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Whether wrestling with student debt, a home down payment, investing in TFSAs, or your CPP, make sure you’re doing the right math. Here are some of the tools that Rob Carrick and our Globe team have built over the years

Plan for my education

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

How much will a year of university or college cost? Our student calculator helps you plan out your financial needs based on tuition costs, annual expenses and housing.

As for what happens after school, there’s our Real Life Money Launcher, designed to help twenty- and thirtysomethings plan their finances once they enter the work force.

Invest my money

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

When you save your money, it shouldn’t feel like you’re doing it alone: Investing, when done right, is a team effort. Here are some of the things you’ll need:

  • The right adviser: To pay for their services, advisers sometimes take a percentage of their clients’ account assets as a fee. Compare your fees with what other investors are paying using our Investment Fee Disclosure Tool. To assess whether you’re getting value for the advice you get, try our Adviser Checklist, based on a collaboration between Rob Carrick and his adviser contacts on LinkedIn.
  • The right portfolio: By creating a portfolio profile on our investing site, you can use a watchlist and up-to-date alerts to track how your investments are doing. Get a bigger picture of the big companies to watch with our ranking and rating of the top 1,000 firms in Canada, and use our stock-screener to zero in on the investments that are right for you.
  • The right TFSA plan: Tax-free savings accounts are about a decade old now and give Canadians a way to save their wealth beyond the traditional RRSP. To find out how much your TFSA could be worth, try our TFSA Calculator. For some, making a million-dollar TFSA is entirely possible: See if you can manage it with this calculator.

Spend on something fun


When saving your money, don’t forget to live a little – provided it doesn’t mess up your future plans. But how can you tell whether to spend this month’s paycheque on the destination wedding or the down payment? Just plug your income and monthly expenses into our Real Life Money Launcher to weigh the costs and benefits of short-, medium- and long-term goals.

Buy a home

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

First-time home ownership is a big step. First question: Where do you want to live? Our House Price Data Centre gives a comprehensive overview of what the market is like in different Canadian cities, based on the latest data from the Teranet-National Bank House Price Index. Compare the long-term trends for different cities to see where it’s most affordable for you to live.

How much of a down payment can you afford? It’s more complicated than just one number: Saving up can take years. Try our Down Payment Tool to see how long it’ll take to get ready for a down payment in the city of your choice.

Once you’ve bought a home, you’ll have to balance your family’s day-to-day needs with the mortgage payments. Housing affordability calculators from banks and real-estate lenders won’t always take that into account: Their priority is making sure you can afford a mortgage without posing a major default risk. That’s why we created the Real Life Ratio, which accounts for other factors like car payments, home maintenance, daycare fees and education and retirement savings.

Plan for my retirement

Elena Elisseeva/iStockphoto

Are you ready for retirement? That largely depends on your personal replacement ratio, or the percentage of your working income today that you’ll need to retire in the future. Fill out our Retirement Readiness Calculator to see how all your month-to-month costs will add up.

One way to pay for your retirement is to start taking your Canada Pension Plan, but getting the best value for money means starting at the right time. Try our CPP Calculator to see what your benefits will be.

Compiled by Globe staff

With reports from Rob Carrick, Chris Manza, Michael Pereira and Roma Luciw