Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

A resident of Barrie, Ont., read some of my recent columns on the housing market and decided to reach out. He’s 66 and living mortgage-free in a three-bedroom house not too far from a lake.

The house has jumped in value and life is…complicated. Read on for one of the most refreshingly candid takes I’ve seen lately on home ownership in 2021.

“I read about millennials who are struggling to afford a house and, indeed, I have a lot of sympathy for them. The value of my current house has gone up considerably over the last couple of years, so I guess I am sitting on a valuable piece of equity (as long as the current bubble doesn’t burst). However, here is the rub. The only way I could realize any of that equity would be to sell or mortgage my home.

Story continues below advertisement

My inflation-adjusted pension has gone up by less than 1 per cent this year, but I still have to pay my property taxes and upkeep on the house. In fact, there is not a lot else that I want to spend my money on besides maintaining my home.

My deck needs replacing, but the cost of wood has apparently gone up by something like 40 per cent and I suspect that the labour is also in great demand. I would like to install a sprinkler system, but am afraid to find out how much that has increased in price as well, now that there is a great stampede of people moving out of the cities and building swimming pools and landscaping their new back yards.

The short of it is that I don’t really feel wealthier – it is just inflation. I am debating whether to defer some needed home improvements until next year in the hope that the current housing insanity will have subsided somewhat.

My home is extremely important to me and I am in good health and not ready to move anywhere. I receive messages regularly in my mailbox from individuals who say they want to buy my house. I bought my home as a place to live, not as a commodity. So although I suppose I should be thankful that it turned out to be a good investment I have very mixed feelings about how this housing situation is playing out.”


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

‘Focus on the baby’

An excerpt from a book called Get Your $hit Together: The Rebel Mama’s Handbook for Financially Empowered Moms. I added this as a follow-up to a recent Q&A in this newsletter on how women are hurting their financial security by sacrificing for their children.

The ’30 wears rule’ for online shoppers

Tips for financially and environmentally smart online clothes shopping, including a rule that says an article of clothing must be worn 30 times to work off the carbon emissions created in production.

Story continues below advertisement

The future of remote work

A lot of people have reorganized their lives to work at home. Will remote work continue to be a trend after the pandemic? Here’s an argument that a hybrid model of remote and in-office work will prevail. Note the mention of an “artificial commute” a way for people working at home to create a barrier between work and home life. Maybe 15 minutes in the morning and at night to relax and reflect.

Trendy grandma

Your grandparents are downsizing and invite you over to see if you want any of their stuff. Before you say no, check out this list of old-school furnishings that are back in style.


Ask Rob

Q: What would be the best advice for the 800,000 Canadians who received word that their Canada Revenue Agency user IDs were locked [for security reasons]? Other than gaining access back to one’s account in the ways the CRA suggests, what steps would you take?

A: Here are some thoughts from Alexis Dorais-Joncas, security intelligence team lead for ESET, an IT security software company: “From what we understand from their reports, the CRA has evidence that the login and password combinations of those 800,000 accounts became available to unauthorized individuals. The CRA did the right thing by locking those accounts. If you are one of those affected by this lockout, you should first identify which other websites and online services you might have registered to with the same login and password as the one used for the CRA website, and then change those passwords immediately. Very important: remember to use a different one for each service! This is also the perfect occasion for those not already using a password manager to install one and start using it. We’ve also heard reports of people waiting for hours to speak with a CRA representative. While spending that much time on the phone to recover your account is certainly frustrating, you should remember that dealing with identity theft is much, much worse.”

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 fascinating tool that lets you dig into income levels broken down by age levels and city. Find out, for example, how many people in your city make more than $100,000.

Story continues below advertisement


The money-free zone

Add to the list of great Canadian food products, even if it’s hard to find in grocery stores. Toast, slather on the butter, eat and repeat. I doubt your first loaf lasts the day.

Malt Bread for use in Carrick on Money newsletter

The Globe and Mail


Tweet of the week

Globe personal finance editor Roma Luciw recently tweeted about the percentage of home buyers getting help from parents. A lively discussion ensured.


In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance-related stories

  • University is expensive, but an RESP shouldn’t be
  • How can Rolando and Janet shift gears from saving and investing to decumulating?
  • Fraud Prevention Month reminds young consumers to be cautious of online fraudsters

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:

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.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies