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carrick on money

In retirement planning, 99 per cent of the advice and commentary comes from people who are not retired.

This isn’t a knock on financial planners and advisers, who ideally have worked with many clients at all stages of retirement and know the issues. But hearing more from retirees about retirement just makes sense. That’s why you’ll see periodic retiree surveys in this newsletter in the months ahead. I’m aiming to get some snapshots of what’s working for retirees, and what their challenges are.

To start, here’s a quick survey asking retirees to pick their top success and biggest regret. Please provide your own short answer if you don’t see one that applies to you – make sure to include your age and where you live. Stay tuned to see the results in a future newsletter:

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Rob’s personal finance reading list

Home decorating trends that make your house look old

Bold, bright paint, honey oak cabinets, macrame and more. It says here they make your house look old school, and not in a good way.

Home equity and your retirement

A study looks at why advisers shy away from building retirement plans that incorporate use of a client’s home equity. Great topic. Boomers in particular are rich in home equity.

Unpacking the free checked bag credit card perk

A deep dive on what seems to be a very appealing feature offered by credit card reward programs affiliated with airlines – free checked bags. Note the fine print.

A new economic term (that you won’t like)

Meet stagflation, a term describing a mix of high inflation, slow economic growth and high unemployment. We’re not in stagflation territory now because the job market is holding up, but we do have high inflation and a slowing economy.

Ask Rob

Q: I have stocks that increased 80, 120 and 265 per cent in book value. I need to sell some. I find it difficult to choose which of the three I should sell, seeing that they are all doing well. What would you do?

A: Ah, to have such problems. I’d take a look at the three stocks to determine the extent to which the price gains have been driven by fundamentals that are sustainable into the future. I’d take profits on the stock I felt was least likely to keep up past growth trends.

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.

Tools, explainers, guides and charts

The federal government has created a Retirement Hub to help people find out about their options for starting Canada Pension Plan retirement benefits and Old Age Security. There’s also a link to the ever-useful Canadian Retirement Income Calculator.

The Money-Free Zone

Sorry, but this song was playing in my head as I wrote my latest column on what’s happening in the economy and financial markets. It’s Bad You Know, by the electric blues musician Robert Burnside.

Listen to this

I talk retirement on the Pension Blueprint podcast from OMERS – the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System.

On social media

Globe and Mail tax columnist Tim Cestnik on the performance of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the idea of Alberta starting its own provincial pension.

In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance-related stories
  • Canadian kids cost parents more than $350,000 from birth to 17, Statistics Canada study suggests
  • Insurance agents facing penalties and discipline after Ontario regulators uncover ‘harmful’ sales practices
  • How often should you rebalance your investment portfolio?

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