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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I thought it is about time I write a Money Diary so I can gain some feedback/insights into what we have been doing or should be doing. I plan to update this quarterly going forward to track progress.
I grew up in a lower middle-class family where I lost my mother at a young age and then things got “interesting”. I moved out on my own at age 17 while still in high school. While working I finished high school and after a couple years of working went to University where I completed electrical engineering.
Fast forward…
I am 41 and my wife is 39. We have 2 kids ages 8 and 6.
My income is ~ 120K and my wife is 100K (both with recent promotions)

Assets:
House $1,200,000
Cars $36,000
Joint account $8,669

My accounts:
Unreg $23,589
TFSA $142,413
RRSP $200,008
LIRA $155,027
Company Stock $33,963
DC Pension $10,656
Cash/emergency $23,000

Wife’s accounts:
Unreg $42,989
TFSA $147,776
RRSP $130,137
DB Pension $154,788 (as of last annual statement)
Work savings plan $16,104

Kids RESP’s: $71,948

Liabilities:
Mortgage: $195,200

Family net worth: $2,212,700
Investable Assets
(house, cars and RESP’s removed) $904,755

RRSPs, TFSAs are maxed, RESPs have had the full $2500 per child/year added.

My wife’s job is fairly secure whereas mine is ending in just under a year. (I am incentivized with severance and retention to stay until the end (~80K))

I have been very good at tracking our account progress etc. (live tracked in google sheets) but have not put much effort into tracking our spending. With my job ending I should/will put more effort into understanding our expenses.
I am confident we can cover expenses on just my wife’s income if needed with just a reduced savings rate. Also finding work will not be that difficult but may be at reduced pay as we are unwilling to relocate.
I have been fascinated by the FIRE movement but am unlikely to take an extreme approach. Ideally, I would find a job with less hours required or start my own venture. I am ok with a reduced pay for less time commitment. I think it is unlikely we would want to fully retire before the kids are off to university (12 years age 53).

What do you recommend we do with further savings? Further unregistered investing? Pay off mortgage? Learn to spend more money (I struggle with this one)?

Next year it is possible that I end up with a much higher income than normal (due to severance, retention and working income). Obviously will max out RRSP but will only have the annual max available (~27800). Any other considerations for this? (I know a good problem to have)

Feel free to ask questions on key points I may have left out. I appreciate any comments/advice.
 

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You guys are doing amazing!! Congratulations!

My personal choice was to pay off mortgage once my registered accounts were maxed out. That is a guaranteed return which is not taxable (although these days, it is lower than it was when I had my mortgage). That also saves having to worry about tracking stuff for taxes on investments.

With today's interest rates it is probably more mathematically prudent to invest in non-reg rather than pay down the mortgage, but it's also riskier, so pick your poison.
 

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What city are you in?

You have a lot of NW tied up in your home. I would focus any additional cash in to investments. Under 1M in investable assets vs over 2M NW seems low.
Personally I wouldn't focus on the mortgage. You mentioned you have at least 13 more years paying kid bills and in the working world, so let the mortgage roll out until then. If you're in the accumulation phase, I don't think focusing on paying off an already low mortgage should be the target.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mortgage rate is 1.5% so very low for sure. (We also have a HELOC which is currently unused so could pull money back out if needed)

We do have a lot tied up in the house. We moved from Toronto to a smaller Ontario city 4.5 years ago to have a better school environment for the kids. We admittedly bought more house than we need but love the home and we bought it for less than what our Toronto home sold for. This is why we have a lot tied up in our home.
The current value I mention is due to a lot of craziness in house prices (Likely I am even underestimating by 200K as current prices seem ridiculous).

Mathematically increasing our unregistered investments makes more since. Psychologically the mortgage paid off earlier would feel pretty good and take much less planning/thought for how to invest the funds.

AlwaysLearning
 

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Look at what contribution room will be 'left on the table' when your RESP matching grant is all used up.
Keep plunking in money annually to get the matching grant,
But also lump sum the part that gets you to the 50K max contribution per kid soon.
I did that about when my kids were the age of yours, and now 12 years later the RESP end up at 190K, and that mostly in a pretty bland mutual fund.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have looked at bumping things up to the full 50K (while not losing any grant) but I am still torn....

I want to make sure the kids have some funding for school and I expect with just doing the maximum grant amount the total for the two of them will be over 160K or 80K each. I am just using E-series funds right now with their equity exposure reducing as they get closer to age 18 where it is nil.
Another side of me feels that this is already so much money to have for school should they need more they should be paying for it.

While in University I noticed a difference between the kids that had to pay their own way and those that had their parents paying.
I know myself if I had failed a course that means I need to take it again in an off term which would mean I pay for it and lose out on time I could be working and making money to pay for school and living expenses. That added drive made it so I had no choice but to find a way to succeed. Some kids where everything is paid for them didn't care as much and would give up and allow failure to be an option.
Now I want it to be better for my kids and with at least 80K each it will be much better. I also want to be able to say this is how much you have for education from us. That money is yours to manage and pay for your expenses. If you need more you will need to earn it. If you have scholarships etc. and need less then you have extra at the end.

I guess the reality is if we put more in they could return that portion to us with the gains taxed at their tax rate..

This is something that takes more thought for sure. I do see the advantage to doing that lump sum early and getting that extra growth...
 

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Our kids are a bit younger 7, 5, 3. We have 80K in our RESP.
I expect cost increases on post secondary to outpace regular inflation by a good chunk over the next 20 years. I think tuition and books (no rent) would run around 20K/yr for a university when your kids start university.
For those that have full RRSP and TFSA, RESPs can just be one more part of family investments to maximize values.
 
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