Weekend Reading – Trapped in $1.6 million homes, pressure from banks, RRSP withdrawals and more

Welcome to another Weekend Reading edition, where you’ll find some of my favourite reads from the personal finance blogosphere.

Earlier this week, I posted these articles:

What makes a great Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)?

I asked what’s next for TD Bank here.

I shared an update on our aggressive 2017 financial goals.

Any big plans for the weekend?  We’ll be seeing family and friends over the next couple of evenings and then enjoying some downtime on Sunday.  All of it we’re looking forward to…

Have a great weekend whatever your plans are and see you here next week!  Thanks for making My Own Advisor part of your weekend.


Millennial Revolution profiled a couple with a great income but feeling very trapped in a $1.6 million dollar house.  Good problem to have…

Boomer and Echo wrote about high pressure sales tactics in the banking industry.

Michael James on Money has decided upon his core plan to spend non-registered money first, RRSPs second and TFSAs last.

Here are some thoughts about generating retirement income.

Retire Happy has some good advice for TFSA beneficiary rules – consider making your spouse or common-law partner as the account success holder.  This way upon death (not fun to think about I know), the spouse essentially becomes the new account holder and the tax-exempt status of the TFSA is retained for them.

Consider this if you’re converting your RRSP to a RRIF.  Don’t forget at age 65, RRIF withdrawals can be claimed towards the pension income tax credit.  So, consider transferring $12,000 to a RRIF and take $2,000 out per year from age 65 to 71…essentially tax-free.

Unfortunately for this investor, profiled in the Globe and Mail, she hasn’t made more than $1,500 with her adviser’s help over the last 10 years – after paying fees close to $25,000 over that time.

Get FIRE’d Asap linked to Mr. Money Mustache’s really simple concepts behind financial independence.  A great talk by Pete.  Lots of good messages here even if you love what you do and don’t want to retire early or retire at all.  Image courtesy of Mr. Money Mustache presentation:

Early Retirement

Interesting formula from Freedom Thirty Five Blog – how to budget for a car.  We have no car payments now.  It feels great.  A future goal is to pay cash for our next car, striving to spend under $10k for it in 2018.

Greater Fool profiled a home in need of major repairs in Toronto that sold for over $1 million.  I guess spending a million dollars on a home ain’t what it used to be….

Cait Flanders is working hard to delay instant gratification in her quest of mindfulness and sticking to her values.

Passive Income Pursuit profiled Coca-Cola, a dividend champ.

Vave Financial wondered who is stealing your retirement.  It could be you, your behaviour but to the point of Vave’s post it could be costly fund fees that continue to pile up.  My message to you:  avoid costly financial products.  You can check out my post here about some great, low-cost Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) to consider for your portfolio.

A Wealth of Common Sense offered some advice for how to invest when no one really knows what to do.  His punchline is something I try and practice all the time:  have a plan, follow it, even if it has flaws.  A plan and the process of planning is far better than nothing at all.

Interesting numbers from Kijiji Canada – sellers in the second-hand economy are on average, earning $1,037 from items they no longer need.

Thanks to Investment Zen for including me in their best list of Personal Finance Blogs.  Very much appreciated.

According to the Canadian Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments – customer complaints are on the rise.

My name is Mark Seed - the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I'm looking to start semi-retirement soon, sooner than most. Find out how, what I did, and what you can learn to tailor your own financial independence path. Join the newsletter read by thousands each day, always FREE.

7 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Trapped in $1.6 million homes, pressure from banks, RRSP withdrawals and more"

  1. Re Tax free withdrawals for RRIF. In Manitoba, the pension credit is only on the first $1000 of withdrawals so, yes, the Feds let you off with no tax on $2K but the province will tax you on half of that withdrawal.

  2. re: TD Bank — unfortunately, this kind of behaviour has been embedded into the financial sector for decades, if not centuries. We know by now that high financial incentives within the sector feeds unethical and illegal behaviour (more so than other vocations). Even more unfortunate is the vast lack of meaningful and material deterrents and punishments (and even investigations) into such actions. I can tell you personally from two different forays into the financial sector that these type of actions are very real and do indeed exist. What’s next for TD et al? I’m putting my money on ‘more of the same’.

    re: Customer complaints are on the rise — a meaningless measurement unless investigations, prosecutions, and collections are also on the rise.
    Notice the wording from the report: “$2,645,035 total compensation recommended” — recommended… “Collected” is the only thing which matters, all else is mere perception to placate.

    re: “…this is just part of an increasingly common sales culture in business today.” WRONG! I can walk into a coffee shop and have the barista persuade me into all kinds of upscale add-ons that I don’t need or want — that’s business sales culture. The employees in the financial sector (and others) operate as Fiduciaries, meaning they MUST conduct business based on the client’s best interest. A car salesman is distinctly different than a financial adviser, bank teller, or credit card shill. This makes all the difference in the world. However, considering the above two points, I won’t hold my breath for any kind of meaningful penalty on the offending parties.

    re: Second-hand economy — “…total net-worth of $29 billion…”, wondering the amount of taxes collected? I’ve participated in this part of the economy for almost a decade…that’s all I’m willing to say about that. 😉

    re: Get FIRE’d — I didn’t need to waste 28 minutes to make an assessment of content, “How Long is your Prison Sentence?” says it all. Anyone in the free world who views any part of their life as a “prison” has bigger problems that no amount of money will elevate. For anyone to actually propagate a “prison” mindset into the world for their own benefit is repugnant and harmful (aka Trumpian). I’ll put forth that this kind of mindset is reaching a vile and unhealthy epidemic, fuelled by a small but powerful number of circumstances which some find too daunting and difficult to face. In the end, MMM (et al) is trying to sway the the end result, the effect, instead of attempting to change the cause; he’s trying to wag the dog by the tail. Let me know in 50 years to what your efforts have amounted (e.g. has the poverty or income inequality level increased or decreased). Not only that, but anyone who still believes “financial independence” is valid terminology does not understand what they are talking about. Welcome to my ‘no-fly’ list, MMM (not that I read your blog in the first place).

    Time to hit the garden.

    1. re: Second-hand economy — do tell?

      re: FIRE – I can appreciate this is not for everyone. It’s not for me either because I don’t want to retire in the traditional sense – but I do want to have more free time and work on my own terms, whether it is this blog, freelance, consulting work or anything else. I think that would be great and I’m looking forward to pursing that more and more.

      Garden? I wish. We still have a foot of snow on the ground! #pleasebringspring

      1. re: “Second-hand economy — do tell?” — think precious metals. Those who believe in the value of precious metals are intrinsically bound to the primary drivers: fear and greed. In the post-Crisis world (to them it’s an ever-Crisis world) precious metals have been an easy and continuous 25% net profit margin market (can’t be TOO greedy!).

        “re: FIRE – I can appreciate this is not for everyone.” — It shouldn’t be for everyone (I’ll postulate that it shouldn’t be for anyone). I have a ton to say about MMM’s presentation, none of it flattering, but I’ll leave it politely at this: it’s about being a prisoner of your mindset rather than a prisoner of your circumstances. Besides that, I can’t take anyone seriously who espouses a non-prisoner way of life yet consciously uses credit cards, “Mr. Money Mustache is a big fan of cash-back credit cards”; MMM, you are building higher prison walls and creating more prisoners with every swipe…but I guess proliferation of brand over truth is what’s most important.

    2. Wow! I was going to post a comment to Mark asking him to pare the weekend reading down a bit because there are SO many posts that look great, that I get overwhelmed, thus I read none of them…then feel bad for that. But I see that there are those like you who read, digest, and comment…sigh, I shall attempt to read one today!


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