Rise up

rise up1

She’s thirty-six, single, educated and struggling. “I’m not house-horny or materialistic and I have no debt,” Linda says. “My parents taught me to keep a level head about money and I am a big saver.”

She graduated, moved to a new city and landed a teaching gig. Linda’s shiny new life was unfolding just as it was supposed to. Each day, another step ahead, her family supportive and her career unfolding. Then, tragedy.

“Five years ago, I suffered a devastating loss where an accident took the lives of four members of my family (including my mom). As you can imagine, this event pretty much obliterated most of anything I’d ever accomplished and a lot of personal relationships. I did manage to work for a while but eventually got laid off. I have pretty much spent the last three years just getting back to a good place mentally. I have been to bereavement counselling and therapy and have started feeling optimistic for the first time in years.

“I’ve used up most of my savings on living expenses. I have virtually no money left in my bank account and my living expenses are about $1500 a month. I live very frugally, I cook my own meals, don’t buy anything I don’t need and I buy everything on sale. I still have about $41,000 stashed away in RRSPs (36,000) and TFSAs (5,200). I have been actively looking for jobs but teaching jobs are few and far between. I am not looking for full-time work or even a dream job. At this point, I would really take anything I could but it is really hard to be relevant with a 3 year employment gap. I don’t feel sorry for myself, I am grateful for small things like being able to sleep through the night or that I survived the stress of the last five years. Moving home back is not an option. There is no room for me in my family’s house and I don’t want to upset the fragile family dynamic that has managed to heal from all the hurt. I fear until I find a job, though, I may have to withdraw money from my last vestiges of savings. My question is, while the growth hasn’t been substantial, my TFSAs have shown growth but my RRSPs have not. Should I withdraw my RRSPs and start stashing them in my TFSAs? Should I go back to school and get new relevant skills for this scary job market?

“I read your column a lot because I find your advice fairly parallel to my upbringing and lifestyle. Having suffered all this loss, I know things don’t make people happy, it’s usually the people you love who do. Unfortunately, you need money to live and I am quickly running out.  Any advice would be appreciated. Linda.”

There’s no magic solution to surviving, Linda. You spend less, find income and make your money last as long as possible. It’s good you wrote, as I’m sure the community of this blog, as full of social deviants as it may be, will have some worthy suggestions. I have a few.

There’s no reason to cash in the remaining RSP money and put it into your tax-free account. In fact, if you were to do so, you’d lose 30% of the amount you have invested in mandatory withholding tax – precious capital you can’t afford to part with, even if you get it back as a refund a year later. Always remember if you need cash from a registered retirement account, keep the withdrawal to less than $5,000, and the amount held back for tax plunges to just 10%.

Beyond that, things won’t grow any faster in your TFSA than inside your RRSP, so it sounds like you have the wrong stuff there. Did some well-meaning banker stick you in mutual funds? I bet. Far better that you dump them, and grab a few exchange-traded funds. Or you could convert it into stable bank preferreds, and at least enjoy a 5% return – although that would yield you just $150 a month.

Seems you’ll have no choice but to live off the retirement fund for months to come until life deals you a better hand, so you might as well control this. Open a discount brokerage account, then a self-directed RSP, move in the money and reinvest it (email me and I’ll help you choose the low-cost ETFs). You can then sell units every few months and move cash into your chequing account, taking care to stay below the five-thousand limit. If the TFSA funds are growing now, leave them to do the job. That’s the last money you spend.

What about income? Don’t give up on teaching, Linda. Doubtlessly you have many lessons to impart to the children. If the ill-run school boards won’t hire you, hire yourself. Offer one-on-one tutoring, for which there’s a substantial demand in many Toronto hoods. Start with a creative web site, then use social media to expand the reach. The cost is absolutely minimal, and you have the time and intelligence to make this succeed.

If you’re still too burned out for that, try another home-based business. Like, say, dogs. If you can keep a pooch or two where you live, offer home care, by the day or for extended periods. The woman whose care I leave Bandit in while on the road is over-subscribed for the next month – taking seven hounds into her city house at the rate of $45 a day. No license required. No overhead. Just add affection, and collect two grand a week.

Mostly don’t give up. Don’t despair. Do not lose perspective. Keep reaching out. The unfairness visited upon you should not be the defining feature of your life. Your mom would not wish it so, nor the others no longer around to hold you in such moments of doubt.

Keep coming here. We may be pathetic, but we care.

Update: Shortly after this post was published tonight I received a note from the head of a private school in Vancouver, asking that Linda apply for a teaching position there. “We’re always on a lookout for level-headed teachers like Linda,” he said. Thank you.

143 comments ↓

#1 steve on 12.16.12 at 6:36 pm

Thanks for this post Garth …blessings

#2 Cigar Goop on 12.16.12 at 6:41 pm

Nice post.

#3 Luc on 12.16.12 at 6:57 pm

I really empathize with you. Garth makes a lot of sense. Here`s one I recommend: Write an eBook about your experience and sell it on Kindle Direct Publishing. If you need help, I can help you.

#4 Alnoor Mithani on 12.16.12 at 6:57 pm

My lousy suggestions to help Linda:

Teaching English (even if its the Canadian variety!)abroad as a foreign language – looks good on the CV
Working abroad as a volunteer – Oxfam/VSO volunteer programme I believe cover all your expenses- again looks good on CV
How about starting up a cleaning business – our cleaner here in London makes a fortune.

#5 juno on 12.16.12 at 7:02 pm

Was at the mall this weekend and talked to my buddy which works at Metro Town. She says sales are down down down, and if you watch people in the mall, lots of people but hardly any of them carrying a lot of bags.

I believe this is a result of people having less cash and there may be a relationship a stagnant housing prices in vancouver. Since they probably maxed out on credit last year. The housing ATM probably ran out of cash due to a reduction of housing prices.

Boo Hoo too bad. And for global news to say Canadians are getting the message is nuts. Its probably they can’t more Crack-Debt to fuel their addictions

#6 Devore on 12.16.12 at 7:04 pm

More shoes dropping?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2012/12/14/pol-the-house-jim-flaherty-canada-pension-plan.html

#7 bill on 12.16.12 at 7:07 pm

At first , when I saw the pic ,I thought :the young dr strangelove.
reading further I was reminded how lucky most of us are.
I cant imagine what you have gone through Linda but as Garth states ,this is a good place to come to for support.
Great Idea Garth. Dogs are definitely good for therapy in all kinds of situations.

#8 JayBe on 12.16.12 at 7:09 pm

Remember that the road to serenity is paved with difficulties. Linda, it is absolutely inspiring that you have begun to recover from these grievous losses. You are absolutely displaying strength of character and fortitude by not only being aware of your situation but also sharing your story and asking for help. Stay strong Linda! It is a noble truth that Life contains Suffering but that is only true because Life contains so much Joy as well.

#9 PermaBear on 12.16.12 at 7:09 pm

Seahawks are toying with the Bills.
Ted Rogers might want to reconsider his potential investment.

#10 hiram abiff on 12.16.12 at 7:11 pm

You’re a good man Garth.
Linda, didn’t catch where you live, but if its T.O.
Look into the TTC, drive a bus for few months at 70K/yr
then transfer to the training dept 90-100k/yr. With a teaching degree you’d be a shoe in.
Good luck

#11 jess on 12.16.12 at 7:11 pm

Paramount Homeowners unite
vs. mass eviction
Victims of fraud insist that Detroit Pension Board
recognize their rights & negotiate
Gave passionate testimony at Board meeting Thursday, Nov. 29

Homeowners who’d been swindled in a scheme financed by the Detroit Police and Fire Pension Board got onto the Board’s agenda after they and their supporters crowded the last Pension Board meeting on November 15, getting excellent media coverage from both the Detroit News and the Metro Times.

The Pension Board had given a $10 million loan to crooks who profited from the foreclosure crisis — Paramount Land Holdings — in 2009. Paramount bought foreclosed homes for as little as $10 each, and then sold them “as is” at a huge mark-up to buyers who were told that Paramount had paid all back taxes. Homeowners learned otherwise when Wayne County began foreclosure proceedings for unpaid taxes of up to $15,000 per property.

After the homeowners had made down payments and monthly payments and fixed up their houses , they discovered that the land contracts they bought from Paramount didn’t have legal standing. Paramount went bankrupt the Pension Board sued to take over the homes, victimizing the homeowners once again. If they are evicted, the vacant homes will be stripped and taxpayers left with nothing.
..

