This segment Clinton and Todd bring on contractor and civil engineer, Dan Monk, to chat about home renovation costs and trends in Halifax, some red and green flags to look out for when hiring contractors, and some simple renovations or improvements you can make to help you love your home.
How can Canadians get more financially fit? In this edition of Mortgage 101, Clinton and Todd are kicking off Financial Literacy month by discussing the crucial aspects of financial literacy and preparedness. They chat about why being organized and having your documents in one place is crucial, and why you should never procrastinate on your renewal. PLUS: Why Canadians should brace for a frugal holiday season.
Todd Veinotte 00:04
So it is a special month. We’re gonna be hearing a lot, we’re gonna be seeing a lot of each other this month.
Clinton Wilkins 00:11
We are and you know, I wouldn’t have it any other way I look forward to November all year long.
Todd Veinotte 00:16
Oh, is that right? Just simply because you know you’re gonna be able to work with me closely.
Clinton Wilkins 00:20
I think working with you and I think also pumping out lots of education to our listeners. Awesome. Love it. And you know, I think this November, I think it’s gonna ring even more true to people what we’re gonna talk about.
Todd Veinotte 00:33
Alright and we are talking about financial literacy month, which is November.
Clinton Wilkins 00:37
Which is all month long in November.
Todd Veinotte 00:39
Yeah, actually, it should be, financial literacy month should be all year round actually.
Financial Literacy and awareness
Clinton Wilkins 00:43
You know what, this is one of these things that really, we really try to keep going all year long. I think us doing the show Mortgage 101 keeps it going. But you know, I think Financial Literacy Month, having a focus on it just one month is really important. It’s a good reset. It’s a good time to educate. It’s a good time to learn about income and assets and credit. And you know, really do a deep dive into these different things.
Todd Veinotte 01:07
Yeah, absolutely. So when it comes to people and financial literacy, how can somebody gauge whether their financial literacy literate or not?
Clinton Wilkins 01:16
Well, I think that’s a hard one to gauge taught. Yeah, you know, I think sometimes it’s looking in the mirror, looking at your own finances. And that’s a good indicator if you’re financially literate or not. And you know what, some people are really financial literate. But their situation doesn’t look like that. You know what I mean? Sometimes people really are aware, they know what’s going on. But from many different circumstances, you know, they’ve had misfortunes, they’ve had missteps, that have negatively impacted their financial future, and their financial situation. And you know what, I think just being aware of that, I think is important. And then figuring out what the best steps are to put yourself in the best financial position.
Todd Veinotte 01:56
Yeah, but obviously, the first part of any type of literacy or awareness, is doing the work and recognizing that there’s a necessity there to do so. And you see clients on a regular basis, that don’t do these basic things, right?
Clinton Wilkins 02:10
I see at both ends of the spectrum, Todd, I see people that think, you know, my situation isn’t that great, but they’re in great financial shape, right. And I have some people that are just, you know, ignorantly not aware, and think that their situation is really not that bad or pretty good. And it’s really terrible. And so we see every type of customer. And I think that’s what’s really unique about what we do. And, you know, my purview of what I think, you know, people are in good shape or bad shape might be different than yours. You know what I mean? And I think that’s okay. Everybody’s perspective over what financial health looks like, I think, is different.
Todd Veinotte 02:44
Yeah. Are some people, I guess, not in good financial shape, but but are not, they’re ignorant to that fact that perhaps things are an issue, they don’t even realize that they’ve got some challenges?
Financial organization is crucial
Clinton Wilkins 02:55
Well, I think in some ways, ignorance is bliss. Go with the ostrich, stick your head in that sand. And you know what I think ignorance is bliss in some ways, but that’s not sustainable. You know, especially when you want to do a big transaction. You know, we talked about homeownership, obviously, we talked about people buying homes and getting mortgages. That’s what our show is really about. But even when you’re trying to do anything that involves your personal finances, that could be getting a job or renting an apartment, or buying a car, or getting a credit card. If your finances are not that great. And I’m not just talking about credit people, like I’m just talking about all of your finances, if your finances are not that great, it can negatively impact any big transaction that you’re looking to do or any big change that you’re looking to do in your life.
Todd Veinotte 03:41
Yeah, there are probably people out there, who are who have good credit, but yet despite that their financial situation is a bit chaotic, right?
Clinton Wilkins 03:49
Correct, I see it, honestly. And I think the one time that I do see it the most, is when people have a hard time even getting their documents together. You know, their life is a little bit chaotic. Like if you can’t find your T4 for from 2022, I’m guessing you have a hard time. Or if you can even go to your employer or go to download it from your payroll program. If you can’t find it. That’s tough. So I think sometimes when we request documents from people, people don’t have these documents. They’re going in like sourcing them out. They’re like, okay, I’ll get my pay stub for my payroll system, I’ll get my T4 my payroll system, I have to contact my lender for my mortgage statement, I have to contact the municipality for my tax bill. And people don’t have them in one place, which for me is really so odd. Like it’s hard to believe that you don’t have either one or two years of your documentation. I think they normally say what keeps six years of your paperwork.
Todd Veinotte 04:35
Yeah, seven I thought it was 7 years.
