It’s vacation time for the next two weeks and while I’ll certainly enjoy the sunshine, and these record setting temperatures, we don’t have any plans to leave southwest Alberta. Yes, that means a staycation, which is perfectly fine with me. So, instead of venturing into B.C. for two weeks, this year we’ll make a few day-trips and be tourists in our own backyard, so to speak.

What a Lethbridge Staycation Looks Like

We’ll keep our kids busy and entertained with a week of swim lessons, plus basketball camp for our oldest and art camp for our youngest. The City of Lethbridge (finally) completed a state-of-the-art outdoor pool and waterpark, so we’ll get out and enjoy that facility as well. Finally, BBQs, beers, and wine on the deck, not to mention a birthday celebration (the big 38) next week.

The decision to staycation this summer wasn’t just about saving money. After all, we’ve already spent a week in Canmore during Easter and plan to visit again for our anniversary in the fall. Throw in a trip to Toronto this November and our travel itch will be scratched. The fact is, we haven’t spent an entire summer at home since we built our house six years ago. It’ll be nice not to have an itinerary – to simply relax and go with the flow.

We’re planning a Big Trip to Ireland in 2019. We’ve had this dream for a while, and with the timeline less than two years away it’s time to put some concrete plans together and turn this dream into reality. I figure it’ll be a good use of our 160,000+ Aeroplan miles to cover our flights to-and-from. We just need to start figuring out our accommodations and itinerary once we’re on the ground.

This Week’s Recap:

Some financial firms expect their employees to build their own client list from scratch. They often start by targeting friends and family. If you happen to be one of their ‘targets’, here’s why you should use caution when hiring friends or relatives for financial advice.

It’s great when couples are totally in sync with spending and saving – but what happens when a spender partners up with a saver?

From the mailbag: Is leasing a car a good option for this senior?

Weekend Reading:

Canadians pay their mortgages on time, but insolvency expert Scott Terrio says that shouldn’t give us reason to cheer about our financial prudence:

Canadians are renowned for never missing a mortgage payment. Perhaps it’s ingrained in our northern DNA. We’ll do almost anything to ensure we stay current on mortgage payments. We see people use credit cards, lines of credit, even HELOCs to do so. In one case, a client cashed out an RRSP just to make a single mortgage payment.

All around us we see people making bad financial choices and wonder how long they can get away with living beyond their means. If they can finance two new vehicles, or put that vacation on a credit card, why can’t you? Here’s why ‘everyone does it’ isn’t a financial plan.

Why you should face your financial future now rather than hiding from your debt.

Personal finance is only for people who already have money, plus four more personal finance myths you probably still believe.

Three things I should have said about retirement planning:

“Implicit in all my retirement advice was the assumption that everything in life moves in a straight line. For example, once you begin saving, you keep saving. But as the father of four, I have come to realize life is not that orderly.”

Retirement researcher Wade Pfau with an excellent paper on the philosophy of retirement income planning. Here’s part 1 of that paper, and here’s part 2.

More than 2 billion people visit Facebook each month and the social media giant’s revenue and profit have surged, despite its own cautious predictions of a slowdown. Facebook recorded an incredible $9.3 billion in revenue and made $3.9 billion in profit in the second quarter of this year.

A gripping read on the Canada pension system’s constant state of crisis.

This couple has in excess of 15 investment accounts and want some advice on how to rearrange them as they approach retirement.

CRM2 was supposed to shine a light on the true cost of investment fees and advice, but this article says the new investment rules fail to reveal some hidden fees.

Ben Felix explains why past performance won’t indicate how well a fund will perform in the future:

Will Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s crackdown on tax avoidance work?

The Blunt Bean Counter Mark Goodfield also shares his thoughts on the new Liberal proposal on tax fairness for private corporations.

Since paying off his mortgage, Million Dollar Journey blogger Frugal Trader has doubled-down on his Smith Manoeuvre portfolio, continuing to borrow against his home to invest in the stock market.

My Own Advisor Mark Seed dumped his 17-year-old car in favour of a new-to-him 2014 Mazda 3 GS. I hope my hail-damaged 10-year-old Tucson lasts another decade.

Finally, how tech worker Des Odjick minimizes her wardrobe to maximize her brainpower.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


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