What Is Probate, How To Avoid Probate Fees, and Should You Even Try?

By Robb Engen | July 7, 2023 |

What Is Probate, How To Avoid Probate Fees, and Should You Even Try?

Some Canadians will go to great lengths to avoid probate fees and to reduce taxes applied to their estate. Indeed, estate planning strategies such as adding an adult child to the title of primary residence or a cottage, or as a joint owner of a non-registered account, can unknowingly expose you or your child to potential costs and unnecessary risks.

Before you tie yourself in knots trying to avoid probate fees, let’s answer some important questions about what exactly probate is, which assets are subject to probate, and what you can do, if anything, to reduce or avoid them.

We’ll also look at what people get wrong about probate, along with the potential pitfalls that can be caused trying to avoid probate – at the expense of good tax, financial, and estate planning.

Estate planning is a complicated topic, so I sought the help of three of the brightest minds I know in financial planning to put together a comprehensive article on the subject; Mark McGrath, an investment advisor in Squamish, Markus Muhs, a portfolio manager in Edmonton, and Jason Pereira, a financial planner in Toronto.

What are probate fees?

First up, here’s a Q&A with Mark McGrath to help explain what probate fees are all about.

Q: Which assets are subject to probate fees?

A: When an asset is left to your estate, it may be subject to probate.

Certain assets that allow you to name a beneficiary may pass outside your estate – for example, RRSPs, TFSAs, and life insurance policies where you’ve named an individual as the beneficiary.

If assets are held in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, or owned by a trust, they may bypass probate as well.

Other assets like personal non-registered accounts, bank accounts, personal effects, or real estate do not allow you to name a beneficiary, so in many cases those assets will be part of your estate.

Each province has its own probate fees and thresholds. In Ontario for example, where probate fees are now known as ‘estate administration tax’, that threshold is $50,000. Only amounts above this threshold are subject to probate fees.

It’s worth noting that while assets can pass to your surviving spouse without tax, that doesn’t mean the asset won’t form part of your estate.

If you own a non-registered account in only your name for example, this can be rolled over to your surviving spouse at cost, meaning any unrealized capital gains can be deferred until the death of the survivor. But that account would still be part of your estate, and subject to probate fees.

Unintended consequences

Q: What do people get wrong about probate?

A: Probate is an important process in winding up an estate. It validates that your will is current and indemnifies people and institutions that hold your property from giving it out to the wrong beneficiaries.

Often, planning is done with the intention to avoid probate fees. And often, that planning has unintended consequences.

For example, adding an adult child as a joint owner on your bank account is advertised as a way to allow the bank account to pass to the surviving owner, outside of the estate. But it’s not that simple – adding a signer to an account might trigger resulting trust rules, where the asset is deemed to be held in trust for the estate.

In certain cases, adding a joint owner will be a disposition for tax purposes. That means if you add a joint owner, like an adult child, to any property that has increased in value – you may be subject to capital gains taxes on a portion of the increased value.

I also see people leaving their RRSPs to their adult kids rather than the estate to avoid the probate fees, but without realizing that the beneficiaries and/or the executor could be on the hook for the tax bill. Sometimes it could be best to leave the RRSPs to the estate to avoid this issue, even if it means probate fees will be charged.

Probate fees range from nil in some provinces, to a high of 1.695% in Nova Scotia. Going to absurd lengths to eliminate a relatively small fee could cause more problems than it’s worth.   

How to reduce probate fees

Q: So, what can people do to help reduce probate fees?

A: Where appropriate, name individuals as beneficiaries on allowable accounts – RRSPs, TFSAs, and life insurance policies for example. But be aware that naming beneficiaries can have unintended consequences, like a disproportionate inheritance for certain beneficiaries.

For higher-net-worth Canadians, using trusts may be appropriate. These are complex structures that come with other costs, but assets held in trusts generally do not go to your estate and are therefore not subject to probate.

Gift money while you’re still alive. There is no gift tax in Canada, though gifting money to a spouse can have tax consequences. Gifting to adult children who are beneficiaries of your estate keeps that money away from probate and allows you to see your heirs benefit from the gift while you’re still alive.

Add joint owners to your assets, but seek professional advice first. There can be adverse tax consequences if not done correctly, or the assets may still pass to your estate.

Seek professional help. Estate law is complex and can vary by province. While it may seem costly, hiring a good estate lawyer will often pay for itself in the long run.

Probate fees in dollar terms

Q: Finally, can you give a short example of a final estate and what the probate fees would be in dollar terms?