Clinton Wilkins 04:37
6, 7 years, whatever. I know some people who have papers from 20 years ago. I have clients who came to see me 17 years ago that brought me the documents in their hand from what I met with them 17 years ago. Like that they really should get a sticker. That might be too much though. I think six seven years is the right number.
Clinton Wilkins 04:53
I think seven years is the number yeah.
Clinton Wilkins 04:54
Have that, know where it is have it organized, even have it in the PDF on your computer. I think that’s great. So we’re seeing chaotic in terms of documents. But it’s not just, you know, the documents that sometimes can be chaotic. People’s credit can be chaotic. You know, maybe they’re making their payments on time. But maybe they have 20 different trade lines of different items. People, why do you need nine credit cards? Like honestly. It gets too complicated, how do you even know?
Managing spending habits during the holiday season
Todd Veinotte 05:22
And of course, November, Financial Literacy Month or awareness month, but it’s also the month before Christmas.
Clinton Wilkins 05:29
Totally. And as you know, going into the holiday can be such a trying time. I think this year and Financial Literacy Month like November, it’s a time that people really have to look in the mirror and figure out what is next year going to look like? What are the holidays going to look like? Because inflation as it has softened. Obviously, we’ve had positive reports that inflation has softened.
Todd Veinotte 05:50
Not much. Not much.
Clinton Wilkins 05:51
And we’re not out of the woods. We’re not out of the woods. And still, the cost of fuel is very high. We know mortgage rates are high, and they’re gonna be high for a while. And I think going with a more conservative step forward, into the holidays and into next year with your spending, I think that will pay some dividends.
Todd Veinotte 06:11
Do you think that people of this year perhaps for the first time in a long time were looking at Christmas and saying I need to scale back?
Clinton Wilkins 06:19
I hope so.
Todd Veinotte 06:20
Yeah. But do you think that’s happening, though?
Clinton Wilkins 06:22
I don’t know. Because I’ll tell you why I don’t know Todd. And we said this before, but I’m just gonna reiterate this because I know our listeners have heard me say this. For a couple of years, we were told by the government to stay home, don’t spend, you know, save your money. We don’t know what’s going to happen. Then we start being let out. And you know, we paid all our debt down, we saved a bunch of money. And then now we’ve started to spend, we want these consumer goods, it drove inflation. I think we’re still in this in this mode of not saving, I think we are still spending and I think we’re still overextending. Equifax and TransUnion has come out and say, you know, people are starting to miss payments, indebtedness is going up. And I’m not sure 100% of Canadians have got the message to say, inflation to our own bring this down, you really need to stop spending, right, that includes buying gifts at Holiday, regardless of what religion you are buying any types of gifts for anyone. We need to really think about this as we need to do a more lean year, I think.
Don’t procrastinate on renewals
Todd Veinotte 07:24
Yeah. Do you think that people are recognizing that, especially if they’ve got a renewal coming up in the next year or so, and they’ve had a really favourable interest rate that they are looking at scaling back their spending right now, to prepare for that?
Clinton Wilkins 07:38
I don’t think people know.
Todd Veinotte 07:40
Well, they surely must know or they’re living under a rock, right?
Clinton Wilkins 07:43
I have so many people that are coming in that are renewing right now, Todd, that are either procrastinating procrastinating procrastinating. I see professionals, like accountants and lawyers and doctors and they’re waiting rate until basically the end of their renewal before they’re like, okay, I want to make a change, I know, I want to do something but I’ve been avoiding the situation, because I know the rates are high. I know I did myself a disservice by waiting. And, you know, it’s tough, I think mental health of people is challenging right now. I think that people are scared, and they’re not aware, and they don’t know what the best path forward is. And there’s not a one size fits all, for anyone, especially with financial literacy. There’s so many different facets. And I think everybody’s situation is so different. You need to seek the advice, and you need to really look and see where your situation is.
Todd Veinotte 08:37
Wow, that amazes me that you’ve got professionals that come in, in that situation. Really surprises me,
Clinton Wilkins 08:43
They’re owning it, they know they’ve waited right to the last minute cuz they’re like, we’re hoping, we’re hoping, we’re hoping there are some magic –
Todd Veinotte 08:50
What were they hoping for?
Clinton Wilkins 08:51
I think they were hoping maybe for the rates to soften, or they’re hoping for their lender to give them some magic deal or something. It’s just not happening. That’s the reality. You know, we need to look at where things are right now and deal with the best-case scenario on what’s available. I’m saying maybe none of the scenario is the best. It’s tough, the rates are high. But you need to make a decision.
Todd Veinotte 09:15
Yeah, you got to make a decision. And you have to obviously consult somebody like you. So we’ve got lots left to go in the show. What do you want to get to?
Clinton Wilkins 09:22
So during Financial Literacy Month, we’re really going to talk about the cornerstones on what we as a, you know, mortgage broker and we’re talking about homeownership, you know, what impacts that. We’re going to talk about income, which I think we’re gonna talk a little bit about self-employed. I know that’s a really like, hot topic right now. We’re going to talk about assets, like what do you need to get into a home? How can you build your family’s net worth? And we’re going to talk about credit. I know that’s always a hot topic, and that’s something I’m sure everyone’s gonna want to hear about.
If you’ve liked what you’ve heard, If you want to learn more feel free to visit us online at teamclinton.ca.