5 Alternative Ways to Retire Early

5 Alternative Ways to Retire EarlyFor many of us, retirement is a far off dream. It’s already difficult enough to pay our current bills on time, and we aren’t able to contribute to our retirement funds as much as we’d like. But early retirement is a real possibility if you work for it in your 20s and 30s. Here are a few alternative paths to early retirement: Cut expenses. Many financial planners recommend that you…

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10 Reasons You Are Not Rich Yet

10 Reasons You Are Not Rich YetAs a financial advisor, I have spent many years helping other people overcome financial stumbling blocks so they can become rich. Ironically, the one person I have had the most trouble helping is myself. Being “rich” can mean different things to different people, but I believe it means having the financial freedom to achieve your goals and live the life you want. I am great at giving advice; I am…

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The Economic Cost of Surgery Wait Times

The Economic Cost of Surgery Wait TimesWhile most Canadians would agree on the human cost of waiting for surgery and other medical treatments in Canada, few realize that there is also an economic cost in addition to the frustration, pain and stress for individuals and their families. According to a Fraser Institute study published last year, the surgical wait times in the country cost Canadian patients a combined $1.08 billion in lost time and productivity in…

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The 5 Financial Habits that Changed My Life

The 5 Financial Habits that Changed My LifeI don’t try to hide the fact that we used to be pretty sucky with our finances.  Although we never let things get too out of hand, I finally accept the fact that we used to waste most of our income.  We bought stuff.  We went on trips.  If we didn’t have the cash, we would finance anything that we desired.  Even furniture.  And vacuums.  I swear. We also lived without any sort…

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What to do with $10,000 Right Now

What to do with $10,000 Right NowFor most people, getting a windfall of $10,000-through an inheritance, a severance payment or a small lottery win on the weekly Scratch ‘N Win card-can make a huge difference in their lives. Whether you invest in your small business, save it towards a long-term goal like retirement, pay off hefty consumer debt or help your kids with their college education bills, doing so can speed up your journey down the…

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Harder for Gen Y First-Time Home Buyers to Get Into Market?

Harder for Gen Y First-Time Home Buyers to Get Into Market?Andrew MacLeod is part of demographic that apparently is being priced out of Canada’s housing market, but that didn’t prevent the 34-year-old from finding a way to buy his first home. MacLeod and his wife, 33, overcame current economic hurdles such as high property prices, tighter lending conditions and shaky job markets to purchase their four-bedroom, two storey semi-detached house in Ottawa’s Lindenlea neighbourhood, which MacLeod cheekily describes as the…

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Owning a 4-plex Can Be a Pain

Owning a 4-plex Can Be a PainOwning a rental property is one of the most popular ways to generate passive income, but it’s not always easy. We purchased a 4-plex through a short sale process in October 2011 and my rental income projection was quite wrong. I finally finished our 2012 tax return and I can share the details from the 4-plex now. I’ll put it next to my original projection so you can see how…

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Shopping Leads to More Shopping

Shopping Leads to More ShoppingEver notice how sometimes when you go shopping for one thing, you end up bringing home four or five other things? How many times have you heard, “I only came in for…” at the check-out? Stanford University did some studies about how shopping can lead to more shopping. It seems that buying that fateful first item sets you on a shopping track that can end with you spending far more…

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How To Avoid Bounced Checks

How To Avoid Bounced ChecksMy wife and I were watching some old episodes of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ on Netflix streaming and came across the episode titled “The Checkbook”. In this episode, Ray takes over responsibility of the family checkbook from Debra after he says how easy it should be to handle the books. Unfortunately for Ray, he doesn’t know the first thing about handling a checking account. Checks get bounced, the electric gets shut…

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Tips to Save Money During Winter

Tips to Save Money During WinterGoodbye Christmas!!! (Thank God!) Hello Snowpocalypse 2012!!! As you may have heard, we here in the Midwest took a fierce body punch from one of the first major winter storms of the season. We were covered with about about 10 inches of snow a few days ago. For those of you in the South, that sounds like Armageddon. For those of you in Minnesota, that sounds like a Tuesday. The…

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