While nearly half of Canadian homeowners don’t plan to sell their homes when they retire, many are still unsure what they’ll do. Moving to a new city or downsizing to a more compact home can offer advantages but, depending on your goals, a few disadvantages as well. If you’re thinking about a post-retirement move, consider these pros and cons before you start packing:
When you relocate to a new city or property…
PRO: Save money on daily expenses: If you relocate to a less expensive area, you’ll be able to stretch your retirement savings further. Consider the benefits of a suburb vs. city, and look to exotic areas that provide a lower cost of living. Need a little inspiration? Mexico, Panama, and Costa Rica are popular post-retirement spots for Canadians. Or, look to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where you can rent a one-bedroom apartment (in a good area!) for as little as $400 a month.
CON: Spend money on moving costs: Even if you’re exchanging your current digs for a less expensive property, moving isn’t cheap — real estate agent expenses, land transfer tax and moving costs can dissolve a big chunk of money. In Toronto, for example, land transfer costs, legal fees and moving expenses alone could be $15,000 or more. Plus, you’ll have to consider the cost of traveling to visit family, but if you pick a tropical locale, Canadian relatives may be more likely to come to you.
Five fun ways to help your preschooler learn about money.
It’s never too early to help them make sense of money.
If your kids can count, they can start learning about money. At this young age, a great way to teach them is through multisensory experiences that include lots of play, songs, and arts and crafts. Here are five fun ways you can engage your little one in lessons about dollars and cents: Continue reading →
Get to know these four people when buying a home. Assemble your dream team for a winning result.
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or getting ready to buy your second or third place, making a move can be exciting. But, it also can be intimidating and a bit overwhelming when you consider the many steps you need to take before picking up your new keys.
Fortunately, it’s a lot easier when you work with professionals who know the ins and outs. So consider reaching out to these four individuals during the home-buying process.
Real estate broker: You may think looking for potential homes is something you can do on your own. However, first-time buyers and even more experienced buyers can benefit from hiring a real estate professional. They can help you find listings that specifically fit your criteria, including listings that may not be advertised, as well as provide insight into the market. Plus, they can help you negotiate things like price, the date you can take possession and any extras you want included like repairs, furniture and appliances.
Lawyer or notary: A lawyer or notary may act as an advocate on your behalf throughout the home-buying process. They will help coordinate everything from drafting and negotiating the contract of the sale to examining inspection reports and mortgage documents. Hiring a lawyer or notary early in the home-buying process can save you time and risk.
Home Inspector: It’s to your benefit to hire a home inspector to look over the home before you buy. A home inspection may cost an average of $450 (may vary by province). But it’s often money well spent, because a home inspector can alert you to issues you may not see on the surface, like problems with the roof, plumbing, electrical, heating or cooling, windows and doors and foundation. Make sure to hire a certified home inspector, ideally with a background in engineering and experience doing home surveys in the area where you are buying.
Mortgage Specialist: Last, but not least, having a working relationship with a trusted mortgage specialist is essential during the home-buying process. He or she can help review your finances and determine a price range that is realistic for your budget, as well as help you decide what type of mortgage is right for your situation and how much you can afford for a down payment.
Start preparing a safety net for unexpected expenses.
Your washing machine breaks. You have a leaky roof. You lose your job. Your child gets sick.
No matter how well you plan, you simply can’t predict if and when unexpected expenses are going to arise — and inevitably they will. Your pay cheque may only go so far towards covering costs, and you’ll want to avoid going into debt or dipping into your retirement or long-term savings.
So what can you do to prepare?
Start saving now.
Open a separate savings account for emergencies, and get into the habit of depositing a weekly or monthly amount, even if it’s just $10 or $15. That may mean one less meal out, but it will add up over time. A great way to get started is to set up automatic savings. Once you’re in the habit of automatically setting money aside each month and adjusting your spending habits, you can gradually increase the amount. Continue reading →
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