A Money Coach in Canada

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Some thoughts on my CBC column on planning for your funeral, writing a will, and leaving a legacy.

  • The basics on writing a will in Canada
  • Options if you cannot afford a lawyer to do a will  (check out  this DIY Will site – not an endorsement!  But worth knowing about.)
  • How to begin thinking about your will
  • Various ways to think about your legacy
  • And if you find it all too overwhelming, here’s a simple thing you can do now to create a legacy.



As always, thanks to Loren and Joanne at CBC’s The Trailbreaker, who make it easy to be on the radio even at 7:45am.

And thanks, Kit Logan, for your beautiful photos on Flickr and for using the Creative Commons License!

And as always, if you need a little help getting a handle on your day-to-day money management, my $25 online money program will do the trick.

I’ve been thinking a bit about death and dying, in part because of Remembrance Day this week and in part because the 1st anniversary of my father’s death is coming up.One of the things that caught me off guard – although thankfully, there were family funds set aside – were the expenses associated with dad’s funeral. Flowers for the casket. Burial permit. Honorariums for the lovely, lovely people who assisted with the funeral. Cost of printing the service bulletins. Putting notices in papers. The casket itself. Death Certificates. And much more. (oh – little known fact – the Gov’t gives you a bit of money back but you need to submit forms / documents).

Anyway, it made me think: How prepared am I for my funeral? How prepared are you?  

Truth be told, I haven’t yet put together a cohesive plan, but here at 5 starting points we should each consider. After all, this is our final Goodbye; the last memory we will have created for those we leave behind.  So we should think through the event itself ensuring it reflects whatever it is we want reflected about us.  And we should ensure the finances are prepared so that our loved ones don’t have that stress on top of everything else they will be dealing with (for the record, my dad had a fund and for that we were all grateful).

Your Funeral or Celebration of Life – 5 considerations that involve money

  1. Do you want a funeral? Or a celebration of your life? What will you want included?  For example, I know I will want some professional musicians; some simple but probably expensive flowers; a couple (Anglican) priests; the service printed on heavy paper; and a space that can handle quite a few people if I die in Vancouver where most of my community is.
  2. Will you want a wake?  A reception after the service?  Something simple, or elaborate?
  3. Will you want to be cremated, or embalmed, or none of the above?   What are the costs in your area?
  4. What kind of casket and tombstone will you want?
  5. And what kind of ongoing upkeep, of your grave, if any?

After thinking these through, I think it is worth creating some sort of fund.  The other option is for your survivors to pay then get some kind of reimbursement from your estate, but why not make is simple and ensure there are funds readily available right when needed?


Photo Credit:  Marksd

You online bank, right? Or have digital assets that require a password?

Yesterday I sat in on a lecture given by a lawyer who gave some quick, good reminders about passwords.

First – little known fact: technically, your password is comprised of both your user name and your password. For the first time it occurred to me that choosing a clever user name would also contribute to online security.

Now, to the worst kinds of passwords:

  • A word. Choosing just a word is low-level security. More on this below.
  • Names of pets
  • Your own name (d’oh)
  • The actual word Password (again, d’oh!)
  • Your date of birth

Want to super-duper make a nearly unbreakable password?

  • Include #s. That means the attacker now has to contend not only with 26 letters of the alphabet (and all the ways they can be combined) but also with 0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 which could be just 1 or 10000000000+.
  • Use a nonsense word. That way no dictionaries can provide the word to the attacker.
  • Best of all, the super-duper part, include symbols, like $ or ^ or * – any of the ones on this list should work.
  • There are 26 letters of the alphabet, 10 numeric digits and 128 pretty much universally recognized symbols with which to form your password. By the time you include some symbols, there is a Power-to-the-Nth (remember that? – no! nothing to do with E. Tolle!) factor that makes your password very, very difficult to break.

    And that, my friends, is your simple money coaching tip for this month.
    Have at ‘er.

    Photo Credit: Elsamuko

How much do you give to charity in any given year?

How do you compare to the average Canadian who gives?

How might it improve the way you handle money in general?

And find out about your brain on donations!  (not the same ring as the original slogan, but, whatev’s …)


I love digging into research for my CBC gigs — keeps me current plus I find out stuff I wasn’t necessarily looking for.


Photo Credit:  Mindful One

What kind of relationship do you have with your money?

Is it healthy? Unhealthy? Toxic?

Are you intimately in touch with your money, or woefully out of touch — and headed for trouble?

Are you in control of your money, or is it in control of you?

Does it support you and serve you, or does it cause you anxiety and sleepless nights?

Listen to my recommendations about how to start developing a healthy relationship with your money on this CBC interview:

Relationship with Money CBC Interview

Want further support?
1. My simply $25 online program will get you in better touch with your money, and help you gain control of problem areas.
2. This book has some thoughtful research and great ideas. I’m not thrilled with the look and feel and tone of the advertising but it’s full of great stuff.

Photo Credit: Hipponotized

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