It’s an all too common question in personal finance: how much money do I need to retire? And there’s a frustratingly vague response: it depends. Exactly how much you need varies based on your lifestyle, where you live and the goals you have for your retirement years. But one thing is clear – that final number is bigger than most people think.
How big? Let’s just say that if you haven’t started saving yet, you’d better get on it. Take a look at some of the factors financial planners and advisors use to figure out how much you’ll need for those golden years ahead in my new article at GoldenGirlFinance.ca: http://bit.ly/JqVql8
There are a number of reasons why you might get a tax refund this year. And while your reaction is likely the same – ecstatic (the bigger, the better right?), have you ever wondered if getting a refund may not actually be in your best interest…quite literally? Indeed, there are probably a lot of things you don’t know about your refund – and, as with most financial misunderstandings, some of these can cost you. I clear up the confusion and make sense of five common misconceptions surrounding your tax refund in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.ca: http://bit.ly/JwnnK1
Raise your hand (from your laptop) for a moment if you fantasize – on Monday mornings in particular – about ditching the rather mundane nine-to-five paycheque to start your own creative business. Yes, even if you’re already making a few bucks with your one-of-a-kind bags, beauty products or bling, it can be hard to make the leap from doing something as a hobby to doing it for a living.
Fortunately for those who fall into this category, Jenna Herbut has walked in your mid-heel work pumps. That’s why the founder of ‘Make It: The Handmade Revolution’, a crazy-cool craft show/party that hosts events across Canada, recently came up with a new idea: Make It University, a program designed to help “crafty entrepreneurs” take their hobbies to the next level. Herbut’s been making her way in the world of business since launching a line of fabric sash belts (Booty Beltz!) fresh out of university. And in the eight years she’s been her own boss, she’s gone through all the highs, lows and mistakes that come with being a business owner. So how can aspiring entrepreneurs turn their creative efforts into cold, hard cash? Check out Herbut’s top tips in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.ca: http://bit.ly/IiQQT6
Filing taxes is a lot like yard work – we’d all love to get out of doing it (isn’t that what husbands and teenage kids are for?), but when it comes to dealing with your tax return, it’s time to forget the stall tactics. No matter how long you prolong the matter, you have to file – even if you don’t have the money to pay. And if you haven’t filed yet, it’s time to get a move on it! Check out my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.ca for tips on what you should be doing now: http://bit.ly/IjnAPC
Which costs more: a $1,000 item or a $10 item? Mathematically, the answer to this question seems simple, but when it comes to money and how we spend it on a daily basis, the answer is much more complicated. In fact, while most people will break a sweat at having to shell out $1,000 for car repairs – or even something fun like a weekend getaway – most of us hardly think twice about spending smaller sums here, there and, well, everywhere. The problem is, these little expenses can add up in a big way.
Think your little discretionary expenses aren’t making a dent in your pocketbook? We beg to differ. Check out the seven little things you’re mindlessly paying for that could be costing you a million bucks in my new post on GoldenGirlFinance.ca: http://bit.ly/Jy72Af
We all like to think we have our financial house in order, but let’s be honest for a moment, shall we? It’s all too easy to sweep our little spending indiscretions under the rug – and then wave our occasional accomplishment around like a shiny star on a report card. (Look! I put some money into my RRSP!) But in order to really know how you’re doing on the financial front, you need to crunch some cold, dispassionate numbers. And you should: if you don’t know where you stand, you don’t stand a chance of making any progress. With that in mind, check out five simple calculations to help you gather your financial bearings in my new post on GoldenGirlFinance.ca: http://bit.ly/HWWoqz
We all like to think we make smart choices with our money, or at least make some effort to save it when we can. Makes sense – why pay more than you have to? Unfortunately, the logic behind many common money-saving decisions just doesn’t add up. When it comes to making smart decisions, you can’t always rely on your gut. Think you’re saving money? Busted! Check out these five seemingly smart money moves that might be busting your budget in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.ca: http://bit.ly/HsVNJj
Flickr/La Citta Vita
Your car breaks down, someone throws a baseball through your kitchen window and just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, your kids get the flu – all of them. Some people call it Murphy’s Law, but whatever metaphysical forces happen to conspire to make everything go wrong at the same time, one thing is very clear: the aftermath tends to be expensive.
But here’s another weird phenomenon: a new poll from TD Canada Trust shows that while more than half of Canadians have been hit with a costly surprise, only half were financially prepared. In fact, a full 38 percent of us tempt financial fate, getting by on the hope that nothing will go wrong. But here’s the financial truth: if you’ve been praying for the best – while failing to prepare for the worst – you need an emergency fund. Find out why – and how to get the job done – in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.ca: http://bit.ly/IiUtfR
Got a cool million in the bank? For many people, that’s a number that seems out of reach, or at least a long way off into the future. But here’s a bit of irony: while investing well is one of the best ways to boost your net worth, new research from PriceMetrix suggests that financial advisors are increasingly ditching less affluent clients in favour of high rollers. In 2011, the average number of households managed by a single advisor shrunk by 8 percent, while the average revenue of those households grewby a similar margin. What this means is that investors with more than $1 million to invest are increasingly pushing out clients with less investable assets.
f you’re crying foul, the change is not as disagreeable as it sounds. Advisors argue that fewer clients allow them to provide better service and still make a good living. That makes sense. On the other hand, the preference for larger accounts certainly doesn’t provide much comfort to the not-so-moneyed class (which, let’s face it, accounts for most of us).
Fortunately, while you may never have millions, there are still many ways to get the financial advice that you need (and deserve) to make the most of what you’ve got. Check out five options in my new article at GoldenGirlFinance.ca: http://bit.ly/GShckZ
It’s a common complaint – you’ve contributed to an RRSP for years, but the promise of a big pile of cash for retirement just doesn’t seem realistic, especially when that RRSP isn’t producing much in the way of a return. Maybe that’s why more than 60 percent of Canadians opted not to contribute to their retirement savings plans this year, according to the BMO Annual Post-RRSP Deadline Study.
It’s hard to fault investors for their ambivalence. The market’s ups and downs over the past few years have tested our nerve, while low interest rates have pushed our patience to the breaking point.
And yet, if you’ve been ganging up on your RRSP, it’s time to back off. Why? Because no matter how poor your returns, it’s not your RRSP’s fault – and it isn’t time to give up on investing in it for your future. Find out why in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.ca: http://bit.ly/zkgGek