The scary middle

It’s a drag being a disintegrating wrinklie. And moisterdom is no picnic. But hitting 40? Terror. No longer young. On the path to being old. Expected to be adult – mired in career, house, marriage, family, mortgages, prenups, pension plans, tat removal, dental crowns, daycare, glasses, budgets, a minivan. Ayee!

You can be young, poor and still cool. You can be old, impoverished yet mercifully pitied, supported. But at forty life’s just one massive ball of expectations. Besides you may sag a little. Lose some hair. Dread a class reunion. Middle age. How the hell did that happen?

Fortunately, GreaterFool is here to help. Send in the first victim…

Hey, Garth! I followed your advice: sold my YVR condo 2 years ago, started renting, paid off all debt and stuffed the remaining $20k into RRSPs. I know that’s pretty paltry savings for a 37-year old, but clearly I had my head in the sand for a long time, and in my defence, I never had parental handouts or any education in the realm of finance. [Do I get a Participation Award, at least?]

Fast-forward to today, and I have a 1-year old baby and a husband, and I’m going back to work. Together, we net $10,500/month. Our fixed costs are daycare ($1,000/month), car expenses for two commuters, and the usual grocery and utility bills. Our savings stuck at $20k, thanks to me being off work for a year and vet bills for an old, sick French bulldog, who has now passed. European cars and dogs — fun to own, expensive to fix.

So here’s my question: given that my husband and I are pushing 40 and have basically nothing saved, how much do we need to sock away a month to ensure we’re not living in a tent city on Hastings when we retire? How much do we have to sacrifice now? $2,500/mo will get us an okay rental in an okay part of town; $3,000 will rent us the condo of our dreams. Do we raise our child on KD or buy the organic vegetables? Do we vacation at the local spray park or book that all-inclusive in Ixtapa?

Here’s my biggest fear: we scrimp and save every penny now, living just to work, but one or both of us kick the bucket before we are able to enjoy our lives. How do we come up with that magic number that allows us to have some fun now, while ensuring we have enough saved for the future? Is there a general rule of thumb? Or are we just screwed, no matter what?

Sincerely: “Late to the Investment Party”

Dear Late. Yes, you’re nicely pooched. You and your squeeze are netting almost $130,000 a year, which means the gross household income is approaching $200,000. And yet you save nothing. You have no real estate to feed. No investments. No equity in anything. Only one kid to farm out. And for this abject failure you blame the poor, deceased dog. Shameful. The Ghost of Frenchies Past will be coming to visit you at midnight.

Everything should have changed, L, when you decided to have a family. If you’re going to create another life, there’s a responsibility to look after it. Now you’ll be lucky to survive anything – job loss, sickness, marriage breakdown. To think you’re immune is arrogant and wrong. You need a plan, a budget, routine savings, an investment strategy and discipline to salt money away for the kid plus the long years ahead.

Your biggest fear is not enjoying yourself enough before one of you croaks four decades from now? That sounds like the mother of all excuses to be a hedonistic, self-centred wombat. Come back when you’re 67, unemployable, and tell us how that worked out. So, start an RESP for the kid and take advantage of the 20% government grant. Fill up your two TFSAs as soon as possible by putting aside 20% of take-home pay. That still leaves you $8,500 a month – twice the income of the average family. I know it’s a lot to ask, but cut down on the pedicures, the vacation every four months, the clothes. And what’s wrong with KD?

The goal at age 65 should be two million. You now have twenty thousand. And a bad attitude. By the way, good luck tonight.

More female forty-something angst. This time it’s his fault.

I know I’m supposed to suck up to you first but I wouldn’t be writing if I didn’t read your blog and think that you had all the answers so, I’m not really going to. Oh, except for saying I really love the pictures you put on the blog. They are hilarious.

My question is sort of two-fold… My husband is worried we won’t be able to retire early. As a result, he’s wanting to purchase some land now, somewhere where will want to retire, becasue he thinks if we wait it’ll be too expensive. (we want to stay in in Ontario)

I am 38 and he is turning 43, no kids and a dog (of course). We have a really great relationship with money and typically agree on how to save, invest, and spend it. Except on this. My thinking is that we don’t know where we’ll want to be in 10-20 years, or where his job will take him, so why waste money now on property we won’t really be using.

We have NO debt, $350,000 in rrsps, tfsa (not with any bank), and a work DC plan. We sold our home in 2013, right before the BIG boom but still did well on it. After that we moved into a van for fun for 9 months and then ended up in toronto for a amazing opportunity for my husband.

We are not house hungry, we love renting and pay $1,900 for a 1-bedroom in a really hip area of town so that we can both walk to work and everywhere else. The idea of commuting is a no-no. We both work full time, together we earn over $100,000 after taxes. My husband works in an industry that is DYING for people and he’s amazing at it so I can just imagine his opportunities continuing to flourish.

Our current MUST PAY expenses are around $4,000/month (rent, storage, phone, internet, life and home insurance, Presto/occasional car rental, and utilities). We have a $15,000 emergency fund (we both hate banks so your recommendation for an LOC was a vetoed) and save about $20,000 a year to put towards investments. Typically we push a bunch into RRSPs and then use the refund to put into our TFSAs. (note: we’ve only really started doing this once we lived in an apartment. Before, we put all our extra money into paying off our mortgage, which I realize NOW was stupid).

We’re not lavish people when it comes to material things but we do enjoy going out and pamerping ourselves (dinners, theatre, sailing, yoga, trips to the spa, etc.) and I will admit, that we could definitely save more money if we cut back on those things. Is there anything else I can share that’s helpful before you crush me with your wisdom? Feel free to use this on your blog. – Z.

Lots good here, Z. The net worth is okay, nice and liquid and fully invested. Good you’re renting in hipster city instead of owning. Overhead is reasonable, no debt, stable relationship (anyone living in a van for nine months passes the test), personal discipline – and you aren’t guilting the dog.

But get the boy to drop the hippie-lumberjack-land thing. Bad idea for so many reasons.

This may seem vaguely romantic, until you’ve actually done it (I have). For people used to dwelling in a hip urban space, who eschew cars and indulge in yoga and theatre, why do you want a life of hardship, pellet stoves, earwigs, people who wear baseball caps backwards in pickup trucks, ticks, septics and a bad Internet connection? Now imagine putting up with it all when you’re old. Yuck.

Second, it costs a pile to build, rather than buy a resale place. Raw land needs to be serviced – major money just to get electric poles in place, let alone dig the septic bed and drill a well. Construction costs are absurd (go price a 2-by-four), and the spending never stops on things you get for free with a resale (like decking, towel bars, curtains, landscaping, a garage or paving).

Third, timing. You’re right. How can you possibly know now what you’ll desire in two decades? Where you’ll be? What you can afford? FOMO has proven to be the wrong reason to buy anything – especially true when it comes to something (empty land) most people don’t want. Better idea: get him a camo jacket, a subscription to Field & Stream, hip waders and a dog whistle. He can always use it on Queen St. East.

124 comments ↓

#1 Stan Brooks on 08.20.18 at 5:06 pm

Dear Late,

Leave you hubby behind for 5-6 years and take a loan to purchase an organic farm/150 k Euro in southern Europe. Spain, maybe Greece, even Italy. it is cheap these days. Maybe Turkey.

In 5-6 years you will have the farm paid out + 300 k aside.

You will never regret it, you will be reducing 10 fold the likelihood of getting a cancer or diabetes.
+ you will enjoying much better weather and faaaaaaaaaaaaar better food.

Think about it, 2 millions, is that doable at all?
How about the kid, are going to leave him/her/zer here?

Think about it. With a kid you have responsibilities.

#2 dakkie on 08.20.18 at 5:08 pm

New report from Zillow says housing market is softening. Listing prices are getting cut.

http://www.investmentwatchblog.com/new-report-from-zillow-says-housing-market-is-softening-listing-prices-are-getting-cut/

#3 Stan Brooks on 08.20.18 at 5:15 pm

Z.

I hate to bring it to you but you will never ever retire.

Retire on what?
CPP is increased by 1.1 % annually with inflation 8 % +/
Living on 4 k a month today?

When you retire you will need the same amount in current purchasing power, probably around 16-20 k a month, considering real inflation.

The question you have to ask yourself is: what is the likelihood of having 2 mil in current purchasing power, 8 mil in future money/20 years from now?

My answer: It is not zero, it is negative.
You will run like a hamster in a cage, working your butt off if your are stupid enough to believe that things will work out somehow.

The earlier you understated that you stand no chance, the better.

The faster you run the farther you will be from your goal.

Spend it all and when old, raise a tent on Poloz’s or T2 or wild bill’s backyard.

#4 Zapstrap on 08.20.18 at 5:18 pm

Get the lumberjack guy a game cam too … they can be used for all sorts of sordid stuff …

#5 Wallflower on 08.20.18 at 5:26 pm

I hereby submit an edit for the first response comments:

Come back when you’re 67, unemployable, and tell us how that worked out.

Come back when you’re 52, unemployable, and tell us how that worked out.

#6 Oakville Stinks on 08.20.18 at 5:29 pm

My advice – Save a little and have fun a lot!

Money for tomorrow is no good if you’re on medication, can’t walk, health issues etc. due to your stressful job the last 30 or 40 years that was pointless. Like most people you’ll find out you’ve wasted your life away and your life was nothing but a Capitalist Slave!

..but save just a little.

#7 Smartalox on 08.20.18 at 5:31 pm

For the first case: my wife and I were about where you are, 5 years ago.

First thing that you need is a budget. Figure out your fixed costs, determine all your variable costs (you’ll find after a while that they’re not that variable after all). Budget for the vacations that you want, too.

Whatever’s left, after all that, goes into your savings. Whatever is more than the $225/mo. into the RESP (approx.) and $500/mo. into each of your TFSAs, ($1225/mo. total) should go into your RRSPs.

If you can keep to your budget, and know how exactly how much you’ll be contributing to your RRSPs every month, fill out a T1213 form for each of you, and add up all the money you’ll invest in RRSPs over the year, and all the money that the lower-earning spouse will spend on child care, and send it to Revenue Canada.

RRSP contributions (beyond what you make through work) and Child care get you fat tax deductions. Instead of getting a return (and spending it) once a year, the T1213 gets you a letter from CRA that tells your pay person to deduct less tax from your each and every paycheque.

