Weekend Reading – Travel hacking, top dividend ETFs, FIRE, #CanFinSummit and more
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.
I finished my series about low-cost, income generating, long-term growth dividend ETFs here with my top international dividend fund selections. Here are the other two posts:
You know what? I just realized I haven’t posted my latest dividend income update – so I’ll get around to that in the coming week or so. Here is last month’s update.
Before my favourite articles, the fine gents at Young and Thrifty were also kind enough to ask me to participate again in the 2018 edition of the Canadian Financial Summit. On September 15th, you can hear me speak about a magical money milestone we recently passed and what’s ahead when it comes to our financial plans for an early retirement, including what’s changed, how we’re getting there and more. In case you missed this event, no worries, you can get an anytime, anywhere All Access Pass. In addition to a pile of bonus material, this Premium Pass gives you lifetime access to streaming the videos. Pretty awesome. That pass will allow you to stream the entire conference – wherever and whenever you want.
Enjoy your weekend and see you on the site!
Earlier this week, it was reported The Bank of Nova Scotia will no longer use the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) to mediate disputes with its customers, leaving the banking watchdog with just two of Canada’s five big banks under its thumb. “Even though it is funded by industry (the big banks paid more than $1.1 million last year to fund OBSI’s operations) the watchdog is considered to be an independent agency, and it’s a free service for upset consumers.” You have to wonder how banks will self-regulate customer complaints (or not) – thoughts?
MoneySense profiled this well-to-do couple. From the article: “My wife and I have a portfolio of about $1,600,000 in dividend-paying stocks that include banks and financials, REITs, pipelines, utilities, some ETFs tracking Canadian and U.S. high dividends stocks and the US S&P 500, and ETF tracking all the world except Canada. We also have $800,000 in GICs and high-interest savings accounts. We are also fortunate to have Defined Benefit pensions and annuities producing about $130,000 in income per year. My question is, what should I be doing with our investments at this point? We have more than enough to live on and won’t likely ever spend all this money. We are both 77 years old. —Paul”
My Own Advisor: Paul, congrats, seriously. You have a tax headache in retirement at age 77. Life must be very good. Go and enjoy yourself!!
Here is Leo’s trick to increase income and save money at the same time. Use the personal income tax code while running your small business.
Want to win another book on my site? Why not?! Some time ago, I profiled Steve Zussino’s book Travel Hacking for Canadians. In that book, Steve shared his tips, tricks, and secrets to travel more and pay less. I enjoyed Steve’s book but I have a copy to giveaway and I’m happy to do so here – so enter to win!
In case you missed it, this couple wants to spend $50,000 per year in retirement starting at age 55. See how much money they need to have and how that can help inform your plan as well.
Barry Choi provided some common credit card hacks:
- Take advantage of signup bonuses where you can
- Double-up on points via any in-store promotions
- Refer your friends.
At this point, I should remind you that the credit card companies know these hacks rather well – bonuses and promotions are designed (by them) to get you to spend more money. Be careful out there!
Can you FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) on a low income? For sure Tawcan, but it’s more difficult depending on your spending needs.
Interesting post from Robb Engen about a retirement study that suggested: “Retirees should expect to spend as much as 130 percent of their preretirement income after they retire. Yikes!” Agreed Robb. Is everyday like a Saturday for retirees? I bet it must feel like that for sure but I’m also pretty confident we won’t be spending 130% of our working income when it comes. Besides…we expect to live off dividends to a degree so we don’t overspend. That means we’ll spend what our portfolio makes and just a little bit more – that’s it.
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Thanks for the mention, Mark. I enjoyed your presentation today at the Canadian Financial Summit and agree with your take on FIRE and OAS clawbacks 🙂
Ha – thanks Robb 🙂
re: low income FIRE
Would be interesting to compare how many low income earners win the lottery vs achieve FIRE.
I bet low income earners like their chances at lottery vs. FIRE. I suspect most low income earners have no idea what FIRE is – they are just trying to get by.
That’s not a knock on Bob’s article just reality.
“Is Every Day Saturday In Retirement”
Again everyone is different, but we certainly spent more shortly after retiring. Bought RV (then sold it and bought a Park Model), traveled and just spent more in general. But after about 5 years things settled down and the spending decreased as we didn’t need new things. The major spending also stopped, except for a new vehicle. With the exception of increased medical/care cost the basic expenses are almost fixed and constant, which includes going south 3-4 months. Are they all Saturday, no, but we always forget about the long weekends and exactly which day it is.
re: Can you FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) on a low income? — “So while the math says it is possible to become financially independent and retire early with low income, it is really really really hard to do in reality.”
Echoed by one of the best, Cullen Roche @Pragmatic Capitalism: “the FIRE movement is aimed specifically at a small group of people (usually rich techies) who are able to attain something that the majority of us mathematically cannot achieve.” — https://www.pragcap.com/view-fire-movement/
In other words, it’s a bogus “movement” which a tiny handful of people use as a marketing tool (preying on our weak psychology) to feed their income stream (and ego).
Just another example on the toothlessness of Canadian banking & investment regulators. Want to know why to buy bank stocks? Because they can not follow the rules and get away with it.
I don’t think the FIRE movement is aimed specifically at a small group of people (i.e. usually rich techies). Like I said in the article, FIRE with a low income is possible but it’s really really hard to do in reality. People with low income should really focus on increasing their earning power so they can save a bit more.
But earning more doesn’t mean you’ll automatically attain FIRE. If you earn $500,000 a year but spends $499,000 a year, you’re way worse off than someone that earns $50,000 but only spends $30,000. It all comes down to your savings rate.
Fair, but if you read the articles Bob, most FIRE folks are engineers or lawyers or other professionals. These are not folks earning minimum wage.
re: I don’t think the FIRE movement is aimed specifically at a small group of people (i.e. usually rich techies)
It’s not. It’s proliferated by a small group of people; it’s aimed at the masses. Think psychological warfare. Everyone knows that everyone hates their job/working and the FIRE group really glom onto and forcefully exacerbate this state — almost always to benefit themselves. They rely on people believing based on emotion rather than thinking logically — same as how the lottery operates.
About the only low-income FIRE individual who comes to mind is Derek Foster…who gets the vast majority of his income from the Canada Child Benefit program. Not exactly a sterling example.
I generally agree that most FIRE folks are engineers or lawyers or other high-paid professionals who got fed up. Meaning, the movement is for a few, not the masses but the masses don’t have high-paying jobs. It’s math.
re: OBSI. Sigh.