How Much Should I Budget for Food If Nursing Homes Budget Is $8.33 per day?

Why exactly do prisoners need more food a day than pensioners?

With 15 Years Till Retirement, How Much Annual Return Growth Can I Expect for XIC the Canadian TSX Stock Market ETF?

The financial planning articles I read keep saying “based on a return of XX after inflation, they will have YY$ to spend in retirement.” I wondered what return after inflation I could use for planning the growth of my S&P Composite TSX ETF so I went online to investigate.

No Easy Answers to Saving in The Retirement Catch-Up Guide

I’m always looking for a quick way to enhance our retirement savings so I snagged this book from our library hoping for unconsidered insights.

How Can I Estimate My Spending Using a Black Box Method Instead of Keeping a Spending Journal or Log? Part Two

We had some odd “income” streams that we needed to include before we could calculate our actual annual spending.

How Can I Estimate My Spending Without Doing a Spending Journal or Log? Part One

If you forgot to keep a spending log last year you may still be able to figure out your total expenditures. The total may be higher than you think.

How to Contribute to Your RRSP at CIBC Investor’s Edge By Transferring from a Linked Account

It’s simple and fast to contribute to your RRSP at Investor’s Edge.

Can I Get the Maximum Family Tax Cut If My Lower Income Partner Contributes More to a RRSP?

Whenever the government changes the tax rules there’s always someone checking to see how they can maximize their profit.

You Think You’re Fine for Retirement But What Happens If Your Partner Dies Will You Still Have Enough Income? Part 2: Personal Savings (RRSP, RRIF, TFSA, Annuity) Retirement Income

Have you taken these steps with your RRSPs, RRIFs and TFSAs? Do you understand how combining RRIFs can affect your OAS or GIS? And is your partner ready to handle the money?

You Think You’re Fine for Retirement But What Happens If Your Partner Dies: Will You Still Have Enough Income? Part One: Work Pension Income in Retirement

Have you forced yourself to check the details of any work pension plans to see how your partner would be affected if you die, or you would be affected if they die?

Is It Safe (and Ethical) to Insure Your Parent to Fund Your Own Retirement?

Would you feel uneasy if your brother had Power of Attorney for Personal Care for your aged parent and he also would get a million dollars from a life insurance policy when your parent dies that’s costing him $3400 a month while your parent is alive?

Retirement Planning: What Will You Actually Do with Your Life?

My grandfathers showed me two ways to live in retirement. Does one of their styles appeal more than the other to you?

What Was Our Personal Rate of Inflation in 2014 and How Does It Affect Our Retirement Plan?

Why I’m eyeing the crabapples thoughtfully after calculating our 2014 personal rate of inflation.

Trying to Pay for All Our Expenses Using Dividend, Distribution and Return of Capital Income Only

Have you compared your expenses to your investment income recently? Anything startling come to light?

Should I Dump My Bond Funds? Are Interest Rates Finally Going Up?

What return did my bond funds yield in 2014?

Is Someone with an Income of $2 000 a Month Rich? What’s My Rich Ratio?

Our Rich Ratio will change at retirement: Will it drop us out of the Happy Retirees category?

Do I Want my Retirement Income to Come From Dividends and Interest or Capital and Growth?

As we edge nearer to retirement I’m trying to position our investments to match our retirement plan. Of course that would be easier if we HAD a retirement plan. One of the first choices we need to make is whether we are planning to fund our retirement from the capital gains made by our investments or only from the dividends, interest and other income our investments generate.

Our Expectations for Retirement

When I said I expected to live in my retirement like my relatives, someone challenged me to explain that further. So I did.

One Reason Why Spousal RRSPs Are Useful and How to Make a Contribution to an Existing Spousal RRSP at Tangerine

Is there any reason for a Spousal RRSP now Canada has pension income splitting? We think so which is why I just added to our Spousal RRSP at

Why Couch Potato Investing Doesn’t Work

Are you bold, brave, strong and resolute enough to be a Couch Potato?

