Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Engagement Rings

One of my co-workers is planning on proposing to his girlfriend.  We are super excited for him.  He approached me on advice regarding diamonds.  His torn about what to get her for the budget he set.  Should he get a bigger diamond or a better quality diamond?

I told him about the two things that I took away from my engagement ring.
  • There is a significant jump in price at the one carat threshold.  i.e. 0.9 carat is much cheaper compared to 1 carat.  But to the inexperienced eye it's hard to tell the difference.
  • What people notice the most and talk about the most is the carat.  Not color.  Not clarity.  Not cut.  To be honest, I cannot tell you what my diamond is without looking at the appraisal and it hasn't even been a year.
My advice?  If you are buying for investment then go for the 4 C's and quality.  If you are buying something to look nice on her finger go for size.  As for the other C's choose something reasonable and middle of the road.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Maternity Leave Benefits

With the baby coming, it’s no surprise it’s a topic of conversation for a lot of our friends.  It surprised me how many people have misconceptions about what kind of EI benefits they will be receiving.  Most people think it 55% of your income.  However, did not realize that there is a maximum.

So no.  If you make $100,000 a year, it does not mean you get $55,000 during maternity.  It’s quite a bit less and you need to plan for that.

The amount is reviewed and changed each year.  But as of right now, the latest information I see on the Service Canada website is that the maximum weekly benefit $514.  This means if you yearly income is $48,600 or below you receive 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings.  But if your income is greater than that there is no more from EI benefits.  You may receive a top up from your company, which you will need to look into eligibility and rules with your HR.

My company provides a top up to 70% of my income for the first 20 weeks.  It’s part of my benefits plan which I am responsible for paying the premiums for.  Also, if I don’t work a full 6 months after maternity, I have to return the top up.  I expect to be coming back, however, to be safe Beau and I are planning on saving the Top Up portion, invest it in something safe.  After 6 months of being back at the job, we will put it towards to investment for baby. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend everyone!

I am suffering a little insomnia, but at least it gives me plenty of time to prepare stuff for the three Thanksgiving dinners this weekend.  Thankful for lovely friends and family, and Beau and baby this year.