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121119/METRO01/211190331

#12 TurnerNation on 12.16.12 at 7:12 pm

If Calgary’s is so hot? All hat, no cattle.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2012/12/14/calgary-charity-donations.html

Calgary charities struggle to raise seasonal donations

Toy shelves are partly empty at Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter
CBC News

Posted: Dec 14, 2012 8:28 AM MT

The Salvation Army in Calgary is also short on its Christmas donations.

It has set a target of $1 million and has about one third of that amount with nine days left in the kettle campaign

#13 Smoking Man on 12.16.12 at 7:15 pm

At leased you reached out Linda. My wife lost her folks 10 years a go. She still has not healed or has her family. I’m tasked with keeping it all together for everyone. Hence my escaping adventures.

Start a school. Void of marks or judging. I just learning. And having fun.

Let then learn where there interest lie. You will become hugly sussesful.

No over priced text books. Google has all the info.

#14 Hoof - Hearted on 12.16.12 at 7:18 pm

Linda:

All the best to you, you are truly an inspiration.

Keep in mind you are simply undergoing a trial by fire….and you will come out a much better and stronger person.

Those aren’t hollow words, I’ve seen these miracles happen.

#15 TurnerNation on 12.16.12 at 7:40 pm

Do something small that you enjoy, first. Of my two career-track jobs I found one by accident on a hunch (talked to the right person) and the other was approached online for a company I’d not previously heard of.

Having lost an immediate family member, while in my teens, due to an entirely preventable cause, I can tell you it gets a little bit easier but you will be dimished/scarred for life. Scaring heals strongly but serves as a constant and often unwanted reminder.

Think of a major physical trauma. Sure they’ll patch you back together but you’ll not be the same again. Then have no expectation of running a marathon, for example. Some people can. You cannot.

For mental trauma recovery you’ll have to pick your battles carefully. Some may never be won. Mental health follows physical health so take care of good eating, exercise.

#16 Grant on 12.16.12 at 7:43 pm

Thanks for sharing that Linda, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Thanks for helping our friends Garth.
Merry Christmas everyone.

#17 jon on 12.16.12 at 7:44 pm

Well said Garth. Everyone gets a shit hand dealt from time to time. Some worse than others, no need to drop your head when there is a lot to keep it up for.

#18 claudius emperor on 12.16.12 at 7:48 pm

#3 Luc: Write an eBook about your experience and sell it on Kindle Direct Publishing

don’t you need US credit card and address and also an IRA tax number for that?

#19 jess on 12.16.12 at 7:53 pm

i know a gal who walks children to school and picks them up …day is free for study . good money paid for safety and security.
————————–
US banks call for easing of Basel III
Lenders say they need additional $800bn in assets to comply
Insurers issue ‘too big to fail’ warning UK banks face threat of forced break-up
=================================
“Canadian banks are well positioned to meet the 2019 Basel common equity capital requirements at the beginning of 2013.” He added that the strong capital position of the nation’s lending institutions signifies their “prudence and resilience.”

The rules set forth by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision allow a period of six years for banks to adopt the rules, but Canada wanted to speed this process up stemming from the strong capital position of its lenders and the rewards for faster implementation.

This decision puts Canada far ahead of the U.S. and Europe, which have not determined their Basel III adoption date.
http://www.osfi-bsif.gc.ca/app/DocRepository/1/eng/media/CAR_nr_e.pdf

#20 espressobob on 12.16.12 at 7:55 pm

Hang in there Linda! Sorry about your loss, but I can’t help feel your mother left you with a great gift, a good case of the smarts.

#21 Consider Overseas Work on 12.16.12 at 7:57 pm

One asset that Linda has that Garth does not mention is her provincial teacher’s certificate and a few years of teaching experience. If Linda is strong enough emotionally, she should seriously consider teaching overseas. I am sure that she already considered this. A qualified teacher need not go on the sometimes brutal ESL teaching treadmill. There are scores of international schools, IB World Schools and legitimate state schools that will only hire overseas teachers if they are fully qualified. This will get in Smoking Man’s craw, but Canadian certified teachers do very well overseas.

This path still takes some research and due diligence. The days where some international schools pay large premiums for Canadian teachers has pretty much passed. However, it is very possible for Linda to secure a good, professional teaching job in a supportive school, with the promise of some adventure.

#22 Molson Ukrainian on 12.16.12 at 7:58 pm

Linda,

The skilled trades are a great way to earn some $$ I your willing to put on coveralls, work in Fort Mac, etc.
you wouldn’t be the first teacher to make the switch to the trades.
You didn’t mention whether you rent or own. If you have the freedom to travel, go teach English in Mexico, Vietnam, S. Korea, Taiwan, wherever!

Your still young, be free, experiment another career, travel, live your life. You only live once.

#23 not 1st on 12.16.12 at 8:01 pm

Man is our society ever FUBAR. Here is a woman with the skills to help educate our children and cannot get meaningful employment. All the while the pieces of garbage that play NHL for a living squabble over millions.

I have no respect for any athlete or persons of dubious fame who live like kings off our society while we struggle to maintain services like police and firefighters and teachers.

#24 Chris on 12.16.12 at 8:10 pm

I have heard that the new software program, Windows 8, is very difficult. One suggestion I have for you is to teach yourself this program. When you know it well, send your resume to The Continuing Education Dept. of your local school board and apply to teach Windows 8 to adults. This will only give you a few hours a week of work, but it is relevant to your field. Your background in teaching, and lesson planning, will be to your advantage.

#25 NFN_NLN on 12.16.12 at 8:42 pm

DELETED

#26 SE Asian Expat on 12.16.12 at 8:43 pm

#4 Alnoor Mithani on 12.16.12 at 6:57 pm

#21 Consider Overseas Work on 12.16.12 at 7:57 pm

Brilliant suggestions. I started teaching in IB World International schools years ago and luvit. Became a non-resident Canadian and have saved/invested over 600k usd in less than 10 years. Not paying capital gains tax and very little if any salary tax makes a BIG difference. I am mulling over returning to Canada for retirement, but for only 6 months of the year. I’ve caught a travel bug!

One caveat: The expat life appeals to adventurous people, but can exacerbate emotional/mental problems. Best to be in a healthy state of mind to cope with the different cultural contexts and world views.

Nevertheless, working as a teacher in foreign lands is rewarding on many levels. I just wish I’d started this lifestyle earlier in life.

#27 Scotty on 12.16.12 at 8:44 pm

Garth,
How about sharing the names of some of those low cost,dividend paying,sector ETF’s you’re so fond of? Maybe in a future post?

#28 Jordy on 12.16.12 at 8:45 pm

Linda,
Forget about going back to school, waste of time and money. You are already educated enough. Garth is on the right track, work for your self while you look for a job, better money and you can write off everything…rent phone hydro etc. Daycare is also good money and easy to set up, or get work in an existing daycare, get to work with kids, fits your training. All the best, you sound like a winner!

#29 Goody Niosi on 12.16.12 at 8:53 pm

Garth – I love how much heart you showed. You’re a good man. Great advice.

#30 TRT on 12.16.12 at 8:55 pm

Linda,

I got some advice for you.

1) For the rest of your life, put yourself first (your interests) in all situations.

2) Don’t be afraid to say no….to anyone.

3) If you do decide to take the teaching job, remember you don’t owe it anyone to stay there indefinitely. Leave if better opportunity presents itself (ie. teaching job in the valley that has lower shelter costs). Don’t be afraid to switch careers.

4) Don’t play the ‘sympathy card’. MOST People only care on the surface. Then it gets tiring for everyone hearing it.

5) Don’t dwell on the God/Faith thing…thinking why me? It happened and nothing will change it. Otherwise, you will become a trapped victim.

** Take this advice (i Know it isn’t that warm/nice). But, it is coming from a guy who lost Dad, Mom, Bro, Sis all within 60 days at a slightly younger age than you.

TRT

#31 Paully on 12.16.12 at 8:55 pm

As a professional dog walker in Toronto, you need a city licence to walk more than three dogs at a time on any public property, and you need a minimum of $1 million of liability insurance to get the licence. Neither are hugely expensive, but they are required if you are going out of doors with more than three dogs at once. If you leave your dog with an uninsured individual, you are taking a risk.

