Globe and Mail – Financial Facelift  by Dianne Maley

web_kc Lena and Louis have good jobs and manage their money well. She is 38, he is 39. They have two children, ages 1 and 3.

Lena is in the Canadian Armed Forces, while Louis works as a manager. Like many parents, they are eager to buy a vacation retreat while their children are small, but they still have a while to go until their mortgage and car loans are paid off. Should they wait or buy the cottage now?

Louis and Lena are paying an extra $1,500 a month on their mortgage on their home in Southern Ontario and hope to have it paid off in three or four years. As well, they are saving for their children’s higher education. Although they have some cash and savings, they would have to borrow to buy the cottage.

Longer term, their goals include paying off the vacation property mortgage in turn, increasing their retirement savings and travelling more. They hope to retire in their mid to late 50s with $60,000 a year after tax.

“Can we afford to purchase a cottage for about $250,000 in the next two to four years and still afford our retirement goals?” Lena writes in an e-mail.“Should the cottage purchase be delayed until after the house mortgage is completely paid off and the kids are out of daycare?” she asks.

Lena will qualify for a full government pension when she retires but Louis has no work pension plan.

We asked Keith Copping, a fee-only financial planner with Macdonald Shymko & Co. Ltd. in Vancouver, to look at Louis and Lena’s situation situation. Macdonald Shymko is a fee-only financial planner.  Click here to read the rest of the article.

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