Net Worth Update: 2023 Mid-Year Review

1,390,246Net Worth Update_ 2023 Mid-Year Review-1

What a difference a year makes! At this time last year we owned an empty lot and had cashed out our TFSAs to help fund our new house build. Stocks were also down pretty significantly in mid-2022.

Our finances were still in flux at the end of 2022 because we didn’t have a possession date for our new house, and hadn’t put our existing house on the market.

Well, we took possession of our new house at the end of April this year (and we’re absolutely loving it!). We sold our other house for $555,000, which was slightly below the list price but more than our assessed value and expectations. I’ll take the win!

The new owners took possession about a week after we moved out, which worked out nicely. 

As a planner, I stressed about the unknown variables like cost overruns on the new house and whether we’d be able to sell our house on time and for a reasonable price. After a year of uncertainty, things worked out slightly better than expected. 

But the new house is a significant upgrade for us and we needed to make some trade-offs and adjustments to our finances.

First, our goal was to fully finish the new house, including landscaping and window coverings (no someday, maybe projects). That meant holding back some of the cash we received from the sale of our house to complete these projects, rather than throwing extra funds onto the mortgage or back into our TFSAs.

Another goal was that we’d be able to continue living our same lifestyle, including traveling extensively, even though we’re saddled with a larger mortgage at a higher interest rate. That meant adjusting how much we pay ourselves.

Business owners tend to underpay themselves (at least in my experience) and we were likely no different. But we bumped up our personal income by $6,000 each (a 7.1% raise), which will help cover the higher mortgage payments and still allow us to spend on travel, max out the kids’ RESPs, and start contributing annually to our TFSAs again.

On the corporate side, we shored up cash just in case things didn’t go well with the house sale. Everything worked out fine, though, so we comfortably began paying ourselves more and started investing within the corporation again. The goal is to invest $50,000 by the end of 2023.

Finally, our investments have grown significantly year-to-date as Vanguard’s All Equity ETF is up 9.34% so far in 2023. Again, what a difference a year makes!

Now, let’s look at the numbers.

Net worth update: 2023 mid-year review

Total Assets – $1,899,140

  • Chequing account – $12,000
  • Corporate cash – $75,000
  • Corporate investment account – $262,420
  • RRSPs – $290,442
  • LIRA – $191,463
  • TFSAs – $0
  • RESP – $91,815
  • Principal residence – $976,000

Total Liabilities – $508,894

  • Mortgage – $508,894

Net worth – $1,390,246

Our 10-year plan is to stay in the new house while our kids finish school and decide where they want to go for their post-secondary education. We’re open to the possibility of moving to be closer to them, staying put, or doing our own thing. We’ll see when the time comes. 

Now let’s answer a few questions about the way I calculate net worth:

Credit Cards, Banking, and Investments

We funnel all of our purchases onto a few different rewards credit cards to earn points on our everyday spending.

Our go-to card is the American Express Cobalt Card, which we use for groceries, dining, and gas. We also look for the best credit card sign-up bonuses and time our large annual spending (car and house insurance) around these offers. One I’m using currently is the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card.

Our joint chequing account is held at TD, along with our mortgage and kids’ RESPs. My wife has her own chequing and savings accounts at Tangerine. 

My RRSP is held at the zero-commission trading platform Wealthsimple Trade. My LIRA is held at TD Direct, and the corporate investment account is held at Questrade. My wife’s investments are held at Wealthsimple. You know all of this from my post about how I invest my own money.


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, LIRA, 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/LIRA and distribute the RESP to my kids, my net worth will decrease accordingly.

Principal Residence

We bought our home this year for $976,000, so that’s the price I’m using for our net worth calculation. I typically adjust the purchase price by inflation each year but I’ll likely keep listing it at the purchase price for a few years.

Final Thoughts

I debated whether to continue sharing these net worth updates or not. I decided to keep sharing, not to brag about numbers going up on a spreadsheet but to show you that life can be messy and complicated, and even a financial planner doesn’t fully optimize every dollar.

We all have unique goals and preferences, and to get what we want often involves trade-offs. Here we are, with empty TFSAs and a larger mortgage than we had in our 30s.

But we also have other advantages that many people don’t have, such as owning a small business that continues to exceed our wildest expectations. We’re happy to save and invest within the corporation, and pay ourselves a sensible income that allows us to live a good lifestyle and meet our personal savings goals.

We’re also incredibly happy with our new house, and excited that we can live in our dream home while still traveling the world.

I’ve seen too many retirement plans that end up with several million in the bank at age 95. Our goal is to try to strike the right balance between spending now and saving for the future. Economists call that consumption smoothing. I call it maximizing our life enjoyment.

I’m looking forward to traveling again this summer – we’re heading back to Scotland and then over to Amsterdam in August. I’m also looking forward to investing that $50,000 in our corporate investing account before the end of the year. Balance!

How’s your 2023 shaping up?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. John on July 1, 2023 at 6:42 pm

    Congratulations, Robb. I’m happy for you that things are working out so well.

