My Biggest Purchase Was Not A House

This epiphany only hit me a while ago when I was chatting some co-workers and the topic was purchasing houses. Yes, I bought my house last century, so the price was not nearly as high as the prices are these days, but my biggest cash outlay was about 33% more than what I paid for my house.

Big Purchase

Now THAT is a big purchase

Just to be clear this purchase was not a house, nor a holiday home (i.e. cottage) or anything like that (and no it was not a car or vehicle), and here is a final hint, it was not something I purchased a little at a time either (although you are heading in the right direction).

If you guessed it has something to do with retirement, you are correct, but I have not put that much money into my RRSP (nor do I have an RRSP that is that large (anymore)).

When I left Nortel I was lucky enough to have been at Nortel long enough, that my pension was actually worth a large amount of money, and thanks to my wife and Michael James I luckily removed my money from the Nortel Pension before Nortel declared bankruptcy. This left me with a very large Locked in Retirement Account (LIRA) and a smaller RRSP, which I then was able to buy into the Federal Civil Service Pension.  When I bought into the pension I paid for all of the pension (with no Government payment into it at all) for the period that I was allowed to transfer from Nortel (it is a program called Pension Buy Back).

This means that even though I have a federal pension, I paid for most of it (or more precisely, my defined benefit pension from Nortel paid for it).

The interesting part of the story is that the only reason I was allowed to buy into the Government pension was that I had:

  1. Started working for the government within 2 years of leaving Nortel
  2. Nortel’s pension is an “accredited pension plan” that the Government allows for transfer of funds and time from and into the Government Employees Pension plan.

I was very lucky that I qualified for part (1) of that statement (i.e. joined government within 2 years after being Laid off from Nortel), so again I fall bass ackwards into a good decision.



Greed and Tweets for the Week

At the end of most of the problems in this world you really can just point to greed (yes an over simplification at first glance, but not in my opinion). The root of all evil is not money, the root of all evil is greed, plain and simple. To quote someone, “How many yachts do you need to water ski behind, to be happy?”.

With that in mind here are some of the more interesting money tweets from this first week of October.

Bit of a crossover to my technology & security site, but evidently Scottrade’s security breach has been going on for quite a long time. Are you a customer? Best go check and see how this affects you. How much does security cost, evidently for greedy folks it is an unnecessary luxury.

Friend of this site, and Money Media Maven Preet B. continues to multimedia work with the Globe and Mail pointing out what is important when it comes to choosing a credit card. Greed here? You don’t think credit card companies (i.e. banks) are not Greedy?

Which of the political parties will get power in the next election? Doesn’t seem obvious does it? Greed here? Politician isn’t synonymous with greedy person?

Certainly you can’t be implying that there is greed in the NFL? Well, maybe.

I think the Dalai Lama sums it up nicely for this list of greed tweets


An Older Canada, Farewell Max, and #MoneyStories

For those who didn’t see the info from Stats Canada in their daily report: Canada’s population estimates: Age and sex, July 1, 2015, there are now officially more Seniors in Canada than Children. To quote the report directly:

For the first time, the number of persons aged 65 years and older exceeded the number of children aged 0 to 14 years.

Will the world start pandering more to Seniors now? That is where the money is, see the interesting graphic below from the report, and there are going to be a lot more of us soon too!

For those not in the Ottawa area, Ottawa lost an adopted son with the passing of Max Keeping yesterday. I am an adopted son of Ottawa now too (having lived here longer than I have anywhere else), and Max Keeping was the voice of News for a very long time, so I am sad to see him passing, but he had been having a touch fight with cancer. Did I agree with all of his opinions? No, but I respected the way he portrayed the news. Rest in Peace Max.

Population by Age in Canada

Population aged 0 to 14 years and 65 years and older, as of July 1, 1995 to 2035, Canada

Tax Software That Gets You Every Penny You Deserve

My Writings for Week Ending October 2nd

A busy life week for me, so only two posts, but an oldie but goodie seems to be gaining some attention

Facebook Fun of the Week

Of course you can trust me:

Click here for more great financial stories 🍁🎃🍁


Direct Deposit Enrolment for Government Benefits

Here is a quick Tuesday update to remind you that Government Cheques will be going away very soon (April 2016), and you can easily sign up for direct deposit, if you can remember your on-line banking.

Life of a Government Cheque

Journey of a Government Cheque

How hard is it? Let’s just walk through it for you.

First question to answer is, do you receive Government Cheques for any reason? You sure? Check this web page which has a list of all the different folks that can send you cheques, which include:

You sure you don’t receive any of these?

Next, congratulations! You have figured out you need to set up direct deposit (the first step to solving any problem is admitting you have a problem). How can you fix this? Click on any of those links above and you will be told how, however, let’s try a different way of doing things, let’s go to the CRA and check out how your Tax Refund might be done.

  1. Go to your CRA MyAccount page  (link on that page). What the hell is a MyAccount? Don’t worry, you don’t need to create one, you can simply log in with your On-Line Banking credentials (if you don’t have on-line banking I would strongly suggest going to a Services Canada Office to set things up).
  2. Log into CRA My Account with your on-line banking credentials
  3. If you have done things right you will then be at a home page that will have many different and wonderful things you can do with the CRA. Select the Accounts and Payment tab
  4. Voila here is where you set up your direct deposit, or alter it so that it goes to a different account, or stop it from being deposited (although why you would do that I do not know).

It is just that simple people, so why haven’t you set it up yet? Get off your duff and do it!


What Twits are Talking About Money ?

Plenty of news on the twitter wire on the election front, but another fun week of interesting money related tweets on the Twitter Machine (remember I am there as @bigcajunman ) and maybe some other social media as well!

With the new economy how will the tax system deal with these new digital currencies? BDO has some advice for you.

This makes me sad, I thought my money loved me, and like the saying says, if you love something set it free (and I do).

You never thought I’d be quoting the CIA eh? Well this one is very true about your local library, and specifically it is great for financial resources too (magazines, books and articles), go to your library and support it (or you will have to answer to the CIA).

I did mention the election, and how the Bank of Canada will work if there is a change of leadership would be a very interesting question. Has anyone asked any of the leaders how they might change the Bank of Canada’s mandate?

Roger Wohlner writes about the worst Mutual fund yields, and I wish more folks would check to see what their Mutual Funds yielded they might be horribly surprised.

Now there is three words I wouldn’t think would go in a sentence “designer luxury consignment“? Does Jaguar have a crash and dent section?

For those of you who don’t follow TVO, you are missing out, and here is your deep thought for today.

A quick look at Facebook and I see that the TFSA is good for single income families? That is not what all the Financial Chicken Little Crowd is saying?


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