Finding Focus

Regularly in a week, there are incidents that make you wish there was another way to get to retirement. I want you to use these incidents as catalysts to really thinking about creating retirment your way.

Cluttered Space >> Muddled Mind

I’m fundraising chair for a local charity this year.  As with last year, I’m organizing a Silent Auction to raise money.

My local business community has really come together to support us, and we’ve had so many donations!

and where are those donations being stored?

Right!  in my office!

I have stacks of gift certificates on one end of my desk; I have a variety of gift baskets pressed into a corner of my office; I have some beautiful artwork standing in my comfy chair; I have a number of other bulky items taking up space.

I have a Cluttered Office!  and my productivity has gone down.  

It’s like my available oxygen has been displaced.  

It’s like my thoughts have too many obstructions to move freely.

The fundraiser is this weekend… and not a moment too soon.

What condition is your office in?  your desk?  your home?  your car?

It matters.






Is This You?

Do any of the following statements sound familiar?

  1. You’re not completely happy in your job and you seriously dislike the time constraints it places on your life. Plus you’re not living the lifestyle you want.
  2. You wish you could quit or retire and find something that would pay you nicely for doing something that you really want to do.
  3. You’ve seen all the ads for working online – maybe you know someone who is – but you don’t know where to start because you know you’re not that tech-savvy and you know the price of hiring someone to create a website and do all that online “stuff” is way beyond your means.
  4. Sometimes you’re tempted to click on one of the ads you see but you’re concerned your in-box going to get royally spammed.
  5. Sometimes you imagine winning the lottery and dream about how that would change your life.
  6. You try to convince yourself those picture quotes that say “I don’t need money if I have my health and my family.” are right.
  7. If you have children, you’d like to have enough money to help them out, or treat them to a luxury or two.
  8. Every once in a while you get tired, really tired, of knowing you’re just another cog operating someone else’s gear-box.

How do I know these things?

Every one of those thoughts was mine… just a few years ago.

Here’s what I know is true:

  1. You spend a large chunk of your waking hours at your job. If you’re not happy, it’ll affect your health, possibly your mental health, sooner or later.
  2. Wishing gets you know where – you need to take action.
  3. There is not a single thing in life I was born knowing how to do except maybe breathe. I have mastered a kajillion things successfully and I can handle a few more.
  4. You can create a new email address specifically for random inquiries and information. The law also dictates that there is an “Unsubscribe” button at the bottom of all mail you receive from marketers.
  5. “If you want your dreams to come true, the first thing you have to do is wake-up.”
  6. Currently our health is not guaranteed, so money is a good back-up plan; and I can create a lot of great memories with my family if I have money.
  7. Nothing is more rewarding than helping the people, and the causes, you love.
  8. See #1.

Here’s what else I know is true:

Let me make this easy for you:

For the month of January I am opening up a number of free 20-minute strategy sessions for you to take advantage of (one per person, please). No question is too basic; no idea too absurd – I want to knock down a few of the barriers you have built up about taking control of your income. The only thing I ask is that you come prepared with a few questions.

Click here to book your spot:

Schedule an appointment
to chat with me

Click to Schedule an Appointment





Have You Ever Made A BAD Decision?

It’s so easy to look back and know when a decision may have been a good one or bad one… but in this video I reframe those BAD decisions…


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What do you think?




Are You Goal-setting? Or Do You Have A Dream?



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Don’t Retire “From”

Usually we think about retiring “from” a job or a career. I’m reframing that today.


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What do you think?



A Retirement Dream Catcher

Instead of the usual Vision Board I have created a Retirement Dream Catcher.


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Click the link below to claim yours:



What Are Your Retirement Dreams?

My posts this week have been pretty depressing.

I sort of apologize but I sort of don’t – it’s information you need, and you need to know it before you get too close to retirement.

I want to end the week with something lighter.  This is a fun video I made some time ago about my retirement dreams.


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I hope you enjoy it, and I especially hope you leave a message below and tell me a little about your retirement dreams.



It’s About The G.I.S…

Last post I promised you a small factoid about the Guaranteed Income Supplement most people don’t consider.

Believe it or not, I don’t really like crunching these numbers for you, I just think it’s imperative you understand what you have to look forward to by way of government pensions.

I’ll use the numbers from my last post, based on the CPP Statement of Contributions I recently received.

For the sake of argument, at age 65 I will assume I qualify for the maximum OAS payment of $551.54/month. I learned a few days ago that if I delay collecting my CPP until age 65 I will receive $807.54/month, a whopping total of $1359.32/month. (How much do your basic needs currently cost you?)

When evaluating income to determine qualification for the GIS, the government does not factor in your OAS. So, my annual income without the OAS is $9,693.36. This means I qualify for $293.19/month supplement. My monthly income is now $1652.51/month. (Don’t ever wonder why I recommend you be debt-free by the time you retire!)

