself people and hang in!

10 things for financial uncertainty

Some interesting expert takes on the Financial Independence Hub recently about the first step in retirement planning. I have a bias to this one/this advice:

A smart first step in retirement planning is creating a retirement budget. You’ll need to identify the amount of money you’ll have coming in during retirement, how much it will cost to enjoy the retirement you have in mind and the amount of debt you have.

Absolutely. I figure any other starting point is rather useless. You really need to figure out what you intend to spend (both needs and wants), and work backwards from there to figure out your “enough” number.

Here is a post about my “enough” number and how I arrived at that.

You can see in my recent Financial Independence Plan we’re trending to that annual spending target forecasted nearly a decade ago! Pretty good planning eh? 🙂

My Financial Independence Plan

The guys at StockTrades.ca highlights some their top picks in the renewable energy sector. I would think this sector, along with healthcare, are the places to be in the coming decades for generous returns.

Citing an email from investor advocate Ken Kivenko to his readership – including me – he shared a sad reminder about deferred sales charge (DSC) mutual funds to those investors that still own them. These are toxic and harmful funds for your portfolio health.

From Ken’s email:

If you reside in Ontario, it is likely you will be perpetually exposed to these toxic funds, albeit with reduced probability of harm. These funds actually exploit smaller investors and are socially irresponsible investments. If you want to learn more about how the Ontario Securities Commission plans to limit investor harm, read this insightful commentary by respected commentator Dan Hallett.

https://www.highviewfin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Hallett_OSC-81-502-DSC-restrictions_20200701-FINAL.pdf

So, like Ken, I urge you to disengage with any DSC salesperson (because that is what they are) and strive to own lower-cost funds that are diversified and do not provide kickbacks to the salesperson. In doing so, you will increase your financial health and retirement income security.

You can find some of the best, low-cost ETFs to own on this page here.

Congrats go out to Murray who won my latest giveaway in this post/review about Income Investing Explained.

I’ll have more book giveaways in the coming weeks so please stay tuned!

Nice to listen to Gean and Kristine from F.I.R.E We Go on Explore FI Canada podcast this week. Well done Gean and Kristine – going from $60,000 in debt to the Smith Manoeuvre to owning a condo in Brazil on their current journey to Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) in another eight years. A coastal condo in Brazil sounds lovely!

Speaking of FIRE and debt and income and more…good to see their take on net worth updates following my Twitter poll:

Net Worth Twitter Poll

From F.I.R.E We Go:

We completely understand that Net Worth Updates don’t show the complete picture. At the end of the day, what really matters is the cash flow in your bank account.

Yup. While net worth tracking is fine and good (I still don’t post any in detail for these reasons), I think it’s far more important to focus on tracking the money your portfolio can produce for motivation purposes instead.

If you save and invest in assets with regular discipline, and track the income your portfolio can deliver, I have no doubt that your net worth will grow and take care of itself.

With my comprehensive Financial Independence Plan update done, I will turn my attention this weekend after some walks or biking to my latest dividend income update for next week. I look forward to sharing a new all-time high with you!

In the meantime, this was last month’s update highlighting part of my portfolio churns out almost $10 per working hour without fail. It’s like having another part-time job although I don’t do anything…I mean I really don’t! 

Always good to make sense of the markets. Well done Dale in this latest collaboration with MoneySense.

In the article he shared:

“BlackRock is up over 33% in 2020, not including dividends.”

Yup. I know. For the record, I’m a VERY happy shareholder too!

Last but not least – Mike Heroux has a take on the best Canadian utility stocks to own. Check it out!

 

Reader question of the week (adapted slightly for the site):

Hi Mark!

As a follow-up to some previous reader questions on your site, what is your top-holding now and would you buy more of it at today’s higher prices?

Great question. Thanks for your readership.

Yes and yes!

My top holding is still TD Bank and I am buying more of it thanks to my dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) turned on inside my registered accounts where I hold this Canadian stock along with many other stocks.

You can see a good portion of my portfolio on this dedicated page here.

Also, for key reader questions I now have this FAQs page on my site for you.

I will continue to add some great reader questions and my answers to this page over time. Check it out!

Happy investing and see you on the site again soon. Out for a long walk and likely a bike ride today too!