#32 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 12.16.12 at 9:00 pm

Linda, cant offer any better suggestions than have already been posted. You teaching degree should open doors, whether its in that field or not, interviews are part of the game of the job hunt. Enjoy them, each one prepares you for the next until you snag a job.

#33 Ravishing Rick on 12.16.12 at 9:05 pm

God bless you beard face! And may she bless Linda and her family!

#34 Dr. WAYNE on 12.16.12 at 9:06 pm

A post of true sincerity, on both sides, if there ever was one. Tis the season to give, and you gave , Mr. Mr. Turner. This weekend, in particular, given happenings in Newtown, reading script of optimism and compassion engenders at least some feelings of worth for the human race.

All those of similar mind should try and do the same. Simply help someone who needs a hand.

#35 espressobob on 12.16.12 at 9:17 pm

Thanks for the update GARTH! And GOOD LUCK TO lINDA INDEED!

#36 coastal on 12.16.12 at 9:22 pm

Great post Garth. It’s refreshing to see you highlight the fact that there are many people out there who experience unfortunate life circumstances such as Linda’s, along with others who have divorce, job loss or work injury and battle onward as best they can. So many posters, (especially on certain local blogs I have read) have such an anal attitude as they brag about how many houses they own, or how much money they have in their perfect little lives. Real life bites when you least expect it, and it’s great to see you help her out.

#37 espressobob on 12.16.12 at 9:29 pm

#34 doctor Wayne, Great post, So you are human? Happy Holidays!

#38 Trevor on 12.16.12 at 9:32 pm

Linda, if you want a great healing therapy google “eft” or YouTube for videos. A few mins a day has cured 1000′s of ppl with both emotional and physical pain.

#39 TurnerNation on 12.16.12 at 9:33 pm

You’ll find Bandit the Bunker Guard Dog’s offical photo, here, if you scroll down:

http://twitter.com/garthturner

And here he is moderating the blog:

http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3qn69k/

What a little trooper!

#40 Regan on 12.16.12 at 9:50 pm

There have been numerous helpful comments already, I’d just add a couple more ideas.
1. More education. You can get loans and grants and it has that ‘fresh start’ feel to it. Moreover, it’s excellent for resume amnesia – any good school puts you in placements and connections to go forward and your work gap is less relevant.
2. On a smaller scale than Garth’s suggestion, try cat or dog boarding (it’s when you take them into your home, not go to other people’s houses and care for them). One or two at a time is peaceful and doesn’t take a lot of space. It’s not a lot of money, but it will probably cover most of your rent. Put up an ad on craigslist and in your neighbourhood – people who travel have maxed out friends willing to care for their pets, especially ones that need medicine. $20/day to board each cat will cut your living costs quite a bit, and you get a fluffy guest to snuggle too.
3. I second (third?) the tutoring idea. Craiglist, a few posters and a website.
I develop websites, by the way. If you want me to put one together for you for either or any of these ideas, hit me up here and I can have you up and running in a day or two.

#41 Guy1 on 12.16.12 at 9:59 pm

Both thumbs firmly wayyy up, man!!! Great blog entry today!!! You Rock!!!!

#42 Old Man on 12.16.12 at 10:06 pm

#31 Paully – will tell what a risk is all about, as took a walk on a Sunday at 9:30 just south of Bloor on Bay, to take a cruise, and at the corner was this native indian with his bitbull dog. Ok was smoking a cigarette, and said no problem when he asked me for one, and his dog was watching my every move; then he said how about another for my dog – said no problem. This was one time in my life that I wanted to get out of there, as this bitbull looked nasty.

#43 VanDude on 12.16.12 at 10:13 pm

Linda:

Advice I can give on finding a job is to not talk about your loss. You will probably want to explain why you were not working for 3 years but if you do it may scare potential employers you are not ready to enter the work force. You need to practice interviews and be prepared for every potential question. Try to think of a better way to explain your situation without going into details of this tragic event. This will be the most important thing for you to be aware of when finding a job.

#44 Mr Buyer on 12.16.12 at 10:15 pm

Abraham Lincoln had a friend with one eye that was turned down for military service. Well the man asked his friend Mr Lincoln to get him into military service which Lincoln did. Sometime later the man was killed in action and Abraham Lincoln wrote to the daughter of his friend a condolence letter that is widely considered to be the greatest condolence letter of all time…
“It is with deep grief that I learn of the death of your kind and brave father…You cannot realize that you will ever feel better. Is this not so? And yet this is a mistake. You are sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will make your sorrow less miserable now. I have had experience enough to know what I say; you need only to believe it now.”

#45 ComicSans on 12.16.12 at 10:28 pm

TRT is correct; some of us have had every bloody calamity in life happen to us, and have been told you can find sympathy in the dictionary between sh!t & syphilis. I didn’t have the luxury of taking time off life, even tho I begged God for a nervous breakdown. That would have been so kind to endure. No. I had to stay alive, stone-cold sober, facing the obsticles. I had lives to support, I had to take any crap job I could find and keep going, whether I could or not. And you know what? I did it, even tho there were days I thought of the quick, easy way out. I couldn’t set that example for my children. So I had to suck it up, paste a smile on my face, while dying inside, and keep going. There was NO mercy. So when someone like Linda writes in looking for “Oh, poor you”, all I can say to her is, suck it up, too, princess. Your mother gave you all you need for a GREAT life. Look around you. There are others scrounging, far worse off than you. They have no choice, no money, no education. If you are looking for a whack of sympathy on a bloody blog, I gave you a hint on where to find it. I’m sure in the past few years you’ve used up whatever sympathy any other blog could afford you. Learn to SURVIVE in this cold, hard, cruel, oftentimes beautiful world. No one promised you life would be easy except perhaps your university…for a $$price$$.

#46 Mr Buyer on 12.16.12 at 10:32 pm

I will be 70 when my youngest son reaches the tender age of 23. I think I may have set the stage for a terribly difficult time for my young children at a young time in their lives they will be struggling with finding their place in the work force. As a father, in my mind it is my duty to raise my children such that they do not need me anymore as soon as possible. If my children were to feel a sense of relief and freedom with the loss of me the mean old man I would feel somewhat relieved as they would be stronger and more able rather than reduced and less able. The relationship between my children and their mother has a very different feel to it. They are bonded in a slightly different manner and my daughter and her mother even more so. My children deeply enjoy holding their mother tight at every turn. The loss of their mother would likely not bring with it any kind of relief for an extended period of time. The problem with loss is that to become good at enduring loss a person needs practice, very few get it right the first time and it brings with it the first time no understanding of it being a part of life with a beginning, middle and end. As a father I would say to my daughter “GET UP, GET UP my little girl and go on.” Her mother would likely say something infinitely more meaningful but with part of message being somewhat the same.

#47 Mr Buyer on 12.16.12 at 10:42 pm

In the face of devastation many things are reduced to being at best trite in meaning and nature. Love and work are really not in the same class whatsoever and it is almost impossible to raise largely mundane and empty things of daily life to a stature that comes close to love, especially when deep love is lost. Parents in general want their children to go on with the business of life. They have often been to the dark edge of loss and back and understand that while the not so meaningful things in life such as work and career still have utility and these mundane things have been put in their proper place which is subordinate to love.

#48 Don in the east kootneys on 12.16.12 at 10:55 pm

#45 ComicSans

You have a point but go to far…”begged God for a nervous breakdown?”

There is no such thing as easy. “Life is constant Test”

I say to Linda “God is every need supplying” and that realize now “You become what you think about”

This thinking will help give you a strong positive attitude in life and difficulties will dissolve.

#49 Country Girl on 12.16.12 at 10:57 pm

Linda,
Your education and work experience are valuable and relevant. Many women take career breaks of 3 or more years to raise children and then restart their careers. Choose what you want to do and connect with people in that field.

Some people have suggested working abroad. I wouldn’t recommend this if you and your family rely on each other for emotional support.

Before starting a business, make sure your heart is in it. It usually takes long hours to get off the ground and make it work.

In the short term, consider taking a part-time job tutoring or else maybe in retail or banking just to build your confidence and get some cash coming in, while you look for what you really want.

All the best to you.

#50 Barry Lainof on 12.16.12 at 11:00 pm

Wow !! Great job Mr. Turner.

Good luck Linda.