A: Sure. Frank and Jane own the follow assets in Ontario, BC:

RRSP$100,000 $200,000
TFSA$120,000 $100,000
Joint non-registered$50,000 $50,000
Personal non-registered$150,000 $70,000
Vehicles and personal items$40,000 $40,000
Life insurance policies$500,000 $500,000

They have named each other as the beneficiaries on their RRSPs, TFSAs, and life insurance. And their joint non-registered investment account is a result of each of them saving and contributing to the account – it is owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship.

Frank passes away. What assets are subject to probate, and what are the costs?

The RRSPs, TFSAs, and life insurance death benefit go directly to Jane, bypassing Frank’s estate. Since she is a joint owner on the non-registered account, that passes to her directly as well – no probate.

Frank’s personal non-registered account and his vehicles and personal items, however, do form part of his estate, since he was unable to name a beneficiary on this property and it was owned only in his name.

The total value of those assets is $190,000, exceeding the probate threshold in Ontario of $50,000.

The amount above that threshold – $140,000 – is subject to Ontario probate fees, which are 1.50%.

$140,000 x 1.50% = $2,100 in probate fees.

Nobody likes to pay fees if they can be avoided. But engaging in complex planning to avoid $2,100 in fees may not have been worth the cost and complexity involved.

Thanks to Mark McGrath for explaining in plain language what exactly probate is, walking through how to reduce or avoid fees, and for giving us a clear example of what those fees might look like in dollar terms. Be sure to follow Mark on Twitter.

Common questions about avoiding probate

Now that we have a good overview of what probate is, which assets are subject to probate fees, and what people can do to reduce or avoid probate fees, let’s get into some common questions that financial planners hear from their clients about avoiding probate.

Here’s my Q&A with Markus Muhs on this topic.

Adding child(ren) as joint owners of a non-registered account

Q: Markus, my first question for you is about adding your child(ren) as joint owner of a non-registered account. What do people hope to accomplish with this? What do they get wrong about it? What can they do instead?

A: First and foremost, I need to disclose that I’m not a legal expert, and with a lot of these big ticket decisions your readers should consult with a lawyer specializing in wills and estates before going forward with any particular strategy.

Spend the money on professional legal advice, even if it’s a few thousand dollars, to avoid losing thousands to inefficient taxation of your estate—or worse—litigation, should your beneficiaries fight about it.

With that out of the way, in most provinces (outside of Alberta and Quebec) probate fees are applied on an estate as a percentage of assets. It varies province to province, but usually there’s a small or flat rate applied to a smaller estate, or the first portion of a bigger estate, then a fairly punitive amount to larger estates.

In Alberta and Quebec it’s a flat 3-figure dollar amount to cover the administration of probate, while in other provinces it’s unofficially an estate tax.

With that said we’re not talking anything huge, like the estate taxes in some other countries. The province of BC, for example, applies no fee to the first $25,000, 0.6% to the next $25,000, 1.4% for the excess.

Probate fees on a $1 million estate would then come out to slightly under $14,000. That sounds like a lot, but when you’re also considering the taxes due on remaining assets in RRSPs/RRIFs, capital gains, and other legal costs that could come up, it’s not really.

“Most Canadians would be better served applying more thought to a tax-smart decumulation strategy (what we financial planners help them accomplish) than worrying about probate fees.”

Probate fees become more of an issue for single people, typically the last-to-die spouse. When the first spouse dies, there generally isn’t much of an estate to be probated, as most assets pass with joint right of survivorship to the surviving spouse, while registered plans pass tax-free or tax-deferred to the survivor.

So, after that first spouse has passed the widowed parent (or their children) often debate making assets joint in order to bypass probate.

Some things that can go wrong with this:

For bank accounts, it might not be clear that the purpose is for the account to pass to the child upon death of the parent.

The standard procedure when making an account joint at a bank is to have the account holders sign a joint signature card. If there isn’t an explicit joint with right of survivorship agreement signed by all account holders and properly witnessed, the account might not pass to the survivor.

This means upon death the account gets frozen along with the deceased’s other accounts, and the bank considers it part of their estate.

For investment accounts, there could potentially be litigation issues if a large account is left joint with right of survivorship to one child and other children are left out.

“It may not always be clear whether an account was made joint for administrative purposes, or estate purposes.”

Adding your child(ren) to the title of your primary residence

Q: What about adding your child(ren) to the title of your primary residence?

