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Budget Your Way to Financial Independence

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.

Lessons to the Young (and not-so-Young)

Can society's elders teach the young anything? History often dictated the young had to experience disaster for themselves before believing they were heading into it. This has frustrated many parents. But the enormity of the 2008 financial collapse may provide the lesson and opportunity to steer the young in the right direction.

Tax-Free Savings Plans

When Sophia first heard the term Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), the first thing that came to her mind was a low- or no-interest account at a bank. She soon learned that just about every investment option available to her in an RRSP is also available to her in a TFSA plan.

New Years Financial Resolutions

Jack and Diane want to improve their financial situation and feel that making financial New Years resolutions and implementing them is a good start. To help identify their priorities, they made the following list:

Set Objectives - Goal setting is the foundation of achieving financial success. If they write down their goals, it will help Jack and Diane clarify them and establish their personal and financial priorities.

Passing it on to Your Heirs

Ralph and Mary have accumulated a nice estate, a good portion of it in cash. They want to leave it all to their children when they die, but they also want to do something for them today. Being part of the Savings Generation, they are reluctant to give large sums to their kids today, as they are part of the Spending Generation. Ralph and Mary also want to treat their children as fairly as possible.

When someone dies, their estate falls into three basic categories:

Part 1 - Proceeds that can be passed on by way of a named beneficiary designation.

Money Saving Mortgage Strategies

Mortgages today are not like they were when our parents or grandparents bought their homes. As most of us don't have the cash to buy a home outright, we need to borrow from a lender. There are a number of strategies you can use to get the best deal, pay it off more quickly and pay off the debt in the event of premature death.

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