Money and Health

DOES THINKING ABOUT MONEY MAKE YOU TENSE? If you have ever wondered what would happen if you lost your job tomorrow or worried about running out of money in your old age, then you are not alone. A recent study shows that only 34 per cent of Canadians surveyed feel financially well. That means 66 per cent of Canadians feel financially unwell or just okay – and research shows that there’s a strong link between how financially well we feel and our mental and physical health. Canadians who feel financially unwell are nearly five times less likely to participate in healthy physical activity and are more likely to experience financial stressors. On the flip side, Canadians who feel financially wel

First Time Home Buyers: Reno's?

Put your stamp on your new home with these budget‑friendly decorating and design tips. After months of searching for the perfect place, you’ve finally found the one. Moving into a first home can be a liberating and thrilling experience, and chances are you’re eager to give it your own touch. Whether you’re looking to splash a new condo with some personality or to bring a ’70s split‑level into this decade, your new space is waiting to be personalized. But where should you direct that hard‑earned money? Below are some tips on how to get started when decorating your first home. Renovations and upgrades First and foremost, focus on repairs that may be required to ensure your home is sound and up

Say yes to less stress

Stay calm and collected with these nine tips. Stress takes its toll on our bodies. It affects us physically, depletes us emotionally and drains us of our ability to focus and be productive. In fact, many illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, asthma, depression and anxiety, are caused or made worse by stress.1 When the going gets tough, try these strategies to persevere. Get your z’s Sleep is often the first thing to go when we’re too busy, but a rested body manages stress better. Limit caffeine, wind down with a relaxing bedtime routine and aim for at least seven hours of shut‑eye a night. Move more Exercise releases endorphins (the “feel‑good” chemicals) and is one of the best stres

Minimum wage increases and small business

Prepare your business model as labour costs rise. In November 2017, the Ontario government passed the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act. In addition to changes to sick days and vacation entitlements, the act increased Ontario’s minimum wage from $11.60 to $14 per hour beginning January 1, 2018, with a second increase, to $15, scheduled for January 2019. And Ontario isn’t alone. Quebec’s minimum wage was hiked to $12 in May, Alberta’s will rise to $15 in October, and British Columbia has scheduled annual increases to bring its minimum wage to $15.20 in June 2021. While most wage increases haven’t been as extreme as those in Ontario, businesses in every province are adjusting to rising labour c

Q: I Need Financial Help.

How to handle a request for financial support. Many Canadians are grappling with debt as a result of soaring spending and a higher cost of living. A 2017 report by the Organization for Economic Co‑operation and Development showed that Canadian households are among the most indebted in the world, and a recent survey by the Canadian Payroll Association suggested that nearly half of Canadian workers are living paycheque to paycheque. If a friend or family member is experiencing financial difficulties, it’s natural to want to help. It’s difficult to see someone in need but borrowing or lending between people who care about each other can present some risks and potentially impact the relationship

You’ve been asked to be an executor … now what?

What to consider when someone invites you to take on this important responsibility. Being asked to be an executor1 is an honour. It means that someone trusts you to manage, with diplomacy and grace, a wide range of important tasks after their death. It’s also a big responsibility. An executor quite literally executes the terms of a will, and there’s a lot more to that than simply ensuring beneficiaries receive their bequests. Here are some things to consider when someone pops the executor question – and always keep in mind that help is available if you need it. What will you have to do? At a high level, an executor must notify those who need to know about the death (including government agen

Seven surprising things you can rent

Save money (and space) by renting tools, bikes, toys and more. Canadians accumulate a lot of stuff – from clothes to toys to tools. But how often do we use this stuff? One estimate finds that most cars are parked 95 per cent of the time; another reckons a power drill might only be used for 13 minutes over its entire lifetime. What if you only pay for what you use? That is the premise behind the sharing economy. By opting to rent items instead of purchasing them, you can free up space in your home and save money at the same time. Renting can also be a good way to try before you buy. Here are some things you may want to consider renting: Tools: Why fork out money for a miter saw that you’ll us

How To Invest: Fundamentals

Focus on the fundamentals for an investment strategy that’s right for you. Invest your money. Three short, simple words. Or are they? With such a large array of investment choices, from stocks and bonds to closed‑end funds and exchange‑traded funds, it can be difficult to decide where to put your money. To further complicate matters, there’s always something new being hyped in the marketplace. Current buzz is focused on cryptocurrencies and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and self‑driving vehicles. You might be eager to invest early and capitalize on potential growth, but are these sound opportunities? Moreover, it seems as if everyone has advice for you. Unfortunately, pl

How Much Does a Pet Cost?

