Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Quiz: How to Find the Best Financial Planner For You?

One of the challenges in finding the best financial planner for your specific needs is understanding the different types of financial advisors, their qualifications, and whether or not they have a professional responsibility to work in your best interest. Many Canadians are not aware that different financial planners are compensated in different ways. If your financial planner is compensated based on the sale of the third party products they recommend, conflicts of interest may exist.

I have put together a quick 5 question quiz that can help you understand the different types of financial planners, how they are paid, and what credentials you should look out for.

Financial Planner Quiz

More Financial Planning Resources:

Best Financial Planners Ottawa

MoneySense Directory of Qualified Financial Planners

Monday, August 24, 2020

Top 10 Practical Tips For Canadian Retirees in 2020

I'm breaking down 10 of my favourite practical tips for Canadian Retirees in 2020. Use the suggestions below to save money and prepare for the unexpected in retirement.

1. Take Advantage of the Best Senior's Discounts Available:

Depending on your city of residence, many businesses and restaurants offer discounts to their senior clientele.  The following resource provides a listing of all the top senior's discounts available in Canada.

2. Learn Fun New Skills for FREE:

Many libraries are connected to, a free learning platform from Linkedin. Taking an online course is a great way to keep busy and learn valuable new skills. 

3. Apply for FREE Drug Benefit Card:

 RX help provides discounts on brand name prescription drugs through their discount card program. These discount programs were created by pharmaceutical companies in order to compete with generic brands on price. After registering for the free RxHelp card, present it when purchasing your included brand-name prescriptions at a participating pharmacy and you will receive payment assistance instantly. 

4. Opt Out of OAS if you are still working and earning over $79,000 past age 65:

For 2020 the clawback on your OAS payments begins when your net income (line 23600 on your income tax return) reaches $79,054. Once you reach $123,137 in net income the entire amount of OAS will be clawed back.  If you are still working there is a benefit to delaying your OAS application as you receive a .60% increase to your OAS benefit per month for every month you delay receiving OAS after 65. 

5. Become Well Versed in Scams Targeting Seniors:

Older Canadians are increasingly becoming targets for fraud. According to the Canadian Department of Justice, approximately 10% of Canadian seniors are victims of consumer fraud each year. You can take action by understanding how con artists will try and take advantage of you. Take the necessary steps to protect your PIN and passwords. For a complete list of well known senior scams and a comprehensive list of tips and safeguards visit:

6. Take a Proactive Approach to Retirement Income Planning:

Reactive income planning in retirement can lead to overpaying tax and less income available for you to do the things you want. You can maximize your income in retirement by delaying when you receive CPP, timing the withdrawals from your RRSP investments, and taking advantage of income splitting where possible. All of these strategies require Proactive planning steps and guidance from a professional CFP can be well worth the investment.

7. Remove Low Earning Years From Your CPP Benefit Calculation:

If you took time off of work to rear children you can apply to have these years removed from the calculation of your CPP benefits. Removing the lowest-earning years from your CPP calculation typically results in a higher monthly benefit for you.

8. Lower Your Investment Management Fees:

Moving from the savings phase to the income phase of retirement offers the perfect opportunity to reduce the investment management fees (MERS) associated with your investment accounts. Don't be afraid to ask for a second opinion from Fee-Only Financial Planner to make sure you are getting the most value for the fees you pay. Directory of fee only financial planners can help you find a great planner in your area that offers advice only.

9. Get Your Estate Affairs in Order:

Take the time to make sure your wills and powers of attorney are up-to-date and structured with your final wishes in mind. Be open with your family on where everything is and what to do if something unexpected were to happen to you. Keep a complete list of assets, insurance policies, and passwords with your will documents.

10. Discuss your Long Term Care Wishes With Your Family Members:

Establish a long term care plan while you are of sound mind and communicate this plan with your family members.  For a complete list of conversation starters, planning tools and resources visit:

Monday, March 9, 2020

Why You Need to Share Your Financial Stories With Your Grandkids

I'm lucky to have Clifton Corbin from share his thoughts on sharing your financial stories with your Grandkids on the blog today.
Grandparents play a critical role in the guiding and moulding of a generation.

I can bear witness to the remarkable relationship children can have with grandparents.  I watch my children interact with my parents in wonder and awe.  My rule-following, austere parents that I thought I knew, transform into a playful version of themselves, and it warms my heart.

For many kids, mine included, their grandparents are their first confidants.  They feel comfortable sharing with their grands’ in ways they don’t with other family or friends.  I believe it is because they receive unconditional love, without the restraints that parents put upon them. That combination allows for an openness that they cannot experience with many others.  It also makes for a beautiful relationship that enables children to discuss whatever interests or concerns them freely.  Add to that their grandparent’s worldly perspective gained through a life filled with experiences, and you have a marvellous combination.

Luckily, most grandparents acknowledge the role they can play in their grandchild’s life. According to a 2019 AARP study, “81% of grandparents say they play an important role in their grandchildren’s lives”. Grandparents have the power to influence those young souls.  They look to their grandparents not only for a loving shoulder to lean on but also as role models to fashion their lives after.  Is there any better way to model good behaviour than to include your grandchildren in your retirement planning journey?