Mark

My name is Mark Seed and I'm the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, we're very close to realizing two major money goals: owning a 7-figure+ investment portfolio along with no debt to start semi-retirement with. Find out how we did it, what's next, and what you can learn from me to tailor your own financial independence path. Subscribe and join the newsletter! Follow me on Twitter @myownadvisor.

36 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Christmas cash giveaways, navigating financial uncertainty, another FIRE journey and 2021 TFSA limit!"

  1. Suggesting one establish a retirement budget is a bit of a joke, especially for those not close to retirement. How can one realistically know what their expenses or even their income will be 25 or 35 years down the road. Even suggesting that one can live off 70% of their income doesn’t make sense. For most their highest earnings years will be late 40s and 50s or even 60s.
    Nothing wrong with budgeting and keeping track of your expenses so one can set aside funds for their future, but don’t think that $30,000 today will be worth $30,000 when you retire, or an amount you might be able to live on, plus other income. It may happen but don’t count on it.

    Reply
    1. I think one must find a way to figure out roughly how much is enough and meanwhile being flexible with the expense. Otherwise, how do we make the decision that we can retire already or not? Of course, it won’t be accurate. I think it doesn’t need to be accurate either as long as we are flexible enough. For past three years, I track our expenses and also add a for for retirement planning, I also include expected inflation.

      Three years ago I made a five years plan to get ready for retirement. Three years later, we are kind of meeting our financial target for retirement already. But we plan to still work for another two years. We should be able to continue living on one’s salary for these two years. And hopefully, our investment will continue to grow for another two years until we begin to rely on it for a living. I feel if I retire now, we should have enough but we might need to budget carefully and be more cautious with our expenses. If we continue to work for another two years, we will be more comfortable and I will sleep better at night not to worry about our finance as our finance will be more resilient with more resources. With my calculation, two more years of working really make a big difference.

      Anyway, Covid-19 makes the decision much easier. We have nowhere to go so why not continue to work and secure a financially safer future.

      Reply
      1. Exactly where I am coming from May. re: you really need to figure out how much is enough with basics (needs) and then be flexible with other spending. Otherwise, you have no baseline.

        Ultimately, “flexibility” is key since if basic/fixed costs go up you have flexibility to manage. I always include inflation in my future income needs.
        I figure about 3% or so should be good per year.

        “But we plan to still work for another two years.” – very smart. This is absolutely what I mean about flexibility. You are padding the basics.

        🙂
        Mark

        Reply
    2. Hey cannew,

      Fair, but I think you can easily forecast the basics. What are your average food bills, what are your average utility bills, what are your average transportation costs, etc.

      If you get housing, food and transportation “right” in life – the rest is pretty easy.

      Of course you cannot forecast healthcare and other factors, this is why you need a buffer. Am I wrong? You’re in your 70s so you have more experience than I do 🙂

      Mark

      Reply
      1. Mark: I prefer your short-term plan, of reaching $30k. But as you get closer to your goal, you may find that you’d prefer $40k and even more as time passes. Savings for retirement can’t help but be based on ones current spending and expectations, but for those without any company pension, I think they should concentrate on having their saving provide income that grows, so that as they get closer to retirement, they’ll have a history of seeing how their income has grown and be confident of future growth, without needing to sell capital. If their capital grows, that’s great and if they wish to sell capital, fine, but the income at retirement should be as secure as possible, making retirement projections going forward more meaningful. I never wanted my retirement income tied solely to the market.

        Reply
        1. Understood cannew, I see what you mean now with your ever-growing income point. I guess I was concerned you couldn’t forecast any expenses – because you can – but life is very unpredictable long term!

          Reply
  2. On the net worth question I think it is helpful to see because people like to compare their own progress to those they look up to. I found that in my early/mid years it was a more tangible metric than the small nominal earnings. Now that I’m in my 50s with a larger portfolio and contemplating when retirement will happen, dividends have become far more relevant to me. I actually use HXT in a taxable account and do an Excel conversion to see what it would have paid if I held XIU.

    Reply
    1. I actually use investable assets to calculate how much is enough for retirement with a 4% withdrawal factor. I know 4% might not be safe, but this is just a rough estimate, also I ignored CPP and OAS completely in my calculation and I don’t include the assets in my house although I will definitely downgrade in the future and will have maybe half of the assets released that way, so I think it should be OK.

