Interesting news preceded WorldPride Week in Toronto this past June when multitudes within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) community gathered for what was heralded as an unprecedented occasion. It was the first ever “WorldPride” event held in North America. Streets hosted parades, parks hosted parties, and locals hosted strangers. But as everyone was preparing to whoop it up, a report from the Bank of Montreal (BMO) dropped a bit of rain on the celebration. Indeed, the report raised a few eyebrows as it looked into issues surrounding so-called “pink dollars.” Turns out that while same-sex couples in Canada have been making great strides on social and legal fronts in recent years, many of them still face hurdles involving personal financial planning.
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I’m going to throw it right out there. I’m a renter in my thirties. Please control your shock and horror and resist your urge to try and make me understand that this is a terrible financial mistake. I’ve heard all of the arguments in favour of buying a home many times before. Over dinner on first dates, while having drinks with friends and at every family event for the last ten years. According to the ‘Toronto Life’ two million is the new one million in Toronto real estate. The truth of the matter is, as a single person living in Toronto who is not making six figures, I actually can’t afford to buy my own place. You would think that this unTorontonian financial candour would end the conversation right there but it doesn’t. There are always the suggestions that I move out of the city to say, Brampton or Caledon like one of my friends did recently and commute. Not an option; ever. Or buy a fixer upper in say, Barrie then do it up and rent it out. Not an option since I’m not Handy Manny. My old school aunt, bless her, even suggested that I ‘shack up’ just for the second income and a shot at the property ladder before it’s too late.
Another suggestion I often hear is, “buy a condo!” One of those fancy shoe boxes in the sky. To be honest, I have thought of that and even looked into it. Almost threw down everything I have to put a deposit on a preconstruction unit. Move in date 2017. Only this one was a baby shoe box and was so low down you could likely see into it from the street like those lower units that sit on the Gardiner. But I have to tell you that once I sat down and did the [click to continue…]