#51 Mr Buyer on 12.16.12 at 11:11 pm

When I was first going over how to get a handle upon loss I would use hamfisted mental engineering tactics such as perspectives like hey look at me fretting away in my apartment with hot water a grocery store down the street and a dentist around the corner while little souls are born and perish in parts of the world with little more than the horrible pangs of starvation for company during their short lives. This blunt instrument had great utility but did did not provide the courage required to try again after loss. I came to understand that loss is personal and meaningful to each and every person. Life kept marching on and bowling over my expectations and sense of safety and security until finally I was left with only one small little shred of hope to help me go on. I am now able to try again a little more readily now that I have come to the understanding that I will likely recover if everything goes pear shaped.

#52 Burnt Norton on 12.16.12 at 11:15 pm

Thanks for the heartfelt post Garth. You continue to provide a great public service providing free education where the school system falls flat. Maybe Linda could develop a financial planning course for her students?

On another note, looks like Obama is finally going to stand up to all the gun-humping rednecks.

At least there’s one country in North America whose leader can put common sense ahead of politics.

#53 JuliaS on 12.16.12 at 11:18 pm

#23 not 1st

I have no problem with NHL players – they only earn what the idiot viewers are happy to part with voluntarily. The sport worshipers get the idols they deserve and can afford.

I do however have a problem with self-entitled public sector workers – teachers, policemen and firefighters that leech off private sector taxpayers and grant themselves raises when everybody else gets a paycut. Their union leaders bankrupt cities and rob their own members while offering no actual job security.

NHL players will bankrupt only themselves and if they do – good riddance. Your precious public sector will bankrupt everyone and will then blame the private sector for not bending down low enough.

#54 Devore on 12.16.12 at 11:21 pm

#13 Smoking Man

Start a school. Void of marks or judging. I just learning. And having fun.

Education Act disagrees. Need an approved curriculum, instruction standards, and student and staff evaluation.

#55 Freedom First on 12.16.12 at 11:25 pm

Linda, I sincerely feel for you……I lost a sister when she was 22, and my Dad when he was only 51. Very close together, one cancer, and one a car accident also. Painful losses…..only time healed me. Today, they live on in my heart, that will never change. Linda, you are young, smart, and you care……I believe you will carry on and do beautifully.

Garth, thank you again for your blog. You are truly an inspiration for me.

#56 Johnny O on 12.16.12 at 11:31 pm

That’s an inspiring article. We’re all rooting for you Linda.

#57 Mr Buyer on 12.16.12 at 11:32 pm

To the teachers in Sandy Hook Connecticut that did not abandon their posts and carried out their duties. I salute you. I also apologize as my show of respect comes at the expense of young lives that were in your care and being the people you are, you likely find such a show of respect at such a horrible price more than a little repugnant.

#58 JuliaS on 12.16.12 at 11:36 pm

Linda, I would not recommend getting more education, unless it is a prerequisite for a guaranteed job. The reason there is a student loan bubble both sides of the border is because people are trying to wait the recession out, while borrowing enough money to pay the rent and buy food. When the time passes they discover that the new diploma is just as useless as the old one, the job prospects are more limited and the debts are greater. They’re no better than people refusing to put up houses for sale in a down market, hoping for a quick turnaround.

My advice – get a roommate and cut your bills in half. When you run out of money, the roommate may even serve as a life line for a month or two. Being indebted to a person is better than owning money to an institution.

Hit food banks now – not when you’re completely out of funds. No shame in that. Live as if you’ve already ran out of money.

Also, right now there is enough seasonal work to go around. Apply for retail jobs. They’re still available and requirements are minimal. Even if it brings in a month worth of rent – it’s still worth it.

#59 Devore on 12.16.12 at 11:43 pm

Ok, on a more serious note.

I recently learned from a couple of friends who do hiring that a multi-year employment gap is nearly always a show stopper. Take a couple of years off and travel the world? Maybe if you can take time off your current work and then return, but if you quit and then look for a new job, it’s tough. Apparently it’s not looked upon very favourably.

I’ve always wondered this, but don’t know anyone in the field, but why are there not more daycares? Ask anyone, they all have long waiting lists. And they’re not cheap. Is it an ordeal to get one opened? Are more just not allowed/licensed? Too much hassle to run one vs the money you can make?

#60 Elmer on 12.16.12 at 11:54 pm

Always remember if you need cash from a registered retirement account, keep the withdrawal to less than $5,000, and the amount held back for tax plunges to just 10%.

Eh? I thought you could withdraw up to the basic personal amount ($10,527) from your RRSP and pay no taxes on it, assuming you have no other income?

Withholding tax – financials are obligated to retain and remit this, regardless of income. — Garth

#61 ComicSans on 12.16.12 at 11:59 pm

Don in the east kootneys;
Glad that life has handed you a bouquet of roses, my friend. May you never need to pray for a nervous break-down and not receive your begged-for escape from shocking realities life may throw your way. Me-thinks you won’t be too far off, anyway.

#62 Smoking Man on 12.17.12 at 12:00 am

When punch out I’m going out, and I mean out, the day is getting close I can’t take dealing with other people’s problems anymore.

The head line reads exentric zilionare catches ride on helum balloon hoping to hitchhike a ride out of this universe with a passing ufo.

I will do it in newfound just in case I don’t get picked up, I would hate for my falling body to land on an ant and killing it.

And yes out of wine into the jack

#63 Telecon on 12.17.12 at 12:06 am

#53

The inventors and manufacturers of fire engines, smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, traffic lights, alarm systems etc. deserve just as much credit, if not more, for the public safety than firemen or police themselves.

#64 Chris on 12.17.12 at 12:12 am

Too much hassle to run one vs the money you can make?

Yes, pretty much – anyone with any sort of education behind them can make more money working a 9-5 than running a home daycare.

#65 Tiggertoo on 12.17.12 at 12:12 am

Hi Garth,
Great read.
If I have 3k to invest now, in the market – what list of ETFs should I chose from ?

#66 Andrew T on 12.17.12 at 12:13 am

Best of luck Linda !! I went through the death of both parents and depression. Your parents would want you to move on. Ontario will never have teaching jobs for you. Ontario offers nothing but increase taxes and no future for young people. Time to go west . Apply for the BC teaching job.

#67 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 12.17.12 at 12:24 am

-
Good post, esp. with the self-help info. It may lead to further ideas which, with planning and guidance, will lead to a contented life.

With the addition of applying for a teacher’s position (the addendum) in Victoria, it gives Linda another opportunity to improve her skills, along with yours and other’s recommendations.

#27 Scotty — Agreed. Garth, some info. on low cost ETFs would be much appreciated in the future. Thanks.
*
9:55 clip “Two mass shootings connected to LIBOR.” Further links in. TPTB will stop at nothing to bring gun control in. Has Obomba shed any crocodile tears for the children he has killed in Pakistan or Af’stan with drones? Plus James Holmes father (Colorado shootings) set to testify; Fuzzy Clip Russian TV about to blow financial tyranny in west wide open, and UBS and LIBOR Slap on the wrist; Royalty Prince Charles getting his hands soiled? Comet’s collapse costs UK taxpayers; Six Companiesthat rigged the game; A Libor Chart Easier to understand than the written form; Pensioon Reforms C is cutting again; Spotlight on Japan; Fiscal Cliff Breakthrough As Garth said; Gold and lots of it; Argentina Outta the IMF? Middle Class Meltdown and minimum wage; Gold and Cash Large shipments leaving Af’stan.
*
Dad’s Survival Guide Good info.; US backed free Syrian army “Such an action would bring Russia into the fray on Syria’s side militarily. If not, we are looking, potentially, at the start of World War III, and it will be coming at us faster than the speed of light.” wrh.com, Iran + Turkey, Iran to become ISP by year’s end and and China’s ‘net control is stronger; Japan In tandem with The Fourth Reich in Germany, the far right have won the election in Japan; 13:02 clip Don’t start WW3 with Iran; Vaccines Leaked doc.; John (Skull and Bones) Kerry to be nominated by Obomba as SoS? Enslavement by Water via wars; Billary How very convenient; 5:34 clip What is near the sun? Gaga – Jagger Only about seven decades between them; 30 mln. to 1 odds Triple dead heat.

#68 Daniel on 12.17.12 at 12:30 am

“I recently learned from a couple of friends who do hiring that a multi-year employment gap is nearly always a show stopper.”

