Millionaires in Poverty

This may sound like a dumb topic. Why would a millionaire live in poverty?

We see it all the time, though. 

People living in a paid off home worth more than $1 million while living on an income of $20,000/year before tax.

I believe this is caused by the belief that your home is your retirement.

Millionaires in poverty have 5 options – all 5 of which are stupid.

Watch the YouTube video or listen to my podcast episode to find out:

  • The #1 option we recommend for retirees who own their homes.
  • How to downsize effectively.
  • The BIG mistake in investing.
  • The key benefits of self-made dividends.
  • How to tolerate risk.


Planning With Ed


Ed Rempel has helped thousands of Canadians become financially secure. He is a fee-for-service financial planner, tax  accountant, expert in many tax & investment strategies, and a popular and passionate blogger.

Ed has a unique understanding of how to be successful financially based on extensive real-life experience, having written nearly 1,000 comprehensive personal financial plans.

The “Planning with Ed” experience is about your life, not just money. Your Financial Plan is the GPS for your life.

Get your plan! Become financially secure and free to live the life you want.


  1. Ed Rempel on October 29, 2023 at 2:03 PM

    Hi Andy,

    A full OAS pension is about $9,000/year. A full CPP pension is about $15,000/year, however most people get noticeably less than the maximum. The average actual CPP Canadians receive is about $9,000/year.

    $20,000 is an estimate of roughly what most retirees get from the 2. A couple would receive about $40,000.


  2. Ed Rempel on October 29, 2023 at 12:05 PM

    Hi Kenn,

    Stay in your home and take out a mortgage to invest is only a recommended strategy for the right people done the right way over the long-term. It works for many of our clients, but not necessarily for most people.

    It is a method to get cash flow for your retirement from your home equity. It is an aggressive strategy, but the goal of it is key.

    For example, you have a $1 million home. You can borrow up to $800,000 (assuming you can qualify) to invest. A long-term average rate is about 5% (although higher today). The interst costs you between 3-4% after your tax savings. You choose a a relatively sustainable withdrawal rate from your investments between 4-6%/year and use it to pay the interest with some extra to help your lifestyle. In this example, you would have between 8,000/year and $24,000/year higher retirement cash flow. You also get tax refunds and sometimes higher government benefits.

    A withdrawal rate of over 4%/year from equity investments is risky, but still usually sustainable long-term. You need to manage it. In practice, equity investments tend to grow signicantly more the 40-6%/year over time, so you can usually slowly increase your retirement cash flow over the years.

    All of this is considered too risky for most retired people, from borrowing to invest, investing in a high-equity portfolio and using the investments to pay your interest. It should only be done by higher risk, knowledgeable investors or with professional help.

    This can also be part of a larger strategy. For example, the most effective way to eventually pay off the tax-deductible mortgage is when you sell your home. You withdraw quite a bit from your investments, so it is possible they are worth less than the mortgage at some points. However, if the mortgage will eventually paid off by selling your home, then you can think of your $800,000 investments as a portfolio to provide you with retirement cash flow.

    In effect, this is spending your equity slowly over time in an effective way that will probably grow your net worth over time as well.

    This could also be part of an RRIF melt-down strategy. Take out a mortgage or credit line so that your interst payment is paid by your RRIF withdrawal. The interest deduction offsets your RRIF withdrawal, so this is a tax neutral strategy. Now withdraw from your non-registered leveraged investments for your retirement lifestyle. You can have a similar or higher cash flow with a lot less tax.

    These are just a couple examples. Including it as one piece of a Financial Plan is the most effective way to do this.


  3. Andy on September 3, 2023 at 11:49 AM

    Hi Ed,
    Can you elaborate where is the income of $20,000 / year before tax come from? Average CPP + OAS is ~20,000, so as a couple 40,000?

  4. Kenn Hill on August 15, 2023 at 1:39 PM

    I would like to see a worked example of your recommended stay in your home and take out a mortgage to invest. Is there one?