A: It’s one of the most common questions, as the primary residence is usually the largest asset left behind by the parent.

A primary residence for an individual or married/common-law couple is exempt from capital gains taxes, so a parents’ home is exempt, and a child’s primary residence is exempt.

If the child is put as joint owner on the parent’s home, the parent’s 50% ownership of the home remains tax exempt (and capital gains up to that point is of course exempt), but the child then partially owns a second property, and that share of the property is not exempt.

Let’s say a $1 million property goes up in value by $200K from the point it was made joint to when the parent passes away: $100,000 of that capital gain is the child’s, and half of it is taxed at their marginal tax rate. These taxes can easily become more than whatever probate fees were saved.

Q: So, what should a parent do instead?

A: In general, don’t make the primary residence joint with your child(ren). Expect it to flow through your estate and expect to pay probate fees on that.

Otherwise, if you plan on diverting from that path, only do so after consulting an estate planning lawyer – not because you read online that it’s a good idea or because a friend or family member suggested it.

Naming your child(ren) beneficiaries of your registered accounts

Q: What about adding your child(ren) as beneficiaries of your registered accounts?

A: This obviously makes a lot more sense for the surviving spouse, as it’s an easy way to bypass probate.

There are some pitfalls that might come up if an estate isn’t properly planned though.

Taxes can’t be avoided, and on RRSPs/RRIFs when kids are named beneficiaries of the plans, the full amount being withdrawn is taxable all at once in the deceased’s terminal tax return.

What trips up some people is the process in which such plans are collapsed: no tax is withheld; the full gross amount goes from the RRSP/RRIF to the beneficiary, so there needs to be other money left in the estate to pay the tax.

A common error that may come up is an example where the parent has a $1 million RRIF and net $1 million in other estate assets. They might think it’s simplest to name their son beneficiary of the RRIF while their daughter is named in the will as sole beneficiary of the estate.

Not only will the timing be way off on who gets what, and when (the son gets the RRIF money right away, as it doesn’t need to pass through probate, while the daughter waits upwards of a year for probate to pass), but the daughter in this case would be left with a tax bill (upwards of $500,000) for the RRIF withdrawal.

When a widowed parent names beneficiaries on their registered plans, the best practice is either to name multiple beneficiaries for their registered plans (splitting the money as the overall estate is intended to split) or just naming the estate. The latter will of course result in more probate fees in most provinces and take a lot longer till the beneficiaries get their money, but in certain cases can make for a cleaner splitting of assets and settlement of an estate.

Thanks so much to Markus Muhs for clearly answering these common questions about probate. Be sure to follow Markus on Twitter.

More probate pitfalls to consider

Next up we have Jason Pereira, who dives further into the potential risks involved when people try to avoid probate.

Q: Jason, what are some of the unintended consequences of adding your child(ren) to the title of your house, cottage, or non-registered account?

A: Moving accounts and real estate to joint ownership is a popular strategy with the masses for avoiding probate.

People do this because, when an asset or account is owned joint with the right of survivorship, the account will bypass the estate and the holdings will not be subject to probate.

The problem is, while simple to do, joint ownership opens up a minefield of potential issues.

First, people almost never get proper legal, tax, or financial advice before doing this – which can lead to many issues.

It helps to be aware of what probate even means. For most people, probate fees are tiny to non-existent.

“Yes, executing an estate can be a pain, but in many cases it’s better to pay probate to ensure your money goes where you want it to, and you can minimize or negate the chance of family conflict or abuse.”

Tax Implications

Q: What sort of tax implications do people need to consider?

A: By default, a change in ownership triggers taxation. As such, any deferred capital gains will be taxable when ownership changes.


Q: What are some other issues that can arise?

A: In Canada, it is possible to legally separate beneficiaries from legal ownership. This means someone could be added as an owner, but NOT be the beneficiary of it. That would mean there is no disposition.

How to pull this off: you need documentation proving that the intent was just for probate reasons and is not a beneficial ownership change.

“RBC (and maybe others) now supports Joint Gift of Beneficial Right of Survivorship accounts that are designed for this.”

This type of arrangement constitutes a bare trust under the law and now requires disclosure of all parties and annual trust filings with CRA. Failure to comply will attract penalties.

