Personal Finance
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Consumer Insolvency Filings Spike In Canada, And It's Likely Just The Beginning

Posted on 03 January 2019

It happened sooner than the experts predicted. With rising interest rates putting financial pressure on households, Canada is seeing an increase in consumer insolvencies. There were 11,641 consumer insolvencies in October of this year, up 9.2 per cent from a year earlier, according to data from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. The insolvency numbers include both bankruptcies ...

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Statistics Canada Revises Household Debt Numbers, And The News Is Not Good

Posted on 03 January 2019

Statistics Canada has just given the country's policymakers a new headache, with news that it had previously underestimated Canadians' debt burden. In a release Friday, the statistical agency said the average Canadian household carries $1.74 in credit market debt for every dollar of disposable income. That includes credit cards, car loans and mortgages, among other things. Prior ...

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Don't let the cost of commuting from the suburbs fool you: It's still cheaper to live there

Posted on 03 January 2019

Relative to the urban core, housing is less expensive in the suburbs. But does the savings get eaten up by increased commuting costs? That was one of the findings of a recent study by the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC), which claimed that — at least in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) — “the cost of longer commutes can completely offset the savings from moving to more affordable m ...

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Why retirement planning needs to be a major political issue in 2019 and beyond

Posted on 03 January 2019

Retirement planning does not usually get much attention in federal budgets or election campaigns, where personal finance issues tend to focus on income taxes and social programs. But there are a number of reasons why the topic deserves to be a hot button political issue in 2019 and beyond. We all know that baby boomers are causing a shift in demographics. Retirement policies need to ref ...

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Federal tax changes coming into effect as new year begins includes a hike in CPP premiums

Posted on 03 January 2019

OTTAWA — The new year brings with it tax changes at the federal level that will affect just about every Canadian, as well as small businesses. One of the first changes workers will see is an increase in Canada Pension Plan premiums coming off their paycheques — the first of five years of hikes to pay for enhancements to the pension plan. Employment Insurance premiums, on the othe ...

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Personal finance tips to get your debt on track in 2019

Posted on 03 January 2019

The holidays are almost over, but we will have one more thing to look forward to: the dreaded credit card bills. A number of different surveys show Canadians likely went over budget shopping for their loved one this Christmas. If you’re the average Canadian shopper, a survey by PwC called the 2018 Canadian Holiday outlook, shows you spent $1,563 on holiday cheer last month. That amount ...

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Laid off at 53, former oil industry manager wonders if seven-figure savings will sustain 40-year retirement

Posted on 22 December 2018

Situation: Former exec worries seven-figure savings may not be enough for forty years without work Solution: With spending cuts, teens off to university in a couple of years, savings should be sufficient A couple we’ll call Charles and Agnes, both 53, live in Alberta. Recently laid off from his job managing industrial product sales in the petroleum i ...

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Urgent cost cutting needed to keep family with net worth of only $139,791 afloat as retirement nears

Posted on 22 December 2018

Situation: Heavily indebted couple faces end of disability payments in two years Solution: Cut expenses, consolidate loans and keep working beyond 65 A couple we’ll call Harry, 63, and Suzy, 60, live in Ontario. They have two kids at home, one with three years to go to finish university, the other in Grade 10. Suzy is an office manager. Harry is very ...

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Couple with $2.9 million in assets and no debt think they won't be able to make ends meet in retirement

Posted on 22 December 2018

Situation: Couple in their late 50s with poor investments fears a financial squeeze in retirement Solution: Raise returns by selling real estate and improve their investment plans In British Columbia, a couple we’ll call Henry, who is 56, and Julia, who is 58, have complicated financial lives. Henry runs his own consulting company. It makes a $30,000 ...

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Toronto and Vancouver most 'vulnerable' to interest rate hikes as personal debt soars, CMHC warns

Posted on 22 December 2018

TORONTO — Canadians living in two of the country’s largest cities may find themselves more “vulnerable” to interest rate increases as personal debt levels in Toronto and Vancouver continue to hit record-levels, warns a report by Canada Mortgage Housing Corp. The housing agency says the debt-to-income (DTI) ratio for those living in Vancouver climbed to 242 per cent in the seco ...