Anyone making hiring decisions would make allowances for extraordinary tragedies, such as the one described, causing an employment gap.

#69 Realtors in an all out PANIC! on 12.17.12 at 12:37 am

You are a good man Garth. It seems you are always looking out for your fellow man and woman. Bravo garth

#70 Doesn't Matter on 12.17.12 at 12:47 am

Update: Shortly after this post was published tonight I received a note from the head of a private school in Vancouver, asking that Linda apply for a teaching position there. “We’re always on a lookout for level-headed teachers like Linda,” he said. Thank you.

Sweet! Sure hope that works out for her.
Merry Christmas.

#71 ComicSans on 12.17.12 at 12:48 am

Hey, Linda…go to the East Kootenays. Meet buddy “Don in the east kootneys”…maybe you can teach him capitalization and coherency…oh, maybe not. Go water your plants, Don.

#72 Mr Buyer on 12.17.12 at 12:48 am

3 years out of the work force or 30 years. It does not matter, just start swinging away at it and with a little luck you will catch a break. Fortune favors the bold and the prepared. It has been my experience that when I did not have a job it was somewhat harder to find a job. When I was working it seemed to be markedly easier to get a job. Working at a job, no matter what job, speaks volumes about the employ-ability of a potential worker. Do not forget volunteering as well, great for references and networking. If you are going to remain in teaching make sure you are up to date on all the jargon and you are reading a few teaching journals. Your in class experience gives you a leg up on new teachers for sure. Remember that something like 50% of teachers leave the profession within 5 years so there is always some sort of opportunity. Dish-washing for money, volunteering for additional experience and networking for a break. All the best, everything is going to be alright.

#73 Victoria Tea Party on 12.17.12 at 12:52 am

GOOD THINGS FOR GOOD PEOPLE

I wish you all the best Linda, as you emerge from your difficult times to soon encounter meaningful work as a school teacher once again.

Teachers, an often highly criticised group, are a lot more in focus since last Friday’s tragedy in Connecticut; endlessly sad to be sure, but which only serves to point out their undeniable value to the rest of us.

Teaching is an honourable calling, as opposed to a profession as far as I’m concerned, so an honourable young lady like you, will cast a wide net of positive influences and outlooks as the years go by.

Your youthfulness belies your life’s turbulent experiences to date; you possess strengths you may yet to be aware of, and which shall stand you in good stead once you have discovered those.

And that is a very good turn of events indeed.

Suggestion: Keep reading this blog, as it will inspire your from time to time! It’s anything but pathetic as St. Garth of Mountainous Thunder Bolts continuously attests!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, young lady.

#74 earlybird on 12.17.12 at 1:04 am

An wonderful old boss I had use to say “if you throw enough shit out there, somethings bound to stick” Healing can be found with a new challenge…it usually leads to something great that you may not think of now! Wish you all the best…and fantastic post as usual!

#75 jan on 12.17.12 at 1:51 am

I don’t cry very often when I read blogs but this time sir I weep!

#76 jan on 12.17.12 at 1:51 am

From happiness that is for that sweet yound lady.

#77 Soylent Green is People on 12.17.12 at 2:11 am

Merry Christmas to you too!

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Wondering why Stephen Harper’s words are so mild re the gun tragedy? Click this link to find out how NRA gun lobbyists have infected Parliament Hill: the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee, a panel recruited by Toews’ office is led by two firearms experts and dealers, and is thick with gun advocates.

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/1298808–canada-s-gun-lobby-is-pushing-for-looser-laws
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#78 meslippery on 12.17.12 at 2:20 am

Withholding tax – financials are obligated to retain and remit this, regardless of income. — Garth

I plan on un registering before Dec 31.
Should have withheld tax back in April or May.
Now it the time if you have to do it.

#79 Toking Man on 12.17.12 at 2:40 am

I just woke up and had a nightmare that Smoking Man is in my DNA lineage..sora like Darth Vader meets Luke Skywalker……and his concubine is _______ (Wait for the next episode ahahahahahah

#80 Tipler on 12.17.12 at 2:44 am

Linda great work, don’t give up and build on what you started. Tutoring is a great start, not only private but also lots of learning centers hire around Vancouver and Richmond for that. Great educators will always be in demand. Build your network and see it grow!!!

#81 Linda Pearson on 12.17.12 at 2:57 am

#45ComicSans on 12.16.12 at 10:28 pm

I didn’t get from her letter one word, not an iota, of what you describe as self-pity. Maybe you were reading her post from what was once your own perspective, and it does sound like you had more than a fair share of stuff to deal with. Good for you for getting on as well as you did. But don’t add insult to the injury this young woman has suffered.

#82 Mark on 12.17.12 at 3:09 am

“I recently learned from a couple of friends who do hiring that a multi-year employment gap is nearly always a show stopper.”

Plenty of industries are beset with a lot of people with big employment gaps. The employers know this. Its not uncommon for some professions, like engineering, to be in large cyclical downturns that can take many years to resolve. Teaching is the same deal. Don’t let a few ignorant “friends” who are chasing low-end labour types colour your view towards resume gaps and taking time off. Those who would hold it against you….probably aren’t worth working for anyways!

#83 Susan from London area on 12.17.12 at 3:27 am

I so would love to come up with an miraculouse answere creating a deep inner healing. Seeing younge people struggle in such ways just makes me want to hug you and say don’t worry everything will be alright, Truth is Linda it Will. Everything Will work out. You Will use this experience to become a better and stronger person. You Can draw your strength from knowing that there are many people who have gone before you, experienced similar trageties and life really Does go on. Then with your wonderful teaching skills you Will be able to take others in similar situations under your wing and show them the way. My life strategies are if it doesn’t Kill you it makes you Stronger, and Better not Bitter. You came here with a healthy attitude not asking for pity but some understanding and guidance. Garth The Man can so eloquently guide you as he has for those of us who have an ear to hear. His cunning witt makes us giggle even outright laugh, and today’s post reminds us there is compassion in them there bones. All this keeps us coming back again and again. I almost felt like the big guy said it all and nothing else needed to be added, but I had to share. OMG this is starting to feel like a family somewhat dysfunctional at times, but what really is normal?

#84 Molson Ukrainian on 12.17.12 at 3:47 am

“Keep coming here. We may be pathetic, but we care.”

Great post and even greater timing Garth.
Thank you for opening the doors of warmth and compassion from your followers of your blog.

You’re awesome

#85 Lexie on 12.17.12 at 3:48 am

#59 Devore
#64 Chris

In my experience in Calgary, commercial day care centers have a very high turnover rate in employees, if you can find them in the first place. This would probably scare off any new centers.

Private dayhomes (run out of your home) can easily cost $1000/month for full time care. (compared to some commercial centers at $1500/mo.) Take in 4-5 kids and it’s not so little of an income. Dayhomes can also be licensed so there are rules to follow.

Personally I’d rather look after dogs.

#86 Jane24 on 12.17.12 at 4:09 am

Lida

Get a very short and cheap second qualification ( 6 weeks usually) that allow you to teach English as a second language. The best one is franchised from Cambridge in England. Then you can travel the world, make great money, meet new friends and most of these jobs have free accommodation thrown in.

My son is in South Korea right now teaching in a private primary school with a great one bed flat in the city. His gig is up in may and then he has a three month contract in Australia and then already another on year contract in Japan.

Who cares about gaps on a resume, who were caring for your family and this happens in any life. One often goes in and out of teheworkforce.

#87 Jane24 on 12.17.12 at 4:10 am

Sorry about the typos above. I should have switched the light on!!

#88 Richard and Zeus on 12.17.12 at 4:14 am

“I do however have a problem with self-entitled public sector workers – teachers, policemen and firefighters that leech off private sector taxpayers and grant themselves raises when everybody else gets a paycut. Their union leaders bankrupt cities and rob their own members while offering no actual job security.”

While I agree no one in the Govt should be begging for money when everyone else is suffering….front line workers are important.

It’s the sleazey useless pencil pushers that go to meeting after meeting and never get anything done while they suck 114,000 in salary and benefits, pensions etc that are doing us all in.

There needs to be a for real tax revolt where a large amount of the public says NO. Until that happens….it’s only going to get worse.

#89 Bug on 12.17.12 at 4:28 am

W.D.G.T.