      As long as people invest properly, I don’t think it matters the income is from dividends or from selling shares. Dividends can be cut or completely canceled, just like what happened this year. Dividends are not all created equal, so I think investable assets make more sense. The same amount invested in CNR or ENB will have a very big difference with dividends, but which one will provide safer income in the future? Hard to say if you ask me. I invest in both.

      Also, not everybody wants to live only on investment income, not me anyway. I want to spend the money while I am alive, at least most of them. So HXT could be better than XIU even in retirement.

      Reply
      1. Hi May,
        Much like you I use the 4% rule X my assets to estimate what retirement income might look like. I’ve learned on this site and elsewhere that you can “manufacture” dividends tax efficiently by selling units and taking them as capital gains at the 50% inclusion rate (I worry that will rise though).

        Reply
      2. I agree with you May on investing properly and no difference with dividends or share selling. I also agree with the not only living on investment income for an entire retirement.
        You’ve got lots of cushion if not considering CPP/OAS or significant home downsizing future potential in your calculations. Excellent.

        Interesting points on Horizons BB. We have a position with HBAL but its in a registered account at least for now. In time that may move in kind to unregistered.

        I agree with you Mark about the likelihood of taxable inclusion rates rising. Governments everywhere will be desperate to generate tax revenue and its an easy target to pick off those who have looked after themselves and appear wealthy by having unregistered assets.

        Reply
        1. Good to hear from you. I just wonder when the axe is proverbially going to fall. Our governments and healthcare systems are broke. How are earth are we going to reconcile this?

          It worries me.

          Reply
          1. Good to be here.

            Broke, yes. Fix, I have no idea how beyond milking those that have something, and financing way down the road like we are.

            As someone who is fiscally prudent all their life it worries me too. Few politicians or even the general population seem concerned much at all.

            Reply
            1. Yup, worries me too. We’ll see and I’ll hedge my bets that the government is going to find a few ways to increase our taxes over time to pay for COVID-19 responses.

              Reply
    2. Ya, I don’t take too much issue with net worth posts but there is more value, I believe, in tracking what your portfolio (real estate, stocks, etc.) can do for you vs. not. Whatever is a bigger motivating factor I guess?

      Interesting you use HXT. I was considering that product as well. I have to reach out to the folks at Horizons. I want to have them on my site and explain some of their funds 🙂

      Stay tuned!
      Mark

      Reply
  3. I invested in them when I started having non-registered assets. It was very appealing that they didn’t pay dividends, which I’d have to pay tax on at my top marginal rate. As I mentioned to May, I also reasoned that I would sell units in retirement and pay the lower capital gains rate.

    Last year with the change to corporate class, unit holders had to send in all kinds of documentation but my T5 required me to pay capital gains tax. I filed an appeal to CRA and after a very long time (June or July, I think) it got reversed. There is still some concern that the government will go after the corporate class version but for now I am staying invested.

    I use HXT in my taxable account but not HXS for the US since the swap fee is quite high (0.30% on top of the MER of 0.10%) – this offsets the FWT that is paid on funds like VUN which hold the US-listed ETF.

    It would be great if you could interview someone from Horizons – they certainly offer unique products that can be quite useful in our portfolios.

    Reply
    1. I meant to add….will try and see if I can find time with Mark Noble at Horizons. We have touched based a few times of this subject. What specific questions do you have and maybe I can interview him on those? Something specific about HXT? Other such as HGRO?

      Cheers,
      Mark

      Reply
      1. I’m most interested to hear whether they think the government will disallow the swap-based approaches that allow us to by-pass dividends in favour of capital gains down the road. I can imagine the government will be looking to close any tax loopholes they can.

        I’d also be interested in a comparison of HGRO vs. VEQT (despite the “GRO” naming, HGRO is 100% equity).

        Reply
  4. Absolutely is a very strong statement. I agree with Cannew, there is no need for a retirement budget when your just starting to invest. Keep it simple. We’ve never had a budget, and still don’t have one now in retirement. The thing that I think is important is knowing where your money goes. Then you can decide if you want to continue on that path or make changes. How much can I invest and have enough left over to cover expenses? Invest as much as you feel comfortable with and retire when you reach an amount of dividends equal to your salary(s) That was our goal. I had a spreadsheet where I projected out over 20 years how dividends were going to grow. When expenses were lower after paying of the house at 40, we started using leverage to excellerate investing. When the interest rate on a HELOC is lower than the dividends of a bank stock (safe investment), then it makes sense to use it. This method worked so well that we exceeded our income expectations early and retired. Never needed a budget, emergency fund, travel fund, or any other fund. That’s what the HELOC is still there for just in case. Keep it simple and enjoy life. Hopefully we can soon put this COVID thing behind us as well.

