Weekend reading: hedge your bills, joint life insurance, and more

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Hi everyone and welcome to weekend reading, where we share some of the best posts we read over the past week. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did. If you haven’t already, please consider following us on TwitterFacebook, and Google+, where we share the latest in personal finance, debt, retirement, insurance, tax and investments.

Personal Finance

Dan at Our Big Fat Wallet asks ‘what percentage of income do you spend on travel?‘ It compares a staycation with a international trip and how much savings you can get with the former. When there are so many local places worth exploring, especially in the Great White North, it almost feels like the savings compared to an international trip is just a bonus.

Barry Choi at Money We Have explains why in order to save for retirement, you have to talk about it with your spouse. If you can sit down and have a conversation about your retirement goals such as how much income you need or how much you should save now, you’re on the right track.

Investments

Ben at A Wealth of Common Sense mentions how historical returns affect savings rates. It’s interesting how savings rate actually decreases from the 80s to 90s as returns increased. Once the new millenium arrived and investors were hit twice within a decade, they realized they could not rely solely on market returns to fund their retirement. Instead, they should be increasing their savings rate to reach their retirement goal.

Roadmap2Retire shows you how to hedge your bills by investing in companies whose services you are currently using. The research that you would have done when you chose to use the company’s services should help you understand the pros and cons of owning a piece of that company.

Insurance

Here at AAFS Insurance, we looked at taxation of life insurance policies. Even though the death benefit is paid tax-free to the beneficiary, withdrawals, loans and dividends all have different tax consequences.

If you’re wondering about the difference between critical illness and disability insurance, Chantal Marr from LSM Insurance explains it well on Big Cajun Man’s blog. The main difference is that disability insurance is tied to your ability to earn an income, while critical illness pays a lump sum that has no bearing on your ability to earn income.

The Canada Life Insurance Blog discusses joint life insurance plans and who they are suitable for. A joint first-to-die plan insures at least two people and pays a benefit on the first death, and is appropriate for couples who have similar incomes and require similar coverage. A joint last-to-die plan also insures at least two people but pays on the last death, so it’s useful for estate preservation, when the second death triggers taxes.

We hope you enjoy the reads this weekend and be sure to check back next week for a new post. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter on the right side of the page so you don’t miss a single post!