Retirement Planning: Testing the TD Retirement Savings Calculator

Does TD think I have enough saved to fund our retirement? I’m not sure because using their calculator left me with some unanswered questions.

Retirement Planning: Testing the Canadian Government Retirement Savings Calculator

With some trepidation I used the Service Canada Retirement Savings Calculator to see what income we could expect in retirement. Then I started wondering how much Walmart pays those guys who stand near the door handing out carts and putting stickers on merchandise coming back for a refund.

Retirement Planning: How Much Do We Really Spend Now and How Much Will We Spend Then?

In which I survive two near heart attacks while trying to figure out how much we spend a year.

How to Use StudioTax 2013 for a Simple Retired Person’s Tax Return (T4AOAS, T4AP, T4A, T4RIF, T5)

I tested using StudioTax 2013 to calculate an income tax return for a retired pensioner who receives a work pension, CPP, OAS and some investment interest. Here’s how it did.

Budgeting for Retirement: Dental Costs for Hygiene, X-Rays, and Fillings

With costs like these no wonder so many low-income Canadians have trouble maintaining their teeth.

Budgeting for Retirement: Reduce How Much You Must Pay on a Fixed Schedule

Are you eliminating monthly bills to reduce how much you are required to pay on a fixed schedule?

What Canadian Blue Chip Stock is Paying a Dividend Only Yield of 17%?

Do you have any stocks paying amazing dividend yields? How “real” are those yields? Can you live off them in retirement?

What Is a Locked In Retirement Account and How Do I Get One?

Here’s an introduction to the LIRA for those readers who haven’t already suffered through a layoff, down-sizing, right-sizing, diagonal-slice, outsourcing, or other employment indignity.

Retirement Planning: What Rate of Inflation Should I Use?

What was our personal rate of inflation for 2001-2012? And will budgeting for natural gas inflation properly score me an extra rutabaga or cost me a clementine?

Ontario Hydro Rates Make Retirement Planning Pointless

What a surprise! Hydro rates are going up. You might find the percentage increase for 2013 off-peak rates “shocking” though.

Why an Ontario Pension Might be a Good Thing

I’d support an Ontario Pension scheme. Here’s why. (And if anyone can come up with a decent acronym for such a plan, PLEASE start using it now before we get stuck with something awful!)

How To Check My CPP Contributions Online at My Service Canada: Part Two: Using a GCKey

Here’s how to get a copy of your CPP Statement of Contributions online once you have your GCKey. You can use this report to check for mistakes and to estimate your future CPP monthly payments. It may also provide unexpectedly humourous reading like my husband’s did (as I mention in this article.)

How to Get a GCKey for My Service Canada After You Get Your Personal Access Code, PAC

Ok, now I’ve got my PAC in the mail from Service Canada, how do I set up a GCKey so I can access my CPP info online? (Yes, they really do make it this difficult and time consuming!)

Can I Take Stocks Out of my BMO InvestorLine RRIF Without Selling Them?

When I have to make mandatory minimum withdrawals from my RRIF, will I have to sell my favourite income-earning stocks?

How to Register for a GCKey To Look Up Your CPP Information Online: Part One

A few months ago I went to the My Service Canada Account website to look up some information on our CPP payments. I unpleasantly found out that they have changed their secure access method and my Personal Access Code wasaaa

Goodbye Canada Retirement Savings Plan, Hello ING Direct RRSP

Heavy-hearted I close our Canada Retirement Savings Plan accounts and rail against the government that abandoned them.

Why Do Rising Interest Rates Affect Real Estate Investment Trusts, REITs?

Did you know you can buy a REIT that specializes in self-storage units? Neither did I till I was researching this article. Maybe I should sell the REIT I have and buy into the lockers. Here’s why.

Real Estate Investment Trusts are Sources of Retirement Income

Why I find REITs appealing as part of a retirement income plan and how they work.

What is the Old Age Security Pension, OAS, and Will I Get It?

Who will get the OAS and why you should be happy if you have to give it back.

Low Income in Retirement: a Roundup of Articles about the G.I.S.

