Media scan: Week of March 16th

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This week I wrote 8 things I learned on my vacation and How to reform retirement savings for retirementredux.com. Is your company car a free ride? was posted on BrighterLife.ca and What is a prescribed RRIF? appeared on savewithspp.com.

 Here are some of the interesting blogs and articles I read:

On RetireHappy, government benefits guru Doug Runchey wrote Understanding the OAS clawback. Runchey says a high income in your 64th year doesn’t always mean an OAS clawback if you file a form with CRA that shows your income will be reduced in the next year.

If you have a nice chunk of money in both registered and unregistered funds you may be comfortable with the idea of your upcoming retirement. But in How much have you really saved for retirement? Dave Dineen on Brighter Life says don’t forget about the tax liability when you cash in your chips.

Tim Stobbs at Canadian Dream: Free at 45 is Dreading Doing His Taxes, but he has some ideas how you can organize the documentation on an ongoing basis to make the annual task a little easier.

Forward thinking blogger Robin Taub asks several experts What they will you do with their tax refund. Paying down debt, making a 2015 RRSP contribution and starting an RESP for their kids are all suggested options.

Are you sitting on a whack of Aeroplan points with no imminent plans for travel? Dan Wesley on Our Big Fat Wallet explains how you can Use Rewards Points to Pay Your Tuition. One possible reason for the lack of program success (so far) could be the redemption rate. 35,000 Aeroplan Miles only gives you a $250 credit at a post-secondary institution to pay down tuition costs (or any other school fees).

Caroline Cakebread on GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca offers 15 easy ways to save on your utility bills and some of them are very novel. For example, she says The Ontario Government recommends you check for energy leaks in your fridge by closing the door on a five dollar bill. If it sticks you’re good – if not, you’ve got an energy-sucking problem with the seal.

A Canadian Press article printed in the Globe and Mail says the Number of RRSP contributors fell to 57% from 65% a year ago according to a survey from the Bank of Montreal but that the level of individual contributions were higher than recent years.

David Hodges says on MoneySense that Women lie, men lie more. A national U.S. poll conducted by creditcards.com estimates that one in five Americans are making purchases of $500 or more without their partner’s knowledge—with about 6% going so far as to maintain secret accounts. Break down these findings by gender and—surprise!—it seems men are the most willing to deceive.

Having enough money is not enough to have a great retirement. Healthy retirement requires prep work longevity columnist Sharon Basaraba told CBC North By Northwest’s Sheryl MacKay. She says do your research, wean yourself off your full-time job and diversify your personal portfolio.

And finally, Duncan Hood at MoneySense discusses a super-charged new retirement calculator ESPlannerBASIC, that has just been made available to Canadians. It allows you to enter the details of your particular situation, such as your age, your salary and when you hope to kick off your golden years. It then calculates how much you need to save each year, what your nest egg will be worth and how much you’ll need to live on. It automatically factors in Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security payments, and also accounts for mortgage payments, your spouse’s income, taxes and other factors.

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