#90 live within your means on 12.17.12 at 5:49 am

Thank you Garth for offering such good advice. I was so pleased to read your ‘Update’. Good luck Linda.

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”

Harriet Beecher Stowe

#91 live within your means on 12.17.12 at 6:12 am

#34 Dr. WAYNE on 12.16.12 at 9:06 pm
A post of true sincerity, on both sides, if there ever was one. Tis the season to give, and you gave , Mr. Mr. Turner. This weekend, in particular, given happenings in Newtown, reading script of optimism and compassion engenders at least some feelings of worth for the human race.

All those of similar mind should try and do the same. Simply help someone who needs a hand.
……………………………….

My feelings as well.

#92 Buy? Curious? on 12.17.12 at 6:38 am

You’re like a metro-sexual Santa!

#93 The real Kip on 12.17.12 at 7:06 am

Hey, can Linda swing a crane in GTA? I just started another building downtown, condo, 5-floors underground and 40-floors up. Completion, spring 2014.

We are screaming for operators and anyone else in the building trades.

#94 James in Kitchener ya but on 12.17.12 at 7:06 am

Life is full of sad stories and hardship
Its great this one had a happy ending
I appreciated the update

Merry Christmas

#95 Gord Morrow on 12.17.12 at 8:15 am

Thank you Garth for sharing Linda’s story with us and for giving her such good advice.

Linda, thanks for sharing your story with us. Despite not having been able to work much in the past 3 years you have still are in a much better financial position than most people. You have no debt and still some savings (though significantly diminished). You have provided everyone with why it is so important to live with in your means and save money.

Linda, your money skills will serve you well as your progress through your next phase of life. I wish you all the best going forward. It seems that with the ideas and the help that has been offered through the readers of this blog, your life is about to take a big change for the positive.

Thanks again Linda and if I can help in any way (check out my services) let me know (NO charge).

#96 live within your means on 12.17.12 at 8:35 am

#85 Lexie on 12.17.12 at 3:48 am
#59 Devore
#64 Chris

In my experience in Calgary, commercial day care centers have a very high turnover rate in employees, if you can find them in the first place. This would probably scare off any new centers.
………………………
No wonder. Day care employees are way under paid for what they do, at least here in NS. A neighbour on our st. owns 1 or 2 day care centres. Another neighbour’s son pays $2,500./mo. for 2 children to attend Daycare. I know there are strict rules, insurance, etc. but I wonder who is really making the bucks.
……………………….

Daycare strike could affect 450 kids
‘I can’t live on the wages’

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/03/11/ns-daycare-strike.html?ref=rss

Am sure if I did further research I could find many other examples.
…….

#97 Neil Parsons on 12.17.12 at 8:57 am

It is always a good idea to cook your own meals.

#98 █ ♣ █ ANONYMOUS on 12.17.12 at 9:10 am

Go to school for another few years and get a professional accounting designation, maybe a CMA (Certified Management Accountant).

Then join a temporary staffing company such as ‘Account Temps’ and there you will get temporary accounting jobs that pay as much as $10.50 per hour. Its not much, but hey, its dog-eat-dog these days in accounting, with 6 unemployed accountants for every vacant accounting job vacancy, so even minimum wage seems like a gold-mine.

#99 detalumis on 12.17.12 at 9:25 am

I would suggest Linda get out of teaching and go join a police force, they would welcome a former teacher who knows how to deal with kids. She could work as a detective working with abused kids for example. If you are going to make a career chance you need to do it before you are 40 and widespread ageism sets in.

#100 TurnerNation on 12.17.12 at 9:31 am

Someting to keep in mind, after a decade of events which almost seem made-for-TV and consumption, what always follows is a spate of new, harsh laws rammed though governments. All, we are told, to keep us safe. But it never does. So, who gains?
The media is selling us on fast emotion. Keep in mind they are 7,000,000,000 of us here.
Allegedly 20 people “changed everything” back in 2001. Too easy, almost.
Trust your TV!

#101 This is it on 12.17.12 at 10:48 am

Linda,

Garth’s Update (head of a private school in Vancouver) is what the doctor ordered. You asked, things lined up, smile and take it. It is a bold move but just do it. Sure it may take you away from “home” but you will have money to fly back to visit. Once you get back on your feet in this new position, reconsider where you go from there.

Just do it Linda!

#102 ron on 12.17.12 at 11:07 am

I’m an HR Consultant and I help people with resumes on the side. I’d be happy to have a look.

#103 hangfire on 12.17.12 at 11:25 am

Never mind the expense of just paying tax and keeping a roof over your head…what about the skyrocketing cost of raising a child…..something now only the elite civil servants can accomplish with free daycare and 50% higher salaries with benefits.

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/12/15/the-skyrocketing-cost-of-raising-kids/

Talk about a nation of slaves…..what a choice…mortgage..abortion…of canada :(

gotta keep the status quo though right?

#104 Smoking Man on 12.17.12 at 11:41 am

All this holiday cheer,all the touching comments are starting to anoy me. But tis the season I guess.

How do I get out of xmas dinner with out pissing everyone off.

Perfect xmass know one around with some single mault wisky watching die hard, and leathol weapon re runs. Ah I can dream….

#105 Daisy Mae on 12.17.12 at 11:53 am

Linda: “Every morning we wake up with the same choice: What will my attitude be today? Ask yourself that without fail. Decide that no matter what the day brings, your attitude will include three elements: an awareness of how far you’ve come, gratitude for where you are, and determination to keep moving in the right direction.”
― Toni Sorenson

#106 Stoopid Idiot on 12.17.12 at 12:17 pm

Linda,
Sorry to hear of your loss but kudos to you girl for enduring the low’s of the last five years. Those low’s are not lost on us, Birthday’s, Holiday’s, Family get together that didn’t happen and the one that did only conjured up old memories for those not in attendance. The constant what if’s and how comes.. Bur most of all the void left unfilled as friends distance themselves because they don’t know how to provided the needed comfort with the simple desire to take away the pain. Yes Linda Kudos to you. Many a homeless shelters are filled with similar stories, the drugs and alcohol just happened on the way. I witnessed on the peripheral a similar story of five family members lost in a single vehicle incident that left two behind to pick up the pieces. They had to close a successful family business and apologies to the locale community for having to close their door for two years while they dealt with their grief and loss, I just couldn’t imagine. Linda stay in the fight, you are young and there is so much that lies before you that is good.

Garth,
Thanks for this post, If even half of what you predict and what I believe is to come to pass It would not be hard to imagine the pain and suffering that will happen at the Family level, I would like to remind us all here before we hit “Post” of this fact. If Linda decides to take the offer It would be my pleasure to help toward the relocation cost’s I have sent you an email.

Dr Wayne,
I knew there was a person in there …. FFFffffiiiiirrrst

#107 bill on 12.17.12 at 12:29 pm

trt and comicsans are getting coal in their stockings…
I am surprised you didnt recommend the workhouses.

#108 Sebee on 12.17.12 at 12:34 pm

From the masters of delaying information, a news flash!

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/crea-cuts-home-sales-forecast-after-november-decline/article6467312/

Add this to their HPI index which delays actual picture of the market by 6-12 months if not more.

In another forecast from CREA, a prediction that soon we will no longer use modems to access the internet.

#109 Ronaldo on 12.17.12 at 12:50 pm

Great post Garth. You never cease to amaze. Wishing all the very best to Linda in her future endeavours. I know she will do very well going forward. She has what it takes.

For individuals interested in preferred issues, here is a site that I find useful. Click on the PrefLetterNews on the left and go from there.

http://www.prefletter.com/index.php

#110 Sebee on 12.17.12 at 1:02 pm

Forgive me for remembering, but wasn’t August one of the worst months on record? And were we not asking questions about why this fact was reported by no one in the MSM? I guess we just got our answer. CREA wanted to keep that tidbit reserved, so that when they compared current sales back to August, we wouldn’t automatically have the association of August being one of the worst moths on record.

>
OTTAWA, Ont. — Canadian home sales suffered their second straight monthly decline in November and were back where they stood in August, according to the latest figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association.

#111 Doug in London on 12.17.12 at 1:06 pm

Wow, even this sad blog with plenty of social deviants, has helped Linda with networking to find a job. Don’t delay, Linda, get that job application filled out today if you haven’t done so already!

