Are You a Risk Taker

November 16th, 2017

Speak to anyone who has decided to go it alone and open a business, and you’ll discover that they understand the term “risk”. My 98-year-old grandfather is one of those people. During his thirties, he opened a business from his backyard, and whenever I have spoken to him about it, he has always been honest: there were good times, there were great times, and there were times he wondered if he could put food on the table for his family. His greatest advice has always been “Without taking risk, whether in business or an investment, you truly cannot appreciate the power of determination.”

Firstly, you must have a good understanding of your risk tolerance; it is crucial to making a successful financial decision. Understanding how much risk you Read the rest of this entry »

The Cost of Living Longer

October 23rd, 2017

Ask yourself a question – If a scientist could create a pill that allowed you to live another 10 to 20 years, extending your lifespan to between 110 and 115 years, would you take it?

Well, I can certainly answer that question: Definitely not! It doesn’t matter whether the quality of life is there or not, financially I couldn’t afford it. The issue for me isn’t about living, it’s about financing my lifestyle well beyond my working years.

My grandfather was fortunate to retire at age 50 but is still alive today at age 98; it’s crazy to think he has been retired for 48 years. Luckily, he still is financially Read the rest of this entry »

Is It Time To Start Downsizing?

September 14th, 2017

Imagine that glorious day when your children have grown into adults and the “Bank of Mum and Dad“ has finally closed for good. Now imagine your house is free of clutter, you have a nice healthy balance in your pension and investments and, most importantly, you just handed in your notice at work because you are ready to retire!

For most of us, that is the vision when starting retirement; however, a lot of us who own a home haven’t really thought about what we are going to do with our home as we get older. It is important for this “big picture” to create a plan about how you intend to deal with the family homestead while you are of sound mind and body.

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You may find that, like a lot of couples who become “empty nesters”, the Read the rest of this entry »

Plan On Leaving An Inheritance?

August 15th, 2017

Leaving an inheritance or a legacy for the next generation is definitely a personal choice and there is no right or wrong answer to it.

Giving an inheritance can mean sacrificing your today for someone else’s tomorrow. If you talk to the elderly, you will hear that the focus was always on making the next generation more financially secure and being given the chances they never had.


However, we tend to forget that in those days, the first born received the assets and if you were second or third in line or worse if you were a female, you would not get anything.

We have read countless articles about baby boomers and the financial challenges they are facing, and also how a large majority of boomers plan to spend everything before they die and pass along little to the next generation.

In 2006, an inheritance study by AARP revealed that four out of five boomer households had received or will be receiving an inheritance; however, only 15% intend to give one. Another survey by Sun Super in 2009 interviewed 1,000 people per generation and each person was asked one simple question:

Do you plan to leave a legacy? Read the rest of this entry »

10 Common Questions About Pensions

July 18th, 2017

Let’s get real. The subject of pensions and how they work isn’t the hot topic during a Friday night happy hour with your friends or colleagues, but oddly enough, I seem to get asked the same questions quite frequently, which makes me think perhaps a lot of people are actually unsure.


Here is the list of the top 10 questions and their answers, which hopefully will provide more clarity.

Read the rest of this entry »

‘A Wise Man Once Said’

June 6th, 2017

jarsA couple of weeks ago, I was speaking with my 98-year-old grandfather who, until quite recently, was actually still living in his own home. What amazes me about my grandfather is although he is physically starting to slow down, mentally he is still “quick as a whip” and is never short of an opinion.

We chatted for a while and he told me about his sister [my great-aunt], who struggled financially most of her life because, as he put it, “she might have made two pounds, but she always spent three”. He said he struggles to even recognise the world he lives in now, as over the course of many generations we have slowly lost the concept of reality. So I asked him for some pointers and this is what he gave me:
Read the rest of this entry »

Technology vs Common Sense

May 19th, 2017

As the world continues to evolve, so does the technology that supports it. But as technology develops, the side effect is the declining ability to use good old-fashioned common sense. This holds so true when people are dealing with their finances; more people are relying on a mathematical or financial “app” as opposed to using common sense when handling their finances.

Technology is excellent when you need to perform a financial analysis, but it is only as good as the data being entered. Technology provides the answer to the question, but it can’t provide logic and ask the question we have all asked at least once: “Does this make sense?”

Here are three financial facts that are common sense, yet your “financial app” does not have the ability to comprehend the results of the data and the long-term impact.

images Read the rest of this entry »

To Be Frugal or Not To Be Frugal?

April 21st, 2017

The amount of money you have at your disposal is not always dependent on how much you earn. Whether you make a lot of money or you don’t, it is all about how you choose to spend your money that can make all the difference in the future.

Earlier in the week my husband and I were driving to work and he said the “F” word…the word that stops me in my tracks, he said “Carla, we really need to be more FRUGAL”.

I hate this word, it makes me think I should feel guilty for enjoying the benefits of my hard work, but the reality is, without minding those pennies in our early years we won’t be able to fold those bills in our later years.


Let’s be serious, do you need a landscaper or a pool cleaner, when you have the basic skill set and time to do it yourself. Do you need to have some blown out catered birthday party for your one year old or always fly business class when the airplane will still arrive at the same time and destination regardless of whether you are in the front or the back? Have we become a society that cares more about appearances than financial independence and stability?

Read the rest of this entry »

5 Year Action Plan For Retirement

March 17th, 2017

ira-plans-1Start with your current financial situation, specifically pay attention to how you can start to maximize your income and begin to reduce your expenses. For a lot of people, planning for retirement normally starts about 5 years ahead of schedule.


Below is a helpful guide on areas that you should focus on.

[It is important to note that this is to give you an idea only and should not be the only checklist used].

5 Years to Retirement Date

a] Meet with your pension provider and make sure to discuss the following: Read the rest of this entry »

Dealing With & Rolling Over Pensions In Bermuda

February 22nd, 2017

Gone are the days when you worked for the same employer for 50 years, for most of us, we have worked at different companies and even in different industries during our working lives.

Throughout the course of your working career you probably have accumulated some pension money and if you have not rolled over your pension money from one company’s pension plan to the next, then chances are, you have several pension plans with multiple pension providers.

Since the Pension Act came into effect in 2000 and being part of the National Pension Scheme [NPS], one of the most common questions we get asked in the pension business is, Read the rest of this entry »