We’ve reached the halfway point of 2016 so it’s once again time to take a deeper look at my finances and update my net worth.

This year has been fairly quiet on the financial front. I continued to simplify our investments, this time by transferring a small RRSP account from Tangerine over to our TD Direct account where the rest of our investments are held.

Paying down our line of credit remains a top priority. I’m also counting the days until our car is paid off (three more months!) so we can allocate those dollars towards our TFSAs.

My main frustration is that I haven’t seen a raise in three years. Unfortunately it looks like that trend will continue into 2017. That means more pressure to ramp up efforts with our online business so that we can withdraw enough income to at least keep up with cost of living increases.

That said it’s satisfying to still be on track with our financial goals despite it being years since I’ve seen any significant salary growth.

Here’s a look at the numbers:

Net worth update: 2016 mid-year review

Total Assets – $738,605

  • Chequing account – $1,500
  • Savings account – $5,000
  • RRSP – $118,866
  • Defined benefit plan – $138,845
  • TFSA – $4,359
  • RESP – $20,035
  • Principal residence – $450,000

Total Liabilities – $261,934

  • Mortgage – $242,947
  • Home equity line of credit – $18,987

Net worth – $476,671

A few questions that I often get asked after posting a net worth update:

Banking

We funnel all of our spending onto the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard. The card pays 2 percent back on every purchase and its new no more tiers redemption program makes it easy to cash in points.

We have no-fee chequing accounts at Tangerine, which we use for bill payments, email money transfers, and the odd debit purchase.

The rest of our banking is done at TD, including our mortgage, line of credit, and investments.

Pension

Each month I contribute roughly 12 percent of my salary to a defined benefit pension plan that my employer matches. The amount listed above is the commuted value of the pension if I were to leave the plan today.

The plan pays 2 percent of your highest average salary multiplied by the number of years worked. So that means if I retired at 60 with an average salary of $100,000 I’d receive $60,000 per year from the pension plan.

RRSP / RESP

The right way to calculate net worth is to use the same formula consistently over time to help track and achieve your financial goals.

My preferred method is to list the current value of my RRSP and RESP plans rather than discounting their future value to account for taxes and distributions.

I consider a net worth statement to be a snapshot of your current financial picture, so when it comes time to draw from my RRSP and distribute the RESP to my kids, net worth will decrease accordingly.

Principal residence

We bought our home nearly five years ago and, even though the market has gone up, I’ve continued to list the value at purchase price. Last year I factored our basement renovation into the equation and increased our home value by $25,000.

Final thoughts

I check in on my overall financial health twice a year to make sure I’m still on track to meet my goals – both short and long term. There are a few big picture goals in mind:

First, I want our net worth to surpass $500,000 by the end of the year. Second, I want to hit the million-dollar mark by the end of the year in which I turn 41 (2020). And finally, I want to become financially free by 45.

To me financial freedom means no more mortgage payments, or other debt obligations, and the income earned from our online business and personal investments exceeds our living expenses.

We’re on track to reach these goals and I can’t wait to get there!

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4 Comments

  1. mike on July 4, 2016 at 9:56 am

    I use similar metrics, but have adjusted our RRSP and Pension or future taxes to avoid any shocks when I start to withdraw funds. I have adjusted our house price to account for local increases, but have used lower end estimates from current offerings. Our networth has reached 600K (331K in investments; 269K in house) with both of us being 44 years old. Our goal is to pay off the house in less than 3 years; and be able to FIRE by 55, at the latest, with 1 million in investments. We are on track for all of these goals, but it is always good to check the portfolio regularly.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Sandra Tisiot on July 4, 2016 at 10:00 am

    I love your posts.

  3. Gert on July 7, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Hi,
    I’m 54 years old and stopped working. I have a net worth of upwards of a million. No debt, paid off the house 3 years ago, no car payments (although the car will need to be replaced eventually). My wife continues to work and our daughters are in school. I have no pension to speak of apart from my investments, the house is factored in at about 400 – 450K $ of net worth. All this to say I’m still worried I may not be able to continue staying home. My question always remains at how much is enough and at what point can one say I’ll be okay? I don’t always trust the investments especially in the past years where I’ve had literally no growth but capital seems to be sustained. RRSP, TFSA are topped off and savings are roughly at 35K $ Life style being very conservative our focus continues on the girls and their education. I would very much appreciate an opinions.

  4. Denis on July 9, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Your approach could mimic mine and why I retired at 54 (goal was 55 as in the old proverbial freedom 55). All my investments at TD, PC Financial no fees for banking, and I switch back and forth between Aeroplan cards for fee free 1st year and bonus miles. Well done.

    One thing is not to be afraid of debt esp with this low rate environment. I used my house equity (350K+) to replace all windows at 2.79% 4 yr mortgage after completing my 3rd mortgage when I bought my 3rd home. I only have one home now. I also have LOC for cash flow (before I pay it with investment returns and for tax deductible investing.

    As to Gert, I was wondering about retiring at 54 (did I have enough, …) but there is a govt calculator that I used and it showed I had more than enough. In spite of no salary, my net worth has increased quite a bit since retirement due to the CAN$ dropping (I converted a lot of Can$ when it was above par and to invest in the US as the returns/diversification/options/etc are better there) and the best bull (stock) market since the late 20th century). With 1MM$ in investments, you can expect 60K return per year with a good, safe adviser like my spouse has (who still works as well though I have asked her to retire). My goal in DYI is to beat that 6% an adviser should get you safely or better yet, the average return of the S&P of 8%.

    I do feel for the retirees that are so afraid as to be in bank GIC at 1% but if they are gullible/not financially sophisticated, there are a lot of bad people out there and I know of one that fleeced many, got caught, slap on wrist and is now in Ottawa doing it again I would assume.

    Anyways my 2 cents FWIW

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