Why you NEED a TFSA?

According to the latest StatsCan data, from 2021, there are about 15 million of us that have TFSA accounts. There are about 30 million of us that are eligible to have TFSA accounts, so 50% of the adult population are not using this account. While some can’t afford to save & invest, there are still a lot of people missing out on what this account can do for them. TFSA means Tax-Free Savings Account.

Who doesn’t want something tax-free?
If you have money sitting outside this account … WHY!?!

The other funny thing with TFSAs is that a lot of people are storing cash there. I know it says “Savings” right in the name, but parking cash is not what this account is about. Inflation evaporates the value of cash. Especially with today’s high inflation rate. There are no benefits to letting cash evaporate inside a TFSA. You need to invest in something. Even if you are worried about investing in the markets, you can put your money to work in a high interest tax-free savings account (HISA), in GICs, or in one of the cash savings or HISA type ETFs. Some of these are yielding 5% at the moment. You can harvest that 5% return in a TFSA totally tax-free.

Some of these choices are more liquid than others. Being “liquid” means you can convert whatever it’s in to cash right away. And that means you could consider storing some of your emergency fund inside a TFSA. A locked-in GIC, for example, is not suitable for an emergency fund. An emergency can’t wait for a GIC to mature. The bottom line is that it’s tough enough to save, whether it be for an emergency fund or a holiday fund, but reducing the value of those savings by not getting some kind of return is a waste. And not sheltering those returns from tax only adds to that.

I know some of you are are already way ahead of the game with this. But if you have people in your life that you even remotely care for, your friends, your parents, your kids, please teach them about the value of the TFSA. It’s too big a deal to miss out on. Sure they’ll have to learn how it works & what investments are suitable under different circumstances. But it is worth the effort. If they can’t learn enough to do it alone, encourage them to see an advisor for help.

If you are not filling up your TFSA with long-term investments, use the spare room for your spare cash. Let it work tax-free for you.

If you want to learn a whole lot more about how all this stuff works, read Double Double Your Money, available here on Amazon. If you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you can read it for free. If you don’t have a subscription, there is a current Amazon.ca promotion that gives you the first two months free, so you really can read it for free. Please read it & share the message. Help get it out to some of the other 15 million Canadians who are missing out on the tax sheltering power of the TFSA.

Important – this is not investing, tax or legal advice, it is for entertainment & educational purposes only. Opinion are my own, do your own due diligence & seek professional advice before investing your money.

Results … Month #19

I’ll take it!

Phew! This was a very messy month but that’s not a bad result, all things considered. And I was considering all things, good & bad, as being diet-worthy this month! Holy smoke, did I eat some stuff that really makes me cringe as I look back.

What saved me? Fasting!

I alternated fasting with bingeing & I can now confirm that I can outbinge a one day fast. Pity that, but it is what it is. I could have exercised a little more control. But I didn’t. And what gave me the result for the month were a couple of two-day fasts. And some vaguely vegetarian days.

This is a new departure for me. I have a lifelong bias towards being a carnivore. Over the past couple or so months, I’ve caught myself making veggie-heavy meals. Worse, I found myself choosing fish over real meat in restaurants. At times, I’ve ignored my need to avoid starch, & I’ve had potatoes AND rice at the same meal. What is going on here!?!

I’m a little worried now. I can almost see myself turning into a tree-hugging, green-loving, vaguely vegetarian kind of guy who takes reusable bags to the grocery store!

Now if all that makes losing weight a little easier, I might be okay with that. But one thing for certain … I think, maybe, perhaps … is that fat, animal or vegetable, will be a part of whatever dietary aberrations I find myself following next.

Any other vaguely vegetarian folk out there with any advice?

Roll on spring, have a great February & Happy St. Brigid’s Day!

A Line in the Sand?

I thought “a line in the sand” was moveable, not immutable. You know: more like a line in wind-blown shifting sands. Or a line that is eradicated by the tides. One that must be redrawn to accommodate changing circumstances, that kind of thing. I always thought of a line in the sand being something that you could play with. Something you could shift around based on new information that might have you changing your mind. Or one that has you changing positions based on fear. Regardless of the circumstances that dictate the change, all you’d have to do is swish your foot over the line in the sand & it’s gone. Only to be redrawn elsewhere. To suit whatever today’s longings & limitations might be.

Flip Flopping

Now when my mother “drew the line”, I knew it wasn’t a line in the sand. It was a much firmer line. Possibly even a red line. And one that that were I to cross it, would have me in serious trouble. This is a whole different kind of line.

As it happens, when I looked it up, it turns out that the line in the sand is supposed to be more the kind of line my mother used to draw. But it’s treated more like what I believed it to be. Politicians, for example, are always drawing lines in the sand. But next day, they don’t only move the line, they move the whole beach.

The bottom line is that most lines aren’t worth the sand they’re drawn upon. Even my own. I often find myself flip-flopping on lines that I draw in this proverbial sand. It sometimes happens so quickly that I wonder why I bother drawing lines at all.

But I really wish I could draw a line on some of the crap I put in my mouth so I could lose some weight!!! 😊

PS … Happy Canada Day!!!

Canadians are not that nice!

Lake Ontario BeachWith Canada Day coming up (it’s July 1st for those not in the know!), I’m thinking about what it means to be Canadian. Though I’m Irish, I am now also Canadian. I wasn’t here that long before I was “eh”-ing my way through conversations. I probably say sorry more often now too.

I’m Canadian for long enough that I’m probably biased but I kinda like the place. While many might struggle to understand why we love our oft-frozen wasteland, we do. And a little part of that love of country comes from our national pride in being nice. But is it true? Are we really that nice?

Like one or two Irishmen, I came with a pretty short fuse. Considering my limited fighting skills, that probably wasn’t a good thing on occasion. Nonetheless, when confronted with something contrary to my own way of thinking, I was inclined to react somewhat aggressively. This is far in the past now, of course, but I did enjoy the odd rant & rave. Occasionally getting into a good old fashioned row.

But now I don’t! How did that happen?

Look, we’re not delusional here, we know we have a lot of bad stuff going on in Canada too. Not all Canadians are all nice, all the time. But in general, the country is safe enough that we all feel free to walk most places, most of the time. Though maybe not after dark everywhere. Most people are approachable. And most will help when they can.

So what! Isn’t that true of most people? I think it probably is. But still, Canadians have a reputation for being nice.

I am actually conscious of the social burden of niceness that comes with being Canadian. It’s part of the bill of goods we sell ourselves as Canadians. There is an expectation of niceness. And sometimes, that makes some of us a little nicer than we might otherwise be.

That’s no bad thing either.

Happy Canada Day!