With Christmas around the corner we’d like to send a thank-you to all of our readers for supporting the Boomer & Echo blog this year. It’s been an amazing year, starting with a long overdue re-design of the blog (thanks to Justin Bouchard at Top Shelf Web Solutions), plus a commitment to add more photos and visual elements to our posts.

We’ve seen tremendous growth in our readership, with more than 1,200,000 page views so far in 2016. We launched our first e-book to help you manage your finances by the decade, and now boast more than 10,000 email subscribers. If you haven’t signed up already you can do so here, and also join our 8,150 followers on Twitter, plus another 1,875 who follow on Facebook.

Weekend Reading: Christmas Edition

Here’s a look at our most read posts of 2016.

Best of Boomer & Echo: 2016 Edition

January: EQ Bank made quite the entrance into the Canadian savings account market with a 3% introductory offer. The online bank was quickly overwhelmed with sign-ups and had to resort to a waiting list. Then, just a few months later, it dropped its rate to 2.25%. EQ’s interest rate on savings now sits at a still market-leading 2%.

February: I started saving for retirement at 19. Turns out that was a big mistake. A look at the pitfalls of prioritizing retirement savings above all else.

March: I’d like to think I tipped-off the whole Air Miles media storm with this post – Help! Will my Air Miles expire and become worthless?

April: You’ve been saving all your working life and now that you have entered your retirement phase, it’s time to start drawing from your savings. Here’s a guide to withdrawing from your retirement nest egg.

May: Why overextending yourself just to get a piece of the real estate action in Vancouver or Toronto is not just a bad deal, it could spell your financial doom.

June: I reached out to a bunch of Canadian personal finance bloggers looking for the best or most memorable deal they’ve ever received just by asking. The responses were quite entertaining.

July: An open letter to Air Miles was the most read post of the year and led to multiple media mentions, radio interviews, and a CBC Marketplace appearance!

August: We don’t have the time to do everything while working full-time, so we have a long list of things we’d like to do later on. But here are five things you shouldn’t put off until retirement.

September: A TFSA is not just for an emergency fund, it’s time to rethink its usefulness as an investment strategy to complement the retirement plan.

October: One way to determine your financial creditworthiness is to know your credit score and how it is calculated. Here’s why your credit score matters.

November: Whether you’re a late starter or seasoned saver, the five years (or so) leading up to retirement just might be the most crucial time to get your finances in order.

December: Underestimating expenses, or having several “one time” expenses can derail your budget and you’ll be wondering where all the money went. Are these five things missing from your retirement budget?

Rewards Cards Canada

Collecting and redeeming rewards from loyalty programs and credit cards is one of my favourite pastimes. I blog about it over at Rewards Cards Canada. Here’s a few of the most popular articles from 2016:

I reached out to seven Canadian travel experts to get their take on how to spend 52,436 Aeroplan miles. Each replied back with some amazing advice on how to get the most out of your Aeroplan miles.

Here’s how I managed to earn 80,000 Aeroplan miles without much effort or spending.

Why the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard offers arguably the best value for everyday travellers.

Readers may have seen me on CBC Marketplace helping Air Miles collectors fight back against Air Miles and its expiry policy, but what they didn’t see was just how much Air Miles and Loyalty One management was involved in deliberately making it difficult for collectors to redeem their miles.

Finally, here’s how I managed to earn a whopping $3,285 in credit card rewards this year.

Weekend Reading: Christmas Edition

We appreciate you supporting our blog, but we’d be remiss not to say thanks and give a shout-out to all of the other great Canadian personal finance blogs that we love and follow.

One of my blogging idols, Frugal Trader from Million Dollar Journey, gives a financial freedom update after reaching his million dollar milestone.

Mark Seed from My Own Advisor had a terrific interview with Wealthing Like Rabbits author Robert Brown on talking to millennials about money.

Des Odjick from Half Banked aims to save half her paycheque each month. Along the way she discovered that the savings rate she was striving for wasn’t a goal in itself but a means to fulfill the other goals in her life.

Ben Carlson from A Wealth of Common Sense answers a common question about overcoming a late start to saving for retirement.

Nelson Smith from Financial Uproar has a couple of gems this week. First, he highlights a former dividend blogger who inexplicably decided to liquidate his $850,000 portfolio in the months leading up to the U.S. presidential election this year. Next up a look at the shady practice of selling whole life insurance policies to the average Joe who’d be better off with term insurance.

Michael James on Money has some thoughts on a proposal from the mayors of five major Canadian cities to charge tolls on roads and bridges to generate more revenue for infrastructure projects.

Canadian Couch Potato Dan Bortolotti has a great explanation to make sense of capital gains distributions.

Bridget Casey shares a brave and gut-wrenching article about falling off the financial wagon after separating from her husband.

Budget travel expert Barry Choi explains how to get an emergency Canadian passport.

High-speed internet is now a basic service in Canada as the CRTC sets bold new targets for speeds in even remote Canadian areas while investing up to $750 million over five years to make it happen.

Canadian Business takes an in-depth look into the head-scratching new policy in B.C. offering interest free home loans to first-time buyers.

Finally, how the Hatchimal toy craze inspired so much online hate at Christmas.

Wishing you all the very best over the holiday season.


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