You have to make the contributions – or else you’ll get a bog tax bill – but doing this will help improve your cash flow.

Also, if you’re in BC, be sure to apply for the $1200 RESP grant in the year your kid turns 6. Free money!

#8 jess on 08.20.18 at 5:33 pm

WATCH: Vancouver’s rental woes so bad people have taken to renting out bedrooms in one Marpole home. Jennifer Palma has more on what pushed the city to launch an investigation.
A A

Would you pay $1,000 a month for a room in a house with 20 other tenants?

How about to sleep in a tent in the backyard?

In yet another sign of just how tight Vancouver’s rental market is, that situation is exactly what one renter says she’s putting up with, and she says she’s at her wit’s end.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4395692/vancouver-nightmare-rental/

#9 Smartalox on 08.20.18 at 5:37 pm

For the second case:

Garth is right. You don’t need to carve your own retirement space from the cold hard ground. Hipsters think that steampunk is cool and romantic, but as far as I know, nobody is doing the ‘SodBuster’ thing yet.

Maybe you’ll be the first.

If you like your creature comforts, and managed to live in a van without killing each other, consider an RV. A full, class C motorhome could meet your retirement desires, with all the plumbing and electricity you’ll ever need – and places to connect with more of each, along life’s highways.

If your husband really is in a field that is in high demand, he might have a lucrative career as a consultant to all those companies across North America and around the world that are desperate for his expertise, and it might make sense to travel around and visit each of them.

#10 HeySteveO on 08.20.18 at 5:45 pm

“Better idea: get him a camo jacket, a subscription to Field & Stream, hip waders and a dog whistle. He can always use it on Queen St. East.”

HAHAHAHA! Best zinger in a while

#11 SimplyPut7 on 08.20.18 at 5:46 pm

…it costs a pile to build, rather than buy a resale place. Raw land needs to be serviced – major money just to get electric poles in place, let alone dig the septic bed and drill a well. Construction costs are absurd (go price a 2-by-four), and the spending never stops on things you get for free with a resale (like decking, towel bars, curtains, landscaping, a garage or paving)

—————-

He sounds like he wants to go off-grid, live in a tiny house, and build small so you won’t have major building costs. No electricity only solar panels, gas generators, small propane tanks and wood burning stoves. No septic either, compost toilets for everyone!

It’s the new dream of hipsters. If you can’t buy what you want, in the city you want, start from scratch and build from nothing somewhere else.

Social media romanticizes off-grid/ self-reliance/ subsistence living. Online “experts” makes it look easy and affordable.

#12 Catmandeux on 08.20.18 at 5:50 pm

Whats wrong with KD?

Everything!!!

Try this:
http://www.lcbo.com/content/lcbo/en/promotions/my-whisky/four-cheese-macaroni-with-curry-crunch.html

Takes only a few minutes longer to prepare than KD, but the flavour is well worth it. (prepare the curry crunch outside if you can. It lingers for days in a closed in kitchen)

#13 Honey Dripper on 08.20.18 at 6:08 pm

People are so boring. Like boring first world problems. It’s amazing the low to nil savings rate of peeps stuck in the middle. Why not quit on life and just go live in a van? So much more exciting.

#14 Linda on 08.20.18 at 6:26 pm

‘what’s wrong with KD?’ – plenty. Perhaps when this product was first invented it had actual nutritional food value, but anything that requires a degree in chemistry in order to comprehend the ingredients is not good nutrition. Home made mac’n’cheese is what KD was supposed to represent & anyone who has had ‘the real thing’ knows just how much of a marketing triumph KD truly is. Because the two come from completely different planets, both taste wise & nutrition wise. Problem is that a good mac’n’cheese takes more time & culinary knowledge than most are willing to take or learn. But if one is going to indulge in a high dose of calories & fats, choose the real thing. Your waistline might regret it, but your taste buds will thank you.

#15 Frank Blood on 08.20.18 at 6:34 pm

Garth could you please comment on those with DB pensions as to how much savings is realistic to achieve towards the 2M target. Given that our plan already takes 10-12%, saving the usual 10% to pay yourself first does not leave much left for life. Thanks.

#16 E3-Owner on 08.20.18 at 6:38 pm

The goal at age 65 should be two million.

My goal is 1.3M invested (no pension), plus a paid-for modest downtown house, and stop salary-based work at age 53. It only needs to fund one person.

Garth, is that too low ?

#17 crowdedelevatorfartz on 08.20.18 at 6:40 pm

Dear Late to Invest

You’ve gotta make some MAJOR lifestyle changes if you even want to hope to eat cat food in your “golden years” ( or in your case “Golden Arches” years cause thats where you’ll be working.)

Lotsa luck…..yer gonna need it.

#18 Irish Stew on 08.20.18 at 6:41 pm

Is the $2m @ retirement in total assets (housing, etc) or just TFSA/RRSP investments?

#19 crowdedelevatorfartz on 08.20.18 at 6:45 pm

@#11 Simplyput
“Social media romanticizes off-grid/ self-reliance/ subsistence living. Online “experts” makes it look easy and affordable.”
+++++

Or you could be like THIS Boomer curmudgeon who went “off the grid” with his wife 20 years ago on an Island up the coast from Vancouver …..

https://ouroffthegridhome.ca/

He has his own blog.
He’s written several books on the subject.
He’s a curmudgeon.

Kinda like an Off the Grid version of Garth………

#20 The Vancouver Story on 08.20.18 at 6:54 pm

I know it may seem pretty lame that the Vancouver couple have no savings.

But this is the case for most people in Vancouver around this age. I know a lot – same situation. Some even way worse. Been this way since about 2010. Everyone I know around this age is in this boat.

Comparing to myself, I did a bit better (about 300k net worth) on less earnings, but was killed by high cost of BC living, even after moving as far away as possible from Vancouver.

You have to lower your standard of living big time if you are in the 30-40 age living in BC and want to save.

BC is a really crappy place for those without money or a place to live. Vancouver is the pinnacle of lowered standard of living.

#21 FOUR FINGERS WATSON on 08.20.18 at 7:06 pm

#18 Irish Stew on 08.20.18 at 6:41 pm
Is the $2m @ retirement in total assets (housing, etc) or just TFSA/RRSP investments?
………………………………

$2million is just a number. It is about after tax cash flow and what your expenses will be.

#22 25% Further Drop in Prices Happening Now in Vancouver on 08.20.18 at 7:10 pm

West Vancouver is being crushed.

This is going to hit the entire province of BC.

The recent price cuts you are seeing all over the place are just the beginning.

It is so bad that Garth won’t even post my comment that includes the address on an active 300k loss from what a seller paid for a Kelowna condo happening right now.

Can’t blame you though. I know the real estate cartel is coming out swinging to silence all negative data and trying to cover this meltdown up. Consumer confidence is everything and can lead to irrational swings both ways.

Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna are in the cross hairs of the hammer coming down on prices.

If you are in the BC market to buy right now, do not fear offering low ball offers as of right now. And if you can’t get the low ball price. Forget about property all together and invest your money. You will be in a better position in the years to come.

Most BC sellers are already aware, but if not yet, they soon will be about the frozen BC market that has taken a serious downturn in the past month.

#23 Juve101 on 08.20.18 at 7:38 pm

My evening treat. Love this blog! Funny and insightful, thx Garth!

#24 jess on 08.20.18 at 7:57 pm

lessons not learned

lax supervision and weak internal accounting controls allowed a handful of rogue traders to mismark positions over several years and, separately, resulted in the unnecessary loss of hundreds of millions of dollars of its shareholders’ assets to fraud.
==============================
Citigroup to Pay More Than $10 Million for Books and Records Violations and Inadequate Controls

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2018-155

The SEC found that from 2013 to 2016, three CGMI traders mismarked illiquid positions in certain proprietary accounts they managed, in two cases covering losses from widespread unauthorized trading. The discovery of the mismarking led to the termination of the traders and the recognition of $81 million in losses not previously reflected in CGMI’s or Citigroup’s books and records. The SEC’s order finds that CGMI failed to detect the traders’ misconduct earlier because it had inadequate supervisory procedures and systems and did not independently verify the valuations of the mismarked positions.

In the second action, Citigroup agreed to pay a $4.75 million penalty to settle charges that it failed to devise and maintain adequate internal accounting controls. Citigroup settled without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings and agreed to cease and desist from future violations. The SEC’s order finds that Citigroup subsidiary Grupo Financiero Banamex S.A. de C.V. loaned approximately $3.3 billion to Oceanografia, S.A. (OSA) between 2008 and 2014 based on invoices and work estimates for services that OSA provided to Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the Mexican state-owned oil company. According to the order, many of the OSA work estimates were fraudulent and did not reflect amounts Pemex actually owed to OSA. Citigroup ultimately lost approximately $475 million as a result of OSA’s fraud. The SEC’s order finds that Banamex and Citigroup lacked the controls necessary to verify the invoices before making loans to OSA and ignored numerous red flags that should have led to discovery of the fraud.”

=============
From wall street on parade:

“Citigroup has never meaningfully reformed the corrupt practices that led to its implosion in 2008. In fact, its conduct has gotten worse. In 2015, for the first time in its two centuries of existence, it was charged by the U.S. Justice Department with a criminal felony charge for its involvement in rigging foreign exchange trading, to which it pleaded guilty and was put on a three-year probation. The new charges from the SEC show that the traders misconduct and the misstatement of books and records occurred from 2013 to 2016 – well within the period of its probation. In other words, Citigroup cannot adequately police itself and continues to pose grave risk to the U.S. financial system.”

Washington D.C., Aug. 16, 2018 —

http://wallstreetonparade.com/2018/08/four-critical-changes-needed-to-make-wall-street-work-for-america-again/

#25 young & foolish on 08.20.18 at 8:09 pm

“off the grid” …. hmmmm … ok, why? Something to prove? Society “sucks”? Misanthropic?

#26 crowdedelevatorfartz on 08.20.18 at 8:13 pm

@#14 Linda
“‘what’s wrong with KD?’ – plenty.’
+++++
Complete agreement.
I ate KD in the early 80’s like any other neophyte bachelor.
I grabbed a box off the shelf at Safeway a few years ago as an ode to my youth…..
O….M…..G.

