Friday, November 9, 2018

Short Takes: Retirement Income, Credit Card Balance Protection, and more

Here are my posts for the past two weeks:

Retirement Income for Life

Bonds can Outperform Stocks for Very Long Periods

The Problem with Bootstrapping

Here are some short takes and some weekend reading:

Dan Bortolotti answers a question from 60-year old Jerry W. about how he and his wife can generate $35,000 per year from their savings (combined $400,000 in RRSPs and $180,000 in TFSAs). Dan makes a number of excellent points, and concludes with “it would be worth considering whether it makes sense for you to take your CPP benefits before age 65.” We don’t know enough details about Jerry’s situation to make specific recommendations, but most people in this situation would actually be better off delaying CPP and OAS until age 70. It seems counterintuitive, but by shifting some longevity risk to the government, retirees who decide to take larger pensions at age 70 can safely spend more money when they’re 60.

SquawkFox explains why you should stay away from credit card balance protection insurance. CBC goes undercover to show that banks will do what they can to get you to buy this insurance.

John Robertson reports that there are new options for where to open an RDSP, including a robo-advisor.

Big Cajun Man has another angle on the benefits of eliminating debt. I get the feeling that he has debt on his mind.


  1. I do, debt is always in the forefront of my thoughts these days.

    1. @Alan: I've never liked debt, but as I get older, I like it less.

    2. “Minimize X and net income increases”. Not necessarily. X could be correlated to income, e.g. if you borrowed and invested and are getting a steady return as well as tax write-offs on interest. Whether it’s good or bad is a separate discussion but increasing debt can increase net income.

    3. @BHCh: Lots of outcomes are possible, but I've watched so many people mess up their lives with debt that I'm no fan. I tend to be most critical of those who justify debt by looking at average or typical outcomes. It's infrequent bad events (like 2000 and 2008) where there are losses in some combination of jobs, housing, and stocks that crush people's seemingly smart plans to use debt to their advantage.

    4. Of course there are such events. The future is a probability rather than a certainty and there are lots of outcomes. We also need to recognize that borrowing to invest is how every successful business was founded. I just don’t agree when people make categoric statements one way or another.

    5. For example I borrowed using HELOC to invest in MicroFit, which is an Ontario solar power scheme. Costs me $1000 a year in interest. I get $3200 in income for 20 years. If interest rates were to explode then I would repay, but not otherwise. The interest is a write-off. By the time I have to repay the capital it will be eroded by inflation. Can’t complain.