Other risks to be aware of

  1. This is not a way to split income. All income is taxable in the hands of the person who originally purchased the asset.
  2. You also lose full control over the property. Now someone else has the right to decide how the asset is used.
  3. The asset is now exposed to the liabilities of the new owner. If you add your child as joint owner and they have creditors come after them they will try to come after the asset. Note that reporting as a trust helps prevent and protect from this.
  4. Family law issues. The asset is now exposed to the spouse of the new owner. Add your kid, and if they get divorced, the spouse could come after it. Again, reporting as a trust helps prevent and protect from this.
  5. Estate issues. You can no longer control the distribution of that asset via a will. The asset is inherited by the joint owner, but the tax bill is the responsibility of the estate. If the will is not drafted accordingly, and there is more than enough money to pay the tax bill in the estate, then that joint owner could try to “screw over” the other beneficiaries by keeping the asset and sticking them with the bill. This likely wouldn’t hold up in court, but it could be tried. Never blindly trust people to do the right thing. There is a TON of case law on this.
  6. Elder abuse issues: There is also a ton of case law where children that were added to joint accounts used the asset for personal use and made the original owner worse off.

Consider alternatives that are well documented, such as an Alter ego / Joint partner trust. And for crying out loud, get proper legal advice.

Thanks so much to Jason Pereira for shedding light on the many issues that may arise when you proactively attempt to avoid probate fees. Be sure to follow Jason on Twitter.

Final Thoughts

Many thanks again to Mark McGrath, Markus Muhs, and Jason Pereira for answering questions for this comprehensive article on probate fees and pitfalls to avoid.

It’s a complicated topic that gets brought up a lot, and there is a lot of misinformation floating around online and at the water cooler on how to avoid probate.

The key takeaways are that, in most cases, probate fees are minimal, and probate ensures the proper disbursement of your assets after you die.

There’s no need to tie yourself in knots trying to avoid probate fees if it means opening yourself and your child(ren) up to other potential issues.

If you do have a complicated estate or specific wishes you want carried out, get proper advice from an estate planning lawyer before you start adding children as joint owners and beneficiaries of assets and accounts.

That includes proper documentation declaring your intentions behind these actions. Don’t leave important matters up for interpretation.

Net Worth Update: 2023 Mid-Year Review

By Robb Engen | July 1, 2023 |

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?

Weekend Reading: RESP Portfolio Reboot Edition

By Robb Engen | June 18, 2023 |

Weekend Reading: RESP Portfolio Reboot Edition

Happy Father’s Day! Today seems like a good day to talk about the changes I plan on making to reboot our kids’ RESP portfolio.

For years, I’ve invested our RESP contributions into TD’s e-Series funds – contributing $416.66 per month and then buying one of four e-Series funds (Canadian, US, or International equities, plus Canadian bonds). Rather than rebalancing, I’d simply buy the fund that was lagging my target asset mix. This kept the portfolio in balance and relatively easy to manage.

I’ve often considered RESPs to be like a practice run for managing your retirement accounts. You’ve got a condensed timeline to contribute (17 years or so). You need to consider de-risking the portfolio as you get closer to accessing the funds. And, you need to manage withdrawals over a period of, say, four to 10 years. 

That means making difficult decisions around market timing, changing asset mixes, and tax efficient withdrawals. It’s not easy.

Further complicating things is that we have one family RESP portfolio with two beneficiaries of different ages. Our oldest daughter’s share of the pot should be a bit more conservative than my youngest daughter’s, but all of the funds are lumped together.

A lightbulb went off when PWL Capital’s Justin Bender released a video on how to invest your RESP. Justin brilliantly explained how to set up your family RESP in such a way that you can separate out each child’s share of the funds while still keeping costs low and the portfolio easy to manage. 

The TL;DW version is that you’d use an all-equity ETF, a short-term bond ETF, and eventually a high interest savings ETF from different ETF providers (say, Vanguard and iShares) for each child to separate their share of the portfolio. In fact, it’s very similar to the two-fund solution for investing in retirement that I wrote about recently.

So, I’ll just change my oldest daughter’s name to Vanguard, and my youngest daughter’s name to iShares as I attempt to reboot their RESP portfolio.

Rebooting the RESP Portfolio

It’ll take a few steps to make the appropriate changes in their RESP.

First, I need to determine the proportion of contributions, CESG, and investment growth assigned to each child. To do this, you can call the Canada Education Savings Plan hotline at 1-888-276-3624 and get a Statement of Account for each beneficiary. Have their Social Insurance Numbers handy.

RESP statement of account

Second, I’ll need to sell off the TD e-Series funds and then purchase the new ETF portfolio for each child.