    I’m curious, as my wife and I also bought a house in 2022. What is it that you love about your new dwelling?

    Amsterdam? If you don’t mind my saying, although it’s a beautiful city, it’s tourist-ridden. (As are most of the European cities these days. The Age of Mass Tourism.).

    • Robb Engen on July 1, 2023 at 11:05 pm

      Hi John, thanks for the kind words. Our previous house was set-up for a different phase of our lives, one with our small children attending a nearby elementary school, one where I worked outside the home and we worked out at a local gym.

      Now my wife and I work from home, and so our new place has a dedicated office space and a gym in the basement. Our kids can leave through the walk-out basement and walk or bike to their new school. We recently got a dog, so the huge field behind us is perfect for her to play in. We have a view of the mountains on a clear day. It’s just perfect for this phase of our lives.

      As for Amsterdam, it’s on our bucket list and it’s a quick flight from Scotland (with a nice return flight home) so we decided to go. We’ll likely avoid the inner canals, rent a bicycle, and find the vegan cafes.

      • Richard on July 2, 2023 at 7:14 am

        Try a day out in Haarlem. It’s a short train ride away from Amsterdam and has canals, bikes, restaurants and very few tourists. Unless you count the professors and students from the international school.

        • Robb Engen on July 2, 2023 at 7:24 am

          Hi Richard, thanks for the tip. We’ve been looking at Haarlem and it sounds more like our style!

  2. ray dowbenko on July 1, 2023 at 6:55 pm

    Congrats Rob! You are NOT bragging – most should understand the (relative) simplicity of taking adept steps over time and focusing on needs over wants, until the needs allow for the wants. And even then, some of the wants become one of the future assets.

    • Robb Engen on July 1, 2023 at 11:06 pm

      Many thanks, Ray! That’s how we see it as well.

  3. Jane on July 1, 2023 at 7:13 pm

    Congratulations Rob!! We too are excited to share we just bought a new house. Time to downsize. We really struggled with the decision and spent more than we wanted to but we feel we will be happy there. Definitely trying not to leave millions when we die and since spending is a challenge for us what better way than to spend a huge lump sum on a new house! We will sell in the spring while one daughter moved into the new house and covers the carrying costs. It allows us to slowly move but not crazy about tying up all that $. We didn’t have to completely drain the tfsa’s and managed to put a small mortgage on a rental property which will easily cover the costs. Maybe we will see you in Amsterdam we head there in August as well.

    • Robb Engen on July 1, 2023 at 11:08 pm

      Hi Jane, congratulations – that’s so exciting! Sounds like a really good move.

      Try not to knock us into the canals if we’re mistakenly walking in the bike lanes!

      Take care!

  4. Gord on July 2, 2023 at 6:49 am

    Thanks for the update Rob. A few questions: I have been reluctant to get an American Express card because when we had one years ago many merchants didn’t accept the card. Do you experience this issue? What card would you recommend to maximize travel points?
    Just a note about Scotland: it’s one of our favourite destinations. It’s a wonderful place.

    • Robb Engen on July 2, 2023 at 7:02 am

      Hi Gord, thanks for your comment.

      It’s true that Amex cards are still not as widely accepted as Visa/MC. The best rewards card for you is one that matches up well with your spending habits.

      Amex Cobalt is THE best rewards card on the market right now because of the 5x points you earn on groceries, dining, delivery (eats and drinks, they call it). But if you do most of your shopping at Costco or No Frills, where they don’t accept Amex, that’s not going to work for you.

      If that’s the case, find a travel program that you want to maximize (i.e. Aeroplan, WestJet, Avion, Marriott Bonvoy) and find a credit card that helps you accelerate those points.

      Agree 100% about Scotland – this is our third trip there in five years. We love it!

  5. Ivy on July 2, 2023 at 7:01 am

    Nice to see things working out for your family Robb 🙂
    Just a heads up about Amsterdam; we were there this past month. Watch out for the bikers! They ride very fast, most of them, and you have to be careful when crossing any of the bike lanes. Ya need to be more aware of them than the cars. LOL 😉

    • Robb Engen on July 2, 2023 at 7:04 am

      Hi Ivy, thanks so much!

      Yes, that has been the #1 warning people have given us about Amsterdam. That’s why I keep my head on a swivel 🙂

  6. Denis on July 2, 2023 at 8:21 am

    What do you and others like so much about Scotland?

    My fiancee is Irish and she onlt went once as a child. Her and I would love to visit Ireland, England and perhaps Scotland. As for europe, all the turnmoil lately esp France that I enjoyed, is scary.

    Congrats on your dreams fulfilling. I retired young and am doing well financially esp this year. I converted all my registered accounts to RIF/LIF as well as moving half of my LIRA to RIF as allowed, for various reasons (such as income while waiting to the last minute to start taking govt money.

    I’m starting to travel again and target 5 trips a year (Mediteranian cruise, Portugal, NFLD, Caribbean, restart annual month in LIMA, etc).


