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Book Review: Moneysense Guide to Retiring Wealthy

I recently had the chance to read Money Sense Guide to Retiring Wealthy: A Financial Roadmap for Canadians of all Ages and was pleasantly surprised by the comprehensiveness and detail of the book.  It is written by the editors of Moneysense with a forward by Johnathon Chevreau.

What I Like about MoneySense Guide to Retiring Wealthy

  • I liked that they divided the book into decades of your life.  It tells you what you should be doing in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s etc. to ensure that you can retire wealthy (with proper planning of course)… along with the money advice that you should be doing, they also detailed things that usually happen in your 20’s (e.g. post-secondary school, buying a car) and 30’s (having children, buying a house) and how you can navigate these life milestones best.
  • Moneysense Guide To Retiring WealthyI also liked that throughout the book there were case studies and examples (e.g. first person accounts) of people in their 20’s or in their 50’s and sharing what they felt were important in order to get where they are at the present moment.
  • I found that MoneySense explained annuities well (and piqued my interest) as I had not learned what these were prior to reading this book… I also appreciated that they mentioned how annuities may not be for everyone
  • I appreciated that they gave the bottom line approach to your retirement savings rates depending on whether you rent or own.  For example, if you are single and own your own home, you should save 10-15% each year for retirement.  If you rent, you will need to save more (because there will not be a paid-off home in retirement).
  • It was detailed but yet does not scare off the novice investor or person just getting interested in retirement planning.  For example, they answered some pretty common questions (where there is often no “magic number” or consistency to the answer) such as how much you should withdraw a year from your nest egg– the answer is not simply 4% as most people advocate for, it can depend on when you retire, how the markets are doing, inflation etc.
  • Finally, I liked the MoneySense laid out the risks involved with investing for retirement easily.  For example, there are four different kinds of risks you should be protected from- market risk, inflation risk, the risk of picking something bad investments, and the risk of outliving your savings (also known as longevity risk)

What I Did Not Like about MoneySense Guide to Retiring Wealthy

  • There weren’t many things that I disliked about the book.  I thought it was great considering it is free on ibooks!  (Can’t complain about free, really)
  • One thing that I was wary about (however relieved but a bit skeptical that this benefit will still be there when it is my turn to retire) is that they encourage you to realize that you don’t need as much money to retire as you think you need… the reason being the Canadian government provides Canadian Pension Plan starting at age 60 (if you want to start cashing out at a reduced amount)…however, I would not want to base my current savings plan and retirement goals on something that the Canadian government could decide to change on a whim… I would much rather rely on myself if possible because we do not have 100% certainty that CPP will be there 30 years from now.
  • It doesn’t “speak out” as much.  For some reason the characters in Findependence day and in The Wealthy Barber were much more relateable.

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Financial Freedom: Try Not to Get a Divorce

I have a few friends and acquaintances who are in the middle of some nasty divorces, some of these marriages lasted under five years, and some marriages lasted over 20 years.  Having went through the separation of a 7.5 year relationship myself, I learned that you never really know what life gives you and you can never be fully 100% sure that there will not be a divorce in the future (of course, there are characteristics and traits of the significant other to look for, such as someone being determined, committed to the relationship and not wanting a divorce themselves).  I’m sure no one really walks down the aisle on the happiest day of their life thinking that they will divorce X number of years (or months if you are Kim Kardashian or other Hollywood celebrity) later.

However, I do have a friend who is married to someone who is a financial wreck (here’s a red flag, he had filed for bankruptcy before they met) and he has caused her to be a financial wreck too.  Unfortunately she cannot afford to have a divorce and a single mother and cannot afford to take full custody of the children so they are trying to work on it because the alternative would actually be more costly.  It has definitely caused a rift between her parents and him.

Not only is it an emotionally trying time, trying to figure out your new identity as an individual and not as part of a couple, adding another level complexity with the disentanglement of money and assets is part and parcel of the divorce process.

Money and Marriage

Financial Freedom Try Not to Get a DivorceThis Moneysense article sums up the potential issues of divorce nicely.  Pensions, homes, and even debt is up for grabs (or splitting I suppose).  Get to know your significant other before you get married.  Obviously it’s very important to see if their values of money management match with yours.  Considering money is the number one issue that lead couples to divorce, it is very important to have a similar view of money with your partner.  So, how do they handle their money?  Are they in debt?  How did their family view money when your partner was growing up?

Related: Why Equality in Relationship and Finances Might Not Work for Everyone

Everything is at Risk… Even your Retirement Savings

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Roam Mobility Review

Whenever I head down to the United States with my Nexus (yes, the Nexus pass really is worth it in my humble’s a post on how to apply for it) which is about every few months or so when I do my outlet mall or Trader Joe’s run, I usually (well, 99.9% of the time) turn my phone on airplane mode.  I am not the type to want to rack up hundreds of dollars on my cell phone bill for a few hours in the United States roaming on data or texting for over $1 a text.

No, that would be my worst nightmare.

Nor am I the type to be organized enough to call my telephone carrier company (be it Rogers, Bell, or Telus) to set up a roaming data or telephone or text messaging plan for an additional $X number of dollars a month.

Related: Negotiating A Cell Phone Plan – Still Alive and Kicking

Roam Mobility ReviewSo when I heard of this company while researching ways to save on roaming fees while traveling, I stumbled upon the company, Roam Mobility.  Don’t worry, I didn’t get endorsed or paid for this review, but if Roam Mobility wants to send me some free text+ data days I won’t say no! (haha).

Related: Step-by-step Guide on How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Contract

Roam Mobility is a company based out of Richmond, a few minutes south of where I live.  I saw that there was a recent promo code for a $5 off discount on the USA Travel SIM card (so buying two would only be $15) so I thought it might be a good idea to try it out.

Here is how you get set up with Roam Mobility.  It was a little confusing for me initially because I’m not a techie.Continue Reading