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Kyle Prevost, a personal finance blogger I’ve followed for a long time, has decided that home ownership is not for him. You can read all about it in a blog post titled “Buying a House in Canada – Why I can’t wait to NOT be a homeowner.”

Mr. Prevost lists seven points in support of his decision to become a renter, some based on finances and others on personal preference. His first point had me laughing out loud – “Endless fear of hearing a strange noise.” Admit it homeowners, you know exactly what he’s talking about.

“Is that the furnace taking its last breath?” Mr. Provost writes. “Perhaps it’s the water treatment system deciding to spring a leak? Is that rain I hear – is it possible our septic system is backing up?!” Could this be the most honest depiction of home ownership ever?

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There is a lot of greatness in home ownership, but let’s get real. It can be a drain both financially and mentally, especially if you’ve extended yourself with your mortgage. A new furnace could cost you $4,000. That’s a heck of blow if you have a mortgage, daycare, car payments and the usual family living costs.

We need to do something about the affordability of housing in Canada for young people who don’t have big incomes or parents with the bucks to supplement a down payment. But look around the world – cities with expensive housing have a lot of renters.

We don’t seem to be in the headspace to accept that in Canada. There’s a sourness about renting these days, more than I’ve ever seen before. Renting has always been problematic in that there can be a risk of big increases in monthly costs and being turned out by a landlord who is selling or renovating.

But lately, with house prices soaring, a mention of renting is interpreted by some young adults as a patronizing way to distract them from their frustration and anger about out-of-reach house prices. Mr. Prevost’s blog post is presented simply as one person’s weighing of home ownership and renting. “It’s OK to Own a Home – and It’s OK NOT to Own One Too,” he concludes.


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Rob’s personal finance reading list

The shrinkflation problem

Inflation can mean higher prices, or getting less for the same price. That’s what shrinkflation is. Here’s a look at shrinkflation in the grocery store, notably in the cereal aisle. Notice how skinny those cereal boxes are getting? We cannot be far from cereal coming in a manila envelope.

Bidding wars for rentals?

Sadly, yes. In a hot housing market, demand for rental units rises, and so does the willingness of some people to outbid the competition.

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Changes – for the better and worse – in a top-rated credit card

The American Express Cobalt Card offers some new benefits, but the monthly cost has jumped to $12.99 from $10. RewardsCanada.ca calls this card the best in Canada.

Cheap wine, big markup?

Ordering wine at a restaurant means a hefty cost premium over buying your own bottle. How much? Here’s some guidance on both cheap and expensive bottles on restaurant menus.


Ask Rob

Q: My husband and I, both 66, are retired without any health or travel insurance benefits. My husband has had heart problems and therefore a pre-existing condition. We want to travel and know that we must buy travel insurance. Are certain insurance providers better than others in protecting us from financial ruin from hospital and medical costs outside of Ontario and Canada?

A: Marty Firestone, president of Travel Secure Inc. and an insurance broker in travel medical coverage, said there are lots of products to choose from on the basis on age, travel dates, medical conditions and the stability of a condition. Two key points of comparison: how your pre-existing conditions affect your premiums and your stability period (no changes in medication, new symptoms, treatments, tests, diagnoses and so forth).

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.


Watch this

More and more, I’m hearing millennials talking about having children in economic terms. Here’s a YouTube video titled Childfree by Choice: The Economics of Being Childfree

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Today’s financial tool

How to understand the total cost of your investments, and how they affect returns.


The money-free zone

Another in a long string of great songs by The Impressions – Miracle Woman. Keeps finding its way onto my running mix because the chorus is killer good.


ICYMI

What I’ve been writing about

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:

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