It tasted like salted cardboard chips.
I’m sure the box it came in had more nutritional value.
I spit it out and scraped the plate into the recycling bin…..my apologies to all organic waste matter everywhere…..
The beer I was drinking became mouthwash……
KD should be relabelled as KillDeath

#27 JSquared on 08.20.18 at 8:19 pm

Wow. Pulling in over $10K/mon with absolutely nothing to show for it. Hope the lifestyle was fun while it lasted, because your new reality is going to suck, big time. Give your head a shake, you’ve got some serious catching up to do here…and then you go and have a baby on top of it? Egads.

#28 NOSTRADAMUS on 08.20.18 at 8:31 pm

“OH HAPPY DAYS”
For the love of me, I can’t understand the logic in going into debt in order to having that once in a life time, over the top, spare no expense wedding. Question, why? When statistically, there is a 40% chance, sooner or later the marriage will end in tears. Reality, there is a 100% chance the wedding debt will still be on the wrong side of the debt to equity side of the ledger when the last tear has fallen.
My how time , slip slides away. I still remember the buyer’s choir, singing “Oh Happy Days” back in 2016. They camped out all night, just to hold their place in line as the riots broke out in the developers sales tent.
Fast forward. Now, the riots have moved indoors, to the lawyers offices, and next, down the hall to the court rooms.
Memory lane, some will call me a spoil sport, a lump under the rug, when I say , Honey moon interest rates are over.
DEBT AND MARRIAGE.
” For whomsoever the bank has joined together in legal debt, let nothing do them part.”
This movie has played out so many times, we’ve memorized the lines.
You can trust me as the teller of truth, in the land of gypsies, tramps and thieves.

#29 Fish on 08.20.18 at 8:39 pm

off the grid” … crazy nuts, well I guess then the drones can fly in pizza

#30 Bob Dog on 08.20.18 at 8:46 pm

I think the solution to Canada’s acute housing crisis is to boost the immigration rate to ~6 million persons per year. This would stimulate the economy and create millions of well paid jobs for Canadians. In a few short years people will be doing well enough to afford a home to raise their children.

One thing is for sure. More hard working Canadians is better for banks and real estate industry.

#31 robert james on 08.20.18 at 8:47 pm

26 crowdedelevatorfartz on 08.20.18 at 8:13 pm ……….. I am kind of a Swanson Beef Pie type of guy when I am occasionally on my own.. I never bother reading the nutritional value on the box as I am going to eat the crap anyway so what is the point.. 4 cans of Warsteiner ,, 2 beef pies along a few glasses of milk is a the full deal meal for me.. My wife loves to read the nutritional values and seems to enjoy telling me about it as well,, especially the GD ed sugar content.. She read the book ” The Case Against Sugar “.. A couple of the dog walking ladies just about got into a fist fight on the trail because of that book as one lady kept quoting the book on the walk.. They still have not talked to each other yet and that was 2 years ago.. LOL

#32 Phylis on 08.20.18 at 8:50 pm

I have a secret. I like kd. Only when it is on sale. I guess im out now.

#33 Interstellar Old Yeller on 08.20.18 at 9:00 pm

I am gobsmacked that Late to the Investment Party’s family pulls in $10k a month, has cheap daycare for ONE kid (seriously; try $2k/month for a baby), and no assets. What are you spending all that cash on?

BTW, Garth, thanks for the pity for the turning-40s. Almost there. Dreading it for frivolous, vain reasons. (Am I a self-absorbed snowflake for admitting that? The horror!)

#34 cd on 08.20.18 at 9:04 pm

I think the key line in todays article is ‘whats wrong with KD’.

Kraft dinner is awful. It doesn’t provide all the nutrients for a well balanced diet. With a small amount of work and knowledge, one can make a solid and well balanced food for approximately the same cost per meal as KD. Seems that this blog is about not being ignorant with money, but ignorant with everything else.

#35 -=jwk=- on 08.20.18 at 9:07 pm

I know couples in toronto in the 150-200k range and they have nothing saved either, but they dont need it because the 800k 12′ wide row hosue they bought 3 years ago is worth 1.2M now. So, no worries. the first girl should have kept her condo, she’d have no worries either.

And by the way, the real KD dry is about 13% fat, 13% protein and 74% carbs. That is a pretty good balance for a pasta. Use 2% milk and you get something like 15/15/70 which is even better. Nothing wrong with it nutrition wise. The only chemical additive in it is Sodium phosphate (which is in tons fo stuff) which helps melt the cheese and make it sticky, otherwise it is all natural…..

#36 SimplyPut7 on 08.20.18 at 9:17 pm

#25 young & foolish on 08.20.18 at 8:09 pm

I think off-grid and homestead living became a trend again after the financial crash of 2008 in the US. When people with no safety net/rainy day fund, who were too reliant on the “system”, didn’t realize that all of their hard earned work and the hours they slaved trying to climb the corporate ladder, for cold heartless conglomerates could disappear overnight when these companies went bankrupt. Leaving them with no pensions (as most were invested in the company stock that went to zero), health benefits or ways to pay their mortgages/bills as it took longer than other recessions to find steady work and/or a salary close to what they were used prior to the financial crash.

Many of these people decided they had enough with society and moved to the suburbs, rural parts of the US (or Alaska), where land was still cheap, local government didn’t care how you lived as long as you were not bothering your neighbour, and one could start a homestead growing your own food, raise livestock, drink water from your well and use renewable energy not part of the grid rather than on-grid utilities that increase at a rate higher than inflation every year.

Most of the off-grid people work outside of their homestead and are still part of society/capitalism. But their goal is to live debt-free and be self-reliant enough that if 2008 (2007-2011) ever happened again, they would not be in a position where they could lose everything or worry how they would pay their bills, mortgage or put food on the table for their family.

The financial downturn left a lasting effect on many Americans, that won’t disappear from people’s memory anytime soon. There are still lots of people interested in living this way even though land/rural homes are not as cheap as they were in 2011-2014 in the US.

#37 NoName on 08.20.18 at 9:29 pm

#34 cd on 08.20.18 at 9:04 pm

With a small amount of work and knowledge, one can make a solid and well balanced food for approximately the same cost per meal as KD.

obviously, you are not one in charge of doing groceries, and on a side note, i cook it my self, farts special, Balkan bean stew, with smoked sausage and smoked pork ribs.
https://imgur.com/a/OSLbY7H

#38 IHCTD9 on 08.20.18 at 9:32 pm

#16 E3-Owner on 08.20.18 at 6:38 pm
The goal at age 65 should be two million.

My goal is 1.3M invested (no pension), plus a paid-for modest downtown house, and stop salary-based work at age 53. It only needs to fund one person.

Garth, is that too low ?
————

As long as you don’t try and live like a baller in retirement, that should be fine. You’re probably doing better that 95%+ of Canadians.

I’d try and hold off drawing on it till 63+ if you can. That last decade of returns is the one that counts (unless you’re indicating you’ll have 1.3 socked away at 53 years old as opposed to 65).

Ms IH and I are arranging for about the same 1.3 in RRSP’s by 65. Any more starts getting tough to withdraw without getting pounded in taxes due to CPP X2 and OASx2 and DB pension x1 all coming out at the same time. We don’t live like hedonists either, so don’t need monster piles of cash to get by.

It’s open season with TFSA’s though – max that we are allowed is going in, I’m sure you’re doing the same.

#39 Captain Oblivious on 08.20.18 at 9:35 pm

Hi Garth, Love the “Chippendog” Dog photo.

#40 Smoking Man on 08.20.18 at 9:36 pm

A granny asks T2 whos paying the tab for illegal border jumpers.
He calls her a rasist. RCMP roughed her up.

MSM headlines in unison, “Trudeau defends his reaction to heckler, pledges to call out ‘hate speech”

https://youtu.be/cZ7d5Ts6rho

He’s so dumb. He thinks this will score him ethnic votes.
Thousands of Chinese , Indians who came here legally and want to bring in more of their family members are pissed that others are jumping the Q….

All of Brampton voted Ford In. Identy politics is divisive.
People have had enough of it.

MSM and Librals know nothing abour Herdonomics.

Time to Redifine the Word Rasist.
A Rasist is what you are labelled with if you beat a liberal at an argument.

#41 Greg on 08.20.18 at 9:36 pm

https://vancouversun.com/business/local-business/some-realtors-believe-major-price-correction-underway-in-metro-housing-market

#42 will on 08.20.18 at 9:39 pm

living in a van or an rv? fun for a while probably. but can you have investment accounts while having no fixed address?

#43 Wrk.dover on 08.20.18 at 9:45 pm

Garth is right again. If dreamers fully enjoyed their life on the land playing hippie lumberjack from debt free 35 on, while only their partner tucked in to fulfilling DBP eligibility by teaching or something, the system would certainly totally collapse, much worse than it almost did do. Sorry I must have caused that blip in ’08 all on my own. My bad.

The only way to make it work is on a main paved road, with an income. Remote land homesteading will make poverty quickly. Every time. Transportation costs.

Keep pumping those 2X$100K+ incomes. You are counting on you! You will break even some day. Maybe. It is all about doing without, after all you only have thousands and thousands of cold hard cash dollars every blessed month to go through while being perpetually broke.

Money made off of the farm, gets spent off of the farm. Or the condo. You prove it over and over again.

M64.95NS

#44 IHCTD9 on 08.20.18 at 9:47 pm

Garth is right on the money regarding a couple of urban hipsters moving into a rural life if it’s for the first time.

I’d definitely just buy a newish place when the time comes, building from scratch is a PITA, and big $. Get a place less than 10 years old, bring that fat portfolio with you, and hire out anything that needs doing if Mr. Z doesn’t have the required skills to handle it himself.

DO NOT BUY A CHARMING 150 YEAR OLD FARM HOUSE.

#45 Flat Fee on 08.20.18 at 9:49 pm

Interesting CBC news article on flat-fee realtors…
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/discount-real-estate-1.4787422

Aks yourself: is selling a $2M home twice the amount of work than selling a $1M home?

Nope! The exact same amount of work.

Then, why pay double the realtor fee?

