Carrick on Money
 

November 19, 2018

 
VIEW IN BROWSER
Saving for retirement is your top personal finance task
Saving for retirement is your top personal finance task - Plus how to control your holiday spending
 

Rob Carrick

 
 
 Personal Finance Columnist

What’s your great personal finance-related task in life? My sense is that a lot of people would say it’s getting their mortgage paid off as soon as possible. That’s understandable in an era of high house prices and big mortgages, but not the correct answer.

Saving for retirement is Job One in your lifelong personal financial journey. I think people know this deep down, but they may not do anything about it.

It’s financial literacy month in November, a time when players from all over the financial world try to help people better understand money. Your top short-term financial literacy goal is to take control of your debts. Longer-term, it’s to make sure you’re on track to retire comfortably.

To get you started, here’s a list of seven deadly retirement planning sins from Readers Digest. I realize RD isn’t an obvious source for savvy money advice, but they do have a knack for communicating in a simple, reassuring way that might be helpful in developing your retirement focus.

 
 
Story continues below advertisement
 

 

For a future newsletter, I’ll develop a retirement planning “to-do list.” I’m thinking of simple steps you can take to get a better understanding of how prepared you are for retirement, and what to do if you’re not where you need to be. This will an all-ages effort – thoughts for millennials, Gen Xers and boomers. Stay tuned, and don’t hesitate to share any retirement planning thoughts you have. I’m at rcarrick@globeandmail.com.

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…

How to control your holiday spending

A bunch of useful, practical suggestions for trimming your holiday-season spending.

Another reason why personal finance is different for women

Salaries for women tend to top out around age 40, while pay for men keeps growing for another decade or so. Women have to work harder to save. And they live longer, on average.

12 common decorating mistakes

Get better value for the money you spend on beautifying your home. For example, test paint colours before buying,

Why they check your receipt at Costco

One of the signature experiences of shopping at Costco is walking by the staff member at the exit who wants to see your receipt. It’s not to check for theft.

Today’s financial tool/app

Here’s a just-the-facts, zero-hype place to learn more about cryptocurrencies like bitcoin – the GetSmarterAboutCrypto website from the Ontario Securities Commission.

Ask Rob

Q: I am nearing retirement and now find I have a bit of money to invest. I hadn’t heard of market-growth GICs until recently. My time horizon is likely three to five years. Just wondering if you have an opinion on these. Would they be a suitable investment at this time? I am looking at a GIC of some type.

A: I don’t like market-growth GICs, which offer an opportunity to get returns tied to stocks or stock indexes without risk of losing money. The problem is that these GICs are designed in a way that makes them more profitable for the banks that issue them than for the investors who buy them. Various terms and conditions limit your ability to benefit from rising stocks, and it’s quite possible for investors to end up with no more at the end than the money they contributed in the first place. If you’re a cautious investor, how about a three-year ladder of GICs from an alternative issuer with better rates than the banks?

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.

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

More Carrick and money coverage 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. Send us an e-mail to let us know what you think of my newsletter. Want to subscribe? Click here to sign up.

For Subscribers

Our Politics Briefing newsletter, authored by deputy political editor Chris Hannay, is now available only for subscribers. Sign up today.
 
View More
 
 

About Carrick on Money
This is Rob Carrick’s newsletter guide to investing smarter, saving more and avoiding common mistakes. It is sent two times per week.

If you have any feedback or questions about this newsletter, please reach out to personal finance editor Roma Luciw or Rob Carrick directly.

If you do not wish to receive this newsletter anymore, please refer to the unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email communication. Or, you can log into The Globe’s website and manage your preferences under Communication Settings.

Can't log in yet? Registration is free.

To keep Globe newsletters out of your spam folder, please add Globe Newsletters to your address book.