Self-employed face a retirement crisis

Posted by Ravi Gulati | Posted in Financial Planning, News of Interest | Posted on 18-12-2013

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But many of these budding entrepreneurs, and even the people who have owned their businesses for years, are part of a growing problem: They aren’t saving for retirement.

TD Ameritrade’s Self-Employment and Retirement Survey found that 40% of the self-employed are not saving regularly for retirement, and 28% are not saving at all. The problem plagued all age groups: 29% of Generation X and 32% of Generation Y who were self-employed are not saving for retirement.

Self-employed face a retirement crisis. USA TODAY http://tinyurl.com/kpyyl6a

Living in retirement: The cost of helping my kid graduate debt-free

Posted by Ravi Gulati | Posted in Financial Planning, News of Interest | Posted on 15-12-2013

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Although my daughter will leave undergraduate training without a penny in debt, it took a village to get her there – including me, her father and my generous brother, who has been willing to step up when finances grew thin. She’s worked every summer to help with expenses. But her work and the registered education savings plan (RESP), which I began contributing to when she was two, would not have been enough to get her through her undergraduate degree.

In 2008, when she was sixteen, I lost a hefty portion of her RESP portfolio. What was $34,000 before the Great Recession became about $25,000. A few years earlier, mutual fund fees were killing me so I switched to equities rather than a low-return bond fund. I was foolishly trying to realize some quick profits before sending my daughter to university. It didn’t work.

I’d switched the RESP into blue-chip equities, but it couldn’t withstand the crash of 2008. In the fall after the crash, I returned the remaining $25,000 to a secure bond fund with lower fees than the original fund and I watched the big dip of the summer of 2010 determined to stay this cautious course. Between 2008 and this fall, the fund had accrued less than 1.5 per cent in profit, after fees.

Last year the average tuition for university in Canada reached $5,581. In my experience it costs another $10,000 to $12,000 for living expenses. It’s expensive, but I want my daughter to have the same opportunities offered to me. Still, these are not small amounts and it quickly dawned on me that the retirement plans that I’d made based on my college pension and my RRSP would need to be revised. This year, I’m teaching at two campuses, writing a proposal for a non-fiction book and leading a writers’ workshop in France in the spring.

Living in retirement: The cost of helping my kid graduate debt-free – The Globe and Mail.

You can still lose land through squatter’s rights

Posted by Ravi Gulati | Posted in Financial Planning, News of Interest | Posted on 14-12-2013

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Over 99 per cent of the land in Ontario is now registered in the government protected system of land titles. However, that does not mean that your boundary lines are always protected. It is still possible to lose land based on the concept of adverse possession, or as we used to call it, squatter’s rights.

You can still lose land through squatter’s rights | Toronto Star.

One couple’s $97,500 life insurance mistake

Posted by Ravi Gulati | Posted in Financial Planning, News of Interest | Posted on 06-12-2013

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A top Ontario court has ruled that a woman cannot claim a $97,500 life insurance policy because the application by her late partner contained inaccurate information about his health.

This decision by the Ontario Superior Court again highlights the importance of correctly answering health-related questions on insurance applications. You may think you are protected once a policy is issued, but that is not the case. This is because the insurance company might only check the details when you make a claim.

One couple’s $97,500 life insurance mistake | Toronto Star.