Finally, I’ll need to stop contributing $416.66 monthly and instead contribute one lump sum of $5,000 in January. That limits my rebalancing efforts to once per year and also keeps transactions costs low since I’m switching from no-commission e-Series funds to potentially $9.99 per trade ETFs (if I keep this account at TD Direct). 

For all of these reasons it makes sense to start this portfolio reboot in January, 2024.

The Current TD e-Series RESP

Here’s what the current RESP portfolio of ~$92,000 looks like:

  • TDB900 – Canadian Equity – $26,530
  • TDB902 – US Equity – $28,815
  • TDB911 – International Equity – $29,720
  • TDB909 – Canadian Bonds – $6,935

As you can see, the current portfolio is way lighter on bonds than it should be for our kids’ ages. That’s partly the reason for this portfolio reboot – I know we need to de-risk the RESP as our oldest daughter is just 3.5 years away from making her first withdrawal(!).

I’m okay with that. You’ll see that Justin Bender’s proposed asset mix is much more conservative than I think most people would expect. But that’s because the lifetime of this account is actually much shorter than we think. Even the most aggressive investor in their own retirement account has to admit that it doesn’t make sense to hold a large portion of equities when you’re close to making significant withdrawals.

The newly rebooted RESP Portfolio (as of January 2024)

Remember, I’m going to contribute $5,000 in January, 2024 to front-load their contributions for the year. That will earn $1,000 in CESG. I’ll also assume some investment growth between now and the end of the year, bringing up the portfolio balance to $100,000.

I’ll assign 56% of the portfolio to my oldest daughter (now named Vanguard – sorry!), and 44% of the portfolio to my youngest daughter (now named iShares – again, sorry!).

Vanguard’s share of the pot will follow the age 14 glide path and look like this:

  • VEQT – Global Equities – $11,200 (20%)
  • VSB – Short-term Bonds – $44,800 (80%)

iShares’ share of the pot will follow the age 11 glide path and look like this:

  • XEQT – Global Equities – $17,600 (40%)
  • XSB – Short-term Bonds – $26,400 (60%)

Once Vanguard approaches university age I’ll add a new high interest savings ETF to the mix, which will cover at least that year’s expected withdrawals.

This change will represent a significant “de-risking” of our kids’ RESP portfolio but one that has been largely overdue.

Readers, if you manage an RESP I’d love to hear your thoughts on this proposed change.

This Week’s Recap:

A few weeks ago I asked if outsourcing was the key to happiness. Some interesting responses!

I also explained how investors can control their urgency instinct. Don’t just do something, stand there!

Earlier this week I looked at a simple way for retirees to manage their investments using just two ETFs.

Weekend Reading:

Is this the end for attainable home ownership in Canada? Sadly, that seems to be the case in some parts of the country.

More on the increasingly narrow path to owning a house, without becoming house poor.

Meanwhile, unaffordable Toronto and Vancouver are ranked as top cities for young people to live and work in.

The Globe & Mail’s Erica Alini explains why living with your parents in your 20s is becoming common financial advice (subs).

Investment industry lobbyists have fought hard against measures such as banning embedded commissions and providing a fiduciary standard of care, largely claiming this would drive advisors out of business and lead to an “advice gap” for regular Canadians. Preet Banerjee rightly argues that there isn’t so much an advice gap as there is a quality-advice gap.

PWL Capital’s Peter Guay wrote an incredible guide for families on how to pass on the cottage to the next generation.

Millionaire Teacher Andrew Hallam on why you find it hard to invest (plus, what makes the best investors).

Of Dollars and Data blogger Nick Maggiulli claps back at finfluencers, saying if you’re so rich, why are you so desperate?

“After all, if you’re so good at building wealth, why don’t you just go and build more for yourself instead of selling me on how to build it?”

Should you buy a covered-call ETF? You could, but you might be giving up as much as 9.5% in annualized returns.

What do to with a spousal RRSP at age 71? Converting the account to a spousal RRIF is a common option, but be aware of the income attribution rules.

A lot of research around retirement spending strongly suggests that spending declines as we age (go-go, slow-go, and no-go years) for reasons related to declining health and waning interest in travel and hobbies. But, as Michael James on Money has long argued, another reason for this is because of bad spending plans in the early retirement years that force spending cuts later in retirement.

Why buying a car has never been more expensive, assuming you can even find one.

Travel costs have also soared, but travel expert Barry Choi explains how loyalty programs can still help.

Finally, economist Tim Harford’s take on the cheese, the rats, and why some of us are poorer than others.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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