Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Welcome Windfall

My retirement savings have fallen more than I care to admit, in fact, to be perfectly honest I don't know what they've done in the past 3 months because I usually just wait for the statements to come in the mail. My job is as uncertain as many others too, truth is 'uncertain' could be a tame word to describe it. Even so I'm optimistic and I'm certainly not going to withdraw from the economy or stop spending money because of the grim news.

Part of the reason I'm optimistic is because of the continued interest rate cuts like Tuesday's 0.5% interest rate cut. The Bank of Canada has now cut interest rates by 3% over the last year, and if I remember correctly most commercial banks cut their prime lending rates by 2.5% over the same period. That's $2,500 a year on a $100,000 mortgage - that's more than $200 a month - that's just plain good news for a borrower like me. Since my payments are the same every month that means my mortgage prinicipal is dropping faster than ever. Same goes for the line of credit.

The interest rate cuts are on top of the sharply lower gas prices, that are saving me almost 50% on each tank of gas. Plus there's the home renovation tax credit and there's always work that needs to be done around the house.

Finally even if I do end up unemployed, Canada's unemployment benefits will keep paying the mortgage and groceries and they can even fund going back to school.

I really hope all this economic turmoil ends soon but in the meantime I'm going to keep enjoying the low interest rates and low gas prices and I'm going to spend some of this windfall.

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