Vacations are great, but there’s a lot to remember as you get ready to go. So how about a travel checklist to help you get organized before your next trip?
A retired financial adviser named Bruce McGuffin recently sent me a copy of a travel checklist he used to make available to his clients. Given that the summer travel season is almost here, I thought I’d share these points with newsletter readers. I shortened the list a little for space considerations, but think it covers a lot of points that will help you minimize stress while away. Here goes:
- Have emergency numbers (family friend/relative) saved in your cellphone.
- Keep your travel medical insurance policy number in your wallet or purse.
- Pick someone to be a financial back-up person in case of an emergency while you’re away.
- Make sure that back-up person knows where your papers are if something happens.
- Make sure your power of attorney for personal care is current.
- Check with your doctor to make sure you get any necessary vaccinations.
- Divert mail, newspaper or have a neighbour pick it up daily.
- Make sure your passport is still valid.
- Make sure the address labels on your luggage are current.
- Check with your cellphone provider regarding data costs while you’re away.
- Photocopy all your documents including wallet contents and keep separate.
- Leave your itinerary with a friend or family member.
- Check your gutters, downspouts and drains before leaving for the winter, and remove debris that could cause a blockage.
- Winterize outside taps and sprinkler systems.
- Check locks on doors and windows.
- Replace bulbs on exterior security lights.
- Shut off the water main.
- Turn off or turn down hot water heater.
- Turn down the furnace.
- Turn off the icemaker on the fridge.
- Unplug unnecessary appliances.
- Take a photo/video of your valuables in case of loss.
- Arrange for a friend/neighbour/relative to check your home weekly.
Subscribe to Carrick on Money
Are you reading this newsletter on the web or did someone forward the e-mail version to you? If so, you can sign up for Carrick on Money here.
Rob’s personal finance reading list
Are younger Canadians thinking about retirement?
Thoughts on the retirement challenges of 30- and 40-somethings, who struggle with high housing costs. Will they be able to save enough?
E-transfers are great, but …
A Reddit discussion on an annoying feature of e-transfers, which are otherwise an excellent way to send money to someone. At many banks, the limit on transfers is $3,000 per day. There are workarounds.
Best travel reward credit cards for seniors
This comparison emphasizes travel medical coverage offered by travel reward cards, which differs a lot from card to card. Here’s something I wrote a few years ago about relying on credit card travel medical insurance.
Anyone planning to live off dividends in retirement?
For dividend devotees. A detailed discussion of the feasibility of using dividends to generate a good portion of your retirement income.
Q: I know you may not be able to recommend a particular adviser, but I am 66 and have been looking after my own investments, mostly stocks. Now, I need more tax advice combined with investment advice and would like to trust someone with this work. My attempts to find someone worthy have failed badly in the past. Any way you could point me in the right direction would be welcomed.
A: Sounds like a smart move to get some help with your financial planning and investments. Here are a couple of resources for finding candidates to do this job for you:
- A directory of planners and advisers who work on an hourly or flat fee basis
- A list of advice-only planners, which means they don’t sell investment products
Tools, explainers and guides
Rewards Canada has relaunched its credit card comparison charts – data is available in 12 different card categories. You can also look at past charts to see how much reward credit cards have evolved over the years.
The money-free zone
Three minutes of soul/R&B perfection: Love Train, by The O’Jays. Listen as needed to brighten your mood.
Listen to this
A podcast by BMO Economics on whether the correction in housing prices is over.
From the Twitterverse
A perfect little investing reality check.
What I’ve been writing about
- GIC investors, these bond ETFs should be on your radar
- The bad news personal finance story of the year so far is the housing market revival
- Still got some money to invest safely? GICs look interesting again
More Rob Carrick and money coverage
Subscribe to Stress Test on Apple podcasts or Spotify. For more money stories, follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group.
Even more coverage from Rob Carrick:
- 🎧 Catch up on Stress Test: Why millennials and Gen Z are Alberta-bound for a more affordable life • Rising interest rates brought pain for new homeowners – and opportunity for house hunters • Why more Canadians are choosing to be child-free or delay parenthood • Love in the time of inflation: How to manage rising costs when dating • You’re not bad at money – you’re suffering from money shame • Retirement might look different for Gen Z and millennials. Here’s how to plan for it • Recession-beating tips for the job market, housing, investing and the cost of life • Is the middle class dead for millennials and Gen Z?
- ✔️ The housing file: A house isn’t special. Get your head straight about the reality of home ownership • The good, the sad and the unaffordable: Saving for a home down payment in Canada’s big cities • Property taxes are popping in some cities – how worried should you be about other tax hikes? • Our other real-estate problem – people have too much wealth tied up in houses • Borrowers and savers, here’s how to time the eventual rollback of interest rates
- 📈 Investing: Canada's top digital broker is TD Direct Investing, with an assist from the TD Easy Trade app • 2023 Globe and Mail ETF buyer's guide part one: Canadian equity ETFs • For the ultimate in cheap investing, check out the Freedom .08 ETF Portfolio • Yes, there is risk in Canadian bank deposits for the unwary and complacent • CDIC covers bank deposits, but who protects your investments if your broker goes bust? • Answers to your questions about the low-risk ETF paying almost 5% • Happy fifth birthday to one of the all-time best investing products for everyday people • An investing strategy that wins cleanly over the long term by outperforming in bad years like 2022
- 💰 Your money: Mortgage holders, savers and GIC investors, it’s time to change your thinking on interest rates • How much debt is each generation of Canadians carrying, and how do you compare? • For the sake of their financial futures, young people should leave Toronto and Vancouver • This practical new spin on a savings account might just peel you away from your big bank • Rental fraud grows amid rise in fake, falsified tenant applications • Are Canadians worse off financially now than in the 1980s? • From groceries to auto loans, here’s how much more it costs to live right now • When saving for retirement, should you change your asset mix over the course of your career? • Do retirement income needs always rise alongside inflation? Not necessarily • When the bank suggests you lock in your variable rate mortgage, it has an angle