Indebted Canadians feeling more optimistic

As a country, we owe an astounding $599 billion on credit cards and other non-mortgage consumer debt: MNP

Indebted Canadians feeling more optimisticCanadians are feeling better about their level of debt and there’s increasing optimism on issues related to personal finance, says a new report released on Monday by MNP. Its Consumer Debt Index found that 61 per cent of Canadians feel their debt situation has improved, including 27 per cent who say their debt situation is…

Concerns about Canadian household debt easing

Accelerating disposable income and slowing mortgage growth are the driving forces behind the recent improvement

Concerns about Canadian household debt easingConcerns about household debt in Canada have come down a notch – the first real signs of easing indebtedness in decades, according to a report by RBC Economic Research. The Focus on Canada’s Household Debt report, by senior economist Robert Hogue, says the first quarter of 2018 experienced the largest quarterly drop in the debt-to-income ratio…

Buy Canadian economics carry a steep cost

While Canadians may embrace buying Canadian food products in retaliation for the trade dispute with the U.S., it won't come cheap

Buy Canadian economics carry a steep costCanadians are encouraging one another to go “Trump-free” – that is, to shop for groceries without buying a single American product. Even restaurants are jumping on the bandwagon by serving “Trump-free” dishes. These are interesting reactions in the face of Washington’s somewhat contradictory foreign trade policies. In a nutshell, here’s what happened following the G7…

Deficit spending is no free lunch; it’s a bill to future taxpayers

The government should stop kicking the can down the road and reduce federal spending now to avoid future tax increases

Deficit spending is no free lunch; it’s a bill to future taxpayersBy Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute The federal government ran a $19.4-billion budget deficit in 2017-18, according its fiscal monitor. And this government’s appetite for deficit spending shows no signs of relenting. In fact, there’s no plan to balance the federal budget for the next three decades. With deficits becoming common again,…

‘Bad things happen to good people’

Debt woes began with 2013 flood, followed by her husband’s unexpected death

‘Bad things happen to good people’Special Report Part 5 in our five-part series Back in Balance Name: Linda Penney Age: 59 Occupation: Dining room supervisor at a facility for senior citizens, part-time tax preparer, part-time insurance sales Two brutal years of turmoil began for Linda Penny in 2013. She was forced out of her home, her dream of opening a new…

Fraudster ruined woman’s plans for early retirement

Troy Media talks to everyday Albertans who are working to become debt free

Fraudster ruined woman’s plans for early retirementSpecial Report Part 4 in our five-part series Back in Balance Name: Sandra (not her real name) Occupation: Federal public service employee Age: 58 Sandra was lonely, depressed and anxious after the painful separation from and then death of her former husband. Her friends suggested she look for a companion on a dating website, someone who could her…

Injury and job losses push Calgarians to live off credit cards

As people dig out from Alberta’s worst recession in three decades, Troy Media talks to everyday Albertans who are working to become debt free

Injury and job losses push Calgarians to live off credit cardsSpecial Report Part 3 in our five-part series Back in Balance Name: Linda Pierce Age: 53 Residence: Calgary Occupation: Office administrator At one of the lowest points in Linda Pierce’s 10-plus-year debt roller-coaster ride, she worked three part-time jobs while raising three teenage daughters. Amid it all, she suffered an ankle injury that required surgery, a…

Surprise tax bill in the mail was the final straw

Four Albertans rebounding from debt: ‘I was losing sleep and avoiding phone calls from unknown numbers’

Surprise tax bill in the mail was the final strawSpecial Report Part 2 in our five-part series Back in Balance Name: Amy Mahon Occupation: Mother of four children, full-time administrative assistant for Alberta Health Services Age: 41 Amy Mahon remembers her breaking point. It was the day she opened a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency and read that she owed $5,000 in back taxes.…

The stories of four Albertans working to slay their debt demons

Albertans are racking up debt in record levels but help is available

The stories of four Albertans working to slay their debt demonsSpecial Report Part 1 in our 5-part series Back in Balance Albertans are drowning in debt and many don’t even realize it until the creditors come knocking. Almost every week, another distressing report emerges about Canadians’ rising household debt. Albertans consistently sit at the top of the in-the-red list. This province has just come through…

You are what you focus on

Sometimes the biggest upgrade needed to help you see what’s possible is to ruthlessly shift what you’re focusing on most

You are what you focus onWe had a fabulous dinner party last weekend where lively conversations and interesting perceptions were shared about relationships, friendships and new experiences. At the end of the wine, there was some agreement that the biggest obstacle facing most people who find themselves with a bit of bleak outlook is that they’re inviting in that perspective.…

Staying ahead of threats to cyber security

A not-so-distant future could see blockchain automatically put in place a retaliatory tariff or assemble a dispute resolution panel

Staying ahead of threats to cyber securityBy Brennen Schmidt ALEUS Technology Group and Allan Bonner Troy Media columnist Studying and working in the area of cyber security keeps us alert – and as things rapidly change, alertness is ever more important. It was good to hear of the scanning machine that makes a digital copy of all receipts for later viewing…

Getting creative about saving money

Follow these guidelines to make a remarkable difference to your bank balance at the end of the month

Getting creative about saving moneyWhile inflation has remained lower than expected, most people seem to find their finances being squeezed more and more every year. There are many reasons for this. Salaries don’t always increase as much as we would like them to. We find new things to spend money on. We work harder and therefore reward ourselves by…

Should you defer collecting CPP and OAS?

Can you afford to hold off and increase your payments later? Will you need more CPP and OAS later in life? And how long do you expect to live?

Should you defer collecting CPP and OAS?Most people know they can start collecting their Canada Pension Plan (CPP) at age 60, even though they’ll get smaller monthly payments than if they waited until 65. Many people just want the money now and don’t care about any added benefits to delaying CPP and Old Age Security (OAS). The standard CPP and OAS…

Looking backward to predict future investment performance

Be sure to read the fine print if you see a variable-rate investment such as an ETF or a mutual fund advertising what looks like a promised future return

Looking backward to predict future investment performanceLong-term investors need to be concerned about personal annualized return – the return on their money over the entire period of the investment. When investing in guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), your annualized return is known when you make your investment. For example, you buy a five-year GIC that pays three per cent so you know…

RRSP or TFSA? Sorting out an investor’s dilemma

TFSAs provide great options. If you build up the money in your TFSA while you’re working, you can draw from it tax-free any time

RRSP or TFSA? Sorting out an investor’s dilemmaK.M. wrote to ask if she should stop making registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) contributions and instead focus on her tax-free savings account (TFSA). With a little personal information from K.M., we decided it would be best for her to focus on her TFSA. Here’s why: K.M. works in a job she’s likely to leave…
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