NEW RULES OF RETIREMENT – A Dawn Journal Book Review

A Canadian Retirement Planning Book

First Published: ADawnJournal.com Feb 4, 2009

Bay Street veteran investment professionals and Toronto authors Warren Mackenzie and Ken Hawkins have sent me two copies of their recently published book NEW RULES OF RETIREMENT: WHAT YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR ISN’T TELLING YOU. One copy is for my free giveaway and one copy is for me to review. I just finished reading this book today, so here’s my review.

Retirement Planning Is Not Just Financial Planning

The majority of traditional financial planners will map your retirement planning based on your bank accounts. They will not look at the human aspect of retirement, and therefore will miss the bigger picture of retirement. This may sound odd, but remember that financial advisors are working for the financial industry and your bank accounts are what are making deep-pocketed profits for these financial institutions and advisors.

Retirement is a process which is made up of both financial and non-financial aspects. Of course, you will need to be in a stable financial situation to enjoy your retirement years, but you also need to look at it from a broader human perspective. You need to understand, plan, and consider your emotions, attitudes, goals and so on. In order to enjoy your retirement fully, you have to be ready to face different situations than what you have expected, consider different paths based on those unexpected situations, and tackle them with financial and psychological preparedness. The right preparation, expectations, and attitudes will help you make it through your retirement journey.

Things Have Changed

Nowadays, retirement is not the same as it used to be in the old days. In the old days, retirement was meant to be sitting idly and doing nothing but relaxing. These days, retirement is not just living a life of leisure and sedentary activities. Rather, retirement is an opportunity to take you to the second phase of your life. This is the other part of life which will be filled with activities you have always wanted to experience but never had a chance to do—pursuing your dreams, living in a new place, living a life full of activities, or embracing new challenges to live a more fulfilling and self-developed life.

Stay Away From Old Retirement Myths

The authors talk about some old retirement myths perpetuated in our society. If you are still planning your retirement based on these myths, it is high time you review your retirement road-map and throw away these myths. Here is the list of myths the authors pointed out in the book:

Retirement Means Not Working – Myth 1
Retirement Is Strictly An Economic Event – Myth 3
You Can Determine The Age At Which You Retire – Myth 4
Retirees Need 80 Percent Of Their Pre-Retirement Income To Maintain Their Standard Of Living – Myth 5
Retirees Need To Live Off Their Investment Incomes Without Touching The Principle – Myth 6
Retirees Should Take Little Financial Risk – Myth 7
Retirees Should Minimize Their RRSP/RRIF Withdrawals – Myth 8
Retirees Do Not Need Advice – Myth 9
The Most Important Objective In Retirement Is To Maintain Your Pre-Retirement Standard Of Living – Myth 10

The authors discussed these myths in the first chapter, explained why they are wrong, and then pointed out what you should do to protect yourself. The authors did a good job here starting the book with these myths; it gives the readers an idea of what to expect once you cross the door and also it makes coming chapters more riveting.

Thirty Eight Rules

The book consists of thirty eight rules. Each rule is one chapter. Authors talk about a wide range of topics covering a variety of subjects, such as how to plan for retirement, how to construct a simple portfolio, what government services are available to help you with your retirement, and so on.

What I Like

I like those chapters most wherein the authors talk about Old Age Security, Defined Benefit Plan, how early retirement affects your benefits, Life Annuity (a type of product), and how to make the most out of your RRSPs, RRIFs, etc. I believe these chapters provide invaluable information for lots of readers who have very little or no knowledge on these products and benefits. The authors explained them in simple ways and these chapters are what make this book distinctive amongst its peers.

What I Don’t Like

Due to the fact that the authors discussed so many topics in one place, you will have a feeling that it’s just kind of skimming the surface and not actually taking you too deep. This is understandable, however, as this 220-page book would have turned into a 2000-page book had the authors taken a deep dive.

My Take

If you are a regular ADJ reader, you know that I go by three very simple and straightforward ratings for my book review: A Must Read, Worth Reading, and Do Not Read. For this book, I will slightly modify my rating, still keeping within the range. This book is mainly targeted to baby boomers, and the publication timing is perfect in light of the current global financial meltdown (the first batch of baby boomers will be 63 in 2009 and will receive Old Age Security in 2011). If you are a baby boomer, or if you are over fifty, my rating is A Must Read.

Why Choose Garmin Vivoactive HR (Over Fitbit Blaze)?

Garmin Vivoactive HR or Fitbit Blaze Smartwatch?

First Published Date : January 9, 2017 ADawnJournal.com

I have been contemplating buying an activity tracker or a smart watch for a while. However, I put it off because I did not want to pay full price and I kept an eye on them whenever they were on sale. However, this 2016 Black Friday sale presented me with an opportunity to buy a smart watch at 40 percent discount. The two major options I had were the Garmin or Fitbit smart watch. Today, I will talk about why I picked Garmin Vivoactive HR over its competitor, the Fitbit Blaze.

Author/Copyright: Ahmed Dawn www.adawnjournal.com

Here are my 2 most important reasons:

Bluetooth Concern – Smart watches or activity trackers send or sync information to a computer or smart phone via Bluetooth. Bluetooth does the job via low-level radio frequency waves. These waves are non-ionizing waves similar to those used by cell phones, which have been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Although Bluetooth EMF radiation is much lower than a cell phone’s, there is not enough information or research on the long-term health effects of activity trackers.

