Are you really prepared to make one of the largest purchases in your lifetime?

Moving Home
Is ownership going to be comfortable for us?

There is something that drives most of us to be home owners rather than renters.  It could be that we don’t want to waste money on something that we actually won’t own at the end of the day and/or it is a sign that we are responsible and successful adults.  Whatever the reason may be, I would like to share two areas of concern to ensure you are not just following an emotion to own but are thinking about the financial variables of ownership.

One major area to be aware of is employment security.  Recently, I have heard sad stories of people that are being laid off or even fired from their job.  If the economy slows down and employers are downsizing or closing shop, then a regular paycheck will disappear, leaving little choices in covering the mortgage payment. This is one of the worst case scenarios that we must think about. And whether you are single or in a relationship this is an important question.

Can you afford the monthly mortgage payments if you lose your job for a period of time? This question will help us determine if buying a house is possible. If it is possible, how expensive of a house can be afforded?

Another area to understand is that our Canadian historical 5-year mortgage rates have been under 6% since 2005 (source: ratehub.ca). To give you some background, in the early 80’s 5-year rates were as high as about 20%.  With rates being so low now there is a possibility rates increase going forward. When you purchase a home you can lock in your mortgage over a variety of years (1-10 years is common) to have certainty of what your payments will be each month.  But once the mortgage is up for renewal then you have to be prepared to take on the interest rate at that time.

Now let’s put a scenario together for us to determine if we can afford a detached home in the Kelowna market.

Points to consider in the hypothetical initial purchase:

  1. The average price of a home in 2015 is $542,000, according to gethouseprices.ca.
  2. The posted fixed 3-year mortgage rate is 3.65% with RBC.
  3. The amortization period is 25 years.
  4. The down payment is 10% of house price = $54,200.
  5. The amount to mortgage is $487,800 after the down payment.

The monthly mortgage payment would work out to $2,474.

If rates were to be higher in 3 years once it was time to renew what would your payment be?

Points to consider in a hypothetical future scenario of renewing mortgage:

  1. $449,768 is the mortgage amount outstanding at the end of year three.
  2. The posted fixed 3-year rate is now 6.65% or 3% higher than three year ago.

The monthly payment would then work out to $3053 or about $579 more each month.

If you would like to calculate your personal mortgage situation you can go to https://www.rbcroyalbank.com/cgi-bin/mortgage/mpc/start.cgi/start

If you have a financial question, please email me and it may be chosen for my next blog posting.

Happy Holidays!

Shannon

Be Financially Fabulous

be financially fabulous pic1

The New Year is here. Are you tired of being confused and overwhelmed with your finances?  Join me in a small and intimate group to gain clarity and confidence with your personal finances.  You do your work privately but get the information, tips and support in a group setting. I have designed this workshop to help you take charge of your finances so you can be confident with all financial decisions. 

My workshop series will include:

1. Creating supportive beliefs around money to encourage positive 
spending and saving habits.
2. Providing researched tips and solutions to organize your finances.
3. Setting financial goals aligned with your values.
4. Completing a personal cash flow plan to realize your “Financial Freedom.”
5. Reviewing the best savings tools to reach your goals.

Dates & Time: January 14, 21 & 28 from 12-1 pm
Location: Landmark 6, 
1631 Dickson Ave., Suite 1100, Kelowna
Price: 3 workshops for $150

Space is limited to 10. Reserve your spot by January 10th at info@dollardame.ca
 or 250.899.4541.

I look forward to helping you get a system in place to get ahead financially, economically!

How often should I see a Financial Coach?

bag of moneyBefore I get started we must understand what a financial coach is. There are so many titles in the industry that I don’t want my readers to be confused. A ‘financial coach or money coach’ is one who provides services via an hourly rate or package price. They (usually) do not sell any investment or insurance products. The typical coaching areas are budgeting, debt management, saving/investing, divorce, real estate, business and retirement. Anytime you have to make a financial decision in your life that you would like a second opinion on, a ‘financial coach’ is the perfect person to run your ideas or concerns by. Overall, I think it’s important that your financial coach has the proper education and experience to advise you on the array of topics related to wealth accumulation and that they do not sell any products. You want them to be objective and experienced.

