Canada ranks 3rd last among 21 developed nations for paid vacation time with 10 mandatory paid days for full-time employees, a new report has found. European countries on the other hand mandate upwards of 25 days paid days offs. If it’s any consolation, the U.S. is the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee employees a single day of paid vacation.
What would you do if you found $150? Half of Canadians would save it for a specific purchase while 31% would use it to pay down debt, according to recent poll for Scotiabank. Here’s another neat finding: Money is most often found on the street, not between couch cushions! Check out the infographic below for other interesting tidbits from the study.
Experts at BMO put the old adage “Sell in May, and go away” to the test and found that while there’s some truth to it, average investors are better off sticking with the stock market all year long rather than taking a seasonal approach. The bank studied how USD $1,000 invested in the Dow Jones Industrial Average back in the 1900s would have fared if invested only during the months of April to November, switching to non-interest bearing cash for the remainder of the year, and the opposite strategy for the May to October time period. Money invested exclusively from May through October grew to USD $2,167 (excluding dividends) as of October 2012, an annualized price-only gain of 0.7% whereas the November through April portfolio would have grown to USD $122,606 as of April 30, 2012, an annualized 4.3% gain. But here’s the kicker: The same USD $1,000 investment held the Dow year round would have returned an annualized 4.7%. Which begs the question, should we rewrite the old saying? How about, “Come when you may and stay, stay, stay.” Not as catchy huh?
Homes became slightly more affordable in B.C. in the first quarter while homes in Ontario became less so, RBC reported Thursday. Nationwide, housing affordability isn’t off the charts but “we’d be humming a very different tune if interest rates were to suddenly rise substantially,” RBC’s Craig Wright said in a release. Fortunately, the bank doesn’t see rates rising until mid-2014 which means Canadian homeowners have ample time to pay down their mortgage faster. For tips on how to crush your mortgage, pick up the June issue of MoneySense.
The first wave of American Baby Boomers is retiring quicker than some had expected. More than half (52%) of Boomers born in 1946 now fully retired, U.S.-based MetLife Mature Market Institute has found. The top reason for retiring early was health (32%). Twenty-one per cent of Boomers aged 67 remain employed full-time and 14% are working part-time; of those, most plan to retire fully by age 71, up from 69 in 2011.
Nearly one-third of Canadian households report never or rarely ever having any money left to save after paying the bills, according to a new study by the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada. This group tended to be working, middle-aged Canadians. Salaries not keeping up with the cost of living is only part of the problem, the study authors said. The other part is consumption. Borrowing habits in particular are wreaking havoc on people’s ability to save. Overall, the household savings rate in this country plummeted to 3.8% at the end of 2012 from its peak of about 20% in the early 1980s. Still, the majority of Canadians reported accumulating at least some wealth.
Four in 10 Canadian homeowners are planning major home renovations in the next two years, according to a new poll for Scotiabank. A full one-third said they’ll redo their kitchen while 16% will renovate a bathroom. The majority plan to save up the cash to get the job done while others will use a line of credit. Read the “Home renovation reality check” from the February/March issue of MoneySense for tips on how to plan a smooth reno. While you’re at it, try the bank’s Home Energy Savings Calculator. It’ll suggest money-saving, eco-friendly upgrades and calculate the break-even point for you.
The average wedding and honeymoon in Canada costs $32,358, according to Wedding Bells magazine. Some 38% of newly engaged couples are willing to go into debt to finance the big day, according to TD. The bank has some ideas on where and how to save in this infographic.
The cost of living in Canada rose 0.4% in April compared to the same month last year held down the price drops at gas stations, Statistics Canada said Monday. Two provinces actually saw deflation. Prices fell 0.8% and 0.2% in British Columbia and New Brunswick respectively.