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carrick on money

I know you mean well, house shamers. You’ve done spectacularly well owning a house and you want others to share in the experience. So what if you’re pushy in telling people who don’t own to get into the housing market. It’s for their own good.

What you may not realize is that there’s a small but growing segment of the population, mainly millennials, who are going to be lifelong renters, either by choice or necessity. The house shamer views home ownership as a path for raising a family, indulging your inner designer with renovation projects and building enough equity to fill a Brink’s truck. The renter sees owning a home as unaffordable, as a financial sinkhole or both.

Open this photo in gallery:

Houses in a suburban neighbourhood.Tony Tremblay/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Budgets are $exy blog recently published a useful primer on house shaming. It includes a bunch of messages from non-owners who are sick of being told they should buy. They’re quite aware of how great an investment housing has been for some people, not to mention how fulfilling it is to replace laminate kitchen countertops with granite – or maybe quartz! And yet, these renters will continue to rent.

A quick economic lesson for house shamers: Your financial gains in the housing market have made homes too expensive for many young people. It’s actually financially smart for them to rent, not buy. They can build wealth quite effectively by investing the money they’re saving by renting and not owning.

Home ownership has been a financial home run for a lot of Canadians. But inflicting the story of your good fortune on friends and family members who rent is bad form. Live and let live.

Are you a disgruntled millennial?

We want to profile people in their 20s and early 30s who feel they are worse off financially than their parents or who feel the economy benefits other generations more than them. If you’re willing to use your real name and provide a picture, send me an e-mail at We’ll send you a short list of questions to answer and then publish the answers online to document the challenges millennials are facing. I wrote about discontended millennials in this recent column.

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Rob’s personal finance reading list…

Best credit cards of 2018

Top picks in 18 categories: best cashback, best travel, best Aeroplan and Air Miles and so forth.

These are the five bank and investment accounts everyone needs

Great information here for young and old. Five essential types of accounts, and how to use them to reach your financial goals.

Hard times for home owners

Interest rates topped 20 per cent in the early 1980s, and that made it a tough time to be a homeowner. And yet, homes were more affordable back then than they were today.

Married millennials are keeping their bank accounts separate

Combining most of our day-to-day banking has worked great for my wife and I, but I recognize that some people prefer to keep their own accounts. Count millennials in that latter group. According to this article in The Atlantic, they see separate accounts as a more mature way to manage marital finances.

Today’s featured financial tool

Mortgage rates are on the rise these days, but they’re still quite low by historical standards.’s mortgage history charts show this clearly.

Ask Rob

Q: “My husband and I are trying to plan for the purchase of our first home, but it seems impossible. We currently rent in downtown Toronto and have two small children in daycare, so saving money isn’t happening that fast. Does it make sense to continue trying to save for a down payment, no matter how long it takes, or should we jump the gun and purchase a small condo as an investment to hopefully sell and increase our down payment on a home?”

A: “I vote for continuing to save. The condo-as-investment plan might work, but there are significant risks. What if the condo market cools and you can’t sell at a price that works for you? Even if your condo gains value, will it be enough to offset the myriad costs of buying it and then selling to move somewhere else? Only buy the condo if you’re prepared to live there.”

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

  • You may have to work until 70 to afford a house: Mortgage rates are heading higher
  • Top options for RRSP investors who want to hold cash (for Globe Unlimited subscribers

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