Share Your Family Stories

I still love hearing about what my parents and grandparents had to go through to get where they are today. Walking to school, working as a bookbinder, a cab driver, a baker and au pair.  The stories about buying first homes or first cards.  Looking for work after immigrating to a new country.  Trials and tribulations of working and going to university with a young family at home.  Not to mention the discrimination that they experienced.

All of those stories helped to inspire me to work hard and appreciate what I have.  They helped me understand where I came from and how fortunate I am to have what I have.  The same would be true for the stories you share with your grandchildren.  Retirement is the ultimate story of delayed gratification.  You work and toil, all the while putting a little bit of money aside for someday in the future.  You doubtlessly have had both ups in downs in your financial journey.

Share your financial stories with your grandchildren. Children that hear about good financial habits are more likely to adopt those habits.  Telling your stories will help to empower your grandchildren to build good financial behaviours. Those stories have the power to influence and to educate.  They teach the need for forethought and planning, the importance of saving early, how hard work pays off, and the need for perseverance.

Planning for retirement can be an exciting time in your life as you all the possibilities that lay ahead. Retirement is the opportunity to reap the ultimate reward of all of your hard work.  Include your grandchildren in this exciting part of your life so they can learn and grow from your valuable experiences.

Clifton blogs at an online resource teaching finical literacy for parents and their kids.  You can follow Clifton's personal and business ramblings on Twitter @cdcorbin

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A Few of My Favourite Things: 2019 Edition

I’m no Oprah Winfrey but I just wanted to share a couple of ways I save money throughout the year on everything from my cell phone bill and groceries to my pesky online shopping habit. (Please note some of the links below include referral codes which may result in a monetary bonus for me and you).

Enjoy the list!

We recently switched from Telus to Public Mobility and feels like we cut our cell phone bill in half. You do need to own your phone outright and to buy a Public Mobile SIM card. Public Mobile offers rock bottom prices on their plans because they have no physical stores or call centre. You are not on your own for support as there is a community that offers help for most frequently asked questions. I went through Amazon to get the SIM card as most were sold out in the stores (I feel like that is a good sign). They use Telus' network so I've had no interruptions and have not noticed slower internet on the network.

I do A LOT of online shopping and I make sure to always hop over to Rakuten first to get a percentage rebate back from whatever I buy. The rebates don’t add up too much unless you know some of the ins and outs and use some of these tips:
  •  Use Rakuten for all your travel bookings (almost all of the hotels and main booking engines are available 
  • Shop on the bonus days and look for double cashback at your favourite stores
  • Look for bonus days in the Gift Card Shop 

There is a learning curve as you have to remember to visit Rakuten and log in before you shop. Or you can download their browser plugin to help remind you before you checkout online.

Online grocery pick up was completely new to me this year. My friend suggested it and I thought she was crazy. I also live within two blocks of a Loblaws, so really didn’t think there would be any benefit. Boy was I wrong. One of the biggest benefits I have noticed is that it saves SOOOO much TIME. Your regular purchases are stored in your account online so it’s quick to add stuff to your cart (pardon the pun). The second biggest benefit is that it saves so much MONEY. I am spending less because I avoid any impulse purchases. And almost every other week they are giving away $10 coupons on purchases over $100.00. 

Earn a whopping 3.3% Interest on your savings via Laurentian Bank’s new online High Interest Savings account offering. Separate from Laurentian’s physical banks they have launched with what looks like an impressive non-promotional rate. The perfect spot great place to stash your Christmas bonus or for any money that may be needed on a short term basis.

If you want to keep an eye on your credit score Credit Karma is a great free service designed to help you make sure all of your information is accurate with the credit bureaus.

I’d love to hear what everyday things you do to save money throughout the year. Please share some of your favourite things in the comments below this Holiday Season.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Financial Planning Week Gives Canadians the Opportunity to Take a Closer Look at Their Finances

The 11th Annual Financial Planning Week Takes Place Across Canada from November 17-23, 2019

Canada, November 14, 2019. For Canadians, managing finances let alone talking about money has its challenges. Conflicting priorities make it difficult to figure out the best way to set and reach goals. With an endless amount of information available, it’s hard to determine how it all applies to one person’s particular situation.

Taking a proactive approach to money management can help build confidence and reduce the stress and anxiety most Canadians feel about managing their money.

FP Canada's National Financial Planning Confidence survey revealed that Canadians aren’t getting the financial help they need due to low confidence. The survey shows that 41% of Canadians don’t feel confident talking about their finances and 34% don’t know what questions to ask.

Ayana Forward is a fee-only Certified Financial Planner at Retirement in View in Ottawa. She is seeing more and more clients looking specifically for advice and don't want to be sold products.  "A trend I'm noticing more and more is clients looking specifically for "fee-only" or "fee-for-service" financial planning engagements. They want a plan first from an unbiased and independent professional who has no incentive to sell them products”.

Except for Quebec, the financial planning industry in Canada is largely unregulated. By working with a Certified Financial Planner you can ensure your advisor has met a standard of experience, education, ethics, and competence.

