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carrick on money

Happy 2019, Globe Money readers.

As we embark on a new year that could bring further interest-rate hikes and more volatility in financial markets, Canadians with high levels of household, credit-card or mortgage debt should be feeling concerned. Those with savings might be wondering where to invest their money, while recent grads could be fretting about how to secure a good job and get into the expensive housing market. Retirees might need reassurance that they have enough money saved for all of their needs.

What worries you most about money when you look ahead to 2019? The Globe’s personal-finance team wants to hear from you: What stories would you like us to cover? Send your ideas, questions, and or tips to personal finance editor Roma Luciw and columnist Rob Carrick. We might not respond to all of your emails, but we will read them.

Subscribe to the Carrick on Money newsletter

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.

The Globe and Mail’s online tools

If you’re struggling with a major financial decision, we might have an online calculator that can help. Here’s a link to all of our Globe Investor financial tools. Here are a few of them:

  • The Real Life Ratio Calculator: Wondering whether you can afford that mortgage? The Real Life Ratio is an answer to all of the self-interested housing affordability calculators offered by banks and other lenders, as well as the real-estate industry. Plug in your numbers and see whether you can actually make your mortgage payments and have a life.
  • Build your own million-dollar TFSA: This calculator is pretty simple. You fill out three fields: the number of years you plan to contribute, your expected rate of return and the dollar amount you’re starting with. Your input will generate the total projected value of your TFSA. We have not yet updated this to include the increased $6,000 annual limit for 2019 – that’s on our to-do list.
  • Are you getting value from your adviser? (Globe subscribers only) This is more of a checklist than a calculator. It was created to address the concerns of many of our readers, who wanted to know how to evaluate the performance of their adviser. Are you getting good value for your money? A score of 14 or higher suggests yes, while a score of 5 or less means its time to start looking elsewhere.
  • 60 through 70: At what age should you start taking CPP? (Globe subscribers only) The standard age for starting Canada Pension Plan retirement benefits is 65. You can take a reduced benefit as early as age 60 or receive larger benefits by waiting as long as age 70. This is one of the most common questions readers asked us, so this calculator provides an estimate as to whether to it makes sense to take CPP early, at 65 or delay.

Lastly, check out Rob Carrick’s podcast

Looking Ahead: The Retirementality: Thoughts on retirement based on my own experiences and input from a trio of financial planners and advisers who I consider to be among the smartest out there. There are three episodes – one for millennials, one for Gen Xers and one for boomers in the home stretch before retirement.

More Carrick and money coverage

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. Send us an e-mail to let us know what you think of my newsletter. Want to subscribe? Click here to sign up.

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