Joel Schlesinger

  • Dollars for young scholars

    The Canada Learning Bond offers cash for low-income families to save for their children's future. It's hard to imagine a better government program. The bond is worth up to $2,000 per child in free contributions from the government to an RESP.
  • Downsized retirement?

    Tabitha was recently laid off, leaving her scrambling to get her finances in order as she approaches retirement. "I plan to find work but I just haven't been successful," says the 59-year-old, who owns a condo worth about $225,000.
  • No child's play: Toy industry not as lucrative as one might think

    Ray England has seen trends come and go in the toy industry over the last 40 years, from Beanie Babies to Cabbage Patch Kids. Today's trendy toy can just as easily be tomorrow's collector of dust particles, he says.
  • Risky business

    Stanley and Helen have had plenty of success investing real estate in the past, so they thought their most recent venture would be a no-brainer. Instead, it's turned out to be more of a cash-flow drainer.
  • The investment adviser, online

    Edward Kholodenko, the CEO and president of Questrade Financial Group, isn't a big fan of the term 'robo-advisers.' So when the company, better known as one of Canada's leading independent, online brokerage houses, launched its Portfolio IQ service earlier this month, he was quick to point out the new product for investors is anything but robotic.
  • Divorcing debt

    Since she got divorced, Georgette's bills have been piling up. While she's managed to keep up with the legal fees, the biggest adjustment has been living on one income. "You get so comfortable with the double-income, no-kids lifestyle that you don't even think about money," says the 30-year-old who works in finance, earning $50,000 a year.
  • Doing the splits

    The proposed income-splitting package is either a case of righting a wrong in our taxation system, or it's adding another wrong to an existing one that will make things worse. It all depends on your point of view.
  • Evaluating retirement readiness

    Benedict and Sophie don't mind working even though they're close to collecting Old Age Security. The fact is they enjoy their current lifestyle and figure they will work for at least another couple of years.
  • What do we know?

    Despite markets generally working pretty well, there's a sense among many investors that the playing field isn't level. The feeling of unfairness is often directed at one of the most widely held investments: mutual funds. A lot of criticism regards management fees. Many question whether management is worth the cost of the fees -- usually about one to three per cent of assets a year.
  • Retirement, ASAP

    Most people in their mid-30s generally don't think too much about retirement. It's too far away to be a concern. Not so for Jane. A civil servant who works in the stressful occupation of emergency services in the city, she wants to retire by age 50.
  • Old age insecurity?

    Bill Cross admits he's no financial wizard. All the same, the retired United Church minister feels pretty financially secure.
  • Retirement review

    Frank and Caroline have been saving year after year, forgoing a lot of potentially costly self-indulgences along the way, just so they can retire comfortably one day. Now all their hard work is about to pay off as their retirement date nears -- at least, so they hope. "We think we're ready," says Frank, an aerospace worker, earning about $57,000 a year.
  • View from the chief

    Banks' chief economists are not what you'd call celebrities. They're not anything close to that. Yet many Canadians, who follow business and investing news are familiar with their names. And more importantly, listen to what they have to say about the Canadian and global economies. Of all of them, Avery Shenfeld might be the most well-known. The CIBC World Markets chief economist is frequently quoted on television and in newspapers when we look for an authoritative expert, especially when the going gets bumpy.
  • Putting the cart before the horse?

    Monica and Paul are saving to buy a home, but that's not the big financial concern for them right now. Being aggressive savers -- putting away about $2,800 a month -- they expect to have a 20 per cent down payment for a $300,000 home by the end of next year. Already the two health-care professionals, each earning more than $80,000 a year, have more than $30,000 for their goal. And that doesn't include tens of thousands more they have saved for retirement.
  • The rite of succession

    Rick Costantini has no plans to retire, even though he's pushing 70. At 68, the owner of Romolo Fracassi Clothier, Tailors and Furriers on Academy Road in River Heights would probably have to close up shop for good if he did.
  • Giving till it hurts

    Like a lot of parents, Dylan and Marlena have made sacrifices for their child. But now they wonder whether they have given too much. In their late 60s, the retired couple has bailed out their adult child a number of times, costing them tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Money to match?

    Max and Ruby aren't all that different from other Manitobans: In retirement, they'd like to spend winter somewhere warm and during the summer, they want to relax by the lake. Where they differ from most is how they plan to fund it.
  • Membership has its privileges

    One of us! One of us! Here in Manitoba, there is a good chance you may indeed be 'one of us.'
  • Big banks; big love

    They're not our big brother; they're our big, big banks. And they want to be our biggest, best friends in every facet of our financial lives. While that may sound a bit creepy -- like they're your #1 corporate stalker -- they're willing to pay to steal our 'love' away from their competitors, offering a dizzying array of goodies from tablets to cold, hard cash.
  • Liquid living

    Katherine has a cash-flow problem. Despite having a defined-benefit pension, an RRSP and three properties, she is barely making ends meet every month. And she has a $20,000 debt on a line of credit that has hung around ever since she retired about four years ago.
  • Double-checking worth it

    Walter and Laura have put in the legwork to retire in a couple of years. In their late 50s, they have been diligently budgeting and have annual expenses less than $30,000, allowing them to save a lot of their $6,600 monthly combined net income.
  • Getting educated about RESPs

    It's the best savings deal going, hands-down. But many Canadians who are eligible to use it, don't. The registered education savings plan -- or RESP -- has been around since 1998, luring us with grants to save for our children's and grandchildren's post-secondary education. Contributions grow untaxed while attracting a 20 per cent top-up grant from the federal government.
  • Getting educated about RESPs

    It's the best savings deal going, hands down. The problem is many Canadians who are eligible to use it, don't. The registered education savings plan -- or RESP -- has been around since 1998, incentivizing us with grants to save for our children's and grandchildren's post-secondary education. Contributions grow untaxed while attracting a 20 per cent top-up grant from the federal government.
  • Paying it forward to yourself

    Like a lot of people, Connan Friesen is looking at the coming month as a new chapter. The advent of the school year represents a new journey for the 22-year-old who is starting his first year of university this fall. As it turns out, many Canadians also view the new school year as the unofficial start of something else: a clean slate for saving.
  • The 'sandwich' dilemma

    Jed and Leah are truly part of the 'sandwich' generation. Preparing for retirement, the couple are also spending much of their time helping their aging parents and an adult daughter to boot. "They're in their late 80s, so they need help," Jed says. "Our daughter's a single mother so it's basically the same thing."

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