    Reply
    1. “We’ve never had a budget, and still don’t have one now in retirement. The thing that I think is important is knowing where your money goes. Then you can decide if you want to continue on that path or make changes.”
      Whew! I agree! I’ve never really had a formal budget on paper or spreadsheets. I’ve just monitored my bank account monthly to ensure all the expenses cleared and there was always the magic number to ensure there were no monthly bank account fees. I know it’s unsophisticated and amateurish but I just didn’t have the time or willpower to do spreadsheets when I was a working single parent. Eyeballing the accounts was my “spreadsheet”. Oh, and lots of investment reading. Now retired with time, I’m still uninterested in spreadsheets. Seems like work to me!! Haha.

      Reply
      1. Bonnie: “I’ve just monitored my bank account monthly to ensure all the expenses cleared and there was always the magic number to ensure there were no monthly bank account fees”.
        That’s better budgeting than most people do, who say they have a plan and try to follow.

        Reply
      2. Ya, we’ve never had a formal budget either Bonnie but we do know very well where our money goes and how much. I think people mistake budgets with overly strict and inflexible rules. I’ve never interpreted a budget this way.

        By definition, a budget is a financial plan for a defined period of time; and they are largely estimates within that period since nobody can accurately predict any future.

        I couldn’t be bothered watching every penny. I’m detailed but that’s bonkers to me and not time value-added.

        Do whatever works for you financially so you can meet your goals – that is key!

        Reply
      3. We never had a budget either. We know roughly that we almost always lived on one’s salary and it feels OK financially. We have a busy life and don’t feel the need to spend time on pennies and nickles.

        But I think it will be different when we are still working and after we retire. I do feel I need to have a budget for how much I could spend every year and I will also adjust this amount every year depending on the market status. I might also need to plan carefully for big expenses like replacing a roof or buying a new car.

        Retirement will be a new adventure financially for us for sure. I expect to go through some behavior changes. Hopefully without lowering our living standard. But I am prepared if I have to eat more chicken and less beef. LOL.

        Reply
        1. Interesting how some successful folks (I include many readers on this site in that category…) don’t budget per se but rather forecast expenses and have a firm understanding of where their money goes plus or minus a few bucks. I mean, ultimately that’s the key vs. strict penny-pinching that can cause stress and unnecessary anxiety.

          Planning seems to be natural for some.
          Mark

          Reply
    2. Thanks for your comment Div. I guess where I am coming from is most people should be easily able to budget how much house, car, food expenses they make rather consistently. Maybe I’m just good at math 🙂

      I too have maintained some sort of spreadsheet for 20 years and it works or me/us.

      We also have a HELOC available should we need it but I won’t get into leveraged investing until our mortgage is near dead. We’re about 4 years away from that happening.

      “Keep it simple and enjoy life. Hopefully we can soon put this COVID thing behind us as well.” Well put.

      Mark

      Reply
  5. The entire Net Worth question is an interesting one – I find it helpful for my own purposes and is a means of tracking progress and, its kinda fun. There are also multiple ways to calculate net worth as there are differing opinions. However, I don’t find seeing others Net Worth as particularly valuable. I’d much rather read about their strategies, investments, etc. As we discussed on Twitter, a Net Worth post will not get a ‘click’ from me – it will be some other piece of content that will peak my interest.

    Reply
    1. I enjoy the back of the napkin stuff Mat but I don’t see much value, for me, in keeping a running tab. I suspect some folks might be surprised what our numbers are and I could likely gain many followers if I published it more regularly but that’s not what I’m personally into.

      Like you, I prefer to read about income and investing strategies (all kinds, leveraged, RE, private equity, etc.) since that is interesting and personal.

      I guess I really don’t like the bragging about net worth for eyeballs on a site although I can appreciate why some folks do it.

      Stay well and would like to have you back on the site at some point in 2021.