I hope it catches on, because it makes sense. Heck, realtors should just be paid an hourly rate, like a lawyer, dentist or a doctor.

#46 islander on 08.20.18 at 9:49 pm

OMG – is it time for the roller coaster ride in YVR?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqOn5XEm86A

Who knows!

#47 Smoking Man on 08.20.18 at 9:56 pm

Who wants to be a zillionare?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/MetaQuotes_Language_MQL4/MQL5

#48 Phylis on 08.20.18 at 9:57 pm

#34 cd. even when it is on sale? Real cheese is protected in canada according to t-dog. $$$

#49 goodbye city hall on 08.20.18 at 10:12 pm

We have a cottage in the country. Complete with our own little mountain, named after my wife. She loves it there. So do the relatives who use the space. So do the dogs. There’s a liitle town nearby with a first rate clinic. The community is very friendly and there are always events and little get togethers. Yes they do have a yoga group and a lot of artisans. Life is cheap there because we are in an agricultural valley. But the scenery, my gosh. And the air, and the living. Some old-timers up there still hauling logs in their 80s. Different lifestyle. Full lifestyle. But buy a fixer-upper, then you don’t need permits. And water…have good water. Get it lab tested. We lucked out and hit an artesian well, 80 psi. So pure I should bottle it. Go slow, bit by bit, and enjoy doing things with care and attention. We’ll never sell. It was a vision, and it worked. Make sure you’re partner is on the same page. Good luck.

#50 SimplyPut7 on 08.20.18 at 10:17 pm

#19 crowdedelevatorfartz on 08.20.18 at 6:45 pm

I find off-grid/homestead living interesting but I haven’t seen many that are living a life that I would say is easier than being on-grid. Some work too hard and make life more difficult by not using modern technology developed 100 years ago like running water, electricity and flushing toilets.

Some raise livestock, which is fine, I’m not vegan. But being a slave to your land because you have animals you have to feed, milk, collect eggs from every day, would be exhausting also butchering an animal you raised by hand is not easy and it’s more expensive and time-consuming than going to Costco and buying your favourite cuts of meat instead of forcing yourself to eat an entire animal because you raised and harvested it yourself.

Some people live too far, for example, remote parts of Alaska and walk 2 hours to get to their property or fly in and have no way out in winter. I can’t imagine dealing with 30 days of no sunlight in the middle of winter up north.

Some were too obsessed with buying land and building a home from scratch, they made a home that was too small for their needs and then had to put on expensive additions that cost more than buying a rundown farmhouse that had electricity, running water, paved driveways and septic tanks already installed. Others didn’t do their homework and find out why the land was cheap such as the land was not fertile and would require a lot of compost to make it usable for growing food, floods easily or it gets too much shade to grow a lot of food on the land.

Most find out they require a lot more money than they thought to maintain their self-reliant lifestyle, whether it’s expensive generators or solar panels, expensive feed for chickens or hay for larger animals, tools for the garden fencing for plants and animals or jars for canning their harvest. All of their tools are mass produced in factories still attached to the grid. Many people end up having to find work or become a micro farmer to pay for the things they need to maintain their off-grid lifestyle.

I just don’t see the point of trying to distance yourself from society only to be more reliant on it than when you were on-grid. They would be better off following the principles of Dave Ramsey and live on less, cooking most of their food from scratch and maybe having a small garden in the backyard to supplement the cost of food.

#51 IHCTD9 on 08.20.18 at 10:26 pm

I liked turning 40.

The kids were almost old enough to be legally left at home alone, the mortgage was almost finished, I had survived the GFC and the bankruptcy of my employer for whom I had worked since I was 23 – without missing a day of work, we had like 40K in cash in our emergency fund because I had successfully handled every curve ball thrown at us – and we decided to have some fun with it, I was just starting to understand that our 15 years worth of continuous investing had every indication of becoming something amazing.

The best was yet to come though, at 41, I became the very proud new owner of an excellent 1959 International Harvester Corporation TD9 Series 91 Crawler with the DROTT Z bar loader, and the fantastic D350 (350 cubic inch 4 cylinder) Gas-Diesel :).

#52 Greyhelm on 08.20.18 at 10:38 pm

It’s never too late to start.

I have a comfortable retirement that I didn’t start preparing for until my early ’40s. Until then, I thought saving and investing was for old farts – plenty of time for that later.

Then I started a job with a semi-public sector organization and a co-worker whom I respected (thanks Jim) changed my mind. I now had a DB pension plan, but with only 25 years left till retirement (so max 50% of a mediocre salary despite a masters degree and a professional designation) and very limited RRSP contribution room (because of pension contributions), I had to hustle a bit. At one point, I had three jobs: my day job, plus being a school board trustee and a part-time professor at the local university, neither of which paid much. My wife was on city council and eventually deputy mayor, but our combined income hit over $100K only once.

Our life was not frugal. We went to the Caribbean a few times, France twice, and got into gourmet dining. But I used every opportunity to add to a spousal RRSP (no TFSAs then). We did have the advantage of living a few hours outside of the GTA. (More on that in another post.)

Retirement is comfortable. More trips to France (with grandkids sometimes) and money left over at the end of each month that I invest in TFSAs or spend on house maintenance (not cheap). Pension ($36K), CPP and OAS, plus 3% withdrawal from RRSPs seems to be more than enough (which was a pleasant surprise to me). And the investment accounts are growing, not depleting.

If you don’t have the pension, then you DO have a lot more RRSP contribution room than I did.

The point is, don’t let a late start deter you. It can be done if you put your mind to it.

Good luck.

#53 Vanrentor on 08.20.18 at 10:41 pm

I miss flop.

#54 saskatoon on 08.20.18 at 10:42 pm

why should they put money away for kid?

they’ve already abandoned him.

disgusting.

#55 IKnow on 08.20.18 at 10:49 pm

Ayyy so much 1st world problem, netting $10k a month and worry about living in a tent? Get real. So many immigrant parents net about $4k a month and raised half dozen kids. They retire comfortably, not 4 to 5-star anything-you-wanna-do, but comfortably. After past age 70 does one really have big appetite to spend? Peak spending time might be 55 to 70, then naturally slow down and learn to enjoy a mellow pace. A 3-star vacation is perfectly fine for most folks.

#56 paulo on 08.20.18 at 11:13 pm

Big news for “KD” lovers: the secret cheese sauce mix
is available in bulk in ontario at certain retailers barns lol.

lets face it if you grew up in the last few decades or went to colledge /university KD brings back some memories, throwing in some cut up hot dogs was a great hangover killer. of course when times where less busy!

#57 viorelli on 08.20.18 at 11:24 pm

If you want to stay in Vancouver and not be broke, you’ll have to learn how to be very frugal, yet earn more than an average. 100k in the Best Place on Earth is considered champ change now days and will barely get a household by. Average 3 br rent in the city is $3.000 – $4.000 alone (if you can find it and not be outbid), utilities, ICBC, daycare, sports and tutoring for child, clothing, food, gasoline, Fido, TFSA, RESP and you will most likely be in the minus territory. One of my Italian friends has it figured out: Himself and common law lives in a large lane way home, rents out the main house, 1 BR legal suite, and 2 BR modified suite. Thus able to cover mortgage, city taxes, insurance. Drives an old mazda which is cheap on gas and insurance. Together they bring in 110K after taxes and are able to save and invest most of it. He also gardens, has tomatoes, fig trees, plums, and pears. Soon he will put up two tents in the backyard maybe for $1000 / month (new market value in the GVRD), :-) and maybe he will be fine! I am not so sure about others.

#58 DON on 08.21.18 at 12:07 am

Don’t fret.

Retirement is for cats…dogs work till the day they die.

Getting out of debt in the midst of a loss in house equity should be the next worry…yes/no?

#59 Annick Dotal on 08.21.18 at 12:19 am

I agree with the comments about building-from-scratch. A boomer-aged friend decided he wanted to build a cottage from scratch. He encountered many problems and unexpected costs with permits, well, septic tank, land grading, paving, etc. His 250K (land included) budget has now doubled. He stated that had he known the true cost, he would never have started the project. Many contractors low-balled the estimates. I told him the estimates seemed way too low, but he just attributed that to the fact that materials and labour would be much cheaper in cottage country.

#60 fishman on 08.21.18 at 12:54 am

Off- Grid: The lowest I know a guy maintains off-grid is
$450/month. He’s not homeless or using. Biggest expense is gasoline. Trouble is after 6-8 months everything starts wearing out & running out; clothes,shoes, chainsaw, batteries,tools, food staples. You gotta go back into the system for cash.

KD: I had a crew guy that had done 10 years in the pen. When we grubbed up he always grabbed that phony Kraft Dinner. He told me he’d steal some butter & cheese from the kitchen & hustle it into his range. Before lockdown they make up a batch. He loved KD more than anything I cooked. And I’m a pretty good cook.

#61 Yorkville Renter on 08.21.18 at 1:02 am

hmm… I’ve made some risky career moves in my day (4 start-ups, pay cuts, once I quit a 6-figure job as an Eff You! to my employer), but I think my wife and I can hit $2mm by 60… maybe even by 50 (9 years away).

Really though, my goal is $10mm… THAT seems like true retirement. Gotta keep plugging away I guess

#62 jane24 on 08.21.18 at 4:02 am

Garth you don’t need 2 million unless you stay in Toronto or Vancouver. I retired at 59 and was pleasantly surprised how little it costs for a great life.

Step one is to ensure that you have no big bills and your house is paid off. My biggest bill is groceries at $500 a month. We like to eat well. Paying rent on a pension must be a bugger.

Step two is to live somewhere with national health. I live on the south coast of England and so I pay nothing for health care or prescriptions and govt subs my NHS dentist too.

Step three is to live somewhere with a lot of senior free /senior reduced bus and train services so that if you don’t want to run 3 cars any more, you don’t have too.

Step four is to move somewhere life is cheaper to run. My house insurance is $360 a year for an executive 4 bed, my car insurance is $544 a year for a SUV, my cable is $34 a month, etc. I pay through the nose for petrol and donuts, which are strangely a luxury food here.

Step five is to be very close to a regional airport so you can get out for the weekend for about $136 anywhere in Europe. We can also get CHEAP last minute cruises through Southampton, only 15 mins away.

