Category Archives: finances

The minimalist retirement wardrobe

It is tempting to hold on to work clothes but it is at the expense of freeing up room in your closet and house. I lot of my work clothes are kind of dated anyway. Joe Fresh has almost everything you need. Yes I know their hiring practices in Bangeldesh has been controversial but you can’t beat the prices,  the styling and there are no snooty ageist sales people. I have converted many of my friends who don’t shop at the Salvation Army.   What is about baby boomers that draws them to the Salvation Army?

Yes you need a three season wardrobe in Vancouver. Don’t forget Junuary. Are you working part time? Ok let’s say you need business casual two days a week. Save something from your work wardrobe. Laundry once every 2 weeks. If you do laundry once a week you can do with less.

Work wardrobe all year round

  • 1 pair Black pants
  • 1 long black/grey/burgundy warm sweater
  • 4 long sleeve t-shirts any colour or colours
  • 4 short sleeve t shirts any colour or colours
  • 4 pairs black socks
  • 1 Pair black shoes/runners depending on dress code
  • 2 scarves – warm, fancy etc to dress up wardrobe and keep neck warm.

This takes care of 4/14 days all year round

Autumn WearAutumn Wear Up to 61% Off

Winter/Spring/Fall in Vancouver

  • Tights – 1 pair black, I multicolor for fun
  • 10 long sleeve t-shirts -various colours
  • One jeans jacket (can wear to work).

Summer in Vancouver/Travelling south in the winter

    • Knee length tights – 2 pair, black and multicolour.
    • 2 pairs LLBean Comfort trail shorts because the waist is adjustable, they are stretchy, quick dry, will last forever, good for travelling south in the winter and Joe Fresh doesn’t have shorts that are loose fitting. Black and khaki. $ 50.00 US.
    • The LL Bean Comfort trail cropped pants-1 pair when tights or shorts are too exposed or cooler weather.
    • 10 short sleeve t-shirts various colours and styles
    • Two dresses with short sleeves. Can wear to work in heat wave.

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You will seldom need: Sundresses, tank tops, tops with spaghetti straps, bathing suits. Vancouver is pretty casual so the work wardrobe can work for upscale events. I seldom wear wool sweaters in the winter here. Layers are the best way to go as the weather changes hourly and from area to area in the city.

Outerwear

Winter

  • Down coat, knee length. It can be very windy and the dampness goes right through you. I have not found one that that I can recommend. Still looking for one with some neck protection.
  • Short lighter weight down jacket – Eddie Bauer and North Face have lots to choose from.
  • Windproof shell you can wear over short down or fleece jacket.
  • Rain coat with lining Hely Hansen is my favourite because it has a zip up collar at the neck, a two way zipper and flannel line pockets as well as a light weight lining.

 

Condos that have passed by-laws against short term rentals… What can you do if you want to rent your condo out on a short term basis?

Background

In the fall of 2017 the property management company for my condo passed a bylaw to ban rentals of less than one year.  The property management company seemed to think there has been complaints about disruption of residents’ peace and quiet due to short term rentals.   The ban includes rentals, home exchanges and rentals to home stay students. Most owners in the building are in their 40’s and I am one of the few seniors in the building. The controversy around housing in Vancouver and Airbnb has been ongoing for several years and the clamp down on Airbnb rentals is collateral damage.

Municipal policy and regulations

“City of Vancouver Short-Term Residential Rental Policy 2018  implemented new regulations concerning the operation of short-term rentals through services such as Airbnb and VRBO, with the objective of protecting Vancouver’s long-term rental supply, encouraging neighbourhood fit, enabling supplemental income for operators, supporting the tourism industry, ensuring health and safety, promoting tax and regulatory equity, and encouraging regulatory compliance”.

The city wants more short term rentals and has made an arrangement with Airbnb to monitor the licensing, supply and safety of accommodation. The City of Vancouver has specifically set up the licensing program to support short term rentals in Vancouver.  This involves buying a business license for $100 which is required when creating a listing on Airbnb. You are not eligible to buy a business license if your strata council does not permit short term rentals.  Thus the bylaw passed by the strata council is contrary to the direction in the City of Vancouver.

The city has a list of requirements for the business licenseBefore you apply for a license:

Strata properties   Make sure your building’s strata bylaws allow for short-term rentals.

