Archive for 2015

DOES GETTING DIVORCED MEAN SAVING TWICE AS MUCH FOR RETIREMENT?

October 21st, 2015

The Globe and Mail – By Brenda Bouw

web_gmmSome people might have to take a hit on their retirement savings to pay out an ex-spouse in a divorce settlement, which happened to Edmonton-based Jane Jones (her name is changed to protect her privacy).

When Ms. Jones and her husband divorced four years ago, after about 15 years of marriage, they split their assets. Ms. Jones was also required to pay a six-figure settlement that took into consideration her pension earnings and alimony, because her husband had stopped working years earlier and became a stay-at-home parent.

“I’m just starting to recover from the financial fallout and it could take a few more years before I’m back to par,” says Ms. Jones.

Divorce is a financial setback for a lot of people, but it doesn’t have to be a dead end, says Gina Macdonald, a financial planner with Macdonald Shymko & Co. Ltd. in Vancouver. Click here to read the rest of the article.

GEN XERS CAUGHT IN RETIREMENT-SAVINGS SQUEEZE

October 20th, 2015

The Globe and Mail – By Guy Dixon

web_gmmDouglas Coupland wasn’t out to make Generation X part of the vernacular. Kurt Cobain wasn’t out to define an entire generation as fraught with ambivalent Nevermind-lessness. Nor was director Richard Linklater calling us all slackers.

So why does financial literature routinely give Gen Xers – that is, the newly middle aged – advice along some sort of generational divide?

“And now the middle-aged, facing the pressing need to plan for retirement, are being further lumped into the “sandwich generation,” wedged between older baby boomers (their aging parents) and younger millennials (adult kids) and having to care for both.

“Mass labels are little help to anyone. But there’s good advice out there for looking beyond the literature, beyond the labels, beyond the old advice suited more to me-generation, baby boom, Woodstock parents.

Middle age brings new priorities

Making retirement savings a priority is difficult these days. There are urgent, shorter-term bills for children’s needs and perhaps aging parents. There are also changing attitudes about how much financial help is expected. For baby boomers, setting off independently from their Depression-era parents somehow seems more cut and dried than today.

“Where I find the biggest struggle, in having conversations with people, is that they can’t cut their kids off,” said Gina Macdonald, a financial planner at Macdonald, Shymko and Co. Ltd. in Vancouver. Click here to read the rest of the article.

WOMAN, 60, PONDERS EARLY RETIREMENT: IS IT TIME TO SELL THE HOUSE?

October 2nd, 2015

The Globe and Mail – By Dianne Maley

web_gmmBev, 60, is wondering when she can afford to retire from her $67,000-a-year government job.

“I am ready now but expect to work until 65,” Bev writes in an e-mail. She has a house in British Columbia valued at $500,000 with a $300,000 mortgage. She has a rental unit that brings in $1,200 a month.

“Should I sell the house when the mortgage is up for renewal in three years and buy something smaller?” she asks. She figures she could get a small condo for about $270,000. Or should she sell and rent an apartment?

When she retires, her defined-benefit pension plan will pay $1,657 a month at 65, indexed to inflation. She also has $86,000 tucked away in a registered retirement savings plan. “Do I have to work to 65 or can I retire earlier?” Bev asks.

We asked Gina Macdonald, a financial planner at Macdonald, Shymko & Co. Ltd. of Vancouver, to look at Bev’s situation. Macdonald Shymko is a fee-only financial planning firm. Click here to read the rest of the article.

WHY THIS IS NOT A GREAT TIME TO REBALANCE YOUR INVESTMENTS

September 29th, 2015

The Globe and Mail – By Gail Johnson

The headlines paint a gloomy picture of the Canadian economy these days. We aren’t officially in recession (yet), but oil prices have fallen steeply, the loonie is suffering and the stock market is struggling.

With market volatility and a stagnant economic outlook, is it a good time to adjust your portfolio?

People should not stray from their financial plans during volatile times, says fee-only financial adviser Ngoc Day, with Vancouver’s Macdonald, Shymko & Co. Ltd.

“From our perspective, rebalancing should not happen in response to fear,” Ms. Day says. “Often, if the market does a bit of topsy-turvy tumbling, people suddenly say, ‘I better sell my stocks and buy something safe.’” Click here to read the rest of the article.

HERE’S WHAT AN AWARD WINNING FINANCIAL PLAN LOOKS LIKE

August 6th, 2015

The Globe and Mail – By Alexandra MacQueen

What makes a good financial plan? That’s what Canadian financial planning software company PlanPlus set out to determine through their third annual global competition to identify the best plan in each of three regions: the Americas, Europe and Asia.

The results of the 2015 contest were announced in July after a multiround assessment process that evaluated submissions for technical competence, and for how well they helped clients achieve their goals. Contestants participated from around the world and were not required to use any specific financial planning software.

2015 winners are Canadian planners

This year, the first-place winner for the Americas region is Jason Pereira, a fee-based financial planner at Bennett March/IPC in Toronto, while the runner-up is Ngoc Day, a fee-only financial planner at Macdonald Shymko & Co. Ltd. in Vancouver. Both Mr. Pereira and Ms. Day have provided financial planning advice for Canadians through The Globe and Mail’s weekly Financial Facelift. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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