Step six is to buy where there is a temperate climate. No cold winters, no boiling summers. I don’t need to run air con and in the winter I only need heat in the mornings and evenings and never on over-night. We like to be cold at night! My combined electric and heating bills on said big 4 bed house is $1650 a year.

It is not what you make in retirement, it is what you spend. I have just calculated that excluding travel we live a great life with much pubbing on $4150 a month. There must be many places in the world that meet these criteria and small town Ontario where we come from meets many of them. I know folk living wonderful retirements in Spain and Italy for much less. Just do some research.

If you are wondering oh yeah she is just trying to justify not following Garth’s advice, we have our $2 million in assets, we just find we don’t need them and yes I am now sorry that I worked so hard in life to obtain this fund. I should have smelled the roses more when my children were growing up. Life is should be a compromise. As a Canadian in Canada I just worked too damn hard.

#63 Howard on 08.21.18 at 4:08 am

I actually LIKE KD.

Okay not every day, but I could easily have it for one or even two dinners a week and it would not impact my quality of life at all, since I actually like it. Even better if you add some shredded aged cheddar and chopped broccoli, but then I guess that would defeat the purpose of an ultra-cheap meal.

#64 M. Towne on 08.21.18 at 4:58 am

One of the things that bugs me about finance blogs generally is the judgment heaped on people who, reaching late 30’s/40’s, aren’t well on their way to their first million. It’s not just Garth; I stopped reading the Globe and Mail for a lot of reasons, but one was the “financial advice” column that only ever seemed to speak to people who have already done way better than most of us.

You can say a couple should be putting away $2k a month out of their $10k take-home (and indeed that shouldn’t be too hard!) but they probably weren’t making that kind of money until recently.

When you’re a financial planner you disproportionately see people who have money, and that blinds you to the fact that there’s lots of things that prevent people from accumulating money in the first place. People often spend their first few years of work with every spare penny going to service student debt.

My first job out of grad school paid $40k a year and required me to own a car, which I had never had before, and as a “new driver” my insurance was $4500 a year. (This was New Brunswick, one of those affordable places Garth tells people to move to because cities are so expensive. Newsflash: these places have cheap housing because people don’t make $150k a year and you need a car to live.)

After 15 years of working, and having moved to a city where wages are higher (though so are rents) I am now in a position to be putting away $15k a year plus contributions to my DB pension. In other words, 25% of my gross, 35% of net. But it took a long time to get there, and I have never lived extravagantly. I took my first trip abroad when I was 34. Got rid of the car as soon as I could. Always rented. No cable. I didn’t even have home internet until six years ago. I have maxed my TFSA since 2013, and took full advantage of my previous employer’s matching RRSP as soon as I was eligible (but that job, like many, was only a contract for the first few years.)

I made a big mistake in 2008 and lost my liquid savings, which at that point were all of $20k. And now, at age 40 I’ve got a solid $140k invested and zero debt.

That’s what doing well, with real-life bumps and scratches, looks like for most of us. It’s a fantasy to look at someone who’s now in a position to be saving $2k a month and suggest that they should have been putting away $1k month ten years ago.

Once someone is making the kind of bank the first LW describes, you are well within bounds to give them a hard time for not saving more of it. But please, can we stop with the judgments on people who reach their actual earning years without already being rich? Many people didn’t have the money in the first place. Many who did, didn’t know what to do with it. Most of us don’t leap from school into professional jobs paying $100k per year.

Oh, and by the way: about that “two million by age 65” business: if you can get an average return of 7% through the diversified portfolio (so call it 5% after inflation) that’s $100k in gross income per year, plus CPP and whatever’s left of OAS at that bracket. If you really need that much to live on, then where are the savings and investment funds supposed to be coming from when your job pays you $60k?

#65 Gravy Train on 08.21.18 at 6:08 am

#47 Smoking Man on 08.20.18 at 9:56 pm
“Who wants to be a zilliona[i]re?”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/MetaQuotes_Language_MQL4/MQL5

Smokey, you once wrote, “Wikipedia is moderated and controlled by far-left lunatics.” And now you’re quoting from Wikipedia? How could you? I always took you for a far-right lunatic! :)

#66 Another Deckchair on 08.21.18 at 6:22 am

To: “Late to the Investment Party”

Dear Late,

Both my new partner and I had to hit the restart around about 40. Now, 20 or so years later, we are fine financially and otherwise.

May I give you food for thought?

1) Kids don’t know the difference between a splash pad in Brussels, Borneo, or Boston from the one down the street. Think about it.

2) Read at what the “millennial kids” do. Read about the “FIRE” revolution, like mrmoneymustache.com. If these “kids” can go from zero to retired in 10 years, you can do it in 25.

3) My partner and I would never have made the “Ontario Sunshine List”, except for 4 years where I contracted (no benefits, etc though) where I’d have made it near the bottom of the list. Handwavingly, about 1/6 of our assets is real estate, 1/4 the commuted value of a pension, and the rest is just money put away and invested for a rainy day. For a while (including now) we save 1 salary completely, and don’t miss it.

You just have to figure out what’s important in life. If, for you and your partner, it’s a new Audi and monthly vacations to the far corners of the world, fine. If it’s waking up, and enjoying your surroundings, you are well on your way to freedom.

#67 Axehead on 08.21.18 at 7:51 am

“Buy land. They’re not making the stuff anymore.” Mark Twain.

#68 TurnerNation on 08.21.18 at 8:16 am

#40 Smoking Man it was most interesting getting a read and glimpse of incognito class traitors; those willing to beck and scrape for the elites in return for a DB pension plan. Learning from history there.

#69 crowdedelevatorfartz on 08.21.18 at 8:21 am

@#62 Jane24

Step one.
Make sure you have an Ontario Teachers pension……..

#70 crowdedelevatorfartz on 08.21.18 at 8:46 am

@#64 M. Towne
“I stopped reading the Globe and Mail for a lot of reasons, but one was the “financial advice” column…”
++++++

Yeah,
I stopped reading the same column when the anonymous people seeking “advice” started sounding like braggarts.
“We own our house worth $2 million, we’re both teachers about to retire on a measly $8ok per year EACH, we only have $900k in RRSP’s, and our TFSP is almost maxed out…..Our children are doctors and lawyers.
Our question to the Globe is…….
Will we still be able to retire in England and own a villa in Italy? PLEASE ,please help!”

#71 TurnerNation on 08.21.18 at 8:47 am

There is not any good news coming to Kanada, a brutalist open air UN kamp where even the highest office slanders taxpaying citizens for going against the mind kontrol.

2%?
The Financial Post reports in its Saturday, Aug. 18, edition that rising fuel costs drove a 28-per-cent year-over-year rise in the price of airfare and helped push inflation to its highest level since 2011.

#72 Stan Brooks on 08.21.18 at 8:50 am

#62 jane24 on 08.21.18 at 4:02 am
Garth you don’t need 2 million unless you stay in Toronto or Vancouver. I retired at 59 and was pleasantly surprised how little it costs for a great life.

Step one is to ensure that you have no big bills and your house is paid off. My biggest bill is groceries at $500 a month. We like to eat well. Paying rent on a pension must be a bugger.

Step two is to live somewhere with national health. I live on the south coast of England and so I pay nothing for health care or prescriptions and govt subs my NHS dentist too.

If you live in a big Canadian city, even retired you need for a couple at least 4 k a month net, maybe 3.5 k in a small town.

That is the absolute existence minimum, more realistically you add 800-1000 to the above numbers.

In Europe you need half of that or less. Property taxes are much lower, heath care is accessible and free,
food is much cheaper and much better.

You can retire in Greece on you max CPP and old age and live like a king, you can purchase an apartment for 120 k Canadian and enjoy life and much better weather, beautiful coastline, restaurants that are much better and cheaper and the price includes VAT.HST and tip is minimum, most likely 3 will eat for the price of 1 in a GTA restaurant, in most places food will be cheaper than a crappy GTA food-court.

To retire in Greece you need 200-300 k + 1.5 k CAD a month.

#73 It is Not What You Make...It is How Much You Spend on 08.21.18 at 8:56 am

Some of the highest earning people in the world and many, many others set out to spend it all by end of every month.

Cut your spending. Learn the difference between wants and needs. Nothing wrong with having a pile of money to look at the end of every month instead of just a pile of bills and receipts

#74 Karl on 08.21.18 at 9:03 am

#62 jane24

“If you are wondering oh yeah she is just trying to justify not following Garth’s advice, we have our $2 million in assets, we just find we don’t need them and yes I am now sorry that I worked so hard in life to obtain this fund. I should have smelled the roses more when my children were growing up. Life is should be a compromise. As a Canadian in Canada I just worked too damn hard.”

One of the best posts I’ve seen on here.

#75 IHCTD9 on 08.21.18 at 9:07 am

#36 SimplyPut7 on 08.20.18 at 9:17 pm
____

I agree, the GFC was the catalyst that kicked off all the homesteading/prepping etc. I still remember the sentiment as it evolved – wanting off the treadmill and a desire to live a life of purpose, hard work, simplicity, but most of all – independence.

Everyone wanted to leave the cubicle behind, IMHO, the young folks slaving away trying to sock away millions by 30 years old so they can retire are driven by very similar desires, even though they remain in an urban environment.

I totally understand the drivers, and essentially felt/feel the same way. I guess I am a sort of mild “Prepper” as I feel abusive taxation is coming, and am actively working to avoid them. I’m also investing with the primary driver being financial security and independence.

It’s a highly romanticized idea. The more popular YouTube channels that deal with “homesteading” (not really) like Wranglerstar and PureLivingforlife are earning 300-400K per year USD, and have hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

#76 E3-Owner on 08.21.18 at 9:18 am

#38 IHCTD9 on 08.20.18 at 9:32 pm

Following up on your question:

My target is 1.3M invested in 6 years when I reach 53. Plus having my house paid for.
Of that nest egg, 2/3 will be tfsa and unreg, and 1/3 RSP.

At 7% returns, that 1.3 should throw off 5,800 a month in returns, almost 70K in 2024 dollars. That’s about 60K in today’s dollars, all of which can be spending money. The principle stays intact for a few decades.

#77 dharma bum on 08.21.18 at 9:26 am

KD was a staple in our house when I was a little kid.