BUT! here’s the kicker! here’s the part most people forget to consider: annual income is determined by the numbers on your previous year’s Income Tax. If you were making a humble salary and earned, say… $35,000 last year, you do not qualify for the GIS. If you work even a few months into your year of retirement, there’s a good chance you will not qualify for the GIS for another year. You need to earn less than $16,728 in a tax-reporting year to qualify for the GIS the following year.

This means I need to figure out a way to live on $1359.32/month for at least a year, possibly two.

Not pretty, is it?

Several people I know are turning 65 this year. One is contemplating selling her vehicle. Another is worried she will need to sell her small home. Another is just plain worried.

If I haven’t depressed the hell out of you yet, and you want to go crunch your own numbers, here’s the link to the government website:

If you don’t have serious RRSPs or a private pension plan to bulk up those numbers, you have to figure out an alternative.

It’s your call. You know where to find me. (bottom of this page, click Contact)


You Do The Math, Then You Bet On The Odds

I received my “Statement of Contributions” for my Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits today.

As I get closer to age 60, it appears I need either a crystal ball or a set of dice to decide when I want to start collecting my CPP.

If I apply at the age of 60, I would receive $536.37 each month. If I hold off until I reach 70, I would receive $1147.05 each month.


If I apply for my pension at age 60, I will have received $64,364 by the time I reach age 70.

At age 75, I will have received $96,546 if I start early, and will have received $68,823 if I delay.

By the time I reach 80, however, the numbers start to change: I will have received $128,728 with the smaller payment, or $137,646 by delaying.

If I can make the grand age of 90, there is no competition: 30 years of CPP would have paid me $193,093; 20 years of CPP would have paid me$275,292.

If I apply for CPP somewhere in the middle, like age 65, my monthly stipend is $807.78 and by the time I am 90, I will have received $242,334.

The million dollar question? $$How long will I live?

What would you do?

When you look at these numbers, it is easy to understand why so many “seniors” decide to stay in the workforce until age 70. When you look at numbers like $807.78/month, it is easy to see why so many retired persons are returning to the workforce, part- and full-time. Even with OAS, monthly income is only $1358/month. I’m not sure where you live, but I can’t live on that.

That’s why I am developing out my on-line business. I plan to be gone from my j.o.b. in the near future but the streams of income I am creating here will give me a pretty nice income for as long as I choose.

And do I need to remind you how much fun it is? or that I can work this business from anywhere in the world with an internet connection?


Just a heads-up: my next post will give you a little tid-bit about the GIS you probably never considered!


Is Your Home Your Retirement Plan?

Watching HGTV again tonight.

Another one of those good-looking-man-renovating-a-home shows. (I really do watch for the ideas – the hunky-man thing is just a bonus!)

This is Scott McGillivray. His show is called Income Property – he shows interested buyers homes with income potential. There are a variety of reasons why people want an income suite in a home – might be to help with the mortgage so they can get ahead, it might be the start of a rental business they are wanting to pursue, sometimes they want to give a relative a hand for the short term then have a money-maker on their hands as time goes by.

In the show I’m watching tonight, the young couple seems to be wanting to get a good start in the real estate market. They will have income up the road if their future children continue on to post-secondary education, and then the husband said “And then it will be our retirement plan.”

Now let me slide sideways into a talk-radio show I often catch while running my errands on the weekend. Fred Snyder is a financial consultant with some pretty serious credentials and accolades. He is no-nonsense and is really emphatic about having a financial plan – just like you should have a health plan and a goals plan and a retirement plan. I have learned some very important things and he has spurred more than a few research missions for me (resulting in a few blog posts, thank you, Fred!)

Just recently Fred was emphasizing the unreliability of using your home as a retirement plan. I think many people believe that when they retire they will downsize and the capital in their property will be the funds they use to live the lifestyle they are hoping for.

There was probably a time when that was a great idea, but the housing markets have been so volatile in recent years it is no longer a reliable option. We have seen housing bubbles burst and the outfall can be tragic. There is no longer any reliability in that plan.

Now, getting back to the young couple on Scott’s show… if they are just starting their lives together and their plan is to acquire a number of properties which will then give them multiple incomes with increasing profit as mortgages are paid down, then that’s another matter. Their primary residence will be a safe and paid for home for them and their other properties will provide supplemental income and, if Scott has had a hand in it, the rents will be pretty sizeable.

At our age, we probably don’t have the time or money luxury to start acquiring properties and getting them paid down before we retire.

So, it is up to us to figure out what retirement will look like. Will you rely on whatever government pensions provide you? or are you going to take the bull by the horns and take control of creating for yourself the income you decide will fund the retirement you plan on having?

Your call!


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