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Carrick on money

The view from early retirement: Mondays are the best day Add to ...

Retiring early, even in your fifites, used to be a big thing. Remember the long-running Freedom 55 advertising campaign by London Life Insurance Co.? Now, the dominant narrative on retirement has turned to working longer.

This makes sense, given today’s extended lifespans. But that doesn’t mean early retirement is a dead concept. Here’s a blogger who left the workforce at age 52 last year writing about all the things he didn’t expect from early retirement. Let’s just say early retirement as described here sounds idyllic. Mondays are great because the gym is quiet, and so are stores. He says he’s also in the best physical shape of his life, and his family relationships are better.

Here’s some good news for people who will retire at 65 or later: Most of the benefits described in this blog post can apply when you retire at any age. Mondays will still be quiet days for running errands; you’ll still have more time to spend with friends and family; you’ll still have more opportunities for exercise. Incidentally, the average age of retirement in Canada has climbed in recent years to about age 63. Whether by choice or necessity, many people still retire early.

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Couple makes $120K, lives in basement apartment
A slice of life in Toronto, the unaffordable.

You can’t read your way to financial success
Like to read about the habits of millionaires or successful business people? An article in the Harvard Business Review argues that these lists are useless and possibly even harmful.

We’re here to make money off of you
Rick Mercer takes aim at the banks in this on-the-money video.

Advisor vs. adviser
For those who want financial advice from someone who puts their interests first - this blog post will help sort things out. Note: Whether someone uses the spelling adviser or advisor (Globe and Mail style is to use adviser) doesn’t much matter.

Go on, spend the money
It’s OK to spend money on great life experiences you will remember as long as you live, says Carl Richards, a financial planner who blogs for the New York Times. Couldn’t agree more where travel is concerned.

Today’s featured financial tool
For tax time, here’s a primer on taxation of real estate investment trusts, or REITs, that are held in non-registered accounts. REITs are a popular investment for investors seeking income.

Ask Rob
The question: “I’m an international student who has been studying in Canada for the past six years and expects to stay for the next four years. I’m in a good financial position – enough to live happily with my wife and two kids. I’ve been paying an average monthly rent of about $1,500, and this year we started thinking about buying a house for the purpose of investment until we decide to leave the country around 2022. We’re kind of lost and did not know what to choose, renting or buying.”

My reply: Buying a house for investment purposes with a time horizon of four or five years sounds risky. If prices stagnate or pull back, you can end up losing money. Even modest annual price increases might not make it worthwhile to buy, once you factor in all the legal and other costs of buying and selling.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length.

What I’ve been writing about
–Six stunning numbers about Toronto real estate and your personal finances

–Why this young fintech entrepreneur lives with his parents

–The 2017 ETF Buyer’s Guide: Best U.S. equity funds (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)

Featured Video
Four personal finance books millennials should read.

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