I remember grabbing multiple boxes of it off the supermarket shelf when my mother had me in tow on her weekly food shopping tour (by streetcar to various stores along St. Clair Ave. W in Toronto).

It was 9 cents a box.

Ahhhhhhh….the good old days!

#78 PastThePeak on 08.21.18 at 9:46 am

#60 fishman on 08.21.18 at 12:54 am
Off- Grid: The lowest I know a guy maintains off-grid is
$450/month. He’s not homeless or using. Biggest expense is gasoline. Trouble is after 6-8 months everything starts wearing out & running out; clothes,shoes, chainsaw, batteries,tools, food staples. You gotta go back into the system for cash.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I always wonder if people who take these extreme arguments are just kidding, or if they truly believe what they write.

The idea of homesteading (modern version), or just living more simply in rural environments, does NOT mean going back 3000 years and doing everything yourself (…per above comment that things like your clothes wear out and so you need to go back into civilization to get more – as though making their own clothes is what the people moving to the country planned)

If you move to a rural location (assuming you have sold your urban location), the cost of living can absolutely be lower (often much lower). More house and space for less money, higher vehicle fuel but much lower property taxes, lower heating costs, and opportunities to save money with electricity & food.

It is not for everyone. Internet is certainly slower. More driving with kids if that is when you move there. But to claim it is more expensive, and you have to do *everything yourself*, shows that you have no idea about what you are talking about.

BTW – I live in the suburbs now but grew up on a farm, so I have seen and lived both sides. I intend to retire back there. I work up there one day a week to keep the place still working (and helping out my 82 year old mother who still holds down the fort…).

#79 Smoking Man on 08.21.18 at 9:47 am

65 Gravy Train on 08.21.18 at 6:08 am
#47 Smoking Man on 08.20.18 at 9:56 pm
“Who wants to be a zilliona[i]re?”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/MetaQuotes_Language_MQL4/MQL5

Smokey, you once wrote, “Wikipedia is moderated and controlled by far-left lunatics.” And now you’re quoting from Wikipedia? How could you? I always took you for a far-right lunatic! :)
…..

If loathing Antifa, fasicts, creepy men allowed in girls bathrooms, wide open borders makes me far right. I consider being far right a badge of houner.

Back in the day when Chretian and Martin ran the liberal party, I was knocking on doors with em…

Not anymore. Modern day libralism is run by theiving communists, man and boy haters, cats dressed up pretending to dogs.

No thanks..

#80 Antlers in the trees on 08.21.18 at 9:57 am

#75 IHCTD9 on 08.21.18 at 9:07 am

“…I guess I am a sort of mild “Prepper” as I feel abusive taxation is coming, and am actively working to avoid them….”

Coming? Its already here…..

#81 Duke on 08.21.18 at 9:57 am

I don’t understand why people are so into retirement. What is good about retirement? Not having to wake up in the morning and enjoying your free time all day? Travel whenever you can? Sure, but you can only do so much. You need something to occupy your mind and body.

I have substantial amount invested and have a house but never plan for retirement. I will work until I physically can’t. Instead, I will buy a large catamaran in 5 years (I am 51) and travel about 2~3 months a year while I work the other 9~10 months. You may question about who is going to hire me when I hit 70. Well, I keep up with current technologies and keep myself sharp and able. My knowledge and skills are and will still be in demand even when I am 70. The CEO of my company is 78 and still going strong, and the retired VP of Sales is 77 and still working as a consultant. They are my role models and I will follow their footsteps. Retirement is the point when you become useless.

#82 crowdedelevatorfartz on 08.21.18 at 9:57 am

@#74 Karl
“One of the best posts I’ve seen on here.”
++++++
Really?
Are you two married?( to each other)
Jane24 neglected to mention she’s a retired school teacher with a massive pension.

She also lives in England where the National Health Service is creaking and wheezing into bankruptcy and cutbacks.
England, tottering on the mother of all self inflicted suicides aka Brexit. Which it is woefully unprepared for.

But not to worry all you “Canadians of convenience”….

If the feces hits the fan in Jolly old Blighty or Greece or Italy or Spain …..you always seem to whip out your Canuck Passport and demand our taxpayers back home rescue you…….

I have the same type of co workers here that brag about shopping in the States every weekend and how they smuggle their tax free purchases( gas, booze, whatever) back undeclared and then bitch about the lousy roads and lack of doctors here in Canada…… It takes taxes to run a country..

#83 Ian on 08.21.18 at 10:16 am

Interesting story for you dogs…

So last night I was talking to a friend of mine who is an astute real estate investor in condos in both NYC and Toronto, and is now in the bear camp (for GTA anyway, NYC I can’t speak to). As always, I refer people to this blog and told her about it too of course.

She told me about this property posting board on the York U website, link below. I did not have any luck translating it my browser, but she tells me people are starting to ask the kind of questions / stories we have been hearing on this blog since the bear began: “how do I back out of my purchase”, “how can I leave the country and skip out on my obligations”, etc.

She says there has been a major rise in the frequency of these kind of comments lately.

http://forum.yorkbbs.ca/property/

#84 IHCTD9 on 08.21.18 at 10:20 am

#62 jane24 on 08.21.18 at 4:02 am

Garth you don’t need 2 million unless you stay in Toronto or Vancouver. I retired at 59 and was pleasantly surprised how little it costs for a great life.

It is not what you make in retirement, it is what you spend. I have just calculated that excluding travel we live a great life with much pubbing on $4150 a month. There must be many places in the world that meet these criteria and small town Ontario where we come from meets many of them.

…and yes I am now sorry that I worked so hard in life to obtain this fund. I should have smelled the roses more when my children were growing up. Life is should be a compromise. As a Canadian in Canada I just worked too damn hard.
_______

That was a very informative, realistic, and honest post.

I’m not at retirement yet, but I bloody well know I also won’t need a giant pile of cash.

When I look to retirement, I see myself living rurally but very near a small town in a small nearly new efficient home. I’ll be living it up opa IHCTD9 style: fishing locally, and up north, going on road trips, trail rides, summer cabin rentals, working on little projects, raising some animals, maybe a little side work, and visiting friends. ‘Course, none of this costs a lot.

The reality is, between 2 CPP’s, 2 OAS’s, 1 DB Pension, and just the proceeds only from the portfolio our net retirement income will be near equal to our working income – which is way more than enough even now while I’ve got kids in the house, still piling it into investments, and paying two tuitions.

Also – don’t feel bad about working for that 2 Mil – that is what youth is for. What more pressing tasks did you have at the time? Taking it easy and enjoying life is for when you’re too old to bust your @ss anymore. You’ve done it right.

#85 Bigrider on 08.21.18 at 10:28 am

What should a properly diversified and balanced portfolio be up YTD ?

I am up only 2.5 % . Does this sound about right ??

It also means you have held on to the 20% gains of the last two years. Sounds like a win. – Garth

#86 Shortymac on 08.21.18 at 10:29 am

She really needs to sit down and analyze her purchases.

There’s something called the “latte effect”, where little purchases add up over time.

A $5 latte/day habit is $1825/year, a $10/work day lunch habit is $2600/year, $100/week on booze is $5200/year, etc.

It’s these little habits that keep you in the poor house.

#87 Ian on 08.21.18 at 10:29 am

Who is ready for the Halifax Conservative Convention?!?!

So excited I can hardly sleep. Leave tomorrow am. Never been there.

Big party on Pier 21 Saturday night hosted by the Halifax Blues.

M49ON – UltraBlues!

#88 IHCTD9 on 08.21.18 at 10:36 am

#76 E3-Owner on 08.21.18 at 9:18 am
#38 IHCTD9 on 08.20.18 at 9:32 pm

Following up on your question:

My target is 1.3M invested in 6 years when I reach 53. Plus having my house paid for.
Of that nest egg, 2/3 will be tfsa and unreg, and 1/3 RSP.

At 7% returns, that 1.3 should throw off 5,800 a month in returns, almost 70K in 2024 dollars. That’s about 60K in today’s dollars, all of which can be spending money. The principle stays intact for a few decades.
_____

You’ve got made in the shade IMHO. Most of your cash is in non taxable TFSA’s and an easy drawdown for your RRSP’s. 50-60K should be plenty enough for just about anyone.

#89 Annick Dotal on 08.21.18 at 11:10 am

#64 M. Towne
Well said! When I entered the job market back in the dinosaur era, jobs were plentiful and did not require multiple degrees and certifications. Organizations offered full time permanent jobs with lots of benefits kicking in from day 1 and others after the 6-month probation period. Organizations were also very willing to train new employees. Nowadays, it’s a completely different scenario. Contract work is standard with ABSOLUTELY NO benefits – no medical, no health, no sick days. Many require access to a car. Jobs that required high school only, now demand university and/or college with lots of certifications. Jobs that required an undergrad degree, now require masters and PHDs. Job postings get hundreds of applicants. One entry level job in OPS, that my newly-graduated offspring applied for, had 1500+ applicants. That is the reality that many people face when trying to establish a career. Unless a person has inside connections, it takes years to get established and earn enough to put money aside for savings and investments. Glad to get this off my chest!

#90 Evangeline on 08.21.18 at 11:19 am

KD noodles have to be boiled for the exact amount of time specified on the side of the box, then immediately drained, or they’ll wind up soggy and gross and fit for the bin.

My mom plated KD by shaping it into nests and topping the nests with fried eggs.

How did this turn into a KD blog? – Garth

#91 Wrk.dover on 08.21.18 at 12:02 pm

Amass 2 million by sixty five, retire, then have a heart tackle and die while riding on your bulldozer.

Or better yet, quit this afternoon and live happily ever after, you do have enough already.

You know it and we know it well by now too.

Congratulations. You arrived!

#92 Steven Rowlandson on 08.21.18 at 12:03 pm

“It’s a drag being a disintegrating wrinklie. And moisterdom is no picnic. But hitting 40? Terror. No longer young. On the path to being old. Expected to be adult – mired in career, house, marriage, family, mortgages, prenups, pension plans, tat removal, dental crowns, daycare, glasses, budgets, a minivan. Ayee!”

Sounds like rich privilege to me.