    Have fun.

    • Robb Engen on July 2, 2023 at 9:13 am

      Hi Denis, it’s just a magical place – I can’t explain it. We went to Edinburgh by accident in 2019 because we couldn’t find a decent flight into Dublin. We absolutely fell in love with the city. From there we spent time exploring Inverness, the Highlands, and the Isle of Skye.

      We’re not big fans of 40C heat in the summer, so the 18C and cloudy days are just fine. We also love bear-free hiking outdoors, and exploring ancient ruins and castles.

      I don’t golf, but St. Andrews is a must visit for golf fans. And if you’re a whiskey drinker you’ll find no shortage of distilleries to visit and try.

      We also very much enjoyed England and specifically the Lake District when we visited last year.

  7. Paul on July 2, 2023 at 12:02 pm

    Thanks for sharing and being authentic. Certainly spending on the things that bring you joy and happiness. I don’t think you are bragging at all given a mortgage over half a million dollars and zero left in TFSA’s! Definitely some big trade off decisions were made. Personally, I love being debt free with maxed out TFSA’s. Freedom and flexibility. Even though we would very much like to make a real estate change, I would rather cash flow the change than empty our TFSA’s and get back into debt.

    • Robb Engen on July 2, 2023 at 3:34 pm

      Hi Paul, thanks for your comment. I totally respect where you’re coming from (as well as anyone who thinks we’re crazy to take on more debt and drain our TFSAs – it’s not for everyone!).

      I see the TFSA differently than most…to me it’s a medium-term “dream” bucket to help realize certain goals. That could be a new house, a new car, a financial gift to your adult kids, a bucket list vacation, etc.

      Again, to me, blindly filling it up without any real purpose for the account seems like a waste of resources.

      • Paul on July 2, 2023 at 4:11 pm

        Great points about the TFSA and purpose. For us our TFSA’s are currently part of retirement planning. We are not retired yet and we will eventually withdraw from TFSA’s in retirement when we have needs for a bump in income without taking a corresponding income tax bump. Until then enjoying the tax free growth. We did use a bunch of our TFSA’s just a few years after they came into existence to buy a new car and I still somewhat regret that choice. While it was great to buy a vehicle without using debt we did miss out on some good tax free growth. Everyone should have a plan and purpose for their TFSA’s even if the plan and purpose changes.

  8. Alain Guillot on July 3, 2023 at 4:39 am


    1. I am curious about why you don’t have anything on your TFSA. I see it as the greatest opportunity in history for Canadian savers.

    2. I used to share my net worth but I stopped because I am afraid of scammers or in my case, family members asking me for loans.

    • Robb Engen on July 3, 2023 at 6:23 am

      Tell me you didn’t read the first paragraph without telling me you didn’t read the first paragraph.

      • Alain Guillot on July 3, 2023 at 8:33 am

        True, nowadays we don’t read, we scan articles. My apologies. I will be more careful next time when I make a comment on someone’s website.

        About sharing your net worth reports. What are the cons from your point of view? I am always afraid of being a target of someone, mostly scammers. How do you deal with that?

        • Robb Engen on July 3, 2023 at 11:18 am

          Hi Alain, I’ve been sharing these reports for 10+ years. I think readers appreciate the transparency.

          I don’t necessarily think some random numbers (a snapshot in time) on my blog makes me a target for scammers. Plenty of people have a lot more money than I do.

          I don’t answer unknown calls or click on suspicious links. I’d see right through an in-person investment scam. And if friends or family asked for money I’d probably help them out.

  9. Laura on July 7, 2023 at 8:53 am

    Hi Robb. Thanks for sharing your net worth process. Congratulations on the new home. Its helpful for me to see to that things can go up and down but as long as you’re making progress towards yours goals, its ok.
    My husband and I recently celebrated our 25th anniversary and one thing we did was sit down and look through all our pictures and talk about the day and the people. We were sad to see that 15 people that were at our party had passed away since then and this underlined as usual, how important it is to enjoy the journey. Hats off to you and your family for doing that!

    When I do our networth summary I don’t include the value of our home, mostly because we plan to live here forever. Also, we had our kids very late in life so we are nearing retirement but still have early twenties kids living at home and going to university. Part of our financial plan has always been to help them get on their feet rather than wait for money from our estate so our net worth takes regular hits as we help them with expenses and significant purchases like vehicles. Our part of ‘enjoying the journey’ is not international travel but enjoying this time with our kids. Because we are much older than most parents we know, we realize that our paths are going to significantly diverge once they get out on their own. After retirement, our main goals are taking car trips around north america in between helping our our older siblings. We are both the youngest in large families so that impacts our retirement plans in a big way!

    As always, I find your blog full of helpful financial info but also like the personal aspect from what you share and what your audience shares. We all have a different journey to take and I like learning from others. Thank you.

Leave a Comment

Join More Than 10,000 Subscribers!

Sign up now and get our free e-Book- Financial Management by the Decade - plus new financial tips and money stories delivered to your inbox every week.