A collection of interesting articles about retirement and retirement planning for low income earners.

What is the Guaranteed Income Supplement, GIS, and Will I Get It?

Who will get the GIS and why I hope you won’t.

Why Defined Contribution Pension Plans are a Pain: Fixed Income Choices or Lack Thereof

If bonds are going to tank and money market funds are re-writing the rules to allow “negative earnings” what am I supposed to invest my DC pension funds in for fixed income?

How Can I Buy an Annuity Without Giving Away my Principal?

I haven’t found a true annuity that returns your principal at the end of its term but here’s a “reasonable facsimile” to consider.

Why the Government Should Say CPP is Failing and OAS Will be Ended

If CPP was failing and OAS was ending before you retired, what would you do differently now?

Defined Contribution Pension Plans are a Ticking Time Bomb Threatening Canada’s Future

Why are defined contribution pension plans so dangerous? And why is no one talking about it?

Pension Planning: What Happens If My Partner or Spouse Dies Young?

Do you know how much, if anything, you would receive from your spouse or partner’s pensions, including CPP, if they died before you? Did you know you could potentially receive none of their CPP monthly payment? Understanding what the survivor may receive is a key part of retirement planning.

What If Tomorrow Never Comes? A Reminder to Seize the Day (but Perhaps Not Every Day)

What if the future collapses back to a handful of days? Will have you regrets?

Here Comes Retirement: Ready or Not

You’re invited to read some slightly unsettling stories about the dark side of early retirement.

Why I Won’t Bother With Granite Countertops

Choosing what to spend your money on based on what really matters to you should help you live well now and save for the future.

Retirement Planning: Don’t Invest Your Pension Primarily in Stock in This

What Nortel can teach us about over-investing, especially our pension funds, in one company or sector.

Maximize your TFSA First

With one exception I think most people should maximize their TFSA first, then their RRSP. Here’s why.

Retirement Roundup or Why I Won’t be Free at 55 Unless It’s for Lunch on Friday

Does StatsCan say we are working more years before retiring now or not? What happens when you pension split your CPP? What happens when people receive a large inheritance while they’re still young? Browse the answers in this Retirement Roundup.

What Does It Really Cost to Eat for a Month?

What do you think you spend on month on food? Do you consider yourself a high or low food spender? If you have young children, have you considered how much it may cost to feed them in the teen years? Among other things, here’s an estimate of what it may cost to feed a teen male a no frills daily diet of home cooked food.

If I Bought 30-Year Shingles Why Is My Roof Leaking After 10 Years?

Why we’re glad we kept calling till we found a roofer who could solve the mystery of our ceiling water spots. (Includes a mention of Alberta’s famous Rat Patrol!)

RRSP Strategies Part 3: Keep it Safe to Start. Use Cash, Bonds, and GICs to Build Your RRSP Base

Why you need to have a safe base for your investing pyramid, how large it needs to be, and what you can invest in for the best results.

RRSP Strategies Part 2 Move the Money Where You Want to Keep It. Choosing a Long Term RRSP Investment Account

How to choose a long term RRSP investment account, including bank accounts vs brokerage accounts, and how to transfer short term RRSP savings.

RRSP Strategies Part 1: How To Best Get your RRSP Money Contributed Before the Tax Deadline

The RRSP deadline is looming and this year you want to contribute but you have no idea how or where. What should you do?

Budgeting for Retirement: The Long Term Costs of Maintaining a House Must Be Included

Each year in retirement I plan to save this amount in my own personal “Reserve Fund” to pay for required replacements and repairs including a new roof, a new washing machine and a new fridge. What will you need to save?

Budgeting for Retirement Requires a Good Estimate of My Personal Rate of Inflation for 2012

Our surprising personal rate of inflation for 2012 and what factored into it.

Using Dividend Paying Stocks to Create Monthly Income

Here are 4 examples of Canadian stocks from fairly different areas of business that pay monthly distributions.

What Will I Live On When I Retire if I Have No Savings and Don’t Own a Home?

Low income earners may get this much OAS, GIS and some CPP in retirement.