      Cheers,
      Mark

      Reply
  6. My wife & I are firmly in the Cannew camp that it’s all about income. As soon as you have more annual investment income than you need to pay all your expenses, then you’re on easy street. It then gets even better if you have kids and grandkids to leave a nice inheritance to. I’d rather pass on with a sizeable portfolio and know the kids/grandkids will get a huge bonus.

    As I’ve mentioned previously, we have been shelling out quite a bit of early inheritance to our kids and it sure feels good to see how appreciative they are and how well they are using it. We have recently started putting dough into investments for our 5 grandkids.

    I also totally disagree that selling shares is the same as dividend income. Trying to figure out when to sell something is quite tricky and adds stress to investing. Also, each time you sell a share, you are reducing your dividend income.

    One of the great things about investing is it really is each to his own and it’s always interesting reading what people are doing.

    Ciao
    Don

    Reply
    1. That’s my plan Don: “As soon as you have more annual investment income than you need to pay all your expenses, then you’re on easy street.” It is our goal to have basic expenses covered by dividend income/”live off dividends” and distributions. Then I know we can work part-time in the coming years.

      We’re not “there” yet but that’s the plan.

      I think you’re smart to gift money now. re: inheritance. I think your grandkids could be very well off thanks to your support. Well done.

      Reply
  7. Okay, feel a little bit more normal now. I too don’t have a “magic” number in mind for retirement. Know my expenses inside and out, minimized fees, utilize credit to my advantage and just keep doing what has worked with investing bearing in mind to keep fluid with new knowledge and also the everchanging market. (Yup, sad to say I started with mutual funds). I caution all new investor’s not to solely focus on the end game. There will be many periods of frustration if you set your bar too high and you also need to enjoy the journey of life on your way to retirement. Everyone has a story of blowing some part of the budget in the journey but I guarantee that you will have a life experience very valuable to share from it. How may millionaires go bankrupt before making it is a good case in point.
    Just finished up Fred Vetesse’s updated book and I feel totally at ease without having a budget/number hanging over my head. The PERC calculator at Morneau-Shepell is an absolute gem and nugget gained from the read. My strategy going into retirement is to adjust my spending/lifestyle around the income that the spreadsheet lays out for the three strategies. I’ve positioned myself for scenario three, drawing CPP/OAS at age 70 and I’m surprised to see myself considering the annuity at the older stages in life. I now really appreciate the strategy/knowledge of removing variability by drawing down all your own variable income sources first and rely on indexed or fixed streams of income. My investments will enable me to take a few of those financial hits we don’t see coming and allow me to have a variable budget.
    I’d love to hear your thoughts on actively managing investments into retirement as I don’t intend on sitting back streaming returns of 4-5%. I’m looking to continue building on the following returns LIRA – Avg 17%, 6years, RRSP – Avg 12%, 14 years, Non-registered – Avg 14%, 10 years, TFSA – Avg 5.5%(This is likely higher but I use this a emergency account and I think the numbers are incorrect because I’m easily above 5 % on a maxed account but I made significant withdrawals and redeposits along the way).
    Considering the age people live to nowadays do you subscribe to the mainstream thought that most people can’t recover from the financials blips in the market hence such conservative outlooks by most retirees?. I’m planning on continuing a 5-10% speculative portfolio position and just made my first hedge into true cryptocurrency three weeks ago after holding some fringe investments on it.
    I have a larger appetite for risk now, even as next year is my retirement year. Seeing vloggers/bloggers post net worth is fairly relevant for me. As I’ve grown my portfolio I’ve come to understand that with greater wealth comes an ability to grow even more wealth seemingly a little more easier than when first starting out. I follow bloggers who I know are around my financial means and situation(ie here) whether a little behind or ahead. I’m not going to garner much knowledge from the three million guy who can afford to drop $100 000 on any given financial bet but seeing others strategy with equivalent wealth is valuable to know how my portfolio sits in comparison and gives me really clear insight to others’ strategies that I can emulate. Your selections in dividend payers and ETF choices I believe are very different to the individual starting out with minimal net worth and also won’t jive with the multimillionaire who can take many financial hits. I take all that good content across multiple bloggers and map it out into a spreadsheet to see a pattern of commonality to help give some clarity to the available investing options. “The worth of the collective is much more valuable than the individual components”.
    Keep coming with the excellent content, much appreciated as we get locked down for the second time at 12am tonight. Only half way through the links for this week after consuming your content. Cheers

    Reply
    1. Quite the comment Jeff – thanks for this!