#93 Steven Clayton on 08.21.18 at 12:29 pm

Better idea: get him a camo jacket, a subscription to Field & Stream, hip waders and a dog whistle. He can always use it on Queen St. East.

Priceless! You make me laugh. Thanks.

#94 Fish on 08.21.18 at 12:29 pm

I would say we are heading for uncertain time ahead, for example I have noticed a particular small town in Ontario that there’re alot of business building s up for sale ,
that I have seen 10 Plus for sale signs up, in the same small town, lots of people trying to sell, they have been up for some time, doesn’t look good

#95 Zapstrap on 08.21.18 at 12:36 pm

#89 Annick Dotal on 08.21.18 at 11:10 am

Was down at the local Chinese food restaurant the other day and see a job opening posted on the front door. Looking for a “delivery person” … only requirement … must have own car. I wonder what ICBC would do if you get into kaka delivering?

#96 Gravy Train on 08.21.18 at 1:02 pm

#89 Annick Dotal on 08.21.18 at 11:10 am
“One entry level job in OPS, that my newly-graduated offspring applied for, had 1500+ applicants.”

If your offspring is still looking for a job, I can highly recommend Dick Bolles’s book What Color is Your Parachute? His job-search methodology is the best in the world (IMHO). Get the latest edition (2018) out of the library; there’s likely dozens of copies.

Here’s his Web site: http://www.jobhuntersbible.com

#97 M. Towne on 08.21.18 at 1:04 pm

#86 Shortymac “It’s these little habits that keep you in the poor house”

No it isn’t. Maybe all of your little habits put together don’t help.

What keeps you in the poorhouse is the fact that the two-bedroom apartment you could rent for $600 in 1995 is now $2000 a month.

It’s the fact that in 1995, no one expected to be able to phone, email, or text you at all times, and you could pay $10/month for your half of the cost of a land line, instead of $60/month for cell and data service.

It’s the fact that in 1995, there was no such thing as Internet (or what there was, came over the aforementioned phone line) and now high-speed internet starting at $60/month is all but mandatory to fully function in the world.

The house that cost $150k in 1995 costs $350k+ today, if you’re lucky enough to not live in one of the bubble cities.

Housing is way more expensive. Food is way more expensive. Utilities are way more expensive. Everything non-discretionary is way more expensive. Discretionary purchases are cheaper, but since you have to pay for them with the money left over after buying necessities, that’s kind of cold comfort. And instead of paying people more, the economy has compensated by offering people cheap credit so they can borrow from their own future selves.

“The latte effect” is a smokescreen to distract from that fact.

#98 Newcomer on 08.21.18 at 1:10 pm

Re: Late

“How do we come up with that magic number that allows us to have some fun now, while ensuring we have enough saved for the future?”

As Garth says, that’s called a budget. I like YNAB.

An equally useful question is, how do we have fun now (and in the future) while staying within the magic number? Most people spend inefficiently, buying the goods, services and experiences that are advertised and easy. People who think about how they spend and chose more difficult and less obvious alternatives can get many times more happiness per dollar.

#99 Headhunter on 08.21.18 at 1:19 pm

#91 Wrk.dover on 08.21.18 at 12:02 pm
Amass 2 million by sixty five, retire, then have a heart tackle and die while riding on your bulldozer.

Or better yet, quit this afternoon and live happily ever after, you do have enough already.

You know it and we know it well by now too.

Congratulations. You arrived!

—————————————————————
****mic drop**** baam

“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.” — Seneca

#100 jess on 08.21.18 at 1:37 pm

have they really got control over this fake stuff?

workaround viewbots….>“non-drop views” or “real views” YouTube changes its algorithm, viewbotters suffer. Eventually a select few figure out a workaround and business returns to normal. Repeat ad-nauseum.”

https://theoutline.com/post/3804/inside-youtube-s-fake-views-economy?zd=1&zi=56zxzjzf

#101 Steve Bridge on 08.21.18 at 1:56 pm

Zero chance you’ll publish this, but both of these people could use a spending and savings plan that will allow them to save for their retirement while still saving money for regular monthly/annual costs. Smart and deliberate money management is #1 for these folks. Most financial planners do not provide this service, but there are a few out there, or they can try and figure it out themselves.

Good advisors, of course, encourage this. As do pathetic blogs. (BTW I removed the link you posted to your own business of providing money management services.) – Garth

#102 Damifino on 08.21.18 at 1:58 pm

#89 Annick Dotal

When I entered the job market back in the dinosaur era, jobs were plentiful and did not require multiple degrees and certifications.
———————————-

Was that the Mesozoic or the Cenozoic period?

My first summer job in 1965 was in a paint factory. I worked six full days a week. It was tough, dirty and smelly work. I was paid $1.25/hr.

At end of the summer the payroll manager came to me and said there’d been a mistake and I should have only been getting $1.20/hr.

They deducted the extra 5 cents per hour I’d been making for the past two months from my final pay check.

The following year I remember applying for a job in a pet food rendering plant. There were about fifty others at the door ahead of me when I arrived at 7:30 AM. The personnel manager said I had no chance and sent me (and many others) away.

I long for the return of those heady days but fear they’re gone forever. Glad to get that off my chest.

#103 WUL on 08.21.18 at 2:23 pm

#96 Gravy Train on 08.21.18 at 1:02 pm
#89 Annick Dotal on 08.21.18 at 11:10 am

“One entry level job in OPS, that my newly-graduated offspring applied for, had 1500+ applicants.”

********************

A quick note before I turn to my main point below. Emailing a cover letter and resume in response to a job posting is the least effective means of landing a job. So yesterday.

“Informational interviews” are vastly better. You’d be amazed how many highly placed people are very willing to meet with young people over coffee for 20 minutes to discuss their career path. People are nice and generous with their time when they are asked to assist a young person. Or at least they are in Calgary. Cold calls get you those sessions. The invitee feels gratified. Maybe someone could send that executive an email introduction.

My daughter had one senior person in Downtown Cowtown ask her to send her resume so he could edit it and offer suggestions. The young person does not get a job over that coffee but things arise and one person has already stood out.

Now turning to my main point, I confess I really do not come here for financial information. I need nutritional advice more. On KD, I can list the KD Olympics Champions ’74 – ’77 from Queen’s University. 70 seconds to eat a box of KD Freestyle – fork, spoon, hands….

Garth, a latte and an informational interview over a latte in Scotia Tower when I am next in Hogtown?

(Watch for his response. It works.)

WUL

#104 IHCTD9 on 08.21.18 at 2:50 pm

#94 Fish on 08.21.18 at 12:29 pm
I would say we are heading for uncertain time ahead, for example I have noticed a particular small town in Ontario that there’re alot of business building s up for sale ,
that I have seen 10 Plus for sale signs up, in the same small town, lots of people trying to sell, they have been up for some time, doesn’t look good
_____________________

Yep – lot’s of empty stuff in the town I work in too.

A new development I started noticing in the last couple years is some mild urban blight.

I started paying attention when I saw a normal looking house with a hole in the roof that could have swallowed a beach ball. I started to see other houses with badly damaged roofs, notices taped to windows and doors, unkempt lawns and gardens plus other indicators showing them as vacant. 2 derelict manufacturing plants got bulldozed.

If the city is on the ball tearing this stuff down it’s hard to notice – but I now see at least 6 probably empty 50’s homes just along one main city street. Way more that I could have guessed, and they are being let go by whoever owns them (probably the city at this point). 1 big empty manufacturing plant, and two old empty Churches are also getting pretty ragged.

Small towns like these are headed for a demographic flameout with next to no youth worth keeping, crap job market, and a steadily increasing majority of seniors. All the wealth has moved out into the countryside and to new subdivisions around the outskirts of the city.

#105 Steve Bridge on 08.21.18 at 3:00 pm

I only posted a link to my website as your form asked for it. Didn’t ask you to post it and not here to solicit.

Good boy. – Garth

#106 Renter's Revenge! on 08.21.18 at 3:09 pm

#64 M. Towne on 08.21.18 at 4:58 am
“I stopped reading the Globe and Mail for a lot of reasons, but one was the “financial advice” column that only ever seemed to speak to people who have already done way better than most of us… please, can we stop with the judgments on people who reach their actual earning years without already being rich?”

==================================

Financial planner recommends having more money:

https://www.thebeaverton.com/2018/08/financial-planner-recommends-having-more-money/

“experts agree the best way to have a million dollars for future retirement is to already have a million dollars in the present.”

#107 IHCTD9 on 08.21.18 at 3:11 pm

#91 Wrk.dover on 08.21.18 at 12:02 pm

… then have a heart tackle and die while riding on your bulldozer.
________

That’d be bad news since big old dozers have neither a gas pedal nor a brake pedal. If I died behind the sticks, the dozer would keep right on going demolishing everything in its path.

If fate decrees that this should be how I meet my maker, so be it. I ask only that I am headed towards Ottawa when the reaper calls.

#108 crowdedelevatorfartz on 08.21.18 at 3:12 pm

@#102 Damfino

A pet food rendering plant….in the summer…..ugh.

My first paying summer job was helping an uncle cut cord wood in the forest.
Up at 4:30am and in the woods by 5 am.
$40 per cord of softwood cut and stacked
$80 per cord if the softwood was cut, stacked and the bark stripped off ( for the pulp and paper industry).

Finished at noon because the black flies and noseeums would eat you alive AND the spruce gum from the bark stripping was too thickly embedded in your work gloves to scrape off by then.
Disgusting job for a 12 year old….
Didn’t make a fortune but it was money during the summer.

#109 Ubul on 08.21.18 at 3:13 pm

How did this turn into a KD blog? – Garth

Russian blog meddling, duhhh…

#110 Penny Henny on 08.21.18 at 3:28 pm

#38 IHCTD9 on 08.20.18 at 9:32 pm

Ms IH and I are arranging for about the same 1.3 in RRSP’s by 65. Any more starts getting tough to withdraw without getting pounded in taxes due to CPP X2 and OASx2 and DB pension x1 all coming out at the same time. We don’t live like hedonists either, so don’t need monster piles of cash to get by.
????????????????????