#112 Sebee on 12.17.12 at 1:15 pm

0.8% drop in prices, is that the HPI? If so, that probably means more like 8% drop. And of course that’s on top of the fact that we are talking about the asking prices being updated lower in the MLS system, thus we don’t see the initial dream price sellers had in mind before they accepted the offer – which is what this price drop number is based on, right?

I’m seeing many houses in GTA where $50-100K has been shaved off asking. And that’s in Smoking Man’s W6 dream zone.

#113 94 on 12.17.12 at 1:15 pm

Hi Linda,

I can relate, I lost my father and brother tragically a year ago. I understand the struggles of dealing with life as your going threw the emotional swings. My position gave me the option to go back to school for finance and I’ll be graduating in April. Just this past summer I was able to get back to work, I’m in customer service and didn’t feel so “people-y” for a while.

As for your situation, there are some great ideas on here. I like the TTC option, my aunt just took a job with them, they have a new head and are looking to change for the better. That is if your into getting a J-O-B.

I like the personal business options better. Dog walking, snow shoveling, kid picking up from school, but that’s just me.

What ever you chose Linda, you have been given a gift in all this. That is a second chance at finding your true calling (not trying to sound to airy-fairy). Most people don’t get that, or realize they can do that.

In times of questions I tend to turn to books for answers. “Mastery” by Robert Greene is a fantastic read for someone with time and choice.

All the best Linda

#114 dontcallmeshirley on 12.17.12 at 1:36 pm

@ #59 Devore,

Toronto’s licensed daycares have staff to child ratios

(http://www.toronto.ca/children/pdf/guide.pdf)

If these ratios are followed, daycare might not be as profitable as you think it is given operating costs.

#115 TRT on 12.17.12 at 2:12 pm

Time to get back to RE.

CREA expects sales to go down 2% next year. Hahahaha…don’t even know how to respond to that. Dumbfounded and confused.

The need a new PR Propaganda dept. At least make it believable.

#116 Smoking Man on 12.17.12 at 2:33 pm

#112 Sebee.

Hope you are right, dying to get a tear down on the lake and build a beautiful home.

Right now don’t see any soft prices. Just seasonal, and Dec is the best time to buy, spring is the worced.

If God for once allowed me to be wrong, have a massive crash in w6 I would be gangnum dance happy.

God luck with that. I piss him off to much to cooprrate

#117 Gary on 12.17.12 at 2:50 pm

Great post Garth and good luck to you Linda!

#118 Mixed Bag on 12.17.12 at 2:56 pm

I disagree with the comment to not mention the personal tragedy – how else should Linda explain the employment gap? Lie? No. Answer honestly, and succinctly, and move to the next topic at hand. You will appreciate not having to dwell on it during the interview, and the interviewer will appreciate your honesty and the professional manner in which you compose yourself and provide an honest answer, without also dwelling on the tragedy. Your strength for having endured should be apparent. Any interviewer that doesn’t see this, frankly, is not likely someone you wish to work with in the first place.

But that’s just my opinion. You may wish to be more circumspect, depending on what you are willing to share, and that is perfectly fine too.

#119 dontcallmeshirley on 12.17.12 at 3:00 pm

@ #59 Devore,

Here’s how much space you need to have for a daycare (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/orientation-package-en.pdf).

It’s not small: 30 sq ft per child of indoor, unobstructed play space and 60 sq ft per child of outdoor play space.

So, sure the unlicensed places operating in basements can earn, but it’s not as straight forward for licensed daycares.

#120 Hogtown indebted on 12.17.12 at 3:15 pm

#114 dontcallmeshirley

Licensed daycare is an option, but we found it a very tedious one for a business to set up; you may need sprinklers, inspections etc…. There are childcare agencies that will ‘oversee’ you getting a license, but then take a huge cut of your income each month. Pure exploitation, that.

For our first kid who needed care we explored many of those licensed places and were disappointed with the quality of the staff, the long waitlists and the costs (about $1800 monthly for an infant if you cannot get a subsidy, and if you are reading this board you probably don’t qualify)

When you hear some horror story in the news about kids being treated badly at a daycare, it is usually at one of the licensed ones. I think it’s because the staff are just employees, not owners, and have little incentive for excellence. Go figure. More and more of these are big corporate machines nowadays.

So we considered all options, and set up our daycare. My wife’s a qualified teacher. We checked the demographics, rented a house in a good part of Toronto and worked the plan. Paid safety consultants a few grand to retrofit the house and grounds. Gates, latches, you name it. Smoke/Carbon/Gas detectors everywhere.

Took about a year to get going at full capacity, but we have had steady clients for four years now. Gross income almost $6000 monthly, from which you can deduct a huge chunk for use of home and expenses. And get free care for your own children. The Ontario Day Nurseries Act only limits home daycares (these are completely legal, but not licensed ones- no need for it really) to five children, plus however many you have on your own.

It’s a good business model for home, and can be higher quality care than you will get in an institutional daycare due to the low overall number and the investment of the caregiver, better food etc… The key point we learned is location, location, location. There are lots of women on Craigslist exploiting themselves in the burbs to take care of your kid for $25 daily. That’s ridiculous. You’ve go to locate your home daycare where educated middle class parents with two incomes are located. Forget the 905, for that matter.

Of course it’s noisy before naptime – some days we wonder if we shouldn’t have done dogsitting instead. Glad I got myself an office job!

#121 GregW, Oakville on 12.17.12 at 3:23 pm

Hi Garth, re: Update
It’s always nice to here some good sounding news on a Monday.

Linda, All the best on the job interview!

#122 Puzzled Redneck on 12.17.12 at 3:49 pm

Garth, I have studied your book and believe I understand the broad outlines of investing. I would like to follow a strategy like that which you suggest for Linda. The devil is in the details, though and I need help with choosing the ETFs (or alternatively, if you’re too busy, a local fee-based broker that you could recommend).

A few times on this blog you’ve suggested that people email you, but you don’t respond to mine. Did they get spam filtered? Are you overbooked?

Neither. I do not recommend specific assets to people I do not know. One size does not fit all. — Garth

#123 jess on 12.17.12 at 4:01 pm

rising

http://www.amazon.ca/Reverence-Renewing-Forgotten-Paul-Woodruff/dp/0195157958

#124 Old Man on 12.17.12 at 4:58 pm

Linda had a friend who closed down his business operation, but held his ticket, as one time was a highschool teacher. So he registered with several school boards, and had lots of part-time employment. This should pay good today, as back in the early 1980′s was earning $140 a day, and as luck would have it was offered a permanent position with one school board. I believe this is the road you might consider.

#125 Saskatoon escapee on 12.17.12 at 5:12 pm

Linda,
Loss doesn’t get better but it does get…different. I suddenly lost my Dad at 17 to congestive heart failure. Looking back you realize even your vocabulary changes when you no longer say their name. 3 years ago my Mom was diagnosed with cancer and she made the decision not to go through the chemo process again. At 82 it then became quality of life. I bit my tongue to respect her choice and stepped in to take over her care. I chose to care for her at home until just days before she passed when I could no longer balance the narcotics for her pain. She passed 3 days before Christmas. It is in no way as traumatic as your loss, yours I cannot even begin to comprehend. But the moving on and the gap in my work history is similar though not identical. I went to university for 2 years after she passed because I witnessed her regrets and I always wanted to try, to know if I was even smart enough to do it. Starting an undergrad at 40 is disconcerting to say the least. I started to look for work this spring and it does seem that employers are sketchy about the gap. The rejection was oh so hard at first. When you have been raw for so long it is horrifying to think about adding on to it. But now when I see the signs that I didn’t make the cut. I smile, shake their hand and ask for feedback if their time permits. I leave with a bounce in my step and a wave for the receptionist. At home, I ask my husband about his day and text my grown children to see if all is well. So what if right now we’re broke, I’ll fix that eventually too. Now I wake up every morning knowing that life is good. Ups, downs and everything in between. Seriously consider that job Linda, what a delicious adventure no matter the outcome. And isn’t that what life is all about?

Thank you Linda (and you too Mr.Turner) for sharing your story. Merry Christmas to all!

#126 Old Man on 12.17.12 at 5:26 pm

Now Linda just one more point, as this all took place in Toronto, whereby, my friend went back to teaching at highschool during the 1980′s. Al graduated from UofT during the 1960′s with an undergraduate business degree, and did the one year teacher degree. Not too sure how long he was teaching highschool.

