Suppose you devised a plan to get the UK out of the EU, and it actually worked, what would you do? Evidently if you are Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage, you quit (while you are ahead?). After pulling off one of the more memorable upsets in the past little while, the two main faces of the Brexit crew have simply resigned and now the UK has very little leadership on either side (having lost Prime Minister Mr. Cameron earlier on, and the Labour Party Leader seems to be under siege as well). Who has the rudder on the good ship Brittania ? Don’t know, but the markets seem to suggest they are not happy with the current situation. Now might be the time to book a vacation in the UK this summer?

Moving Back Home

A Badge for Those Contemplating Moving Back Home (aka Kippers)

More than once I have written about how children should aspire to stop living with their parents as soon as possible, and for some that has been construed as Millenial Bashing (to quote Rob Carrick), and while it does sound like harsh advice, I stand by the statement. You know how you learn to live on not much money? By living on not much money (and not living in your parent’s basement, claiming you are saving up for a down payment). My opinion is there are really not that many more youngsters doing this, but the main stream media has latched onto it, as their cause celebre of the year. If you want to read an excellent book about Millenials and how much better than they are than all previous generations read Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World (amazon link), well worth reading. My parents complained about me watching too much TV, and yes, I lived with them when I went to University too (for full disclosure).

I was sad to see that the Welsh Football (soccer) team lost in the semi-finals of the European tourney to Portugal, but it is an astounding result for the team (not quite as astounding, as Iceland, but still pretty darn good). As I have said, I am the proud son of Welsh and English immigrants, glad to see Wales soccer is improving (Welsh rugby has been severely pounded by New Zealand, unfortunately).

My Writings for Week Ending July 8th

Another week with only 1 article, but hey, it was a long weekend and it is the summer, I could be like the Blunt Bean Counter and leave up a Gone Golfing notice. More than one person has asked me about whether I might be downsizing, as 3/4 of my kids are old enough to move out, but I am not thinking of it (for the next little while). My opinion is that Down Sizing: Another Money Maker for Real Estate Agents, remember it used to be you bought a starter house, and then the one you were going to live in for the rest of your life, now they have added one more major Real Estate transaction, Downsizing! It’s like McDonald’s creating a new meal Brinner (about 3 PM when you are hungry for a snack, have a Big Mac!).

Inflation?

Bank of Canada has some theories on the next 2 years on the topic of inflation.

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All this talk of downsizing (selling a house that seems too large for you to move into a smaller sized house) seems to be yet another great money-making idea for the Real Estate world. Will you be happier downsizing ? Richer ?

Real estate agents are attempting to dislodge folks out of paid off houses, so they can “capitalize on the value of the house” and have “more liquid assets”. This sounds a bit better than the reverse mortgages being offered, so it all sounds legit, until you peel the onion a little.

Front Door of My House

Is My Current House an Easy Sell? Nope, it is a “fixer upper’s dream”

The difference between your existing house and your new house seems to be obviously your “net gain” on the deal until you throw in some of the costs nobody likes talking about:

  1. The real estate fees for selling your house. Yes, you can try to sell that yourself, and save that money, but will you be able to sell to someone who doesn’t have their own agent? You can ask for a lower rate, remember that answer is always no, unless you ask.
  2. All of the associated costs to prepare your house to sell it, which can be a fair amount of cash as well. Some agents include that in their fees, but repairs could mean another big chunk of money. You can try to sell it as a Fixer Upper’s Dream, but that is going to knock the price down (a great deal).
  3. The cost of moving, given you are older, you are much less likely to find a bunch of friends who want to help you pack and move for Beer and Pizza, and the cost of a U-Haul Rental? Even if you promise not to move your rock collection.
  4. Land transfer taxes, no one likes talking about that one.
  5. Storage? I really hope not, but some folks might not do a “purge” of their stuff and then end up paying to store their valuables?

If your house is paid off, the question to think about at your new house is are the delta costs of your utilities at your current house and your new house going to be significant? Folks in Ottawa who live in Ottawa, that move to a more rural setting, find out that Hydro One charges in the country are actually much higher.


If you live in a 3000 sq foot mansion, and are thinking about traveling a great deal, downsizing sounds like a better idea, but is it really going to save you money? If an agent calls you, maybe you can sit down and have them go through all of the costs?

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Happy Canada Day, the land that everyone seems to want to emigrate to? When I hear someone say, “We are too highly taxed, I am going to Canada!”, I get a little worried (especially when that person is from the U.S.). Canada is the best place to live, unless you hate snow, black flies, higher taxes and gun control, then maybe it is not the place for you!

I am the son of immigrants, and I proudly remember my British and Welsh heritage on this day, but celebrate being a Canadian!

The Eternal Flame in Ottawa (not the Olympic flame)

The Eternal Flame in Ottawa

Seeing as it is Mid-Year, let us look at the year so far and the articles that you found the most interesting. As usual most of the most popular articles so far this year were written in previous years (I seem to get a lot of returning readers for some things), but let us just look at the newer stuff from this year

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  1. Tax Reflections for 2016 was the most popular new article so far, which is surprising, since it is a simple list of the things I noticed different in this tax year.
  2. I Just Don’t Like Saving was a commentary I heard from a co-worker that caused me to do a spit-take (i.e. I spat out my coffee), why not just say I don’t like living long?
  3. TFSA Transfer Fees outlined yet another slimey new fee from TD Mutual funds for transferring your TD Mutual Fund TFSA to another bank or investment firm.
  4. Tax Tips for Prize Winners was a guest post that sprung out of a mistaken comment I made about buying lottery tickets with points.
  5. Advice from a Rich Man shows my general mistrust of most financial advice, as I believe anyone who gives away advice, is simply trying to make money or get you to do something better for them.

