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November 2012

November 30, 2021

Does husband or wife make the money decisions in your home?

In Canada, at least over the past 30 years, women are becoming more and more educated than men.

Today, 34 per cent of women aged 25-34 hold a university degree, compared to just 26 per cent of men. That rate for women is up significantly from the 1980s.

While a higher level of education for women may not do much to close the gender wage gap, it does plenty to the dynamic of Canadian inter-home economics.

Because, after all, who's best-suited to manage the money in your home: the man, or the woman?

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November 29, 2021

How to experience the joy of financial stability

Ghost Money defined: dead money, money wasted on stupid things, money that should have been invested instead

1. Magazines. Never buy them off the rack. Rack prices are inflated, so it’s the most expensive way to get your fix. Always subscribe, or get a tablet and download them. Local libraries let you read them for free. And if you work in an industry where it’s important to stay abreast of news and current affairs, convince your boss to buy the magazines for you. Besides, chopping trees down for magazines and newspapers is going to become an obsolete practice. We live in an increasingly wireless, paperless world. Embrace it.

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Would you prefer a higher salary or more paid vacation?

For the past few years, there has been a new economic reality – that of the dreaded salary freeze, which has swept much of the nation, in sectors both public and private.

A salary freeze, of course, is better than no job at all, but many companies in Canada, stretched by thin budgets, have had to get creative in their compensation outlines.

So what many have done, instead of being able to offer higher salaries, is resort to keep wages the same, but award more paid time off instead.

For Canadians, at least according to a new poll, that’s not such a bad compromise.

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Consumers good at acknowledging past financial mistakes: report

Have you ever done something really dumb when it came to money?

Not just putting off student loan payments, or signing up for a tax refund 'advance' at the mall, or even buying a bit more house than you can really afford. Not that any of those are particularly smart. 

No, we're talking about that rash decision you made way back when when which makes you wonder: "What the hell was I thinking?"

If so, it's somewhat comforting to read the results of a study from the Consumer Federation of America which found that roughly two-thirds of middle-class Americans admit to having made costly financial mistakes.

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November 28, 2021

Rich tax forces U.K. millionaires to flee the country; French next?

Back in 2010, our friends in the U.K. hiked its top national tax rate, sending it all the way up to 50 per cent.

Immediately, the rich seemed to panic, choosing to flee the ship rather than go down with it. According to the Telegraph  newspaper, since the new tax on the wealthy was brought in, 63 per cent of the U.K.’s millionaires – those with incomes of more than £1 million ($1.6 million) – have left the country.

That’s about 10,000 people, a tax-fleeing bunch that, on the scale of the entire 62 million U.K. population, may not register.

But what, it’s worth asking, may happen in France, when next year the country will institute a top tax rate so savage it still does not seem real?

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Have you ever been hit by fraudsters?

It's no secret that senior citizens are often the targets of fraud and financial crimes.

Among the reasons: Some older people have built substantial assets (including their own home/cottage and large savings accounts), they're easy to find at home, and they can often be swayed by fears of losing their financial independence.

Estimates from MetLife's Mature Market Institute suggest that this group loses approximately $2.6 billion per year due to financial abuse -- fraud, as well as theft by family members and acquaintances.

Although it's widely believed to be underreported, a 2009 study by MetLife's Mature Market Institute estimates that seniors lose approximately $2.6 billion per year due to financial abuse -- fraud, as well as theft by family members and acquaintances.

Read more: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/retirement/fraud-5-scams-aimed-at-the-elderly-1.aspx#ixzz2DWu9yVfr
Follow us: @Bankrate on Twitter | Bankrate on Facebook

But it seems that seniors aren't the only group getting fleeced.

With a generally low level of investment knowledge, Canadians of all ages remain popular targets for fraudsters, according to the The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) which just released the third edition of its survey of investment knowledge, investor behaviour and incidence of investment fraud. 

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November 27, 2021

'12 Days of Xmas' gifts would set you back $107K in 2012: report

Christmas is measured by any number of variables, many of which chart the evolution of the holiday’s economics.

From a cost standpoint, any shopper can tell you the price of Christmas shopping keeps going up; this year, according to a Deloitte poll, Canadians will spend even more this holiday season than they did last.

Of course, there are other metrics we can use, too.

Each year, PNC Wealth Management charts its Christmas Price Index, which gauges just how much each of the items in the “12 Days of Christmas” song would cost should you actually buy them.

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Your mother was right: Steer clear of dirty money

"Don't put that money in your mouth! You never know where it's been!"

While your mother was likely more concerned about germs on coins, she might have been on to something.

A study published by Swiss researchers a couple of years ago suggested that an infectious virus can survive for three days on bank notes. Sounds like a great argument for using debit cards, particularly when you consider that dingy dollars might affect your behaviour as well.

In fact, handling dollar bills that aren’t crisp and clean could actually tilt you towards the dark side, explains Kevin Lewis in the Boston Globe.

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November 26, 2021

Marriages, sex lives suffer if wives are better educated than husbands

In marriage, as in life, inequality is certain, no matter the union.

In terms of economics, this can come in many forms. Women, as we have discussed here until we've been red in the face, earn far less than men, as a rule.

But women, as is the growing trend, are also becoming far more educated than their male counterparts; in the U.S., about 135 women are enrolled in colleges and universities for every 100 men. Such compensation patterns between genders, many have surmised, may soon adjust to better align with the education levels of the workforce.

However you slice it, though, education, compensation and employment have very real effects in a marriage. Even, as one study shows, in the bedroom.

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Tax cheat takes more gullible clients down with him

Looks like another disciple of tax fraudster Russ Porisky is off to jail.

An Ontario couple who dodged the tax man by following his teachings pleaded guilty last week to dodging close to $1-million dollars in personal taxes and to helping others evade millions more.

Porisky's Paradigm Education Group, which teaches followers that taxes are unconstitutional and that taxing a human being’s labour is a confiscation of property has led more than one dupe into the arms of the Canada Revenue Agency. 

Porisky told his followers that his research of the law showed the average Canadian didn't have to pay taxes because each working Canadian is being taxed as an "artificial person," a category created by government. So, by declaring oneself a "natural person," no taxes need to be paid.

That argument led to convictions for fraud and tax evasion earlier this year.

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...