The minimum number of visits – no matter what the situation – is once a year. I look at this as an annual check up that reviews your goals and ensures your actions are ultimately leading you to your desired results with the least resistance. This visit will also help catch any potential money leaks that could lead to a major financial loss.

If you see a financial coach more than once a year then these could be the reasons…

  1. You want someone to hold you accountable to change behaviour around money and meet financial goals.
  2. You want advice on portfolio allocation because you do your own on-line investing.
  3. You work with a financial advisor or planner and you would like to have someone review his or her portfolio allocation recommendations before agreeing to implement.
  4. You want to make a large purchase and would like someone to help you negotiate or shop around. Example: vehicle, home, going back to school, care for kids, long-term care facilities for you or parents, etc.
  5. You want to start your own business and need help with creating a few years of cash flow statements.
  6. You run your own business and need help with increasing your cash flow.
  7. You are going through a divorce and would like some guidance on how to separate assets.

If you would like to contact me and discuss how I can help please feel free to email me at info@dollardame.ca or call at 1-250-899-4541.

Small Business Makeover – 4 Workshops for Women that Get Results!

working-women-handbagsWomen are responsible for 83% of all consumer purchasing and make 95% of all household financial decisions. Source: Statistics RBC

Each year more women are taking control of what their employment looks like as they value flexibility. They also make the final decision on most purchases in the household. So why do most service businesses still gear their businesses to a male buyer?

The ‘Small Business Makeover’ is a day of four workshops designed by women for women. August 19th is the day of hands on training to get results. We know that so many conferences or webinars offered only share what to do but don’t show you exactly how to do it. The four female entrepreneurs facilitating the workshops will walk the group through the steps until you have a finished outcome. They will be covering topics such as: Office Organizing, Image, Finances, and Social Media. It will be a full day of learning, doing and meeting passionate women who want to get results in business and life.

The event will be held at the Manteo on August 19th from 9am to 5.30pm. Lunch is included, along with wine at the reception afterwards. Tickets are $199 plus GST if you get your tickets now. The value of attending the event is $850 so $199 is a steal. Get your tickets today (price goes up after the 8th) and share the event if you know a woman who runs their own business or is looking to start their own business.

Tickets available at: smallbusinessmakeover.eventbrite.com
Session details at: http://www.smallbusinessmakeoverkelowna.com

What should I do with my money?

woman with glassesSomeone asked me whether they should pay down their mortgage or invest in their RRSP.

With interest rates continuing to be low I lean towards investing the money smartly, long-term. However, there are so many factors that must be weighed before making a decision based solely on the potential for more money.

A home is bought at a specific price and sold at a specific price. The difference of the cost and sale usually ends up in a gain and those gains made on the house are not taxed, as it is your principal residence. This is great and I hope the housing market is strong when you do want to sell. Since the house cost and sale price is somewhat out of your control, you only have time on your side to determine the amount of growth or gains you come out with. Placing extra funds on the mortgage is in your control but is not going to affect what you will get out of the asset.

Placing more money on the asset will, however, alleviate the interest charges on a large amount of money owed. You will lower your interest paid out and ultimately cut down your time of paying off a mortgage. This is a wonderful feeling for some who cannot stomach the thought of owing anyone money. This would then leave you with lots of extra cash later in life to use as you wish.

But the main question is: can we earn more money with that extra money we have today rather than pay down our mortgage? Interest rates are currently low and our investment returns are higher if the strategy is with moderate risk and long-term. So to me it seems like a no brainer to continue paying the mortgage payment as is and use the extra money to invest. You then diversify and have two assets working for you. But there are some points that must be understood in order to be successful with this strategy.

  • Invest long-term with a proper asset allocation
  • Automatically invest each month to dollar cost average without emotion
  • Keep investment fees realistic or return decent after fees

In order to follow this advice it takes a certain personality so ensure you can handle the strategy.

You need to be disciplined to stay invested, comfortable with holding a mortgage, and trust whom you work with as an investment expert.

Ultimately, whatever you do it is your choice and good for you on saving money! Now you have to make some decisions!

