Chris’s Adventures with Disability Insurance: Finding a Broker

I’ve been scared of sitting down and talking about insurance with someone for awhile now. I’m not sure exactly why, Sandi had a few theories in our LAST EPISODE OF BECAUSE MONEY, when we talked about all of this. But John really cut through the shit and made me realize that I was making excuses about something that was really important. If you want to see the moment he broke through to me… you can find it at 36:11 of the video below. And so I set up a meeting with an insurance broker. Finding a broker: my tiny excuse ...
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Why Would an Opera Singer want Disability Insurance?

Something weird happened when I started to call myself a financial planner… people assumed that I had all my money shit figured out. I do not. And I’d rather not pretend that I do, because that takes away my ability to share the lessons that I’m learning with you…. helping us both learn together. Take this last week when I finally made some progress on a financial weak point of mine: disability insurance. The problem that requires a solution: Not having disability insurance is not, in itself, a problem. It’s just another financial product, but one that was created to ...
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Lessons From The Stage: You Perform What you Rehearse

For all you performers out there, you know the feeling. It’s opening night and you really want to kill it. Tonight you’ll raise the bar. Tonight you’ll be the performer that you always knew you could be. You’ll be better than your best. … the thing is usually you’ll just end up you. Which isn’t a bad thing, but the more shows I do the more I realize you can’t really expect more out of a performance than what you’ve been practising in the weeks before. You perform what you rehearse, and it’s the same thing in your financial life ...
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What Putting on Two Dance Belts Taught Me About Lifestyle Creep….

My life costs a lot more than it used to. There was a year shortly after I moved to Toronto when my rent was $500 a month, and I mainly ate hamburger and noodles. Now my rent is … more… and that hamburger had a much happier life (or so my butcher assures me). It happens to lots of people, but there’s definitely a gap between how much I feel like things have changed, and how much they’ve actually changed. And I’m left to question whether the growth in my spending is good or bad? Simply… is it okay to ...
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How do Mimi and I Manage Our Money?

How do Mimi and I co-manage our finances? We recorded a podcast about that very thing. And here’s a spoiler: We talk about money… a lot. It's really that simple (and that complicated).  We have one joint account which we use to fund our LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP fund, but other than that, our finances aren’t combined with accounts or anything physical. They are combined through a series of conversations about what we’re trying to do, both in the short term and over the long haul. It didn’t always work that way… Now if that sounds impossible for you, let me ...
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What Do You Want: A Family or to Sing With an Orchestra?

To be a full time artist/singer or not. It’s a decision that’s filled with trade-offs. Trade-offs that are really hard to quantify since they vary from situation to situation. But a lot of the time you hear creative folks phrase it as a really binary choice. I remember a friend of mine, a wonderful opera singer, put it this way: “It all comes down to what you want more, to have a family or sing with an orchestra.” I heard her say that during my undergrad and it really left a mark. For the last 10 years I’ve been carrying ...
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Can You be Successful With a Net Income of $24,000?

I still get stressed before meeting other financial professionals about my personal numbers. This time it was before a meeting with an insurance broker to ask some questions about disability insurance, and I was gathering some information about my income for the last two years. I pulled up my 2015 and 2016 tax returns and I was hit with an unexpected wave of shame. Turns out I had forgotten that my net income for those years was $21,000 and $24,000 respectively. And even though I knew that, I had forgotten. It was kind of intense. I almost canceled the meeting ...
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Sexy Spending and the Boring Things That Make it Possible

It’s easy to ignore my body. Sure, it’s there… I see it. But it rarely seems to be the crucial element in what I’m trying to do. I normally focus on just one or two elements. When I’m singing most of those elements are around my head and throat area (with only the rarest of thoughts to the whole ‘breathing apparatus’). When I’m wearing my financial planner hat… it’s my brain that I’m most gets my attention. Those are the body parts right? Except that it’s not nearly that simple, and because you’re smarter than me… you already know that ...
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Ideal Financial Solutions Don’t Work

It would be so nice to be able to make financial decisions in a vacuum. To just freeze the world, so you had time to sit with the problem and figure out a great solution. But this stupid thing happens almost every time... Life. Sometimes it’s good life, and sometimes it’s nasty life … but it always happens. And the problem that you thought you were trying to solve morphs into something different. Ideal solutions rarely exist (and when they do, they don’t last) There are times when I think my job as a financial planner is to come up ...
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How Does Canada Tax You When You Earn in Other Countries

This is a classic opera singer/digital nomad type question, and like every tax question… it can get super complicated. Tax stuff is tricky when you’re dealing with one country, let alone two or three or all of them. The best advice I could possibly give is to find an accountant that you trust to help you navigate the nitty gritties of filing your taxes. Everyone is different, and so one-on-one advice from someone who knows your numbers is the best thing. But I wanted to give you a few bullet points that I hope will help. How your taxes work ...
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I’m Chris. I’m an opera-singing financial planner, and I want to help you start getting control over your money. 

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