Joel Schlesinger

  • Laid off: Is it time to relax?

    Charlie was laid off recently and knows his prospects for finding comparable employment in his mid-50s are slim. A former executive, he still has another year of severance before he has to make a decision: Does he look for work or retire?
  • Caution pays

    Tried and true -- that's what many experienced market-watchers might say about investing for the long term in stocks that pay dividends. Certainly, plenty of proof exists to back up that approach. Year after year, some of the world's most established corporations pay shareholders an increasing dividend.
  • Having the money talk

    Teacher Dan Beettam tries to talk as much as possible about personal finance to his students at Valley Gardens Middle School in East Kildonan. For the most part, however, he can only serve up money-minded wisdom as part of his signature 'thoughts of the day' at the start of each class. "About 15 times a year, I try to make the thought of the day money-related," says the math and social studies teacher.
  • Blended family, bending finances

    It took Natalie Bell two years to come around before she would go out on a date with her fiancé, Michal Jarzyna. A single mom with two daughters, the 38-year-old human resources manager owned a home and had been used to getting by nicely on her own. "I was kind of like 'Hmmm, bachelor has no worries and parties all the time. I don't want none of that,' but somehow he convinced me," she says with a laugh.
  • The supernatural retirement plan

    Some people dream of the good life in California or Arizona, but Jack and Diane's retirement dreams lean more to the supernatural side. British Columbia, that is.
  • Jacks cracks tax act

    If there were celebrity experts on Canada's tax system, Evelyn Jacks might be one of them. The Winnipeg author has written dozens of books on the subject and is renowned nationally as one of the leading experts on our ever-shifting Income Tax Act. Her books have become almost a rite of spring. Right when many of us are trying to make sense of all the receipts, tax forms and other paperwork to prepare our returns for the April 30 deadline, her latest edition of Essential Tax Facts, is often hitting store shelves.
  • Deceivers and believers

    Agnes Chambers-Glenn looks over her shoulder a lot these days. The 81-year-old author and retired educator fears her latest independently published book has kicked up a hornet's nest of trouble. Called Double Deceit: A True Story of a Nigerian Scam, it chronicles the ordeal of a close friend, a retired medical doctor, who lost more than $35,000 to African fraudsters, and how, with police help, they lured one of the suspects to Winnipeg where he was arrested and successfully prosecuted.
  • Help wanted

    Carry and Drew have a lot of things they would like to accomplish in the next decade and a half. The problem is they only have so much money to go around. "We need to be able to budget our money so we can save to fix our house, travel and have a nest egg," says Carry, who earns about $35,000 a year as a health-care worker.
  • Real estate: hot or not?

    Few people with their money on their mind haven't been talking about real estate in recent years. After all, it's the ultimate tangible asset many of us own, regardless of whether we are saving for retirement or not.
  • Couple seeks to save enough for child's future and early retirement

    Tory and Ralph have a three-pronged savings strategy for the future. They set aside money every week into their RRSPs, TFSAs and an RESP. But they wonder if the $750 in savings they're setting aside every month is enough to fund their child's post-secondary education and allow them to retire early.
  • The deferred sales charge blues

    From an early age, Kelly Hall has been savvy with money. She started saving at age 10, buying savings bonds and GICs. She opened an RRSP at her first opportunity at age 18. She started investing in mutual funds in her early 20s.
  • Condo conundrum

    Melissa and Gary thought buying a rental property would help enhance their retirement picture. Instead, they've had nothing but headaches.
  • Highly effective habits of highly happy retirees

    The annual rite of late winter -- the last-minute contribution to the RRSP before the deadline (March 3 this year) -- generally serves as a reminder for most Canadians about the importance of planning for retirement. Most of us do a fairly diligent job in this regard. According to a recent RBC poll, six in 10 adult Canadians have an RRSP, contributing about $4,653 annually, up $500 from the previous year.
  • Cabin fever

    Sherman and Holly have a scheme to keep their exposure to the winter cold to a minimum in retirement. "Our dream has been to retire in the spring of 2015, sell the house and live at our cottage for the summers and in Victoria in the winters, with hopefully a month or two down south somewhere," says Holly, 60, who is semi-retired.
  • Proper property plan

    Jack and Liz have always thought they are on the right track for an early retirement. In their mid-40s, they've raised two children, with money set aside to help cover the cost of university.
  • Curb your enthusiasm

    An American, an Irishman and an Englishman discussing the economy sounds like it might be the start of a joke. And to a large extent, a number of good laughs were to be had at the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Society Winnipeg's Annual Forecast Dinner late last month.
  • Profit not always in the cards

    Just keep it a hobby. That's what Kyle Franklin, co-owner of Superstars Sports, often tells newbie collectors when they come to the sports cards and memorabilia store on Portage Avenue in St. James seeking advice.
  • Weathering a changing landscape

    Larry Sarbit and Guy Bieber are not exactly big fish in a small pond so much as small fish in a large investment ocean that have managed to survive and thrive over more than three decades. Although well-known names in the city's investment community, even to the occasional Winnipeg consumer of investment news the names ring a bell -- and not because one of them shares a surname with Canada's l'enfant terrible of pop music.
  • Home, sweet retirement home

    Jim and Melba recently bought their retirement dream home. The problem is they're worried it might turn out to be a financial nightmare. Recently remarried, they bought the $700,000 sprawling two-storey house in a new development, owing about $264,000 on the mortgage.
  • Life after death

    For Valerie and her two children, this year's holiday season is a painful reminder life is not the same as it once was. The 50-year-old widow lost her spouse after a long illness earlier this year.
  • Making the budget work with baby

    Plan as they might, Matt Solvason and Anabela Lopes couldn't quite prepare for a life-altering event earlier this year. The birth of their first child, Charlotte, about five months ago involved more than its fair share of preparation: reading books and blogs, writing lists, minor renovations, purchasing baby gear and a lot of budgeting.
  • Taking steps now will help lighten the money blues at Christmas, experts say

    It's a major downer to talk about money problems during the holiday season. But how can you not? Take your pick of consumer surveys these days and it doesn't take an accountant to tap out the numbers on a calculator and realize many people feel as much stress as they do holiday cheer.
  • Disability battle

    The last decade hasn't been kind to Gina and Mike. For the better part of it, Gina has been struggling with a health issue that has kept her off her job at a Crown corporation. Earning about $2,600 a month in disability benefits, Gina's income has helped pay rent and other household costs, especially with Mike being self-employed and earning a variable income that averages about $2,500 a month.
  • Don't dread the red

    Among the chorus of voices saying we're too indebted and need to pay off what we owe ASAP, Thomas J. Anderson is singing a different tune. The author of a new book that's stirring a bit of controversy, Anderson says instead of fearing debt, we should learn to embrace it.
  • Giving till it hurts

    Hillary and Edmund are like a lot of grandparents. They're happy to help out financially when they can. But the couple, both in their late 60s, has been making a lot of financial sacrifices over the last few years to help their kids and grandkids.


Now that the snow is mostly gone, what are your plans?

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