I was at his home in Richmond Hill one evening, and said what is up with the teaching gig. He laughed as said look at this, and have no idea how this would work out today, but he needed 3 more years for a pension; it would not pay much just $8000 a year to qualify for it, but money is money.

This is an item that you might want to look into, as might be worth fighting for.

#127 Mad Scientist on 12.17.12 at 5:57 pm

Linda’s post just goes to show that life in a materialist world gets you nothing. A rich man is one who has many friends and family who love him back in return.

I used to believe that money will bring me happiness – it took many years to realize that it begins within yourself. I have become very wealthy and happy only after I realized that nothing on the outside meant anything – sadly I let a few years pass while I waited for something to happen – “it never did”

Linda – a truly inspiring story that you shared with us – when we take things for granted or bitch about the guy in front of you cutting you off in traffic – remember that life is way to short to worry about outside factors that you have no control of anyways..

Great Job Mr. G

#128 Dividend Yield Investor on 12.17.12 at 6:33 pm

#85 AK on 12.15.12 at 2:57 pm
The US will not slip back into recession next year.
Enough said.

Sorry Ak the U.S. is already IN recession!

Dividend Man
Atlanta GA

Maybe Atlanta. Not America. — Garth

We will find out soon enough (3 to 6 months tops) who is right or wrong. As an old guy I will not hold against you your youth and inexperience regarding this debate!

Best Wishes and God Speed during these holidays!
Dividend Man
Atlanta GA

#129 spaceman on 12.17.12 at 6:39 pm

Teaching is in demand, but large centers are where everyone wants to work. In my Province, they can never keep teachers in out lying areas, but they are required as that is where the population is. Costs are a lot cheaper in these small communitys as well, at least rent is.

Join a church, they offer a great deal of emotional support, if you find a good one. Programs are for the most part free, you may even want to to some missionairy work, or like some suggest, teach overseas.

You have your life and your health, count your blessings. Your loved ones are in the hand of god now, and are being taken care off. What you are experiencing is what is called survior guilt, the “why not me” experience ? Keep going to group therapy or get involved with caring people, I know, they are hard to find, but keep looking.

#130 dude on 12.17.12 at 8:15 pm

DELETED

#131 Hoof Hearted on 12.17.12 at 8:26 pm

Doing business…aka Daycare

All you should keep happy are the CRA and private insurance…..anything beyond that is mindless Local Gov’t bureaucracy aka useless fiscal tumour…

#132 stage1dave on 12.17.12 at 8:31 pm

Wow…my faith in humanity has been restored, once again. (of course, it will once again be demolished as soon as the next tragedy gets broadcast on TV)

I have no experience with loss on Linda’s level so I’ll refrain from commenting. What losses I have suffered, however; & the resulting depressionary episodes that evolved from them taught me a couple things…

Firstly; don’t try to deal with it in your living room by yourself…get out & have coffee, go for a walk, a drive…anything! Get out among people!

(When I realized that withdrawing within my humble abode was causing thought patterns to arise that would’ve given Alfred Hitchcock a moment of pause, I decided I should probably be out oogling waitresses)

Secondly, as a cheap therapy I used to jump into the truck & check out the desolate areas of whatever town I was currently inhabiting…one glimpse of someone in a wheelchair bumming smokes outside a homeless shelter, the lineup at a food bank, or seeing someone who had truly given up was usually enuff to snap me back to looking at things somewhat positively.

(Or, at least, it would snap me back to a mental level where I would no longer be contemplating my prominent feature in tomorrows’ newspaper headlines & local TV broadcasts; or a much more minor role within their respective obituary announcements)

What I learned thru all this was: I have no control over many situations that life throws at me, but I do get to control how I respond to them.

Pretty much all of my relatives & family are gone, but there are many times I encounter a circumstance where I’ve asked myself “what would they have wanted me to do?” or “what would they have done?” That’s my way of keeping them alive.

And I guess that’s positive therapy too.

There’s been some great coping & employment suggestions on these boards tonite…hopefully, some will (or would) work for you.

(I’ve refrained from commenting on the employment strategies as well, because my work involves beating up on old cars, & my experience is that this really makes a poor home-based business…in addition to pissing off the neighbors, bylaw officers, & anyone with a sense of smell…or hearing)

Best of luck, Linda!

#133 Bottoms_Up on 12.17.12 at 8:39 pm

Linda, you could always go teach overseas too (i.e., South Korea). They pay well and it’s a great chance to bank money and see a different part of the world.

#134 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 12.17.12 at 8:43 pm

-
#100 TurnerNation — “. . . after a decade of events which almost seem made-for-TV and consumption, what always follows is a spate of new, harsh laws rammed though governments. So, who gains? Allegedly 20 people “changed everything” back in 2001. Too easy, almost.

Guess if sheeple still believe in that flimsy nonsense about 20 people, that is their right (to keep the blinkers on their eyes) — 28:10 clip US govt. allowed 9-11.

Better to know the NWO’s credo: “Out of chaos, order”, such as here. Fear, panic and chaos is how they thrive, and most of us just accept it, because we’ve become too dumbed down to think critically for ourselves.
*
Jamie Dimon’s true hypocrisy exposed (not the cartoon, the story with plenty of links); The Fiscal Cliff is a diversion; 3:20 clip Further to the LIBOR chart from last night’s #67 post, this; Israel Children resorting to begging or leaving school; Geithner replacing Bernanke? Smart money says so; Spain Have job but no pay. That’s right to work stuff; Growing Inequality Social and financial; 1:36 clip Central heating is a luxury in Greece, and 50:36 doc. Rothschilds and GS destroying Greece.
*
Prodding the Bear US boat; Ukraine Cold spell kills 18; 1:26 clip Newton, Conn. Not even allowed to question the authorities? SSRI-Induced Suicide and violence; Fairytales and bedtime stories Euro. feminists; US Disposable People or depop.; Close Encounters of the Rock Kind Chinese probe shoots some nice pix.

#135 Macrath on 12.17.12 at 8:57 pm

Garth your insight into the future is uncanny. Education will have less to do with school buildings and become more of an internet/tutoring endeavor as the technology evolves. Just like online shopping is challenging retail stores.

#136 Devore on 12.17.12 at 9:07 pm

#120 Hogtown indebted

This is sad, but not unexpected to hear. On the one hand, I understand the requirements, on the other, the whole thing smacks of “for the children” and CYA liability. In my opinion, _some_ daycare is better than _no_ daycare, so the losers here are families and entrepreneurs. The pursuit of “better” or “perfect” is ignoring “good enough”.

It looks like the home daycare is the sweet spot, especially if you have kids of your own.

#137 Old Man on 12.17.12 at 9:18 pm

I am getting tapped out for cash, as the month of December is a nightmare with me to pay my bills, so decided that MBT will be a sell, as need some cash without going on margin; oh woe is upon us all, as need some green to just get over this all, and once again will hoop the Tax Man with a few tricks, as he will be surprised when I file in a few months, as there will be nothing for them.

#138 Kingarthur on 12.17.12 at 11:12 pm

Garth: Here is a listing (half a duplex) in Toronto, south of Eglington which sold $150k over asking after a bidding war THIS WEEK!
http://www.suttonrealty.com/Listing/ViewListingDetails.aspx?ListingID=70648784&Bb=ST&Cc=70648784

Real estate is more complicated than I realized.

Sold to a builder. — Garth

#139 raider on 12.18.12 at 3:14 am

I love this blog. Thanks Garth, you’re awesome!

#140 JL on 12.18.12 at 3:21 am

Merry Christmas Garth beautiful and excellent advice and words of encouragement! Thank you for being you
JL

#141 Sandatola on 12.18.12 at 11:59 am

While I always appreciate the talented way Garth can pillory the greedy and misinformed real estate pumpers, it is refreshing to see a post like this one every so often.

I don’t post a lot here, but this one was pure class- and more than that, good advice. Thanks Garth!

#142 Houman on 12.18.12 at 4:00 pm

Great post Garth, we need more people like you in this world.

#143 espressobob on 12.18.12 at 7:28 pm

#62 Smoking Man,

It seems you have your moments dude. There is a madness to your method. You need help.

http://al-anon.alateen.on.ca/

Go for it.

Deal with it!