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My (new) RRSP headache with TD Canada Trust

If you follow me on Twitter, over the past few days you will have probably noticed my irritated tweets about how much I hate TD Canada Trust at the moment. It’s just one problem after another with them it seems. And the only reason I’m still a customer is because their e-series mutual funds can’t be beat.

Anyway, this all started when I needed to withdraw those lovely TD Canada Trust e-series mutual funds out of my account for the First Time Home Buyer’s Plan. Seems simple enough, right? I’ve never heard of anyone else having a problem, so I was shocked to say the least when I ran into issue after issue. Here’s what I did:

  1. Made an appointment at a local branch. The man there – although nice enough – told me that he would not be able to help me get my mutual funds out of my account, because they were e-series funds. He even called his internal help desk to verify his answer. He told me to call Easy Line telephone banking and they can walk me through how to do it by myself online.
  2. I went online and tried to figure out how to do it myself. No such luck.
  3. I call Easy Line. They don’t know what to do, and tell me to go back to the branch. After I tell her that I was already at a branch, we spent the next 18 minutes going back and forth. Then the rep puts me on hold, and the call disconnects. Awesome!
  4. I call Easy Line again. They tell me that they can’t do anything, and to go to a branch.
  5. I go to a local branch, hopeful of a walk-in appointment. The person says all mutual fund transactions need to go through Easy Line.
  6. I call another local branch to make an appointment (because I think the previous person was wrong). He puts me on hold to find out. Then he never comes back (8 minutes on hold). I hang up.
  7. I call Easy Line again. The woman tells me to go back to a branch and have them walk me through the steps. UGH.
  8. I make an appointment and go into a branch. The woman calls her internal help desk, and then tells me she has nothing to do with e-series funds and to call Easy Line. Or I could do it myself online.
  9. I get angry on Twitter. The person monitoring TD’s Twitter account said she will get back to me and “we’ll figure this out together.” As of writing this article, I still have not heard from them (3 days).
  10. I call Easy Line. AGAIN. The guy who answered was kind of rude and tells me that it’s impossible to do it myself online, and doesn’t know why anyone would tell me to do that (even though TWO people told me I could do it online). He made me feel like it was my fault this was all happening, and went on to say that nobody at his department was going to be able to help me. He told me that I needed to fax a piece of paper into their offices in Toronto, and then the process can get started. A piece of paper!? Why didn’t any of the other billion people I spoke to tell me about a piece of paper and a fax number? Ugh.
  11. I fax in the piece of paper.
  12. I call Easy Line and finally get a rep who offers me a solution. Relieved. But it’s not over yet.
  13. Now, I need to make ANOTHER appointment at a branch in order to finalize the transaction.

So that’s where we stand, after 4 extremely frustrating days. If all goes according to plan, I should have $25,000 from my RRSPs sitting in my chequing account by tomorrow. Thursday at the latest. Fingers crossed!

Let me finish off by saying that it’s not the process that is irritating to me. I don’t care if there are 27 steps to cashing out my RRSPs. I’ll do them all and jump through every hoop necessary, just as long as I know exactly what I need to be doing. It’s the fact that nobody at the bank seemed to know how to help me. No one knew the answer to my questions, and I kept getting passed back and forth between Easy Line customer service and the branch. I felt like nobody cared about me or what I needed to get done. The only cared about the fact that they couldn’t help me, and never once offered a solution. Not only did it waste hours of my time, it left me feeling extremely frustrated and angry.

Realizing my dream of home ownership

As you know, I’ve been going to open houses and viewing appointments for the past three weeks. Well, earlier this week, my Realtor and I went to view a super cute 1-bedroom townhouse in a great neighbourhood. In fact, I’ve been admiring that building complex for years because it’s right down the road from my gym. After seeing a few other places and waiting a couple of days, we decided to go see it again. And this time I really analyzed it. I considered the location and space based on where I see myself over the next few years, my budget, and of course it’s value.

The next day, I had a friend at my old job (real estate office) pull some reports on the property. And after meeting with my Realtor to discuss comparables and numbers that we were comfortable with, we put in an offer. Then came two stressful evenings of negotiations before we finally agreed on a final price last night.

Which means: I AM A HOME OWNER! :D

As I’m sure most of you can tell, I am a  level-headed person who does not make spontaneous financial decisions. This achievement represents the last 5 years of hard work, hustle, and determination. I can also say with absolute certainty that I was very practical in staying within this price range. The mortgage is a comfortable amount based on only my full-time income. It does not consider my PT job, freelance, or blogging income.

This entire process, from start to finish, was done with just my Realtor. I never thought I’d have to make such an important decision on my own, so I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to have found someone so great to work with. I also think for first-time home buyers, having an amazing Realtor is absolutely key in the buying process. He went above and beyond, and I really credit him with making sure I was comfortable every step of the way. I felt like he understood where I was coming from, and he made what could have been an overwhelming process, into something fun and exciting. I trusted his opinions and negotiation tactics, but most importantly, I never felt pressured.

When it was all said and done – I feel like we got the best price possible we could have gotten for the townhouse. And, the biggest bonus to this entire transaction is that I will be able to move in before the end of the month. Which makes everything just about a million times easier for me logistically, and will save me a lot of time and money.

It’s such an overwhelming situation to have your life change so drastically in the course of just a few weeks. But I am so happy with the place, and even though it will be weird to be on my own, I am excited to start new and shake things up.

So, now comes examining the strata minutes, hiring a home inspector, and getting my finances in order.

Life changes, and moving on

Many of you saw a mysterious tweet of mine a few days ago, talking about big changes happening in my life. Now that the dust has settled a bit, I can share the news with you.

I broke up with BF.
This has come as a shock to a lot of people. We have been together for 3.5 years, and never really let on that anything was wrong. Even though for me personally, this has been a long time coming, it is still incredibly difficult to deal with as you can imagine. Of course, because mutual friends and loved ones read this blog, I’m not going to go into the details about why this has happened. The decision came after a lot of serious thought about where I see myself in the future, and has nothing to do with anything that he has done. He is an amazing person, and I truly wish the best for him.

Moving forward, I will be okay. I’d like to think that I’m independent and resourceful. I have a great job, I have friends and family that care about me, and I have hobbies that will keep me busy. Still, I can’t help but be heartbroken and saddened that I’ve lost my best friend.

I am going to buy a place on my own.
The property search will continue. For the longest time, I thought I’d never be able to buy a place on my own. It scared me. But over the past few months, I’ve come to realize that I can do this by myself. While it’s not the most important thing in my life, it’s been my #1 goal since I started the process of getting out of debt. And now that I am finally in a position to buy a place, I can’t believe I’m doing it in Vancouver – where I never thought I’d end up (I’m an island girl at heart). But it’s the right place for me to be, and I’m very excited.

There you have it. Life changes sometimes, and it’s hard, and scary, and overwhelming. But I firmly believe that how you deal and react to these kinds of situations really sets the tone for the future and shapes you as a person. You learn from everything you do, and you just have to move forward knowing that you’re stronger because of it.

And now, a little “Chin Up, Cheer Up” by Ryan Adams.

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