Home Economics aims to help Canadians navigate their personal finances in the age of social distancing and beyond.

How to prepare for the end of mortgage deferrals

Mortgage deferral programs will soon hit the seven-month mark, a program that many Canadians have come to rely upon amid the COVID-19 pandemic. From refinancing to exploring a reverse mortgage, CTV's Chief Financial Commentator Pattie Lovett-Reid discusses the various considerations Canadians should take into account once this form of financial support is no longer an option to them.

Canadians feeling financially stretched ahead of the holidays

A pair of reports released this week highlighted just how stretched Canadians may feel as the holiday season nears. A PwC survey revealed that on average, Canadians are planning to spend $1,104 on the holidays, a 30.7 per cent plunge from last year. Meanwhile, MNP’s latest consumer debt index showed that 47 per cent of respondents are within $200 of insolvency. The MNP report also highlighted the growing economic disparity between the rich and the poor amid what’s being described as a "K-shaped" recovery.

Don't count on your discount broker for cheaper mutual funds

The practice of discount brokers collecting a hidden advisor fee on Canadian mutual funds, known as trailing commissions, was recently banned by Canadian securities regulators but it won’t come into effect until June 2022. Even then, discount brokers won’t be compelled to offer non-advisor versions of mutual funds, says personal finance columnist Dale Jackson. In this week’s column, Jackson outlines tips on how to tell if your discount broker is pocketing your trailing commission and what other options you can explore.

Poloz 'not really' worried about Canada's housing markets

Former Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz told BNN Bloomberg's Amanda Lang earlier this week that he's "not really" worried about Canada's housing markets. Poloz pointed to the top half of what he agreed is a "K-shaped" economic recovery as the basis for why he’s not that concerned about rising home prices in cities like Vancouver and Toronto. “With interest rates at generational lows, you’re bound to see a certain amount of heat in the housing market,” he said. Meanwhile, Royal LePage published a new report Wednesday forecasting continued home-price growth in the fourth quarter of this year.

Older Canadians flock to online banking amid COVID-19 fears

More Canadian seniors are overcoming their anxieties around online banking amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Canadian Press. The newswire cites data from CIBC that shows seniors flocked to online services since the start of the pandemic, with the bank reporting a 250-per-cent increase in sign-ups from customers over the age of 65 in the past six months. Mass digital adoption during the pandemic marks uncharted territory for the banks, according to Peter Tilton, senior vice-president digital at RBC, and has proven challenging as they look to calm concerns around cybersecurity among older Canadians.

Federal government urges seniors to file taxes amid potential benefits loss

The federal government is urging seniors to file their taxes as soon as possible since tens of thousands of that age group are at risk of losing their income benefits. The Liberals estimate that 63,000 seniors could see a change in benefit payments if they haven't submitted their returns yet. Due to the pandemic, the government extended the deadline for seniors to submit their taxes from the usual deadline of April to this month.

TIP JAR

“For those individuals (who didn’t experience job losses) I think we really need to look at our budgets more strategically and actually create a budget because that’s what’s going to help us get through the next 12 months and rebound quickly once this crisis is finally over.” - Mike Braga, senior vice president, BDO Debt Solutions Canada