How much to tip when travelling pretty much everywhere
Tipping could be the subject that generates the biggest uproar from readers of this newsletter. So, naturally, I jumped on a blog post from budget travel expert Barry Choi on tipping practices all over the world.
Mr. Choi covers Asia, Europe, Mexico, South America and the Middle East and Africa. For North America, he says a tip of 10 to 15 per cent on the bill before tax is pretty standard at restaurants. A global travel website called TripSavvy suggests 15 to 20 per cent of the pre-tax amount at restaurants in Canada.
Don’t forget about tipping housekeeping staff at hotels and taxi drivers. Mr. Choi said he usually leaves the local equivalent of $3 to $5 Canadian for housekeeper, and gives taxi drivers a 10 to 15 per cent tip. He notes that in many countries, taxi drivers just expect you to give them small change.
TripSavvy says that forgetting to tip your chambermaid is one of the biggest faux pas made by tourists. A few other tipping suggestions from this website for travel in Canada: $2 for a hotel doorman who hails a taxi for you, $2 to $5 per bag for a bellman who helps with your luggage and $5 to $10 for a parking valet who brings your car around.
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Q: What is your opinion on whether it is a good idea to take CPP early while still working? If I was to do this, I would obviously have to pay taxes on the money, but would it be worth it if that money was put into an RRSP, offsetting the taxes?
A: You’d only be delaying taxes by doing this. Taxes would apply on RRSP withdrawals, although possibly at a lower rate than while you’re working. Another consideration is whether your investment returns on the CPP money going into your RRSP would exceed the dollar increase in benefits you’d get by taking CPP at 65 or later. CPP benefits are reduced by 0.6 per cent for each month before age 65. You can start CPP as young as 60.
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 and clarity.
Today’s financial tool
A free retirement planning tool was recently introduced on the MoneyPages website. Check it out and let me know what you think.
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