Make a Plan-Work the Plan

Its been a while since I’ve written any Blog entries and there’s a good reason for that..

If you’ve read any of my past entries, hopefully you realize I say what I mean and practice what I preach…

This past summer my family and I took the leap of putting our retirement plans into high gear. We bought a house in Galway Ireland. Yes, the place where the “Galway Girl” song is about. Our transition to Ireland was made easier simply because my wife was Born there and is a citizen. She also had the foresight of applying for Irish passports when the children were born. I being married to an Irish Citizen, made it seamless to obtain a work and live permit, locally referred to as a Stamp4 Visa, or as we know it a PR Card (Permanent Resident).

Once that was sorted we found a house close to town and I found a co-working space to support my clients back in Canada. Cost of living comparisons are below:

Food = Same to lower in Ireland especially for meats.
Personal taxes = Equal to those in Canada, Corporate taxes are famously lower here
which attracts a lot of multi-national business
Property taxes < Sooo much lower here. I’ve saved 4,000 a year

Healthcare > in Canada.. but it is subsidized in Ireland including hospital
stays and medicines. Doctor and non-hospital costs are pay as you go. Insurance is available at 1,000 euro/year
Community >Here in Galway, it can’t be beat.

At 50, I’ve been asked why so early? The reason we are working our plan is simple. If you have the financial and personal means to do something at any point in your life you should do it. Waiting for the right time means that time could never come. Too many of my clients are still working because of unforeseen variables or events, and can’t retire. Others didn’t even make it to retirement.

Having options is the most important thing about personal and financial freedom. Without actions there can be no options or opportunity. We never know what’s around the corner or what tomorrow will bring. Better to seize the day or the opportunity when you can rather than wait for “the right time”. The right time may never come.

Options are freedom.

Till next time



So who carries cash, anyway? — Harmonious Groove

A good reference for those organizations who don’t keep up with technology and customer preferences. Like water, Customers will flow to the path of least resistance….

So Salvation Army donations for 2018 are down, at least in Florida. In Manatee County, for example, donations are down $30,000 so far this year. The lower contributions mean that services cannot be provided to their fullest extent, and shelters may run out of available beds. What’s driving this drop? I believe part of the […]

via So who carries cash, anyway? — Harmonious Groove

Key takeaways from Turmoil

I haven’t written much lately, and that’s been for a variety of reasons. The most important being that I had to ensure clients capital was sheltered from what seems like Tsunami’s of bad news. Not much changing to do, just some re-balancing into less risky investments and continuing to hold our oldies but goodies.

Some of my observations or takeaways over the last few months:

  1. Don’t panic, analyze
  2. Ensure you always have enough cash on hand in case of an emergency (worst case scenario)
  3. Make sure you have adequate Insurance on all hard assets, including your lives
  4. Believe in your ability and instincts
  5. Never rely on others to help you out financially
  6. Never assume someone in authority is smarter than you are
  7. Question what seems too good to be true
  8. You always get what your pay for.
  9. Consistency always pays off
  10. Take care of yourself and your health (mentally and physically)

Stay sharp, stay committed and stay focused




Independence is the key to prosperity

With the world up in arms over several disputes, trade, human rights, or immigration, politicians and people alike are finally getting the message. Life is not fair. The world economy is not fair. Living standards and human rights are all over the place. Many of the recent disputes are adding fuel to these issues. How do we cope. Very simply.

Do our own thing. We in Canada can self-sustain our population very easily. We have energy, agriculture, resources,  space and the talent required to be self-sufficient. Tensions would be reduced if we adopted policies that encouraged national interests over political/environmental ones. When you know that you can be self-reliant you don’t sweat the small stuff. America knows this. Time for Canada to wake up and do our own thing.

Put up or Shut up…Chrystia/Justin

Build more pipelines, Factories and Refineries here.

Make Canada Greater Again!





10 Questions to ask any Advisor

These cheeky questions should help you decide whether to listen to their opinions or not.

  1. Have they ever run a business or been responsible for a large operation.
  2. Where do they invest their personal funds.
  3. Are they personally wealthy.
  4. How are they making their money.
  5. What is their track record over 3-5-10years.
  6. How long have they held their personal investments.
  7. Have they ever lost money for a client, if so, how often
  8. How many clients do they have
  9. How do they attract new clients
  10. What’s their goal for retirement and when.

These questions should help you determine if your advisor is worth listening to and investing with. Experience, transparency, and personal service, should all be considered before trusting any advisor with your hard-earned money.

Rick Barbosa.






Leading a Horse to Water

It’s a classic saying, yet never more appropriate than when it’s applied to professional advisors in any field. Be it medical, legal, counselling or financial. All professions that deal with the public can relate to this expression. In the beginning I used to cringe when good advice fell on deaf ears. But as I matured and raised a family, I learned to let things play out.

Failure is good. We forget about that. I’ll borrow a line from Batman and use these lines as a great reference;

“Why do we fall down Master Bruce?” “So we learn how to get back up Alfred”.

Our culture and especially our families have become too protective over failure, to the point of stifling effort. In sports the score does matter. It provides a clear indication of ones reward or effort and also spurs reflection and drive for those on the wrong end of the scorecard.  Life is similar. It owes you nothing. Sooner or later you will learn its harsh realities. The longer you prolong or protect individuals from these lessons, the harder it will be for them to learn from them.

Parents, Teachers, Counsellors, Lawyers, Doctors and yes Accountants, are all there to help us make good decisions. As professionals, we must also understand that not taking our advice is also sometimes necessary for the greater good. I know I have learned the hard way several times, and wish I had just listened the first time. I also know that these consequences made me who and what I am today.

Rick Barbosa


Unintended Consequences…You get what you vote for.

Canada’s push to legalize pot is running into more opposition, this time from a realtor group that says home cultivation could cause property damage. In testimony to a Senate committee in Ottawa, Michael Bourque, head of the Canadian Real Estate Association, flagged risks associated with cultivating cannabis plants, such as the spread of mould and…

via Growing four pot plants inside is still enough to wreck your house, realtors warn — Financial Post