Stats Canada put out their yearly report Tuition fees (in Canada) for degree programs, 2019/2020 a while ago. It has some interesting data including the fact that Tuition Fee costs for undergrad students dropped for this year (with a caveat).
Ontario led the way with a 9.9% Tuition drop. In fact in the rest of Canada Tuition went UP? Isn’t it great how large data sets can skew things?
I read with great amusement an article in Business Insider Rich people make the same 5 mistakes over and over. I found it amusing, because it attempts to fool you into thinking that if you act like rich folk, you’ll become one. Unfortunately, Lies travel faster than truth.
Maybe the article is attempting to convince you that Rich Folk and you are similar, since you make the same mistakes? This is hardly the case.
Rich People Can Make Financial Mistakes
That is what you should take from this story. Rich folk have the luxury of being able to make financial mistakes, they can recover from them. Most of us don’t have the wiggle room to escape financial blunders.
Rich folks can become like the rest of us, if they make mistakes, that is true. The story the great Investment Monolith wants you to believe is that the reverse is possible too. I think it is possible but the former is much more likely than the latter.
Mistakes are easily made, we all do them, every day. To succeed financially takes dedication, discipline and damn hard work. The mistakes mentioned in this article are bad:
Assuming they can out-earn bad spending habits. That is not a mistake reserved to the rich, in fact this is how we all dig the big hole called debt.
Not speaking with a professional for tax-planning or estate-planning purposes. This seems like sound advice, if you take it as, making sure you do your taxes well, and you have your Will and Power of Attorney up to date.
Assuming they don’t need a financial adviser because they’re successful. This is the heart of the article, as it seems to have been written by a financial professional. I have a great mistrust of the financial industry in general and in advisors in specific, but if you use this type of service, you had better trust them (and you had better watch them closely). In the end, it is your money.
While trying to log into my Banking Web site (from a PC), after I had successfully remembered my log-in ID and password, something different happened. The site put up a Pop-up window saying it was testing security and wanted to send me a code to my Cell phone (or call me with the code).
After my initial confusion and then annoyance, I was heartened to see this kind of security come up. Banking security is very important, and the edge of the network (i.e. users logging in) are where the system is usually the weakest. The Desjardins Data breach is a good example of the need for banking security and data security.
Good Test ?
My hope is that this is simply a test, and you will see why.
After I realized I did not have my Cell phone handy, I simply cancelled out of the Security Message screen, which then took me back to the regular bank log-in screen. I thought for a second, and decided to see what would happen if I tried to log-in again. What I saw underwhelmed me. I was able to log-in, no problem, and no “challenge”.
My sincere hope is this is simply a test by my bank, because if I have been “challenged” for an alternate log in, I should not be allowed to log in after an initial failure. The application should continue to challenge me, until I pass the challenge, or until I fail a set number of times. Once someone fails I would hope my account access would be locked.
Banking Security ?
My hope is this is my bank attempting to test out new security for authentication (without enabling 2 factor authentication), and when they do a full roll-out, the rules will be stricter. I like the concept, but if this is how it will work it isn’t a great data protection system.
I was delighted to
see a response
on my re-assessment, so quickly after I had called asking for status. After
logging in to look at “My Account” I was a little concerned when I
saw my account balance continued to be $0 (zero dollars).
Going into the Email section, I found out that I had made a bad assumption, and it was going to cost me more time. I had sent my support documentation for my claim that my son’s school fees were a medical expense in December. This package included letters from various professionals agreeing with this claim.
The package was sent
on a Tuesday, however, on the Thursday afterward I received a package from the
CRA. This package was all the supporting receipts for the same claim. I didn’t
think much of it, but that was where I blundered.
This past Friday the CRA granted my claim for my son’s school fees as a medical expense. They pointed out, however, that since they didn’t have any receipts, they could not actually refund me any money.
After an obscenity filled few minutes, I calmed down, and realized how the sequence of events had worked against me.
What I Should Have Done?
I should have gone
back on-line and submitted the receipts (again) to the CRA, with my supporting
documents. The receipts have been sent again, however, I am back in the CRA
queue, and I will need to follow up with them until they finally refund me my
money (from 2017).
I also included the information already sent about my son’s school fees as a medical expense
Earlier this week I received an envelope with all my receipts (from the 2018 pre-assessment) along with a letter stating the CRA allowed all of my claims in my 2018 return. I assumed this meant I would receive my complete tax refund, but I was also wary.
The CRA thinks I owe them $4K so what was going to happen?
The CRA gave me my full refund for 2018 minus the $4K “owed” for the 2017 return. While annoying, I suppose it is nice to get some money back.
For 2018 claiming my son’s school fees as a medical expense has been allowed (so far). I have no aspersions that I may get another request for justification about this, but that remains to be seen.
If the school fees are allowed for 2018, will they be allowed for 2017 given:
This is the same school
The same evidence was submitted to the CRA and OK’ed for tax year 2018
If the school fees are allowed for tax year 2017, the CRA now owes me over $4K, which they have already have taken as payment from my 2018 refund.
What to Do Now?
Do I dare
call the CRA and ask about this? Yes, I should. If I do not follow up the 2017
tax situation will continue to drag on. Yes, it may trigger a review of my 2018
return as well, but that is a risk I will deal with, if it transpires.