Archive for 2012

JOBLESS IN VANCOUVER: CAN FRUGAL WOMAN RETIRE FOR GOOD?

November 23rd, 2012

Globe and Mail – Financial Facelift by Dianne Maley

“When she lost her job a couple of years ago, Pat wondered whether she could afford to leave the working world behind, build a home on her Gulf Islands property in British Columbia and live off the fruits of her labours – plus her company pension plan. After all, she has been thrifty all her life and now, at age 53, she owns a mortgage-free townhouse in Vancouver that she could sell or rent out. She has a roommate who helps with the expenses. If she officially retires at age 55, Pat will get a modest work pension… She figures it will cost $250,000 to build on her island property, money that could come from her savings and investments, her registered retirement savings plan or the sale of her townhouse… At some point, she plans to pick up a part-time job on her island home. ‘For now, my part-time job would be working on building a home,’ she writes. Should she look for another job? Wait to age 65 to begin collecting her pension? Will she run out of money given her retirement spending target of $30,000 a year after tax? We asked Ian Black, a fee-only financial planner at Macdonald, Shymko & Co. Ltd. in Vancouver, to look at Pat’s situation.” Click here to read the rest of the article

FORGET THE COTTAGE AND FOCUS ON RETIREMENT SAVINGS

October 1st, 2012

Globe and Mail – Financial Facelift by Dianne Maley

web_gmm“‘We are a typical family of four living in a home we own with the bank in downtown Toronto,’ Halle writes in an e-mail. She and her husband, Hank, are in their late 30s with two young children. They both have ‘pretty good jobs’ with a combined income of more than $180,000 in the health care sector… They have a mortgage and some investments as well as a small line of credit. They have begun saving for their children’s education. ‘On paper it looks okay, but we always feel stretched and have not had a proper vacation in years,’ Halle adds. When their children are both in school and their daycare costs drop, they’d like to buy a cottage on the East Coast – they figure they can get one for $120,000 – and a new car, ‘but we’re not sure if we can or if it would be better to pay down our mortgage faster instead.’ They hope to retire at 60 with an annual budget of $85,000 after tax. Fortunately, Halle has a defined-benefit pension plan at work. We asked Gina Macdonald, a fee-only financial planner at Macdonald, Shymko & Co. Ltd. in Vancouver, to look at Hank and Halle’s situation. Click here to read the rest of the article

TODDLER OR TEENAGER: HOW TO SAVE FOR EDUCATION AT DIFFERENT STAGES

September 25th, 2012

Globe and Mail – by Shelley White

“In a perfect world, Canadian parents would be able to start saving for their children’s post-secondary education even before Junior was a twinkle in the eye. Then by the time Janie hit her undergrad, the parents would have it all covered, without even breaking a sweat.

But it’s not that simple for most of us. Rising education costs and economic uncertainty have made education funding seem like a daunting task. Many Canadian parents may be starting to save later in the game, and wondering how they can maximize their education savings if their child is past toddlerhood, or even heading off to school in a year or two.” Gina Macdonald was asked for her expert opinion. Find out what she had to say

REEL IN EDUCATION GRANTS

September 5th, 2012

Advisor.ca by Melissa Shin

web_gmm“Many people move to give their children access to better education. Yet depending on when those children immigrate, they may not be able to take advantage of the Canada Education Savings Grant. To benefit from the program’s 20% matching, a sponsor must contribute at least $2,000 to an RESP the year the child turns 15, or at least $100 in any of the four years before he turns 16.

Take a child of wealthy immigrants who arrives in Canada when she’s 14. To maximize her grants, her parents should contribute $42,500 at age 14, and $2,500 per year at ages 15, 16 and 17. The total grant money would be $2,000, which represents 20% of each annual $2,500 contribution. ‘Don’t put $50,000 in one year and leave it, because you won’t get the grants,’ says Gina Macdonald, a Vancouver-based R.F.P. with Macdonald, Shymko & Co.” Click here to read the rest of the article

Community Involvement: Sir Guy Carleton Elementary Breakfast Program

June 25th, 2012

Business in Vancouver – Hats Off

Macdonald Shymko & Company Foundation has donated funds to 100% support the breakfast program for the 2012/2013 school year at Sir Guy Carleton Elementary School. Tim Krug, principal, Sir Guy Carleton Elementary School, and Gina Macdonald, financial adviser and portfolio manager, Macdonald Shymko & Company Click here to see the article

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