Mrs. Forward has developed a quiz designed to help people determine what type of financial planner is best suited for their particular needs

Here are some tips for taking a proactive approach to your finances:
·      Review your spending habits regularly
·      Optimize your investment accounts for tax efficiency
·      Plan for irregular expenses that might not show up in your day-to-day budget
·      Seek professional guidance in areas where you feel you need the most help
·      Establish short and long term goals and write them down on paper

Where financial planners can help:

·      Overall review your financial picture
·      Help you determine what to prioritize based on your goals
·      Provide professional insight, guidance, and support
·      Help improve your tax efficiency
·      Make sure your investment portfolio matches your risk tolerance and objectives

Media Contact:
Ayana Forward, CFP

Retirement in View
240 Catherine St. Suite 201
Ottawa ON
K2P 2G8

Friday, July 19, 2019

7 Questions To Ask Before Applying For CPP

The Canada Pension Plan is a contributory program that helps provide Canadians with a guaranteed retirement pension for life.

Below is a list of important considerations to make before applying for CPP. We have also provided some resources and contact information for Service Canada: 1-800-277-9914

1. CPP Payments: How Much CPP Will I Get?

The first question to consider is: “How much will I get from CPP?”. You and your employer contribute to CPP directly via deductions from your paycheck. If you are self-employed you contribute both the employee and the employer amount. You can view your CPP statement of contributions and the amount of your estimated monthly benefits through your MyService Canada account.

2. Should I take CPP early?

You can apply for CPP as early as age 60 but the amount you receive will be reduced by 0.6% per month you take it before age 65.  You also have the opportunity to delay receipt of CPP past age 65, in which case you add 0.7% bonus per month you delay up until age 70. You can add hundreds of dollars to your monthly retirement income simply by delaying CPP. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working past 60.

3. Should I partake in CPP pension sharing with my spouse?

CPP payments are unique when it comes to income splitting with your spouse. You need to request pension sharing when you apply for CPP as the split is not done on your income tax return. Sharing your CPP pension can lower your overall tax bill if you and your spouse are in different tax brackets.

4. Do I have low earning years I can eliminate from my CPP benefit Calculation?

Eliminating low earning years from your CPP benefit calculation can increase the amount you are entitled to.  You can drop out years where you were raising children or were on disability. Click here to learn more about the child-rearing provision.

5. How will my other Government benefits be affected?
It is important to consider how CPP will impact the other Government Benefits you are entitled to including GIS and OAS.
If you are a low income senior taking CPP may affect your GIS benefit payments as these are income tested.
If you are a high income senior adding CPP may affect your OAS payments if you are pushed above the clawback threshold.

6. Am I in Good health?

If for health reasons you have a shortened life expectancy you will likely want to consider taking CPP as soon as possible. If you have a disability before the age of 60 you may qualify for CPP disability benefits.

7.  Do I have a bridge benefit through my current pension?

If your current pension offers a bridge benefit you may want to consider taking CPP early as the bridge benefit offsets part of the penalty from taking CPP early. It also provides you more money while you are younger and likely in good health.

Related Resources:

Friday, May 3, 2019

Your Retirement Planning Checklist For 2021

Retirement planning can be confusing...

There are so many moving pieces and we need to make sure we are doing everything in our power to get our finances organized before we head out into this next phase of life.

We have put together a comprehensive retirement action plan checklist for anyone nearing retirement in 2020.  It makes sense to complete a financial audit prior to retirement so that you can prepare for the transition as proactively as possible. 

At the end of the post, there is a free checklist that summarizes all of the points that you are welcome to download.

1. GETTING ORGANIZED: Gather Your Financial Data

You won't be able to start planning for retirement effectively until you pull all of your pertinent documents together. Put some time aside to gather your: 

  • Pension statements
  • Most recent investments statements 
  • Insurance documents, wills, powers of attorney
  • Debt statements


Create a budget that addresses your basic necessities, major expenses, travel, fun, and leisure. Understand how your expenses will change in retirement and also make note that some of your expenses will decrease including employment deductions.

Start thinking about the activities that matter the most to you and make sure your budget addresses these items first.

Explore and estimate costs you should be aware of for health and long term care in your region.


Retirement comes with a mindset shift in terms of where cash flow will come from now that you won't have a traditional paycheck to rely on. Have a clear outline of the makeup of your new income sources.

  • Assess the best time to access Government Benefits 
  • Estimate your annual pension plan benefits (if applicable)
  • Determine how much sustainable income your investments can produce annually
  • Include other potential sources of income (part-time work, small business, etc) 


  • Set your target retirement date
  • Understand how much you need to save to reach your income goal
  • Incorporate assumptions for inflation, investment returns, and life expectancy



Having a clearly written plan in place for retirement can bring you peace of mind. Don't hesitate to work with a Certified Financial Planner if you need guidance and an independent review of your finances before you decide to retire.  Below are some ways a good planner can add value.

  • Long-term income and expense projections
  • Utilize proactive tax planning opportunities​
  • Explore different scenarios

Social Feed