To Take Or Not Take Early CPP

Happy Non-Retirement

CANADA PENSION PLAN DILEMMA   My husband just turned 62 and we’ve been in a quandary about whether he should take his Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) early (before 65) with penalty or not. We’re both still working and plan to be for the next 4 years while we pay off a whack of debt. Because of penalties introduced in 2012, the amount you receive by taking your CPP early is less than before this legislation was introduced. Let me try to walk through the peculiarities of our situation and how we reached our final decision.   The CPP Rules   While I can’t walk you through all the rules, I will highlight the key ones or ones that were relevant for us but refer you to the CPP website which is actually pretty clear.  I just want to point out that the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) has a different set of rules, up front. Normally CPP was collected at 65, with penalties and premiums if you elected to take it anytime from age 60 to 65, or from age 65 to 70. Contrary to popular belief, with the new rules introduced in 2012, the age for CPP has not changed […]

Step-brothers financial advice about selling a vehicle turns sour

Key selling used vehicle

PEOPLE WILL DO WHAT THEY WANT   A young woman who approached her step-brother seeking financial advice about selling her vehicle turned sour in just a matter of minutes. In a silly way before we ask a question many of us have a preconceived notion of what we want the answer to be. It’s as if we are cheering in our mind in hopes someone says what we are thinking. I suppose it’s a reaffirmation of what we think we already know but just want to find out for sure. If you are close with your siblings you may turn to them for financial advice and everyday tips in hopes to make the right decisions on topics you might not be too familiar with. I often find it interesting when people ask for financial advice yet when they don’t hear what they want to hear they get defensive. Then I have to wonder why they asked for advice in the first place? I read a quote this morning that went something like this….. You can’t save everyone. Some People are going to destroy themselves no matter how much you try to help them- Bryant McGill I have in the past […]

Celebrate Canada Day enjoying our beautiful country: The Saturday Weekend Review #78

Celebrate Canada wm

APPRECIATE YOUR SURROUNDINGS   Canada Day is just around the corner and many people are gearing up for a long, long weekend of fun. If you are lucky you may even have a couple of days off next week with the holiday falling on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. This past week I had the opportunity to take some day trips around Ontario as I’m on holidays from work and I can’t get over the beauty that surrounds us here in Canada. I don’t often take the time to sit and enjoy what nature has to offer and breathe in the surroundings but I’m learning to take that break from life. I’ve been going non-stop with work and my education since moving to Canada from the UK almost seven years ago. Last year I wrote about the five things I love about Canada and as another year has passed I still love Canada perhaps more than I did the previous year. There is so much to explore here and I’ve only barely scratched the surface. I know many people like to jet off to other countries but I think we will stay here a while to see what secrets surround this […]

First day of summer and family activities: The Saturday Weekend Review #77

First Day of Summer family activities

SHOW US SOME SUNSHINE   It’s officially the first day of summer and family activities are swirling around in many parents’ minds. I can understand how so many parents want to find exciting yet educational things to do for the family when the sun is shining. Family activities are heightened in the summer because it’s a time when the students are done school and can get bored very easy. I know growing up I was always outside getting into some sort of trouble (all good fun though).   Family activities growing up   Even though my parents owned their own business it wasn’t hard for them to have hired help watch over the place while we enjoyed family activities together. Those are the times I remember the most and will cherish because as you get older the memories stay with you forever. It’s funny though because going on day trips and planning our family activities was something my mother would do and my wife says I’m a planner just like her. She’s right! When we plan family activities together I always research online what’s going on, where and if there are any discount codes, coupons or if available ways to […]

How far would you go to fund your child’s education? : The Saturday weekend review #75

childs education

MAKING SACRIFICES FOR YOUR CHILD   Education in Canada isn’t getting any cheaper and parents are struggling to find ways to help their kids financially. Not all parents feel the need to fund their kids’ education but many would do just about anything. I wasn’t surprised when I read an online article sharing results of a survey of over 600 Canadian families by Abacus Data. The survey was of parents who had children in post-secondary education, on their way to school or have attended in the past 5 years. We know that debt looms high in many Canadian households plus saving for a child’s education can make any budget tight. With over 74% of parents saying they feel financially responsible to help pay for their kids’ education I’m wasn’t shocked to read how far some parents are willing to go to make sure the money is available. I’m not sure if I agree with them all but one thing I am sure of is that if you have a child and can set money aside into a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) as soon as they are born you don’t have to do wild and wacky things to find money […]

Holiday gas price increase hits the wallet: PF Weekly grab a brew #68

Fudgy Pie

DON’T WAIT TO FILL UP   With every holiday in Canada we see a gas price increase at the pumps but that’s only the beginning of what to expect. Although the gas price increase seem to be a tradition here in Canada there are no real Easter traditions for myself but the Mrs. likes to spend time with the family around Good Friday and Easter. This year is no exception and we have enjoyed a couple of days away and will eat lots of fish for our Good Friday meal today.   Gas price increase   While we have been off from work we noticed a sharp gas price increase, in fact where we are it shot up 10 cents per litre overnight. I was quite lucky because we had just filled up the day before the gas price increase which is fine for now but what about continuing on? Apparently the gas price increase is supposed to be hitting the $1.47 per litre mark sometime soon and people will have no other choice than to pay it. The other option is to get rid of the vehicle and ride a bike, take the bus, walk or car pool. This increase combined with the new […]

How to build a rock garden with weed prevention

rock garden plants hens and chickens

SAVE WITH ROCKS AND MULCH   A few years ago I travelled to England and my first comment when we arrived at our destination was where is all of the grass? Not one single house on the street had a lawn, rather they had a rock garden. I was informed that being in walking distance from the Irish Sea the drifting salt water made it difficult to have vegetation growing on their properties. Instead everyone had rock gardens. It looked great! Rock gardens   Rocks gardens can look nice in the beginning but that can change quickly especially if not prepared or maintained properly. It’s not too often that we see entire properties transformed into rock gardens in North America though many people do enjoy the style and natural touch they can add to their properties. Unfortunately, there are too many rock gardens that have been neglected or not installed well that are now overgrown and full of weeds, in some cases you are barely able to see the rocks or stones. Why would you consider building a rock garden? If a rock garden is properly prepared and installed, it can be a relatively low-maintenance required addition to your landscape […]