Here is a link to a Mortgage vs. RRSP calculator to punch in your numbers. http://www.empire.ca/consumer/forms-and-tools/rrsp-vs-mortgage-calculator/en/

If you would like to get advice before making a final decision please contact me. I’d love to help you find a productive home for your money.

 

Financially Fabulous for 2014

happy women with snowEvery January I like to take some time to reflect upon the past year to review the challenges and successes I faced. It helps me determine what worked and what didn’t work so I can make necessary adjustments. Then based on my challenges I set goals to improve for the New Year.

Usually I hear how others want to get into better shape or how they want to spend more time with their family. I agree that these are two important factors to have a peaceful, happy and long life. However, there is one more goal that I’d like people to consider…I’d like to introduce the goal of being Financially Fabulous for 2014.

What does this mean? I want people to feel fine with their financial situation; to accept it and then be willing to take action to learn and to put into practice some easy tools to ensure good money decisions.

  1. Set three goals. The goals must be financially related. For example: take a trip, start an RRSP, work less, etc.
  2. Get organized. Are all your bills and financial statements in one place? I use a binder with tabs for each category for my paperwork.  If you get everything online, create on-line folders for each category.
  3. Create a budget. Sit down with your binder or your computer and write out what all your sources of income are and all your expenses. This can be interesting as many people are shocked at where there money is actually going.
  4. Do some homework and figure out how much it will cost to reach your goals. Also, write out the steps that you must take. Breaking it down helps it seem less monstrous and intimidating.
  5. Revise your budget so that you can start saving to reach one or all three goals. If you can’t save a lot right now it may take you two years rather than a year to save for it. Play around with the numbers to see what works for you.
  6. Share what you are doing with friends and family. We need to start talking more openly about money. You may get some good tips along with support.

All the best with being Financially Fabulous for 2014!!!

Are your beliefs around money empowering?

ImageBeliefs about ourselves can hold us back from achieving our goals.  I would like to shed some light on what might be our true thoughts and feelings about money.  By identifying these beliefs we can begin to change our thinking to align it with our pursuit of a comfortable level of financial security.

This topic is hard to write about as it is something that is so intangible but yet so critical in terms of how it affects our ability to bring in and manage money.

I have listed some examples of negative thinking that can hold us back, along with a positive alternative thought process.

1.  “I can’t afford that” or “I never have enough money”.

An attitude of scarcity creates an energy that is small and insecure. When someone has an attitude of abundance, they display presence and confidence.  Choose your words wisely to ensure you build your confidence rather than diminish yourself.  Examples: “I choose not to purchase this”. “I will save for this”. “I have some money and more is coming my way”.

2.  “They look like they’re doing well” or “I need to do what they’re doing”.

Just because your neighbor is buying it or doing it doesn’t mean that it is for you. Know what inspires you to help determine how you really want to spend your money.  Someone may put more importance on their home and entertaining, while someone else may value traveling and learning more about different cultures. Know thyself.

3.  “They are the experts so I’ll go with what they say”.

Just because someone has a title and job that gives him or her some authority doesn’t mean you should just go with everything they say. I think that trust takes time and that interviewing a few people before committing to purchase services is smart. Maintain your confidence and curiosity when it comes to your money. Ask questions and get vendors to explain things until you do understand the pros and cons of taking their advice.

4.  “Money will make me happy”.

It is important to understand that the money doesn’t make you happy. It makes life easier as the more you have provides a life of choices. But accepting yourself and being good to yourself, loving yourself, will allow you to experience happiness regardless of your environment or fiscal situation.

5.  “It’s not okay to talk about money”.

Younger generations are starting to talk more openly about money. They want to understand how others approach the management of it within their household. Broaching the subject with friends and family can improve your chances of fine-tuning your approach.

6.  “I am not good with money.”

Money management can be learnt and that is why it is good to talk about how others organize and deal with their finances.  Make dates with your money every two weeks for about 30 minutes. Grab a coffee and sit down with your finances.

Taking the time to understand and manage it will help empower you, allowing you to spend the set time to focus on money and the rest of your time to enjoy life around you.

These six beliefs are just a few that I have found to be common. I would recommend writing some positive beliefs to counter your negative thoughts and post them somewhere that you can see everyday until you believe them. 

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