From buying a house to retiring — planning for life’s milestones

As we emerge from the pandemic, many of us are planning on how to get our lives back on track to achieve our goals in life, whether it’s buying a house, setting aside money for our kids’ education or retiring comfortably.

Whatever stage you’re at in life, proper planning can help you successfully navigate life’s milestones. Get the ball rolling by following these helpful tips and tricks:

Your first home
While about 68 per cent of Canadians are homeowners, real estate prices been running hot in the country’s major markets for the last couple of years, making it more difficult for first-time buyers to find a home.

So before you start shopping for real estate, it’s a good idea to take a step back and carefully plan your purchase. The first step when saving for a down payment is to get your finances in order and seriously think about what you can afford.

While saving for a down payment should be your priority, also put aside some money to cover closing costs. Make sure you look into first-time homebuyer incentives, as these opportunities may make purchasing a house more affordable than you think.

Your kids’ education
Hundreds of thousands of young people are about to head off fresh-faced to post-secondary institutions this fall, armed with dorm room posters, stacks of textbooks and… a realistic budget? If the student in your life doesn’t have one, it’s not too late to plan.

Include all the costs of student life when making a budget; you can find a template online. Think about tuition fees, student fees, health insurance, books and other course materials, and living expenses, then try to make room for some fun in there too.

Your retirement
If your retirement plans got derailed by the pandemic or you’ve had to dip into your savings, there’s still at least one source of income you can count on. The Canada Pension Plan is the foundation for your overall strategy, which could also include a workplace-related pension, personal savings and investments.

Independent studies have confirmed that the CPP will be there when you retire, even for those just heading off to university or entering the workforce straight out of high school. In fact, CPP Investments, the professional investment management organization that manages the fund, recently reported a record return of 20.4 per cent for its 2021 fiscal year, growing the fund by more than $87 billion to a total of $497.2 billion.

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