Weekend Reading: Calgary Marathon Edition

I’ve been slowly upping my running game and this weekend my wife and I head up to Calgary to race in the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon. I’m still a step behind my wife, who is a more seasoned runner, so I’m entered in the 10 kilometre race while my wife attempts her first half-marathon.

Calgary Marathon

I’m aiming for a sub 55 minute finish for the 10K and my wife will try to beat the 2-hour mark in the half-marathon. Wish us luck!

This Week’s Recap:

Many thanks to Sophia Harris at the CBC for including my advice in her recent story about how Canadians are hoarding $16B worth of loyalty points.

On Monday I shared my unhealthy obsession with saving money.

On Wednesday Marie explored all the great (and frugal) activities you can do this summer to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

And on Friday we opened up the Boomer & Echo mailbag and looked at why more employers are switching from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans.

Weekend Reading:

Portfolio manager John De Goey says enough is enough – it’s time to put an end to embedded commissions:

PWL Capital’s Ben Felix launched a new video series called Common Sense Investing:

Jason Heath answers a retiree’s question about whether she should hold equities along with her defined benefit pension and GICs.

Jonathan Chevreau confronts the “wonderful” problem of the too-large RRSP:

“Baby Boomers have a huge looming tax problem ahead with their 6-figure RRSPs once it comes time to start withdrawing money or securities from them.”

MoneySense’s David Hodges says to try a balanced approach with early withdrawals to pay less tax and stretch your retirement nest egg.

If you’re working past age 65 beware of this Canada Pension Plan oddity.

Desirae Odjick takes a first-hand and detailed look at buying a house with a partner if you’re not married. For the record, my wife and I also bought our first home together before we were married.

Here’s four big risks of borrowing against your house to pay for home renovations.

It’s survey season and according to the latest one by accounting firm MNP, over half of Canadians are $200 or less away from not being able to pay their bills. Ugh.

Next up, a Manulife survey confirms the painful truth about our household debt:

“70 per cent of mortgage holders surveyed report that they would be unable to manage a 10-per-cent increase in their mortgage payments.”

Rob McLister’s Rate Spy website digs deeper into the Manulife survey and concludes that the survey respondents likely did not have a good grasp on what a 10 percent increase in payments actually meant:

“Since the average mortgage is $201,000, a 10% payment jump works out to $106 a month (on average), assuming a 20-year amortization. To most people, that’s not a colossal dollar increase.”

If you’re having trouble scraping together money to save each month take a look at Mark Seed’s approach to saving money on any income.

Michael James tries to explain why he doesn’t abide by the “pay yourself first” mantra. I get what he’s saying, as we have a similar savings approach that’s hard to explain to others.

The anti-Sean Cooper approach to paying off your mortgage – here’s why Krystal Yee does not want to burn her mortgage early.

Home Capital increased the interest rate it offers on savings accounts and GICs in hopes to attract more deposits. Rob Carrick lays out a compelling case for not biting on the embattled bank’s 5-year, 3.1 percent GIC.

A great read from Morgan Housel: To understand how we process risk, you have to know the story of Austria’s 40-year-old nuclear power plant that has never produced a single watt of energy.

Million Dollar Journey lays out a simple index investing guide for his American readers.

Finally, a terrific piece on the career of airline executive and former head of Air Canada Robert Milton.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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  1. Richard on May 28, 2017 at 12:50 am

    I would hope someone buying a 5 year GIC doesn’t have to change their plans in case of a 3 day delay should CDIC coverage be necessary.

    It could even be a kind of bonus. Get a higher interest rate and a chance that your money is not locked up for 5 years.

  2. Lotar Maurer on May 28, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Fred Vettese’s article about the CPP “anomaly” appears to contain two errors?

    I thought that Hart’s continuing to work beyond age 65 does not force him to continue to pay into CPP — from age 60 to 65 it does, but after age 65 he can opt out of continuing to pay in — form CPT30?

    I thought that any payment into CPP after age 65 will result in additional CPP benefits by way of a post-retirement benefit (PRB)?

    Since I doubt Fred Vetesse could be wrong, what am I missing?

    • Echo on May 29, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      Hi Lotar, I reached out to Fred Vetesse with your question and here’s what he had to say:

      Hi Robb. My information as contained in the article was confirmed in writing by both the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Chief Actuary of the CPP. The facts surprised a good many people who had the same misconceptions as your reader.

      If Hart had started his CPP at 65, he would indeed have the option to stop contributing. No option if he defers CPP to 70.

      Similarly, by starting CPP at 65, he could continue to contribute and get a PRB. No PRB if he defers his CPP though.

      And yes, Hart’s pension could potentially rise as a result of post-65 contributions to the extent that he didn’t have enough years of maximum contributions before 65 but that is not the way I structured my article.

      Finally, you can tell your reader that I can very easily be wrong, just not this time!


      Fred Vettese

  3. RateSpy on May 30, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Thanks for the mention Robb. Cheers…

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