Financially Investing in Yourself 101

This applies to those new to financial investing for retirement in Canada. These are the recommendations I usually make, so I’m summarizing here.

    • Pay down any debts with more than 10% interest as fast as you can.
    • Once your debts are paid off, save until you have a 3 month float in the bank in case you become unemployed
    • Start saving for retirement, and this is where the numbers really stand out. If you can save 64% of your income, you can retire in less than 11 years.
Years to Retirement

Years to Retirement

This is pretty simple. If you’re spending 100% of your income, instead of saving it, you will never be able to retire without something else happening. If you’re spending 0% of your income and can maintain that, you’re ready to retire right now. The graph above shows the options in between. Mr. Money Mustache breaks this down in more detail.

  • If you don’t own real estate yet and want to, this is where you can start to max our your RRSPs until you’ve reached $25,000, which you can then loan yourself tax-free under the Canadian Home Buyers Plan. This only applies to your first property.
Give Heart.


My thoughts on love. This will likely be updated as I feel I have new insights, as this is always evolving.

I was reminded after reading a recent tweet by my friends at Creative Mornings Vancouver, stating that love can cause you “the most horrific, terrible pain”, and I’m sure we’ve all felt devastated after losing a loved one, however it is my opinion, this is not love.

Tweet from Creative Mornings Vancouver

Love is the thing that can cause you the most horrific, terrible pain

Feelings like loss, hurt, rejection, jealousy, fear, are all other emotions, but they are not love. Love is only giving. Love is abundant. I responded stating Love causes no pain, it’s only giving. Pain is other things, like jealousy, fear etc. It’s a great perspective to have, I feel.

I find the more you think about this, you realize you love someone by giving, and in fact it’s even better if you can give love through actions without expectations. I will suggest all of the hurt, suffering, and pain you feel stems from expectations, and they are not from love, which is only giving.

If this is true, when you tell someone you love them, you should not need the same words reciprocated. You can provide love actions to someone even if they don’t love you back. Someone may tell you they need time alone, or demand you leave them alone, and if you really love them, you can give them love by respecting their wishes.

I’m still thinking about exceptions to giving love everywhere, and the only condition I’ve thought of where you should not give love to someone else, is when it interferes with your ability to love yourself. The first and most obvious case to me is an abusive situation. If you’re ever the victim of abuse, you need instead to prioritize on loving yourself. If someone is putting your life, or theirs on the line, you need to prioritize on yourself. I’m sure there are cases when unrequited romantic love can reach a time where you need to move on, in order to love yourself. Other than that, if you’re loving yourself fully, you can give love, through actions, in an abundant supply.

If you choose to give love through actions in this way, you will likely be tested, and if you are, you will grow. Through my growth, I am learning that those that challenge you the most, likely need love actions the most. I feel a lasting romantic love based relationship is when your priority remains to give, without expectations, and your partner lives the same way. It’s not through expectations, but an intention and/or agreement for continued growth, that allows for sustainable love.
I have more thoughts on love in other contexts, especially a deeper dive into romantic relationships which also require equal parts passion and commitment, and I plan to write on those in the future if there is interest.

I’d love any insights on love I missed or have incorrect! Thanks for taking the time to read.

With love,




Free university

I’ve written years ago about free online university courses, there’s no limit today on what you can learn other than what time you’re willing to put into it. Today with the announcement that Germany is offering tuition to all Canadian students, it’s time to start a global list of places Canada’s can go for a free post-secondary education, and it doesn’t seem to be in Canada.

  • Germany
  • Nordic nations Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden (PhD free for Denmark & Sweden)
  • Finland. Tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students will be introduced in autumn 2017 onwards for English-taught Bachelor’s or Master’s programmes. Doctoral level studies will remain free of tuition fees.

Low cost options:

  • France (~$350 CAD/year)
  • Argentina (small fee)
  • Austria (~$500 CAD/year)
  • India (under $5k CAD/year including accommodation)
  • Taiwan (under $2k CAD/year)
  • Czech Republic (~$1500 CAD/year)
  • Belgium (under $1000 CAD/year)
  • Italy (~$1000 CAD/year for public universities)
  • Spain (under $2000 CAD/year for public universities)
Conscious Canada

Conscious Canada

At the Ideas – Vancouver meetup tonight, we were discussing how many businesses there are that should be boycotted, and even if they are, as one voice, there’s not much change that is likely to happen. It was agreed that the only way change would happen, would be if the masses got on board. The result of the idea was the creation of the Conscious Canada subreddit.

The first objective of the subreddit is for you to take the time to list a non-political organization you think should be boycotted, and why. You want to have a compelling story, and likely with evidence, as to why it should be boycotted. If others in the subreddit agree, they will upvote it. If they disagree, it will get downvoted.

The agreement by joining the subreddit, is that by the end of the month, whichever company is listed at the top, you agree as a member of the subreddit, to boycott that company for one month. For example, it’s the beginning of September; whatever is at the top on Friday, September 30th will be boycotted by you and the others for all of October. If you’re on social media, you can link to the reason and use #ConsciousCanada hashtag, with the desired outcome that that organization will change the discussed behaviour.

I will be moderating the sub-reddit initially — I will be removing any issues that are political organizations, as well as any joke/gag issues (will bring to a vote at an ideas meeting if it’s debatable if an issue is a gag or not.

Remember, every penny you spend is a political statement on the world you want to live in. Join us.

Nobody lives past thirty

Something is not right


I saw this cartoon today, “Something’s just not right — our air is clean, our water is pure, we all get plenty of exercise, everything we eat is organic and free-range, and yet nobody lives past thirty”. I enjoyed this thought provoking cartoon.
It creates an opportunity to thank science (Vaccinations, antibiotics, science based GMOs, bio-tech) and put things into perspective!