Archive for 2016

‘Can we retire at 55 and still be able to afford a good quality of life?’

November 25th, 2016

Special to The Globe and Mail – By Dianne Maley


Cory and Cole have just moved into their forever home and are wondering how to deal with competing demands on their income. They have well-paying jobs, grossing more than $180,000 a year between them and live in a part of the country where houses are not hugely expensive.

“We made the move to be closer to work and school so we could spend more time as a family, not stuck in a car commuting,” Cole writes in an e-mail. Cory is 37, Cole 38. Their children are eight and 10. Paying for their children’s higher education is among their long-term goals.

Cory is a teacher, while Cole works as a manager in a government agency. Both have defined benefit pension plans. They hope to retire from full-time work at the age of 55 and pick up short-term contracts “as needed.” In addition, they want to do a major renovation of their new home in the next three to five years.

“Can we retire at 55 and still be able to afford a good quality of life with travel while financing some or most of our children’s education?” Cole asks.

We asked Gina Macdonald, a financial planner at Macdonald Shymko & Co. Ltd. in Vancouver, to look at Cory and Cole’s situation. Macdonald Shymko is a fee-only financial planner. Ms. Macdonald holds the registered financial planner (RFP) designation. Click here to read the rest of the story.


November 21st, 2016

Financial Facelift Revisited: Special to The Globe and Mail – By Dianne Maley

web_gmmSix years ago, Jill and Darby were hoping to ease into retirement gradually. He had just quit his media job to strike out on his own. She ran her own profitable business. Both age 62, they were netting $10,000 a month between them. Could they get by on less when they retired, they wondered.

At the time, they were up to their ears in real estate. They had a cottage on Georgian Bay, a home in a Toronto bedroom community and three rental properties. While they had substantial assets – including loans to their children – they also had $565,000 of mortgage debt. They planned to sell the rental properties one day. Their retirement spending goal was $80,000 a year. “Can we survive in retirement?” Jill asked in an e-mail at the time.

Gina Macdonald, a financial planner at Macdonald, Shymko & Co. Ltd. in Vancouver, saw some potential problems with the couple’s plan. Their savings and investments, plus government benefits, would give them an income stream of $92,000 a year, but would that be enough, the planner asked.  Click here to read the rest of the story.


October 3rd, 2016

Significant Changes to the Principal Residence Rule

On October 3, 2016, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced a change to the reporting requirement for the sale of a principal residence.

It is well known that a Canadian resident who sold their principal residence with a gain may claim a principal residence (PR) exemption. The CRA has not required you to report the sale of your principal residence if you are eligible for the full principal residence exemption and all of the capital gain was fully exempted from income taxes.

Click here to read Ngoc Day‘s comments that may apply to your situation and may be relevant to discuss with your Advisor for future tax planning.


September 19th, 2016

The Globe and Mail – Financial Facelift By Diane Jermyn

Trysta and Janice consider themselves middle-class Canadians with “real” questions that are more valid than many presented to Financial Facelift.

Trysta is 57 and has a well-paying job in education, grossing $100,000 a year. Janice is 46 and on long-term disability that pays her $48,000 a year. They have two grown children but no “significant” plans for a legacy. Their biggest concern is the mortgage on their B.C. house. They wonder if it will stand in the way of Trysta’s early retirement.

“When will Trysta be able to retire?” they ask in an e-mail. “Is age 60 achievable? Should we pay off our mortgage? Should we downsize?” They are considering selling their home and buying a more modest house, Janice writes. They would move to a lower-cost area, so they would no longer have a mortgage. They wonder, too, how their financial portfolio should be structured.

If Trysta does retire early, their income would take a steep drop and they’d be relying heavily on Janice’s disability income in the early years.

We asked Ian Black, a fee-only financial planner at Macdonald Shymko & Co. Ltd. in Vancouver, to look at Trysta and Janice’s situation. Mr. Black holds the registered financial planner (RFP) designation.

What the expert says

“A retirement age of 60 for Trysta is an achievable goal,” Mr. Black says. Their cash flow at that time would be about $61,700 a year, short of their $66,000-a-year target. Janice’s $48,000 disability income, which continues to the age of 65 (when Trysta will be 76), would make up a good portion of their retirement income.  Click here to read the rest of the article

Career Path: Blazing His Own Trail

September 1st, 2016

Wealth Professional Magazine:  September 2016 – Issue 4.7

web_idmDoug Macdonald has spent a lifetime doing the things he was told he couldn’t do.  Click here to view Doug’s Career Path.





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