4 Tips for a Relaxing Vacation

It’s that time of year again. Canadians from all provinces and territories are packing their suitcases, escaping the cold grip of winter and heading to sunny destinations in paradise.

Tourists can maximize vacation relaxation by turning off technology, protecting yourself with a little planning and following your natural rhythm when it comes to rest.

Here are four ways to maximize relaxation on your next vacation:  

  1. Step away from technology

Technology reminds us of the harsh realities of our day-to-day lives. While on vacation, take a tech-detox and let yourself drift away.

Turning off electronics can help you disassociate from reality and forget about all the pressing to-dos at home.

 

This Reader’s Digest article explains all the benefits of unplugging on vacation.

  1. Plan your trip in advance

Unless you’re the type of person who enjoys making plans on the spot, planning your activities ahead of time can help have a stress-free vacation. In tourist areas, scammers and thieves can take advantage of travelers by overinflating prices. Checking ratings, reading reviews and comparing prices will help save money on activities and excursions.

  1. Follow your body clock

Your vacation is an opportunity to fall in tune with your body’s natural rhythm. There’s nothing more relaxing than dozing in and out of sleep as you please, especially if you’re doing it on the beach.

 

According to Sleep.org, following your body clock promotes better sleep and reduces anxiety. When you go back to work you’ll feel rested and alert.

  1. Stay within a budget

Minimize your stress when returning to the real world by setting a spending budget and sticking to it. The relaxed atmosphere while on vacation can let travelers be a little bit too worry free about your money.

 

The last thing you want to do is ruin the memories of a great vacation with an empty bank account and maxed out credit card when you get back home.

 

If you’re migrating away from winter towards a sunnier destination, these tips can help increase relaxation while on vacation. If you’re dreaming of a trip this winter, contact me to find out how I can help set a realistic travel budget and help you stay debt free long after the vacation is over.

 

 

Why Mental Health Matters for Your Money

 

Did you know that 1 in 5 people face mental health issues during their lifetime? That means the odds of you, a family member or someone you know being affected by mental health are high. Issues related to mental health can come in a variety of forms such as anxiety and depression and they don’t only affect a person’s sleep, daily functionality and relationship – they also affect your money.

 

The cost of struggling with mental illness

 

According to Manulife, 44% of long-term disability claims made by employees are mental health related. But while getting help can come with a steep price tag, providing vital care for those who need it is worth its cost in spades.

 

Untreated depression can cause a variety of long-term health complications from chronic illnesses such as heart disease and pain perception to trouble sleeping. The cost to treat long-term illnesses, without health insurance, can quickly add up – and become another source of stress and depression.

 

Symptoms of anxiety include unease and a change in personality traits such as compulsive behavior or panic attacks. Compulsive behavior can lead to impulse purchases and binge-spending. When someone feels out of control internally, it can easily crossover to external actions.

 

How can you help someone affected by mental health?

 

The best way to help someone who is suffering is to be open to the conversation. Unfortunately, even though mental health affects a lot of Canadians, there is still a stigma relating to the condition.  For that reason, some people are reluctant to talk their feelings and express what they’re going through. However, if you’re unable to talk about the causes of stress, anxiety and depression, how will you get the professional help you need to get better?

 

The first step is to encourage your friend or family member to seek professional treatment. According to Depression Hurts “the goal of any treatment is to help you feel more like yourself again so that you are able to enjoy the things you used to. To do so means finding the right treatment to address and alleviate all of your symptoms. Also, the goal of treatment goes beyond just getting better it is about staying better.”

 

Your employer can help too

 

Offering extended mental health benefits is one way that employers can encourage employees to seek help. Employers can also partner with leading mental health organizations to keep employees informed about the causes, effects and symptoms of mental health issues. This will help spot the signs from onset and detection can enhance treatment options.

 

If you believe in positive mental health, review your health insurance policy to see if you and your loved ones are covered. This is the first step in improving your quality of life – physically, mentally and financially. If you have questions about health, critical illness or long-term disability insurance, please contact me anytime, I’m happy to help.

(Photo from I'd Pin That)

3 Investment Tips for Millennials

 

 

Let’s be honest, investing isn’t always easy – at least it doesn’t always seem that way. With so many different options available on the market (from mutual funds to stocks), choosing the best strategy can be overwhelming. That’s where the assistance of a financial advisor comes into play.

