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Housing is far and away the Number One personal finance story in 2021. So, naturally, Season Three of the Globe and Mail’s Stress Test personal finance podcast for Gen Z and millennials will look at the challenges of buying a house right now.

But Stress Test will also dig into topics like how to negotiate a higher salary, the high cost of weddings and personal finance for singles. Globe and Mail personal finance editor Roma Luciw and I would like your help with another subject we’re working on. It’s about parents who will turn to their adult children for financial or other forms of support when they retire.

Season Two of Stress Test covered the many forms of financial support parents are providing their adult kids, including money for house down payments. In Season Three, we want to discuss money and support flowing the other way – from kids to their parents.

In some cultures, it’s the natural way of things for parents to move in with their adult children in retirement. If you’re a member of a family doing this, we’d love to hear from you. We would also like to hear from parents who plan to live with their kids in a multi-generational housing arrangement. Maybe a duplex with the parents on one floor and their kids and grandchildren on another.

Another angle we want to explore is parents planning to draw on the financial strength of their adult children in retirement to help pay expenses. Please contact us to tell your stories at rluciw@globeandmail.com. We are discreet and non-judgmental. Our job is to tell stories about how people are managing life’s financial ups and downs in the pandemic.


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Rob’s personal finance reading list

Is it time to snap up travel bargains?

There are deals out there if you’re willing to look ahead to travelling post-pandemic. But some experts advise waiting to see when lockdowns end. If you do book, make sure you have full cancellation rights.

Planning a COVID wedding

Apparently, there’s a backlog of weddings that didn’t happen last year and will now take place in 2021. Here’s some advice on throwing a safe wedding in a pandemic. If you’re thinking about a backyard wedding, here’s some specific advice on that.

How young adults can make their moms happy

Too late for Mother’s Day, but still interesting. According to this article, one of the ways adult children can make their moms happy is to increase their financial independence or at least acknowledge parental support.

The best car colours for resale value

According to a study, cars hold their value better in these colours. One of them is beige?!


Ask Rob

Q: Two years ago, I put all my TFSA money into green energy utilities like Algonquin Power & Utilities (AQN-T) and Innergex Renewable Energy (INE-T). Last year, they made fabulous returns, but in the last three months they are losing. I am not sure what to do.

A: This is a window on to a situation that is going to occur a lot in the months to come. Investors who did really in the stock market rally of the past year are going to see gains slow or even pared back. They’re going to wonder, what’s gone wrong? The answer, often, is nothing. Even good stocks have their ups and downs. If you own for the long term, say 10 or more years, you should end up with solid average annual gains. I suspect that Algonquin and Innergex are suffering from investor concern about rising interest rates. Utility stocks like these tend to struggle when rates rise. Expect them to excel in the next down cycle for rates and, barring disaster, pay their dividends to shareholders all the while.

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 new website called WhatBank offers some useful features for people trying to find the best rates on high interest savings accounts and GICs. Each bank or credit union’s deposit insurance plan is listed, and so is the bank’s history on adjusting rates up and down. You can also set up alert e-mails to tell you when a bank you’re following changes rates or a new rate leader emerges.


The money-free zone

I subscribe to more than a dozen e-mail newsletters about news, sports and music. My latest sign-up is a weekly post by the musician Patti Smith. If you liked her excellent book Just Kids, then you’ll appreciate her observations, musings and occasional music videos. For a taste of Ms. Smith’s music, try this live concert in New York City from 2000. I caught her in Ottawa several years back and I’d see her again in a New York minute.


Listen to this

The CBC Radio show Cost of Living covers the unfair taxation of single seniors compared to married couples. I wrote about this back in March.


Tweet of the week

A mortgage broker in Nova Scotia reports on how many new purchase applications are coming from Ontario.


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:

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.

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