Be aware of the costs but thoroughly enjoy the benefits. Anyone who has a pet is aware that they aren’t free – from toys to food to vet expenses, the costs can add up. But for those who enjoy animal companionship, the costs are far outweighed by the pleasure of having pets in their lives. As well as company, pet ownership offers potential health benefits. It has been proven that lovable creatures can help alleviate certain medical and mental health conditions.1 From the responsibility and reality of caring for an animal to the potential health and psychological benefits, here’s a look at what it means to own a pet. Thinking about a new beasty friend? Pet owners know that a pet is a significa

30 Day Challenge for Better Finances

ITS NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION TIME! With plenty of priorities competing for our attention, money matters can sometimes be pushed to the back of the shelf. But, just like an annual de-cluttering at home, getting our financial house in order can make a big difference to daily life. Make a commitment to take our 30-day challenge and set out on your way to better financial housekeeping. Examine your spending Days 1 to 7: Track your everyday spending for the week. Include all the little things – coffee, meals, dry cleaning, etc. Consider using a tracking app or other online tools. Day 8: Analyze your weekly spending. Are you willing to bring your lunch to work a few times a week or forgo that daily l

Women and the Financial Frontier

Addressing the financial challenges facing women, with tips men can use too. Women are centre stage in 2019. They’re speaking out across social media and demanding change – and there are signs they’re well positioned to get it. The federal government has a gender‑balanced cabinet for the first time in history. Globally, female empowerment, workplace equality and the issues women face are the subjects of daily headlines. And in February, Maclean’s magazine printed two versions of its cover – offering the issue at $6.99 for women and $8.81 for men to draw attention to pay equity and how far we still have to go to achieve it. Financial empowerment is an important frontier for women. They have a

Life After School

How young professionals can set themselves up for financial success. About half a million Canadians graduate every year from a public post‑secondary institution. Degree, diploma or certificate in hand, they’re ready to start their careers. For many, it’s the first time in their lives they’re earning a substantial paycheque and gaining financial independence – years of education are finally paying off. It’s an exciting time full of opportunities, but it can also be a little daunting – after all, leaving student life behind often means added responsibilities like repaying student debt, establishing a career or practice and supporting your own lifestyle. It also means protecting what you have w

How You Can Maximize Your Income

Don't miss out on what should be yours. We all work hard for our money, so the thought of letting free money slip through our fingers is almost inconceivable. Yet every year Canadians do just that by not taking full advantage of value that is rightfully theirs. Here are some ways to help ensure you’re getting all that you’re entitled to. AT WORK Embrace employer-sponsored plans Canadians could be losing out on as much as $3 billion by not taking full advantage of the retirement savings plans offered by their employers. Most defined contribution pension plans allow employees to contribute a percentage of their paycheque, which is then matched by the company – that’s free money towards your re

Insurance Made Easy

Getting the protection you need is faster and simpler than ever before. When thinking about getting a financial plan in order, many people tend to focus on investments, bank account balances, or paying down debt. Insurance protection can sometimes get put on the back burner, often because of misconceptions: it’s not fun to think about, it seems difficult to get or it’s assumed to be unaffordable. Well, insurance is changing – and today’s solutions not only make getting the coverage you need faster and easier than ever before, they can also play a big part in helping you reach your financial goals. Tailored for your needs Insurance is an important part of a financial plan – even those who are

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CLEMENT CHUNG, CFP, CLU

Certified Financial Planner

Fee-Based Financial Planning
Burnaby & Metro Vancouver

©2018 by Clement Chung.