 

It’s very easy to get caught up in hot tips, news headlines and guidance from family and friends. It seems like everywhere we look someone is giving millennials investment tips. The truth is finance is personal, and that’s why it’s so important to get tailored advice from a professional. With that being said, there are some pieces of advice that all young investors should know.

 

Here are three investment tips for millennials who want to start investing:

 

Start as early as possible

 

Yes, that’s right, young people should have started investing way before they were coined as millennials. As soon as you have an income (no matter how big or small) a portion of your paycheque should go into savings.

 

Thanks to a little thing called compound interest there are big benefits for millennials who start investing early. Compound interest helps your investments grow faster because your monthly earned interest (or dividends or capital gains) is reinvested back into your account. Therefore, the next month you earn interest on the previous month’s interest and so on for years to come. It’s brilliant.

 

Think long term with your strategy

 

According to Forbes, investing for the long term helps millennials see the bigger picture when it comes to risk versus reward in your portfolio. “Risk is kind of like that friend who regularly cancels plans but always comes through in a pinch. There might be heartache in the day-to-day, but in the long run, you’ll be glad you stuck it out.

In investing, more risk means the potential for more reward. Could you lose money and never collect that premium? Sure, but that’s unlikely when you’re in it for the long-term.”

 

Be honest with your financial advisor

 

Professional advice can help find an investment strategy that fits your individual plan, financial capabilities and life goals. However, that can only happen if you are completely honest with your advisor.

 

Think of a financial advisor as your financial doctor, they can’t totally assess the situation and provide a recommendation until they have all the information. This includes your short term and long-term goals, tolerance for risk, time horizon and general knowledge of the investing world.

 

If you have questions about investing or want to start investing but don’t know where to begin, I’m happy to help. Let’s chat about your goals and investment options for millennials.

 

*This content was originally created by Manulife Securities for information purposes only. It has been distributed for advisor publication.*

Reach your financial goals

Building long-term wealth is simpler than you may think. Investing in mutual funds and working with an advisor can help you reach your financial goals. 

Click here to see some interesting facts and figures on this topic.

How to live happily ever after with your money

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According to a recent study by Ameriprise, nearly 70 per cent of couples say they’re living happily ever after because of good communication with their spouse when it comes to money. However, many couples still confess they disagree over day to day money management such as personal spending limits and making major purchases.

General personal spending such as eating out and entertainment as well as the purchase of big ticket items such as vacations and home renovations are some of the most common disagreements that couples have about money. Does that sound like you?

Here are three ways to live happily ever after when it comes to your spouse and your money.

How to balance saving vs. spending

One of the easiest ways to avoid disagreements about money is to maintain individual spending accounts. This is especially true if one you is a saver and the other is a spender. A lot of couples merge their finances upon marriage, but that’s not always necessary.

Maintaining separate accounts allows each spouse to spend based on their net income – which most likely varies within the couple. Tracking spending with a budgeting tool such as Mint, the Spending Tracker app or a tool offered by your financial institution, will help couples get an idea of where their money is going and make adjustments where necessary.

Discuss major spending – prior to the purchase

It’s a good idea for couples to agree on purchases before buying big ticket items such as appliances, vacations and electronics. Once you both agree, create a savings plan so you can start putting money aside together.

Talking regularly with your loved one about financial priorities is a key to living happily ever after with your money. Being open and honest about where you spend money and what you want to buy allows couples to work together to create a financial plan to make your dreams a reality.

Micro-manage your money together

To eliminate miscommunications and surprises with your bottom line, both spouses should be equally involved in managing your family finances. Many couples delegate one spouse to handle the day-to-day money management and that’s OK, but even if you don’t want to be the household CFO, it’s important to be involved in and aware of how the money is managed.

Create a family budget so both spouses are aware of your fixed household costs (these are the expenses that don’t fluctuate from month to month like insurance, utilities and mortgage payments) as well as your monthly variable costs (such as groceries, clothes and entertainment). Together, you can decide where you can cut costs and start saving towards your goals.

If you want to start the money conversation with your loved one or want to start a family budget, please contact me today to learn how I can help achieve your goals and live happily ever after with your money – and your spouse.