You are thinking this is just a cheap rehash to try to get readers to look at old articles? I include Preet’s (who has found his razor, I am glad to say) latest for the folks at Tangerine, about Lines of Credit


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Power of Attorney for Autistic Family Member?

When your child on the Autism Spectrum, comes of age, what do you do to help them with their financial decisions? Many folks on the spectrum can deal with money, and will have no issues with money, but for others there will be a need to have safeguards put in place to protect them and help them with their money (and financial decisions).

My assumption had been, that (if need be) for my son, I would simply set up a Power of Attorney, and that would help protect my son, however, I learned from another parent who has a son that is older than 18, that this is not the case.

Since Autism is viewed as a mental incapacity, a Power of Attorney can usually not be used. The simple explanation I can give, is that due to the mental handicap, the person cannot delegate their decisions using a power of attorney, because they do not understand (i.e. competency) what they are delegating or what they are signing. When my friend told me this one, I had one of those, “Oh crap!”, moments.

What need to be done in these situations is setting up a parent as the Statutory guardian for the child (or family member), and this (unfortunately) is a very daunting task, where a lawyer is needed to file documents with the courts (because the Power of Attorney can be done (in most cases) using simple kits that are available on-line). I am sure there are folks that feel they are competent enough to do this on their own, but from what I can decipher (so far) of the documentation I am reading a lawyer will be needed (in my case).

I will (most likely) be setting this up for my son, however, this only needs to be in place by the time he turns 18 (I think). My friend has promised to give me a further tutorial on what he has gone through (and it does not sound like a cheap process either). I make the not cheap comment due to the comment in the Statutory Guardian documentation:

The Public Guardian and Trustee charges a fee of $382.00 plus HST of $49.66 for processing an application for statutory guardianship, under the authority of s.8 of the Public Guardian and Trustee Act.

This article is a “heads up” for those parents out there who might have had the same assumptions I had about Power of Attorney, I will be writing more about this topic as I learn about it (I suspect I might even bend the ear of a few of my Financial Blogging associates to get me through all of this).

Relevant sites:

  • Guardian of Propertywebsite from the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario.
  • Becoming a Guardian another Government of Ontario Website.
  • www.e-laws.gov.on.ca  All the laws for the Province of Ontario
  • www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca. This is the website for the Ministry of the Attorney General. It includes bulletins and background about power of attorney, guardianship, the Public Guardian and Trustee and related matters. It also includes copies of the various forms needed to file an application to replace this office, power-of-attorney kits and the like.

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Brexit, Fete National, Enhanced CPP and #MoneyTalk

The UK has voted to leave the EU (Brexit) , which can only mean one thing, but I have no idea what that is. Brexit will mean a great deal of consternation and hang wringing on the markets and the talking heads on TV will go mad, but what will it change? I don’t know, but Brexit will change something (Brexit has caused Mr. Cameron to tender his resignation). I am old enough to remember the UK fighting to join the EEC, so needless to say, I am confused. I won’t be commenting on this much, other than from the son of British immigrants point of view.

For those of you who did not grow up in Quebec, today is La FĂŞte Nationale or St. Jean Baptiste day, typically the start of the summer in Quebec. For me it was always the end of school, but that was 40 years ago. The rest of Canada waits for July 1st for the summer to really start (next Friday). Sort of ironic that on St. Jean Baptiste day the UK “separates” from the EU, just shows how unpredictable referendums can be.

Quebec Proud

Gens Du Pays, c’est Ă  ton tour…

It seems the Canada Pension Plan is being revised to help Canadians retire. It seems to be to protect younger folks so more money is saved for their retirement, we will all pay higher premiums (phased in over the next little while), and the maximum payout will increase over time (but if you are already retired, you won’t benefit from this). I am still investigating, whether this will change much for someone like me who might retire within the next 5 to 8 years. I am searching for an actual Government document that explains the changes, nothing seems to exist yet. Is this a good thing? As usual, I will reserve commentary until I read an official document.

How will all of this change my retirement plans? I will comment when I can figure out how this new system works with my pension, but I suspect, at the end of it all, it won’t change my retirement plans much, but, I (55 year old) am not the demographic that these changes were put in place to help.

Will the Rio Olympics end up like the 1980 Moscow Games and the 1984 Los Angeles Games? There are many folks saying they will not be attending (or are being told they can’t attend), for many reasons. Is the Olympic movement still relevant? Yes, I think, however, the Olympic organization seems suspect.

The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship, how much money does that mean to the City of Cleveland? It will certainly mean less jokes about Cleveland, well, maybe not. Is Lebron James better than Michael Jordan? Not in my opinion, and the Warriors team from this year is not better than the 95-96 Chicago Bulls, but, only my opinion.

My Writings for Week Ending June 24th

Another slack week for me, only writing one article, but to me, an important article, that needed to be written. RDSP the Savings Plan Nobody Knows About, came from a discussion I had with another parent about the Registered Disability Savings Plan, and how the people who seem to know the most about the program, are those who are trying to use it (not the folks who offer it, like the banks).

A Money Thought

People get very offended when you tell them how to raise their child, unless you wrote a book about it. Then they’ll pay you for it.  -ShowerThoughts Reddit

The same is true for Personal Finance.

If you had all the money in the world, you wouldn’t be able to spend it, as no one else would use currency.  -More Shower Thoughts on Reddit

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