Building and fire safety   Confirm your home is a legal dwelling unit.   Provide 24-7 contact information.   Post a fire plan at all entrances and exits.   Have interconnected smoke alarms on every floor and in every bedroom.   Have a working and accessible fire extinguisher on every floor.   Have carbon monoxide detectors on every floor if there are gas appliances.   Have a fire alarm in the building if it has more than three dwelling units or 10 occupants.   By January 1, 2023, have an automated sprinkler system or fire separation between units with at least a 45 minute fire-resistance rating, unless a higher resistance rating is required for the building type by the Building Bylaw or Fire Bylaw, if your short-term rental accommodation is attached to another dwelling unit.   Inspect, test annually, and keep related records for smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors.   Review your insurance policies and cover any costs or damages that come from operating your short-term rental business.

How widespread is this problem of strata councils banning short term rentals? Where did it all start? What is the perceived vs actual risk.

  • New South Wales has banned restrictions on strata councils restricting short term rentals and found no evidence of negative impact of short term rentals.
  • In Queensland, it is written into the act that strata bylaws can’t be passed which restrict the lawful use of a property (so if council zoning allows something, then nothing strata can do about it).

Here is what I have done to try to get around the problem and resolve the issue.

I have submitted a letter to my strata council to exempt me from the regulations.

In accordance with the requirements of the Strata Property Act, please accept this letter as my application for an exemption from our rental restriction bylaw # 2.12 on the grounds of  financial hardship and I believe I am exempt from the rental bylaws as I purchased my unit prior to Oct 31 2005.  I also believe that a 5 week rental will have minimal impact on anyone and that a short term rental is keeping with the policy adopted by the City of Vancouver re: short term rentals. Furthermore the Strata Council Act grants a one year exemption to a bylaw that prohibits or limits rentals. As per the Strata Property Act, I am requesting a hearing with the strata council to discuss this matter should you feel the grounds for exemption are not adequate. I understand that an exemption granted by the strata corporation may be for a limited time and that the strata corporation may not unreasonably refuse to grant an exemption

So what processes are in place to fix this problem?

  1. The strata council can rescind or revise the bylaw.
  2. The strata council can grandfather in my suite so that the by-law will not apply to my suite as long as I am the owner
  3. I can apply for a waiver of the by-law based on financial hardship as suggested by the Civil Disputes Resolution.  The Civil Disputes resolution site has a place where you can make a complaint about anything to do with the strata council and they said that a strata council cannot limit your rentals if you have a case for financial hardship.
  4. I can make a complaint to the City of Vancouver about the strata council limiting short term rentals as this is contrary to the policy of the City of Vancouver. See The VanConnect app.
  5. There is a one year exemption from the date of passing of Rental Bylaws according to the Strata Property Act.

Have you had any success keeping your condo open to short term rentals?   What have you done?

 

Reporting Tax Fraud

The first order of the day was to report a call from Ontario purporting to me be from Canada Revenue regarding tax fraud.  It is the supreme irony that a fraudster is calling me inferring that I have committed fraud.  I spent about 15 minutes to find the right place to report this and I include it here for your future reference.  This is the third call I have had like this in the past couple of months.

In order to report you have to log in with the password you may already have for the Government of Canada.  The reporting form is rather awkward but I persevered.  If you can get it to save your information just delete the section and hit Next.

The corruption of evidence-based medicine – Diet Doctor

http://blog.oxfordseminars.ca/our-grad-talks-about-tattooing-and-teaching-english-in-china/
For anyone thinking about a new career teaching English as a second language with low barriers to entry and opportunities for travel, this article tells you how to do it.

 

Thoughts on Gratitude, Donuts and The Art of Asking –

Another thoughtful post from Smart Living on asking for what you want and being  persistent in asking.  As someone else has said, if you ask and you don’t get, you are just asking the wrong person.

https://www.smartliving365.com/thoughts-on-gratitude-donuts-and-the-art-of-asking/

How to Make Money in Retirement: 14 Real Ways to Boost Income

https://www.newretirement.com/retirement/how-to-make-money-in-retirement-14-ideas/?nr_a=symph&nr_placement=symph&nr_medium=email&nr_creative=Blog_2018_02A&nr_campaign=BlogDigest&nr_keyword=2018_02_09&utm_medium=email&utm_source=symph&utm_content=BlogDigest2018_02A&utm_campaign=BlogDigest

Robert Powell What I’ve learned over 14 years of covering the depressing but crucial topic of retirement – MarketWatch

Robert Powell seems like  guru on the finances of retirement. He’s seen it all, the fads and the fallacies and sums it up nicely in this lengthy and in depth article.. his last for Market Watch.   Get a coffee and bonder his observations.