      While I was and continue to be focused on my “end game” – I have always felt it is more important to break down goals into more manageable chunks. A goal that is 20 years away is nowhere realistic unless you can find a path to get there – and things will change….

      Fred Vetesse’s books are good….I hope to get an updated copy myself and giveaway a few on this site.

      “I’ve positioned myself for scenario three, drawing CPP/OAS at age 70” – that seems very smart to me if you don’t need the money.

      I will see what I can do to get some reader case studies on their “active” money management in retirement.

      I know for us, we intend to “live off dividends” with our part-time jobs in a few years. So, that’s living off ~ 3-5% dividends/distributions generated from the capital.

      Have you considered how much cash you might keep in retirement?
      https://www.myownadvisor.ca/how-much-cash-should-you-keep/

      “Considering the age people live to nowadays do you subscribe to the mainstream thought that most people can’t recover from the financials blips in the market hence such conservative outlooks by most retirees?”

      I guess I subscribe to the theory that if you want to speculate beyond a basket of common stocks or dividend stocks, then likely 10% max should be the gamble. re: cryptocurrency. I personally wouldn’t gamble more than that and I probably wouldn’t even invest that much!

      Fair comments about the net worth posting. I can appreciate that benchmarking work. I do a bit of that but I don’t do it publicly (here).

      Hang in with the lockdown and I’ll keep publishing some content 🙂
      Mark

      Reply
  8. Hey Mark!

    Hope all is well on your end.

    When financial bloggers provide details about their net worth / portfolio is provides a mental benchmark for their readers to compare their own progress. Helping provide more context behind all the discussions surrounding FIRE / FI / FIWOOT. These goals all of a sudden become more realistic when you see behind the numbers of others.

    Cheers!
    Danish

    Reply
    1. That’s a good prospective Danish, it can be motivating from that point of view. I can appreciate the transparency some numbers do provide 🙂

      Cheers,
      Mark

      Reply
  9. I kept a net worth statement for decades and enjoyed watching it grow as deposits were made and debt managed, it helped me sleep better knowing we were moving in the right direction. Wasn’t that interested in others net worth statements as their situations were different then mine. I do enjoy learning others strategies and getting ideas but I strongly believe in thinking for myself and that one size does not fit all.
    Re: budgeting we went from tracking every penny early on to ball parking. I knew net worth was growing and I knew we were putting money aside for the future and that all our needs were met. If we were over budget I just drew down from the HELOC. This resulted in our debt actually growing over time which most people would think is crazy but as I thought about leaving full time work I realized a few things.
    What mattered was generating reliable cash flow through pension, RRSP, CPP, OAS, Dividends.
    When I die do I have enough assets to cover all my debts and leave some money for the fraggles?
    Debt to Income ratio as reported in the news is useless, debt to asset is a better measure of how you are doing financially.
    Debt is not the big bad wolf, I was taught. I also realize that attitude is not for everyone.
    I can always work at something for a few bucks. I have options.
    When I eventually collect CPP and OAS, I will make more net income then when I was working. Currently at 85%.
    If I follow traditional advice I will never leave full time work.
    I value experiences with people I care about more then the size of my bank account.
    I will regret the risks I don’t take. Stop following the herd.
    Keep up the great content Mark.

    Reply
    1. We “ballpark” as well Gruff. I don’t see the value in extreme penny counting. Doesn’t make sense to me.

      I know our net worth will grow with time through a combination of TFSA and RRSP max-outs and killing our mortgage. That’s good enough for me. I mean, you can only control so much – or at least you think we do!

      As I get older, I’m aligned with these that you wrote about:
      “What mattered was generating reliable cash flow through pension, RRSP, CPP, OAS, Dividends.” = 100%. I’m striving to create a reliable income stream.

      “Debt is not the big bad wolf, I was taught.” Agreed. But is must be appropriately managed before it manages you!
      https://www.myownadvisor.ca/how-to-manage-debt-before-debt-manages-you/

      Your comment about collecting CPP and OAS made me laugh. If you’re making more $$$ in retirement than working, clearly you saved enough 🙂
      Mark

      Reply

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