Paycheque Project is a non-judgmental look at how young adults in Canada are spending their money.
Name, age: Trevor, 39
Annual income: $410,000
Debt: $200,000 mortgage
Savings: $110,000 in savings; $100,000 in TFSA; $120,000 in RRSP; $300,000 in other investments
What he does: Financial adviser
Where he lives: Winnipeg
Top financial concern: “Our 10-year vision is semi-retirement at age 50, and full retirement at 60. We just bought a cottage – our plan is to rent it out, tear it down and build our retirement property.”
Trevor is living his best life in Winnipeg. A married financial adviser with a 10-year-old daughter, he puts in 70-hour work weeks. When he’s not working, he and his family travel to places such as Hawaii and the Dominican Republic, as well as Vancouver Island and Kenora, Ont. “We go on half a dozen trips at a minimum a year,” he says. “Because we are self-employed, we can control how little and how much we work.”
Thanks to his high income, Trevor still manages to save $152,000 a year, which he divides between his savings account, his TFSA and an RRSP. He also has $300,000 invested in non-registered accounts, banking on a stock market rebound from a recent decline. “I believe in history and the market always eventually recovers,” he says. “And I’m only 39.”
Recently, he and his wife upgraded their home, a bungalow on a third of an acre of land. He estimates the home’s value is now $675,000, up from $425,000 when they bought it 12 years ago. Trevor is also a car aficionado. He owns three luxury cars including a Porsche Macan Twin Turbo GTS, a Shelby GT and a brand new Corvette. “I do a lot of rural travel to see my clients,” he says.
In his spare time, Trevor likes to fish, often chartering a plane out of Kenora, or going ice fishing more locally. Given his busy work hours, he takes advantage of the comforts a high income can provide, employing a lawn-care service, a house cleaner and a tailor who comes to his office for suit fittings.
Trevor’s current plan is to retire early to Lake of the Woods. “Our 10-year vision is semi-retirement at age 50 and full retirement at 60,” he says. “We just bought a cottage – our plan is to rent it out, tear it down and build our retirement property.”
To fund this retirement, Trevor and his wife will sell their home in Winnipeg, as well as his investment practice. “The equity in my business is $3-million,” he says.
“We’re getting the right infrastructure in place,” he says. “We feel that with our savings strategy we can retire sooner than later.”
His typical monthly expenses:
Investment and savings: $12,500
$542 to TFSA. “It’s in a mix of ETFs, stocks, mutual funds and GICs.”
$833 to RRSP. “My RRSP is also in ETFs, stocks and mutual funds.”
$10,000 to non-registered accounts. “These investments are in equities; bank stocks, tech stocks, innovation mutual funds and a greenchip all-cap equity fund.”
$1,125 to life insurance. “I have a lot of policies, valued at $7.5-million.”
Household and transportation: $4,564.84
$700 to mortgage. “My mortgage is $200,000.”
$187.50 to property tax.
$83.33 to property insurance.
$91.67 on lawn care and yard maintenance. “I have someone who cuts the grass.”
$191.67 on house cleaner. “Our house cleaner comes every three weeks.”
$20 for house alarm.
$400 on gasoline. “We live outside the city.”
$417 on car insurance.
$1,700 on car financing.
$167 on car repairs.
$60 on cellphone.
$45 on Internet.
$10 on Netflix. “I watch almost no TV.”
$300 on pets. “I have a saltwater fish tank – it’s an expensive endeavour. I love it. We have someone who comes to clean the tank every two weeks or so.”
$41.67 on child care. “This is for babysitting our daughter.”
$150 for elder care. “This is for long-term care insurance for my parents.”
Food and drink: $875
$292 on groceries. “We primarily shop at the Co-op. We’ve also been known to use HelloFresh. My wife does a lot of the cooking.”
$583 on eating out. “We like the finer establishments. We have a membership to the Manitoba Club. I’m a meatarian, for sure. I like a dry-aged rib-eye.”
$0 on alcohol. “I don’t drink.”
$5,000 on taxes.
$83 on hobbies. “I love fishing. We rent a cabin in Kenora – I’ll charter a guide. I also like ice fishing.”
$83 on courses. “We also like the MasterClass online courses, such as Gordon Ramsay teaching cooking, and Mindvalley – it’s meditation and untapping your true potential.”
$25 on dental.
$333 on clothing. “I wear a suit every day. A person from Harry Rosen comes to my office every quarter.”
$42 on haircuts and cosmetic procedures. “It’s for haircuts and pedis before trips.”
$125 on gifts.
$833 to charities. “The ones we contribute to primarily are the Dream Factory and Cancer Care Manitoba.”
$2,083 on vacations. “Last year I went to Nashville, Vancouver Island, Hawaii, Ottawa, Saskatchewan and Kenora, and we’re heading to the Dominican at the end of March.”
Some details may be changed to protect the privacy of the person profiled. We want to thank him for sharing his story. Are you a millennial or Gen Z who would like to participate in a Paycheque Project? Send us an e-mail.
Are you a young Canadian with money on your mind? To set yourself up for success and steer clear of costly mistakes, listen to our award-winning Stress Test podcast.