Hey IH why will you need 1.3M.
2x CPP= 2000/month
2x OAS= 1150/month
1xDB = ? lets call it 850/month

that right there gives you $48,000/year.
Let’s say for fun that your 1.3M is kicking out 3.75% in dividends because you are in super safe bank stocks.
That gives you another $48,000 per year. All told you are at $96,000 which is way more than you spend now. WAY MORE.
I think that you should be aiming for an earlier retirement rather than worrying about how to access your money without paying too much tax.

#111 jess on 08.21.18 at 3:34 pm

turns self in …
A judge will likely ask Cohen to explain his crimes. Here’s why that’s a big deal.

President Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is scheduled to appear at a court hearing at 4 p.m. ET.

#112 M. Towne on 08.21.18 at 3:38 pm

#102 Damifino “At end of the summer the payroll manager came to me and said there’d been a mistake and I should have only been getting $1.20/hr.”

That’s about $9.50 in 2018 dollars, less than minimum wage.

Good thing average tuition was only $380 ($3020 in 2018 $) rather than the $5959 it costs today.

#113 James on 08.21.18 at 3:55 pm

#111 jess on 08.21.18 at 3:34 pm

turns self in …
A judge will likely ask Cohen to explain his crimes. Here’s why that’s a big deal.

President Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is scheduled to appear at a court hearing at 4 p.m. ET.
_________________________________________
If I were in Cohen’s shoes I wouldn’t take one for the team when the coach AKA (Lying Donald Trump) is a pathetic pathological lying sociopath. Who in their right mind would take one for him? Trump would through anyone under the bus including his own family. I say he turns states evidence and sings like a bird!

#114 IHCTD9 on 08.21.18 at 4:01 pm

The house that cost $150k in 1995 costs $350k+ today, if you’re lucky enough to not live in one of the bubble cities.

Housing is way more expensive. Food is way more expensive. Utilities are way more expensive. Everything non-discretionary is way more expensive. Discretionary purchases are cheaper…

___

Aye, energy in any form is way more expensive. So are government, taxes, and education (especially bad is the value of education today). Houses are up only a little bit outside the GTA/GRVD.

But…

Food is actually cheaper compared to incomes in North America than it has ever been. We now have foreign farmers in ideal climates working for us making 3.00/day.

Every consumer good you can name costs a fraction of what it used to. The Internet allows all kinds of savings, access and choice we never had before. Pick up clothes for so cheap today I literally burst out laughing when I see the price tag.

So many times I have asked myself how could 2-3-4 people make money on this thing in my hand that cost 5.00. Globalization and technology have made some things (like electronics) so cheap – when they break, we just throw them out. We used to get this stuff repaired due to the cost of replacement.

40 years ago, everyone push mowed their lawns. Why? Because a 21 horse Craftsman lawn tractor cost the equivalent of 13K in todays dollars converted to Canadian. Today, 3800.00 2018 dollars buys their best one.

Last week, I saw my first yard with a robot mower doing the job. I actually pulled over to watch the thing. The lawn looked great, the mower did it’s job without supervision, almost silently, without gasoline, and without blowing grass and dust all over the place. The owner was probably out on the back porch having a beer as he was nowhere to be seen. These robots are about 2.5K right now. Eventually – everyone will have one, and they’ll be under $1000.00.

The future holds even more promise for less work (on purpose and incidentally) and even lower prices. Don’t ask me about jobs and incomes though – THAT’s the 64 million dollar question.

#115 Penny Henny on 08.21.18 at 4:04 pm

#85 Bigrider on 08.21.18 at 10:28 am
What should a properly diversified and balanced portfolio be up YTD ?

I am up only 2.5 % . Does this sound about right ??
/////////////////////

Same here

#116 BillyBob on 08.21.18 at 4:07 pm

#82 crowdedelevatorfartz on 08.21.18 at 9:57 am
@#74 Karl
“One of the best posts I’ve seen on here.”
++++++
Really?
Are you two married?( to each other)
Jane24 neglected to mention she’s a retired school teacher with a massive pension.

She also lives in England where the National Health Service is creaking and wheezing into bankruptcy and cutbacks.
England, tottering on the mother of all self inflicted suicides aka Brexit. Which it is woefully unprepared for.

But not to worry all you “Canadians of convenience”….

If the feces hits the fan in Jolly old Blighty or Greece or Italy or Spain …..you always seem to whip out your Canuck Passport and demand our taxpayers back home rescue you…….

I have the same type of co workers here that brag about shopping in the States every weekend and how they smuggle their tax free purchases( gas, booze, whatever) back undeclared and then bitch about the lousy roads and lack of doctors here in Canada…… It takes taxes to run a country..

===================================

Please give examples of how Canada has “rescued” anyone from the UK/Italy/Spain?

Self-flattering nonsense. Canada is a pimple on an elephant’s buttock in comparison to the countries you mention. If the country has a national identity is has to be that of pathological insecurity.

#117 Shortymac on 08.21.18 at 4:09 pm

“#86 Shortymac “It’s these little habits that keep you in the poor house”

No it isn’t. Maybe all of your little habits put together don’t help.

What keeps you in the poorhouse is the fact that the two-bedroom apartment you could rent for $600 in 1995 is now $2000 a month.

It’s the fact that in 1995, no one expected to be able to phone, email, or text you at all times, and you could pay $10/month for your half of the cost of a land line, instead of $60/month for cell and data service.

It’s the fact that in 1995, there was no such thing as Internet (or what there was, came over the aforementioned phone line) and now high-speed internet starting at $60/month is all but mandatory to fully function in the world.

The house that cost $150k in 1995 costs $350k+ today, if you’re lucky enough to not live in one of the bubble cities.

Housing is way more expensive. Food is way more expensive. Utilities are way more expensive. Everything non-discretionary is way more expensive. Discretionary purchases are cheaper, but since you have to pay for them with the money left over after buying necessities, that’s kind of cold comfort. And instead of paying people more, the economy has compensated by offering people cheap credit so they can borrow from their own future selves.

“The latte effect” is a smokescreen to distract from that fact.”

Yes, I agree with wage stagnation as the real and the real reason behind our economic problems en mass.

I was just giving general budgeting advice.

#118 James on 08.21.18 at 4:14 pm

Apparently Cohen is dodging a bullet. Not taking one!

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/ap-sources-cohen-pleading-to-bank-campaign-finance-fraud/ar-BBMehlN?li=AAggNb9

#119 IHCTD9 on 08.21.18 at 4:26 pm

#110 Penny Henny on 08.21.18 at 3:28 pm
#38 IHCTD9 on 08.20.18 at 9:32 pm

Ms IH and I are arranging for about the same 1.3 in RRSP’s by 65. Any more starts getting tough to withdraw without getting pounded in taxes due to CPP X2 and OASx2 and DB pension x1 all coming out at the same time. We don’t live like hedonists either, so don’t need monster piles of cash to get by.
????????????????????

Hey IH why will you need 1.3M.
2x CPP= 2000/month
2x OAS= 1150/month
1xDB = ? lets call it 850/month

that right there gives you $48,000/year.
Let’s say for fun that your 1.3M is kicking out 3.75% in dividends because you are in super safe bank stocks.
That gives you another $48,000 per year. All told you are at $96,000 which is way more than you spend now. WAY MORE.
I think that you should be aiming for an earlier retirement rather than worrying about how to access your money without paying too much tax.
_________

You are correct. I don’t need anywhere near that amount. The CPP/OAS/DBP actually would amount to about 55K per year gross – way more than enough.

We basically came to realize we should have changed our investing strategy years ago – but realized that last year. Plus we were really pounding it in there to get big tax returns (5 figures) to help with kids tuition.

1.3 is what should be the minimum that’s in there by 65 if we just stop all contributions to the RRSP – so stopping is our “arrangement”. We’re doing TFSA until maxed out, and then taxable if there’s anything left over after that.

Now, I have 2 kids, and the ladies in my wife’s family tend to live past 90 – so there is plenty of use for “too much money” after I’m gone. My main concern is draining that 1.3 out of there without getting taxed too high. I’d then dump as much of the withdrawals as I can into TFSA’s, and the rest into taxable investments.

I’m not sure what way I’m going to go with it as I don’t have all the info I need to make a decision yet. Early retirement while drawing down is definitely on the table! :)

#120 NEVER GIVE UP on 08.21.18 at 5:06 pm

Realtors do not add value to the transaction of selling a house. They only keep their place as a closed shop extracting a large fee for little work.

Zillow could do all the work of a realtor except show the house.
Lawyers are in at the end anyway so the transaction could easily be consummated online.

Competitive companies that guide people through the process would spring up with fees like $400.00.

Start a new business of trusted key holders that show houses. Underemployed people in the community could be available in a pool of house showers who are on call all the time.
They could be paid a fee for every showing paid for by the seller.

In the end much of the wasted money will be in the pockets of the buying and selling public, and not in the leeches of our society.

#121 Annick Dotal on 08.21.18 at 5:18 pm

#102 Damifino
“Was that the Mesozoic or the Cenozoic period?”

Definitely the Mesozoic period (aka the early ‘70s)!

Summer jobs never needed more than 2-3 inquiries/applications. Got paid a princely sum of $1.15/hr working in hot dusty noisy factories standing 9 hours a day. But opportunities were there upon graduation. 5 applications netted 3 job offers for permanent positions with all manner of benefits. Not what new grads have today.a

#122 gfd on 08.21.18 at 8:59 pm

FYI: https://www.thestar.com/business/2018/08/21/when-hay-prices-double-its-bad-news-for-canadas-cattle-herd.html

#123 Bottoms_Up on 08.21.18 at 10:33 pm

Late: kids are expensive. And you should provide the best upbringing you can. Enjoy you life, and create and follow a modest retirement plan. RRSPs are a good idea.

Z: sounds like you have a pretty good life, and are adept at saving. Why would you need to save more? Forget the land idea. Ask hubby where you both were 20 years ago, and if you could have reliably predicted where you are now.

#124 Dolce Vita on 08.22.18 at 3:18 am

This will not end well.

All because of 1 man S. of the border.

Anti-dumping tariffs on Cdn. made welded pipe, applied immediately, tariff = 25%.

EU made vehicles to US, proposed, tariff = 25%.

Big news in the EU today.

Headlines add/imply not only the EU in the cross hairs, also Canada, Mexico (misery does indeed love company).

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It would seem that 25% is a Trump favorite number.