Joel Schlesinger

  • Debt-defying retirement

    While friends winter in Phoenix, Alvin and Sonja are still spending their so-called golden years toiling away at their jobs. And it often seems all the hard work is for nothing.
  • The grounded globetrotter

    To say Janice loves to travel doesn't do justice to her globe-trotting resumé. In her 70s, she has spent most of retirement exploring the world. Yet in the last year, Janice has been grounded.
  • Managing the dream

    Adrienne and Kyle fully intend to savour freedom from their nine-to-five jobs at age 55. In fact, the couple, in their early 50s, plan leaving the workforce even earlier than that. "We have both agreed we'd sell the house when the kids are out and buy a condo to give us the flexibility to be snowbirds," says Adrienne, a health-care worker earning $73,000 a year.
  • Another February, another RRSP deadline

    The deadline -- March 2 -- approaches for RRSP contributions. Should you be contributing? Have you been making regular contributions? How will contributions reduce your taxes now, but more importantly, how will they impact your taxes in retirement? With that in mind, should you contribute to a TFSA instead? There's a lot to consider, and it's undoubtedly confusing even though saving shouldn't be that way.
  • Debt escape plan

    Violet has finally found full-time work after graduating from college a couple of years ago. So the prospect of moving out of her parents' house is looking better than ever -- if only she could get out of debt first.
  • Road map to retirement comfort

    Winters in Arizona and summers by the lake: It's most Winnipeggers' retirement dream, and it's a tangible one for Angela and Tim. The couple plans to retire in about two years. Tim is a civil servant earning about $110,000 a year and can expect a pension of $2,000 biweekly with a 100 per cent joint survivor benefit for Angela, who is already semi-retired earning about $24,000 a year.
  • Savings dilemma

    Calvin and Rhonda love to travel, but they know their window of opportunity for travelling is limited. The couple in their early 80s are in good health and have comprehensive travel insurance so they can spend a week or two exploring the world beyond Canada's borders. But unlike past years, they've been thinking about splurging this year.
  • Balancing act: Young professional struggling with student debt seeks to accumulate wealth

    Hannah is two years out of university and still feels like she's spinning her wheels financially. Working as a health-care professional, earning almost $35,000 before taxes a year, the 30-something Winnipegger owes more than $20,000, mostly for student loans.
  • Extreme money trouble

    Looking over Connie and Noah's budget, there's a couple of important expenses that have been omitted: groceries and gasoline. Yet the parents of three young children -- one with special needs -- have not simply forgotten to include them.
  • The good life, without money

    Most of us feel like we're running on an economic treadmill that's getting faster, slowly but surely. And we can't get off. We're seemingly dependent on earning, saving and spending money to live. It's the fuel of our lives. Yet we know this isn't entirely true. Money isn't an absolute requirement for living, even if it seems that way.
  • Splitting shares

    On paper, Del and Shannon are millionaires. Between their house and savings, their wealth exceeds $1.2 million. Yet it's not split uniformly. Most of the assets are in Del's name. Only about $125,000 belongs to Shannon, the result of the proceeds from the sale of her condo prior to them moving in together.
  • Oil's well that ends well

    The last weeks of 2014 have been a manic ride for investors. We've had record highs and corrections too. And then there's been the earthquake that put large cracks in many Canadians' portfolio: the energy sector.
  • Many happy returns

    It's the season for giving (and receiving), which is likely to be followed by a little returning. According to the U.S.-based National Retail Federation, almost 40 per cent of consumers who receive gifts during the holidays will return an item.
  • Hole for the holidays

    The holidays put stress on a lot of people's budgets. But for Ivy, a single mom, it's especially tough. "I'm looking at my budget, looking at a way to do it," says the office worker who is in her late 40s.
  • 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.


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