Have you considered putting aside extra funds for the teenage years?
If you have not thought about this, then you may want to if you have a child that is quickly headed towards the adolescent years. This can be a turbulent time, not just with the emotion and drama it can bring, but also with all of the associated expenses that it can add to the family budget.
When you think of your family financial strategy, you need to consider each and every phase of life. To their detriment, many families do not consider just how expensive the adolescent years can be.
Many people have no idea. Some people have a vague idea. A few people, a very few, have it all worked out. When it comes to retirement planning, many people do not take action until forced to by a mid-life event (career change, death of loved one) or by hearing about seniors running out of money.
When it comes to making financial decisions most people focus on either\or scenarios; that is making a tactical decision that may or may not reflect a larger financial planning or wealth accumulation context.
We often see these types of isolated, one-off decision choices in media articles that pose dilemmas such as: Is it better to invest in an RRSP or pay down your mortgage? Should you take your tax refund and invest in an RRSP or go on Vacation? Are TFSA’s better than RRSPs? Should you pay off your credit card balance or invest in an RRSP? You get the picture.
We are now well into 2015 and your New Year's Resolution to do a better job of managing your money are already being forgotten. As the late Sir John Templeton famously stated, the best time to invest is when you have money! The challenge for many people, with many middle-class people just struggling to make ends meet, is just getting started.
Before a sky scraper can reach for the clouds, it needs a very strong foundation. Once the building is complete, the foundation is virtually unseen. The same goes for our financial plans. Following are the basics of a strong financial foundation:
Budget - Governments and businesses use budgets to properly allocate resources. It's known as good business. A budget can help you figure out where your hard earned income is going and to identify ways to cut spending or increase savings.
Many parents wrestle with the dilemma of how much financial support to provide their children attending post-secondary programs. The costs today are much greater than what the parents paid for similar schooling some thirty or more years ago.
Tuition costs alone have risen at least tenfold since the 1970's for a basic humanities degree, never mind the enormous cost increases for professional programs such as engineering, business, law and medical school.
A question sometimes asked in the media is exactly what is the role of a financial professional and how do they help the client meet their life goals and dreams. Why do you even need to engage the services of a planner or advisor when so much information is already available for free on the internet and elsewhere?
Many clients in their 50's and 60's are increasingly worried about the finances of their aging parents. This is especially true in an era of unprecedented low interest rates. They often ask: 'How do I talk to them about their care and their finances?'
This topic raises many sensitive family dynamics including the adult child who is uncomfortable raising the topic with their parents and parents who are in denial or not comfortable discussing these personal care and financial issues with their children.
The financial planner responded by saying that if the public stock markets were going down the drain, then real estate would follow as well. Why? Well it is one economy and we are all connected at the end of the day! Shocked, the veteran of 30-years in real estate responded that he had never thought of it that way and walked away shaking his head.
According to the Minister of National Revenue, the average tax refund is over $1,500 for the 2011 tax year. Surprisingly, many Canadians are thrilled about getting a big refund. While certain situations can lead to an unusual tax refund, far too many Canadians lend large sums of money to the government at 0% interest year after year. Two things you can do to make your refunds smaller are:
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