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Decade by decade, these are our worst money mistakes

Hand holding a roll of green bank notes against wooden table.

Now, this is useful. A writer for the Wall Street Journal looks at the money mistakes people make in every decade from their twenties to their sixties and beyond. It's a great reminder that personal finance isn't an absolute thing. Sure, there are broad, universally applicable principles like living below your means. But the concerns of a millennial are a lot different than those of 40-year-olds juggling a mortgage and daycare.

For instance, millennials sometimes play it too safe in their investing. In their 40s, people sometimes make the mistake of misjudging big expenses like mortgages and kids.

Differing needs for differing demographics is a big reason why we created the Gen Y Money hub on It's full of career, budgeting and investing tips designed specifically for young adults. We also have a retirement hub focused on people who are planning their retirement or already there, and a broader personal finance hub.

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Are you getting value from Netflix?
If you're a Netflix subscriber like me, you'll find this comparison interesting. It looks at the depth and quality of movies in the Netflix database of various countries, including Canada. We actually compare pretty well.

A master class in price matching
I respect people who use price matching, where they ask a retailer to match the lower price of a competitor. But I'm not crazy about getting behind price matchers in the grocery store checkout line. Time is money, too. Click here to check out the price-matching policy at a bunch of high profile store chains.

How to spot a liar
Useful intel if you're dealing with sellers of investment products that sound too good to be true.

Why Starbucks isn't a waste of money
A financial planner writes about the value she gets from the money she spends on coffee and a bagel. More perspective here on why spending a few bucks at Starbucks isn't the personal finance disaster it's often made out to be.

Real estate rule-breakers
CBC's Marketplace program catches real estate agents behaving unethically in Toronto's hot market in order to double their commissions. Worth a read of you're buying or selling a house.

This is what the world's oldest person eats
It's a frugal diet, no question.

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Today's featured financial tool
Looking for help in managing your investments – TFSAs, RRSPs and more? Consider one of the low-cost robo-advisers covered in the 2016 Globe and Mail Robo-adviser Guide.

Ask Rob
The question: "I find it hard to trust financial advisors. I think they are only out to make money for themselves and I've heard so many rip off stories. How can I find a trustworthy advisor?"

My reply: "Suggest you ask friends, family co-workers and business contacts for referrals to advisers they use and like. Also look at advisers near your home or workplace. Check them out online and make a shortlist of three or so to interview. Ask for credentials, services provided, fees charged and whether they are a seller of investments or a provider of more broad-based financial planning. Here's a column I wrote in which a financial industry veteran talked about how he found an adviser."

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can't answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length.

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Do people in the LGBT community worry more about retirement?

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For more money stories, follow me on Twitter and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group.

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About the Author
Personal Finance Columnist

Rob Carrick has been writing about personal finance, business and economics for close to 20 years. He joined The Globe and Mail in late 1996 as an investment reporter and has been personal finance columnist since November 1998.Rob's personal finance columns appear in The Globe on Tuesday and Thursday, and his Portfolio Strategy column for investors appears on Saturday. More


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