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  • 5 unique and useful wedding gift ideas

    Here are some creative ideas being seen in wedding catalogues and registry wish lists across Canada this year.

    1. The gift of choice. Nowadays, many couples have been living together for years before tying the knot, meaning they won't need basics like plates and cutlery. They'd probably prefer a cash gift to help pay for the wedding, or a gift card for a nice restaurant or home store.

    2. Kitchen memories. While many couples will have the basics, most won't have splurged on quality, high-performance appliances that stand the test of time. Encourage them to make new memories in the kitchen together with a tool they can use to prepare delicious meals, like the Cuisinart Precision Master Stand Mixer. The powerful appliance comes with step-by-step instructions for dozens of recipes, for making everything from a spinach and feta soufflé to chocolate chunk cookies.

    3. A weekend getaway. The first year of marriage can be stressful, so give them a chance to unwind and reconnect with a long weekend away from home a few months after the wedding. A nice bed and breakfast an hour away is an affordable but very thoughtful gift that will be well received.

    4. Luxurious linens. No one can ever have too many well-appointed linens. High thread-count sheets and comfy pillows are great options for new and established couples.

    5. Monogramed anything. Matching his and hers items are cute and commemorate the special occasion. Think monogramed towels, bathrooms or coffee mugs for a personalized touch.

    www.newscanada.com

     

  • How to be money-smart in retirement

    Many of us look forward to retirement as an opportunity to pursue new goals or reactivate life-long interests. With the right financial planning, you can be on track to achieve the financial security you need to realize your vision of a comfortable retirement.

    By staying informed and taking steps to protect your savings, you are setting yourself on the path to becoming a money-smart retiree. Here are some tips to get you started on the right path:

    1. Review your investments based on the timing of when you plan to withdraw your money. As you approach retirement, talk to your financial advisor regularly about your goals and any changes that could affect them.

    2. If you're still working, maximize your pension contributions to give your savings a boost.

    3. Assign a power of attorney to someone you trust to handle financial and legal matters on your behalf as you age.

    4. Learn about tax credits available to seniors, including pension income credits and disability credits.

    5. Educate yourself on elder abuse and fraud. Common forms include burglary, telephone fraud and identity theft. Sadly, most financial fraud committed against older adults involves friends, family, caregivers or social contacts. The more you know, the better you can protect yourself.

    For more information, visit IFIC.CA > Investors

    www.newscanada.com

  • Understand “readvanceable mortgages” when house hunting

    You've saved up a 20 per cent down payment and are eager to get into the real estate market. For the remaining amount, it's likely your bank will offer you a readvanceable mortgage. But should you take it?

    This popular product, marketed under different names from one bank to another, combines term mortgages with home equity lines of credit. Like a credit card, the amount of money available in your line of credit decreases as you borrow and increases as you pay it back. Your credit limit may also increase automatically as you pay down your mortgage. Some lenders bundle other financial products like car loans or credit cards together under a readvanceable mortgage, typically at an attractive interest rate.

    At first glance, this may seem appealing. But keep in mind any applicable fees and the risks of tying different credit products together before signing on the dotted line.

    Readvanceable mortgages make it more complicated and expensive to switch lenders to get a better interest rate when your mortgage is up for renewal. You may need to repay all credit products tied together under the readvanceable mortgage. And because it's secured by a collateral charge against your home, there are additional legal fees you wouldn't incur when moving a traditional mortgage.

    “Lenders can demand that you repay your home equity line of credit, lower your credit limit or increase your interest rate at any time,” cautions Lucie Tedesco, commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. “This would impact all credit products bundled together in your readvanceable mortgage.”

    Remember that a home equity line of credit is secured using your home as collateral — meaning if you can't pay back the money you owe, your lender can take possession of it.

    Find more information online at canada.ca/money.

    www.newscanada.com

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