Time for a financial wellness checkup?

Four trouble areas, and how a planner can help

The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns have created plenty of financial stress for individuals and families. Temporary or even permanent income loss has been only partially mitigated by relief programs, such as the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). In any case, these programs are not permanent and will be wound down eventually. Feeling stressed? This is a good time to take stock of your situation with a financial wellness check in four key areas.

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Is there CERB relief for teachers?

Watch Robyn Thompson on BNN’s “Ask the Expert” feature on The Open, discussing whether a teacher still on a summer payroll is eligible for CERB.

Navigating a pandemic divorce

Financial planning for divorce during lockdown

The COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have added to the stress of couples undergoing separation or divorce. And with court services limited to very urgent cases involving custody of children, options for settlement proceedings are limited. Divorce proceedings are already often contentious, emotionally fraught, and never easy. The lockdown over the past few months has made it even more difficult to settle on a fair division of financial assets, and newer cases are being delayed or deferred until the lockdown ends and courts can begin to clear the divorce case backlog.

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Is there a CERB clawback clause?

Watch Robyn Thompson on BNN’s “Ask the Expert” feature on The Open, discussing whether CERB is pro-rated if you earn over the $1,000 monthly threshold.

Managing financial stress: a CFP professional weighs in

Robyn Thompson is featured in this FP Canada interview, discussing practical strategies for dealing with financial stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Choosing between CERB and CESB

Watch Robyn Thompson on BNN’s “Ask the Expert” feature on The Open, discussing which form of financial aid works best for someone who is both a seasonal worker and a student.

A 5-point prescription for healthy finances

Don’t let pandemic woes infect your bank balance

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown many families’ financial plans into disarray. And while restrictions are gradually being lifted, activity is still far from normal. And, if the experts are right, there’s still the threat of a secondary wave of infections to contend with in the fall. Most everyone is washing their hands frequently and using masks in public spaces to stay healthy. But what about your finances? Here are five smart ways to sanitize your finances to make sure your bank balance doesn’t end up in the ICU.

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Retirement planning: invest surplus or pay off the mortgage?

Robyn Thompson is featured in The Globe and Mail’s “Financial Facelift” series by Diane Maley. Mark and Meredith are well positioned financially with robust cash flow, and want to retire, but they still have mortgages on rental properties. Should they pay off the mortgages as fast as possible? Read Robyn Thompson’s advice on why that might not be the best idea for the couple at this point in their lives.

Steps to successful estate planning

Peace of mind in the pandemic year

Financial planning is all about preparing for the future. That covers a lot of ground, of course, from retirement planning to estate planning. Even in the best of times, it’s prudent to have a solid estate plan in place, so that your estate doesn’t end up in the hands of the government and the courts to divvy up your assets. That never ends happily. So with heightened awareness now about the health risks associated with the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus, it makes sense to make a plan to ensure peace of mind for you and your family. Take a look at what elements of estate planning you have in place, and what you might need to re-visit or set up from scratch.
So here are a few key items to consider when thinking about an estate plan.

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Safety last

Why the urgent need for “safety” can lead investors astray

These days, we’re reading a lot about the “flight to safety” in markets and investments. It’s understandable, of course, as the COVID-19 virus pandemic spreads fear and panic through global financial markets as a nasty side effect. But is that flight to safety the right thing to do right now?

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