Friday, March 25, 2022

Short Takes: Life Insurance Renewability, CPP Timing, and more

Recently, I had some trouble getting a sensible limit on my new credit card because I wasn’t given a chance to properly explain my capacity for making payments.  I finally got to speak to a human at BMO who eventually increased my credit limit.  She told me that valid sources of income include investment income.  However, she seemed to be reading a script and couldn’t expand on whether that only meant taxable income, or if it includes any type of investment return (such as unrealized capital gains).  So, I just presumed that unrealized capital gains were fine and got my credit limit increase.

The larger lesson here is that getting credit after retiring can be challenging.  So, be careful about giving up a high-limit credit card until you’re sure you can replace it.  My efforts to tell BMO the size of my portfolio (mostly held by their bank) fell on deaf ears.  An eccentric person with $20 million in a chequing account at BMO couldn’t get a credit card under their standard application system.

Here I describe my solution for eliminating credit card currency exchange costs:

Avoiding Currency Exchange Fees for Snowbirds

Here are some short takes and some weekend reading:

Preet Banerjee explains the importance of renewability of term life insurance, a feature that is missing from some policies.  This isn’t exciting stuff, but it’s important, and Preet makes it as interesting as it can be.

Robb Engen at Boomer and Echo
has a sensible take on when early retirees should take their CPP.  The comments section drew plenty of tired and flawed counterarguments, the worst of which was someone who claimed to be able to invest at a higher rate than the increases from delaying CPP but failed to account for the fact that CPP payments are indexed to inflation.  However, the many sensible comments were encouraging.  The two groups that push hardest against clear thinking on CPP are certain financial advisors who have been giving out poor advice and some Canadians who have already started their CPP at 60.

John Champaign has some good advice on negotiating a salary once you’ve been offered a job.

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