Hey Millennials, Let’s Talk Retirement

At work, I am the youngest person in my 50-person department. It’s almost a daily occurrence that someone makes a joke about how I don’t know what a ditto copy smells like or how their pop culture references go over my head (hey, I had TV Land. I’ve seen Happy Days.)

I can weather these comments. I’m happy to be young, thankyouverymuch. What does get to me though is the references to how my retirement is so far away and how I don’t have to worry about it yet. When talk of pensions comes up, they expect me to roll my eyes and tune out of the conversation.

I get it, I do. My employer sends me an annual pension report that tells me what my pension balance looks like now and what it might look like at my projected retirement date. That date is in the 2040s. The way I imagine the 2040s is probably similar to how people in the 1960s imagined the 21st century when the Jetsons aired; it seems inconceivably far away.

In reality, it’s not. They project that I will retire at 55 which is a pretty sweet retirement age for the average person. I can handle that. It’s easy though to prioritize other things over retirement if you think of it as an isolated event so far in the future that you’ll always have years to prepare for it. It’s easy, but it’s wrong. Continue reading “Hey Millennials, Let’s Talk Retirement”

Debt Doesn’t Have to be Your Normal

We’ve all seen the Lion King, right? You know that scene where the baboon hits Simba with a stick and tells him to face his past, and then Simba’s just like “whoa” and runs away to achieve his cartoon-liony-destiny?

Rafiki

I had my own Rafiki moment when I realized that I didn’t have to have debt. It sounds strange, right? It should be obvious, no one has to have debt. But if that’s the case, why do we have stats like these?

  • 73% of Canadians are currently in debt
  • 16% of Canadians 35 or younger have “a good deal or a lot of debt”
  • On average, most people with debt believe it will take them at least 8 years be debt-free
  • 23% of Canadians with debt believe they will never be debt free
  • 36% of Canadians believe that “debt is inevitable”

(Source) Continue reading “Debt Doesn’t Have to be Your Normal”

May Debt Update

WHOA. It’s already June. Which in addition to temperatures finally getting up into the 20s, which is about the only temperature in which I’m comfortable (#badCanadian), also means that it’s time for me to update you on my debt.

If you’re new to this blog, you can see where I first posted my confession about my debt here. Since I’m writing about ways to save money and pay down debt, I figured I needed to show how it actually works for me, if I had any hope of getting any personal finance street cred.

Even more than that, it keeps me accountable. If you’ve ever tried to pay off big amounts of debt, you know how hard it can be to keep at it – especially when patio season rolls around and there are other places you’d much rather put your money. Writing about it publicly and being accountable to the internet world means I have to stay committed.

So now that we’re all caught up, here’s what my debt looked like the last time I posted about it, one month ago: Continue reading “May Debt Update”

Is Home Ownership Right for You?

Owning a home is (apparently) considered the “Canadian dream” (at least, since February, when Mike De Jong said it was). Maybe not surprisingly, it’s a goal of many millennials.

In 2015, 51% of people born between 1980 and 2000 owned a home, and despite our reputation for living with our parents until we’re 30 and wasting our money on iPhones, millennials are actually buying houses earlier than our parents did.

Buying a house is likely going to be the biggest purchase you make in your life, and like any big purchase, it’s always a good idea to evaluate why you want to make that purchase. Continue reading “Is Home Ownership Right for You?”