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Put on your oxygen mask first

Recently a friend who is a personal trainer was telling me about the various types of clients he sees at his gym. One category he finds particularly challenging are those people who want to improve their fitness and overall health but can’t seem to find the time. They fill their days with plenty of activities and tasks usually associated with family and friends, leaving little time or energy for themselves.

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Family Income Security During a Child's Illness

I was recently talking to a friend I’ve known for years, when the discussion turned to a mutual acquaintance whose son was just diagnosed with cancer. Being parents, this hit home with both of us as we imagined how devastated we would be if any of our kids were to contract a life-threatening illness. I wondered aloud if our friend had a critical illness insurance policy on the boy. My friend seemed shocked that this would even cross my mind. “Why would you ever get insurance on your kids?” he asked me.

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Healthy, wealthy and balanced

Sports commentators covering the World Series often refer to baseball as “the national pastime”. Similar statements are made during broadcasts of the Stanley Cup playoffs in Canada. However, given the millions of dollars spent every year on gym memberships, dietary supplements, workout equipment and the dozens of glossy fitness magazines at the newsstand, I’d say the effort to get in shape is one of North America’s most popular past times.

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Cross train your portfolio

In my younger days I was a competitive rower. Most training days (which most months was every day) consisted of high volumes of on-the-water kilometers for me and my teammates. Success in rowing comes from doing the same thing over and over again with intensity and precision. The common thinking in those days was to row 20 to 25 kilometers every day. This was supplemented with weight training of rowing specific exercises such as barbell cleans and bench pulls.

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Marathon Investing

If you were planning to run a marathon a year from now, how would you prepare? Most reasonable people would agree that training for any endurance event consists of “putting in the miles”. Successful participants log hundreds of hours on the road to build up the volume of miles necessary to complete the race. Experts would recommend a total training volume between 1500 miles and 2500 miles would be sufficient to allow the average runner to complete the 26.2 miles of the marathon without difficulty. But how and when you perform those training miles matters too.

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Are you helping protect your family or your lending institution?

If you own your home, chances are you were offered mortgage life insurance from your lending institution during the mortgage negotiations. This type of insurance is sold by lenders as a flexible, low-cost way to protect one of your largest financial obligations. The idea is that if you should become seriously ill, or die, before paying off the mortgage, the coverage will kick in and pay it off for you. The intent is to help ensure that your family will be able to stay in your home if anything should happen to you.

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Save today for sports spending

Recently my local minor hockey association completed an economic impact study to inform parents how much money to expect to pay each year. The study determined families contribute $4,450 each year to the local community for each child on the ice. While it costs much less for a seven-year-old in her first year of recreational novice hockey than for a midget “A” player, on average, families should plan on spending several thousand dollars to have their kids play hockey. And if you want your child to play at the very highest level of the sport, be prepared to pay a whole lot more.

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