Joel Schlesinger

  • Money Makeover: Shortcut to retirement

    A recent health scare has put Matt and Patty on the fast track to retirement. "We're thinking we'd like to retire sooner than later because life can be short, so why work more than you have to?" said Matt, who along with his wife, is in his early 40s.
  • Cracking the nest egg

    Unexpected and early retirement -- courtesy of corporate 'right-sizing' -- can often throw people off course, but not Tom and Harriet. Tom lost his job a couple of years ago, about 10 years before he planned to retire.
  • Struggling to save

    Nora and Victor feel like they've been stuck in reverse, financially. In their mid-40s, with three children, the couple earns more than $94,000 a year.  
  • Bunny money

    Robert R. Brown will tell you he was one of those people: the guy at the party who always would say: "I should write a book someday." "I did that for 25 years, and finally my wife said 'You should stop talking about it and finally do it.' "
  • Barbara wants to retire early, but will that mean outliving her savings?

    Barbara wants to retire as soon as possible. But realistically, the civil servant in her early 50s understands that likely means working for at least a few more years. "I have some investments, and I'm wondering if they're set up to help me reach my goal of retiring at 55," says Barbara, who will not be eligible for a full pension from her work until age 57.
  • Small business, big dreams

    Paul and Alicia have struggled through a couple of tough years as his fledgling business has tried to find its footing. "In my third year, I am just now really turning a profit," says Paul, a tradesman in his early 30s.
  • Giving till it hurts, can this mother afford to buy homes for her kids?

    Sandy wants to retire soon, but she has a few goals to cross off her to-do list first. For one, the 56-year-old administrative professional wants her work pension -- currently worth $320,000 -- to grow to at least $400,000. She's doesn't know how long that will take.
  • Thrifty, and loving it

    Alex and Emma would rather have more time than money. The couple in their early 30s live in a small condominium. They don't own a car. They also buy used when they can and generally try to spend as little as possible. It's been a successful formula for saving money so far -- especially since Emma started working full time this year, earning about $40,000 annually.
  • Arrested retirement

    Darya would love to retire. And by all accounts, at age 66 the single grandmother should be enjoying her golden years.
  • It's easy being green

    Preston Manning may be onto something. The founder of the Reform party, the Conservative party's forerunner, was once a vocal opponent of measures to curb climate change. Now he's a tree hugger -- it seems -- speaking publicly about how conservative political values align with environmental conservation.
  • A comfy cushion

    Monty and Sadie have got along well on one income for years. Monty works in management and earns about $120,000 a year, while Sadie raised the children and pursued volunteer endeavours. Yet the couple in their mid-50s are increasingly concerned they may not have enough to maintain their lifestyle once Monty retires.
  • The DIY plan

    Ron and Harriet recently received a windfall, and they want to make it count. The couple in their 30s with two children inherited $400,000, and they want a plan to invest the money for the future.
  • So... you're an executor

    If you've been named the executor of a will, you might feel honoured to be entrusted with the responsibility. Undoubtedly it is an honour. But you could be in for quite a ride, too, because being an executor has the potential to be one of the most challenging tasks you'll ever undertake.
  • Second time around

    Hoyt and Summer knew home ownership wouldn't be easy. After all, the former Money Makeover participants were told as much by a financial counsellor their first time around. In 2012, they graduated from university and were interested in jumping into the condominium market. Both having landed full-time jobs with good pensions, they believed home ownership would help them get ahead.
  • Taxation's toll

    Miranda has ample retirement savings, and that's a problem. It's not that the 72-year-old widow is not cognizant most retirees would love to have the problem of a $571,000 registered retirement income fund (RRIF).
  • No Canada: Our home and native land a scorched tract of earth for investors lately

    What happened? It's a question many Canadian investors are asking these days when examining their portfolios chock full of homegrown companies. Despite Canada making up only about four per cent of global markets, most Canadians have more than doubled down on investing in their homeland. According to one recent report, our stock portfolios on average are 60 per cent weighted toward domestic holdings, which means we're about 56 per cent overweight in Canada's market.
  • Renovation finance

    Rachel has a new job, a new home and is embarking on a new journey with her partner. Yet the house could use an update -- a lot of updating, in fact -- so she and her boyfriend are mulling over a substantial renovation.
  • Prepping for retirement

    The prospect of retirement is both exciting and little bit anxiety-inducing for Linus and Sally. While Linus, 65, has already retired, Lucy is facing being downsized in the next couple of years, and now 60, she is mulling over the idea of retiring in about a year.
  • The insolvency solution

    Nobody wants to go bankrupt. But maybe a lot more people should than actually do, or at the very least consider it as a way to improve their financial situation. The problem is bankruptcy has a stigma. In the opinion of many, bankruptcy isn't just a financial failure. It's a moral one.
  • Too much of a good thing

    To say Michael and Karen have been financially successful is an understatement. The boomers are shareholders in a small business that was recently wound down into a holding company with investments worth more than $1 million. Michael, in his mid-50s, is the primary owner and is already semi-retired. Karen still works full time in another occupation and plans to retire at 55, when she will draw a defined-benefit pension.
  • Turning the page: Recently divorced mother braces for impact of new financial situation

    After wading through the quagmire of a recent divorce, Madison is now facing a new life as a single mom, heading up the household on one income. "Right now, I'm doing all right, but I'm concerned about in the future -- that I won't be doing well," says the 40-something mother of two school-age children.
  • Long-haul retirement: Trucker plans to work longer to build retirement savings that can last

    Stephan has just entered his sixth decade, but he has no plan to retire in the near future. Still, that doesn't mean he isn't thinking about taking a little retirement income now instead of later: his Canada Pension Plan. He isn't looking for a boost to his income. Instead, he plans to bolster his retirement savings.
  • A taxing question: How does Canada stack up?

    Griping about taxation is a national pastime -- as Canadian as three-down football. And come April, the moaning and groaning often reaches a crescendo. But are we really taxed more than our U.S. neighbours, or for that matter other developed nations?
  • Crushed by credit

    June and Todd feel like they're in a financial tug-of-war they can't win. The couple in their mid-60s have been trying for the past few years to get out of debt so they can fully retire. "We seem to be sliding backwards," says June, who is retired due to medical reasons.
  • The vacation bucket list

    Robyn and Kevin have a list of places they'd like to visit, and they plan to check off every one of them during their retirement. The couple in their mid-50s expect it to cost them a pretty penny, but they figure their savings are up to the challenge.


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