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Downsizing tips for happiness in a smaller space

(NC) Downsizing for retirement can relieve stress and help you focus on what is truly important. Whether you feel ready for the change or you’re a little nervous to plant roots somewhere new, here are some tips for a smooth and easy transition.

Start decluttering now
Even if you don’t plan to move for some time, it’s worth cutting down on your clutter. Begin thinking about items you really want to keep forever, such as your mother’s china. If those antique dishes mean a lot to you, keep them for your next place and plan to actually use them. If they are just taking up space, recognize that and don’t feel bad about finding them a new home. Beginning to tackle this step now will save you last minute stress and guilt when it comes time to move.

Consider your lifestyle
Are you looking to leave behind the hustle and bustle of city life? Or, are you excited by the option of walking to nearby shops and activities in an area where you don’t have to rely on a car? Will your new pad be the home base for a rotation of visiting family or are you planning to live the more nomadic life of the frequent traveller? Consider your physical, social, and personal needs as you think about how and where to live in retirement.

Use all tools available 
There are many options and considerations when creating a retirement plan, so use all the resources available to help you make an informed decision for your golden years. For example, you can use free census data to learn about a potential new community before moving there. You can find useful details on population, age and types of dwellings in different places. Specifically, you’ll be able to see if there is a higher concentration of seniors or lots of young children, along with the type of housing in your target area. It’s a great way to learn more about a place before you move there.

Find more information at statcan.gc.ca/census.

 
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Smart ways to save for a house or condo

(NC) With Canada’s housing market hotter than ever, saving up a down payment can feel impossible. But wise spending and saving decisions can add up over time. Here, Vanessa Bowen, money expert and accountant, offers simple yet effective ways to save for the home you’ve had your eye on.

Ensure you have a good credit score
A better credit score means that you can qualify for lower interest rates and loans that you may require when investing in a future property. Working to improve your overall credit score, such as by avoiding late bill payments, will help make your savings go further as you look towards purchasing the house or condo of your dreams.

Contribute lump-sum payments to your savings
Large annual payments such as a work bonus or your tax return can be added as lump-sum contributions to your savings. Contributing larger sums helps you reach your end-goal more quickly, so remember to save these payments. It’s money you don’t count on in your day to day anyway, so it’ll be easier to set aside and watch your savings steadily grow.

Switch to a no-fee bank account
A small step that you can take that will add up to big savings in the long run is switching to a no-fee bank account. The PC Money Account is the bank account reimagined with no monthly fees and opportunities to earn PC Optimum Points on every dollar spent everywhere you shop. Now, instead of having to pay monthly banking fees, you can put your hard-earned money towards saving up for a house or condo.

Cut down on unnecessary spending
Try cutting back on expenses such as takeout food and shopping for things you may not actually need, like subscription services. Instead, put this money, which could potentially add up to thousands each year, towards a significant investment opportunity, such as a future home.

 
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