For the book The Millionaire Next Door, researchers asked the question, 'Do you know how much your family spends each year for food, clothing and shelter?' Almost two thirds (62.4 percent) of the millionaires said 'yes.' Only about 35% of non-millionaires said they did, even though they are high-income earners.
The millionaires also budgeted very carefully for savings and most save 20% or more of their gross income. Few save less than 15%. 'Why save so much,' you ask? Quite simply, for emergencies, opportunities and to provide future income.
This year began with some market turbulence resulting in a correction in the S&P Index in late January of about 10%, and about 7% for the TSX during the same period. You would have thought the world was ending with all the hand-wringing and hysteria stirred up by media reports at the time.
More importantly, for a couple of years now, the media has been focusing on volatility as if it’s something important that the investing public needs to be concerned about, which is akin to inventing a whole new way to look at managing money.
Most people want financial freedom over financial servitude. Who doesn't want to be financially independent, where their money is working for them rather than working for their money? The problem for most Canadians is that financial freedom can be a struggle of living paycheck-to-paycheck or where spending tends to win out over savings. Ultimately, financial freedom is not so much a single choice to attain it, but about daily choices that can make it a reality.
A few years ago, when the federal government restored the OAS eligibility age back to 65, many Canadians breathed a sigh of relief. When eligibility changes were originally implemented they only affected those under age 54 as of March 31, 2012, but it became apparent that even an extra few hundred dollars a month in retirement could mean a lot to many future Canadian retirees.
The US has been Canada’s largest trading partner for decades, so our economy is closely tied to the fortunes of our southern neighbour. In addition, because the US economy is still currently the largest in the world, whenever an investor implements or revises a financial strategy, it is always important to consider how US Government policies affect the Canadian economy in positive and negative ways.
Recent studies have shown that as many as 60% of Canadians will not have saved enough money in order to adequately provide for their retirement.1 The problem for most people is not that they plan to fail, they simply failed to plan, adequately. And, while many may have been conscientiously saving towards retirement, somewhere along the line they lost sight of their target. Either the target never existed or it was never very clear in their sights. Without a target, they can't possibly know where or how high to aim.