Lack of information does not translate to evidence of safety and I wouldn’t be comfortable wearing something with Bluetooth always on. Here is where Garmin comes in handy, as it gives the option to turn off Bluetooth as I wish, which Fitbit is lacking. With Fitbit, Bluetooth has to be always on and there is no option to turn it off. For that reason, Garmin is my choice.

Waterproof – Garmin is waterproof to 50 meters. I can swim or shower wearing my Vivoactive HR and it’s no problem. On the other hand, Fitbit is only water resistant, not waterproof. You cannot swim or shower with Fitbit but it’s OK to splash slight water on it like in the rain or washing hands, etc.

There are other aspects where Garmin does better than Fitbit, such as having a GPS, better notifications, and so on. But the above two factors I described are more important and they are the deciding factors for me buying the Garmin.

Eagle Creek Load Hauler Expandable Carry-On Duffle

Eagle Creek Load Hauler Review

As my 4-country, 1-month trip is approaching fast, I was looking for a hybrid convertible carry-on that could serve me for one month traveling without any other bulky luggage. Whenever I travel, I do not check any luggage. So my carry-on has to be a versatile piece that can work as a backpack, briefcase, or something that can be carried over the shoulder.

After searching frantically online and watching many reviews on convertible carry-on bags, I decided on the Eagle Creek Load Hauler Expandable for these reasons:

- Ultra lightweight & water-repellent Geo Ripstop ballistic fabric. Weighs only 1 lb 13 oz or 0.83 kg

- Regular capacity is 49 L, but can be expanded to 57 L

- Quick access pockets that makes airport security checking a breeze

- Good looking and attractive price point. I have seen similar luggage at $300 - $400, but at $150 the Load Hauler is fairly priced.

Now my challenge is to fit everything for my one-month Australia-New Zealand-Singapore-Malaysia trip in this Eagle Creek travel hybrid bag. I will be carrying a Chromebook and 2 or 3 cameras for my YouTube Channel Travel Videos  

I will make several videos on how I pack everything and how comfortable or not so comfortable it is carrying my gear in this travel bag. You can also track my full trip on my channel. There will be business class flight reviews, airport lounge reviews, and travel videos. If you haven’t subscribed already, please subscribe now to track this trip.

I have made a review video on the Eagle Creek Load Hauler Expandable, which you can view by following the highlighted link.

Alternative to iRobot Roomba Vacuum Cleaner

ILIFE A4 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Review

I’ve been contemplating buying a robotic vacuum cleaner for some time. Especially seeing my nephew grabbing one and talking highly about how it saves lots of time and does a good job cleaning. However, the steep price tag (around $1000) has always refrained me from getting one of these modern day marvels.

My curiosity remained, however, and I thought to myself that there must be some cheaper versions of Roomba that would work just fine. After searching for months and going through lots of reviews, finally I decided on ILIFE A4.

The main difference I can see is that ILIFE does not follow a mapped pattern or advanced navigation system to program its movement, so it does not keep repeating same spots. Rather, it cleans randomly going here and there. In my condo, I found out that there are some places it keeps going back again and again and again. Also, it does not have Wi-Fi or smart phone connection.

At the end of the day, ILIFE does its job, possibly taking longer and repeating some places more than others. However, these are minor flaws and I don’t mind, considering the fraction of a price I paid. And I don’t really need Wi-Fi or a fancy smartphone app to track its movement or obtaining a cleaning report.

The quality of cleaning is something I cannot complain about as well. It does the same level of cleaning I would do with a hand-held vacuum. So the precious time it’s saving me is sweet and I can even program it to clean my condo when I am at work; one less thing to worry about in life.

After finishing its job, ILIFE goes back to its home (or docking station) and sleeps there quietly until it’s next shift. I have made 2 videos on ILIFE where you can see me unboxing and following ILIFE all around my condo. I will provide you with those links here for you to watch.

The only regret I have at this point is that I did not buy this modern-day marvel before; it would have saved me so much time and hassle. If you are planning to buy a low-cost robot vacuum, research well before buying anything so you don’t regret it later. They exist and you don’t have to break your bank to enjoy one.

A Budget Travel Tripod - Koolehaoda 56-inch SLR Camera Tripod

Compact Travel Tripod Review

If you are searching for a lightweight and compact tripod that you can travel with, you know how hard it is to find one that is wallet friendly. Of course, there are those high-end brand name ones, but not everyone may want to shell out $300 to $400 for a travel tripod.

That’s where value brand like Koolehaoda comes in. At a fraction of the cost (of the fancy ones), you can have very similar features and functionality that work without burning your wallet.

The one I purchased is a 56-inch, compact, and lightweight. Here are some specs:

Weight: 1290 kg or 2.85 lb

Height: 13.6 inch and 56 inch

One leg can be detached to work as a monopod.

Made of aluminium alloy and comes with universal ball head handle letting you perform 360 panoramic rotation. Flip lock legs are very quick and easy to manoeuvre.

As my YouTube channel www.YouTube.com/ADawn is growing, I needed a portable travel tripod without spending too much, and Koolehaoda is what I decided on after doing my research. Of course, there are other similar low-cost brands, but Koolehaoda is what I picked and have been using.

I also did a Koolehaoda YouTube review on my channel, which you can watch to find out further. Also, here is my Amazon link for Canadian visitors. Full disclosure: If you purchase using this link, I get a small commission.

Like my other reviews, this was not paid by anyone and all the opinions are unbiased and honest. There are some features of this tripod that I did not like, which I mentioned on the YouTube review. Always take your time to do your research to decide before buying anything, so you won’t regret it later on.