Blockbuster Blogs: Week of March 2nd

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When you read this I’ll be packing my bags to trade sand for snow again, but even after liberal applications of SPF 45, I hope my tan won’t fade for at least few days. This week I am linking to some blockbuster blogs. These are blogs that took on a life of their own as they were re-posted and referred to on weekly round ups of other bloggers.

I’m pretty new at this game, but Why using my Aeroplan points didn’t add up, How my travel insurance measures up, Saskatchewan author Gail Bowen releases new book at age 72 and Why my financial planner is a great investment have generated considerable interest.

Kerry K. Taylor aka Squawkfox doesn’t write on her own blog very often anymore so take the opportunity to re-visit one of her gems: The Canada Goose Parka: Is a $700 winter jacket really worth it? Everyone knows that Canada Goose parkas never go on on sale, so the brand isn’t trying to race to the bottom by being the cheapest coat on the market. If you want a Canadian-made coat, then Kerry says maybe there’s a price to pay.

In IHow much will you get from Canada Pension Plan in Retirement? Jim Yih addresses the perennial question on Retire Happy. The maximum in 2015 is $1,065.00 per month. But he explains why you shouldn’t plan on necessarily getting the maximum.

Mr. Money Moustache looks at another issue that worries most Canadians who are close to retirement in The 4% Rule: The Easy Answer to “How Much Do I Need for Retirement?” So where does this magic number come from? At the most basic level, he says think of it like this: imagine you have your ‘stash of retirement savings invested in stocks or other assets. They pay dividends and appreciate in price at a total rate of 7% per year, before inflation. Inflation eats 3% on average, leaving you with 4% to spend reliably, forever.

Everyone knows that if you are willing to buy large quantities or monster sized packages, Costco is a great deal. But Robb Engen on Boomer and Echo tackled the question Is The Costco Executive Membership Worth Buying? He concluded that it was a no-brainer for his family to upgrade to the Executive Membership as long as they don’t use the rebate as an excuse to waste money buying things they don’t need.

And continuing on a similar theme, Dan Wesley on Our Big Fat Wallet shared 11 things you may not know about Costco. The good news is that all their products are marked up by no more than 15% and they haven’t raised the price of their top-selling meal combo (hotdog and a pop for $1.50) since 1985. But the aisles are unmarked on purpose so you will wander around the store and spend more.

Frugal trader on Million Dollar Journey wrote How Investing Taxes Work (Part 1 Capital Gains) but the information has stood the test of time. You will learn how the capital gains tax works and that the advantage of keeping your capital appreciating stocks outside of an RRSP is because you can claim your losses against your gains to reduce your taxes to reduce your taxes payable.

The Big Cajun Man Alan Whitton outlines 10 Steps to a Debt Free Life on the Canadian Personal Finance blog. The key he says is spend less money than you make and do not utter the word debt in a positive way ever. If someone even suggests debt is a good thing or mentions “good debt” reply with, “Where I come those are fighting words!” and walk away grumbling about it

Both Krystal Yee (Give me back my five bucks) and Cait Flanders have built their blogging careers on their personal experiences paying off huge amounts of debt in a very short time. You can read about their stories here How I got into debt … and out of it and here How I Paid Off $30,000 of Debt in Two Years

And finally Brenda Spiering on Brighter Life says there may be money out there with your name on it. Long lost bank accounts, forgotten pension plans and old stock certificates could mean an unexpected windfall. So maybe its time to finally clean out your filing cabinet!






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