  5. Ed Rempel on August 4, 2022 at 10:32 PM

    Hi Peggy,

    We are fee-for-service financial planners. Our fees for financial planning and the fees our elite portfolio managers charge are fully disclosed here: .

    We selected these elite portfolio managers after a detailed search. We look for portfolio managers that have track records outperforming their index after fees, where we believe it is skill, and when we are confident in their process.

    Independent portfolio managers are the elite investors in Canada. They are the only investors with a fiduciary duty to do what is in your best interest.

    We closely monitor the accounts for our Full Service clients. They are a key part of their Financial Plan and on-going advice to provide the life they want. We need to remain confident in the portfolio managers.

    If you email me on a Contact Us form, I can send you the latest published returns of our portfolio managers compared to their index. I can tell you that 100% of my personal investments are with one of our portfolio managers invested the same as our clients.


  6. Ed Rempel on August 4, 2022 at 10:19 PM

    Hi Peggy,

    The only ways to evaluate if you have high quality investments are:

    1. Learn about investments and how to analyze them. This is very difficult for a novice investor.
    2. Invest in a broad index. You will have a mix of low quality and high quality investments, but they perform well over time.
    3. Finad an advisor you can trust. Learning who you can and cannot trust is a skill that is important for everyone to learn, not just for investing. The big banks are big sales organization, so probably not a place to find an advisor you can trust.


  7. Ed Rempel on August 4, 2022 at 10:06 PM

    Hi Margaret,

    I have a team of fee-for-service financial planners. We help you plan your life and make your money work for you. We don’t do investments ourselves, but refer to elite portfolio managers that have track records outperforming their index, and that we believe is skill and are confident with them. 100% of my personal investments is with one of our portfolio managers invested the same as our clients.

    The best way for you to invest depends on a few factors, such as the return you need for the lifestyle you want, your risk tolerance, and tax-efficiency. With your investments all in GICs and dividend stocks, you generate a lot of taxable income, which means you probably pay more tax than necessary.

    I would suggest you start by working out how much cash flow you need for the lifestyle you want. Then look at how to invest to provide that cash flow after tax. You need to invest within your risk tolerance, because risk tolerance is a leared skill.

    If you learn about the stock market and what investments are really like, you can learn to get comfortable with it. The stock market has significant declines typically a couple times per decade, but is surprisingly reliable over long-term periods of time. For example, the worst 25-year calendar return of the S&P500 since 1930 has been 8%/year. Higher risk tolerance will most likely give you signficantly higher income over the long-term, but you need to own investments where you won’t panic and sell when they decline.

    The process of working out the lifestyle you want, minimizing tax, planning all your cash flow, and deciding what types of investments to own are all of a Financial Plan. You would probably benefit a lot and live more comfortably after you have a Financial Plan.

    Our services and fees for financial planning and for our portfolio managers are fully disclosed here: .


  8. peggy on June 9, 2022 at 3:29 PM

    What fees or income do you earn from “Our Full Service includes referral…”; do you monitor a person’s account that you refer to this manager to ensure it is earning what is should? Can you give me results of this fund over 10 years, please? Thanks.

  9. peggy on June 9, 2022 at 3:21 PM

    “the only way you lose…”, that’s the big question, how can a person ensure they have high quality investments? When you put your trust in an advisor from one of the big banking firms, what are the ways a novice investor can evaluate IF they’ve put you in ‘high quality investments’, what are the key factors to look for? Thanks.

  10. Ed Rempel on June 7, 2022 at 11:13 PM

    Hi Margaret,

    Our Full Service includes referral to an elite portfolio manager that we have selected who we expect to continue to outperform the index after fees. Our All Star Fund Manager portfolio manager has an elite group of fund managers that all have 15-30 year track records beating the index after all fees. Our Index Plus portfolio manager charges his fee mainly based on how much he beats the index.

    If you are a conservative investor focused on blue chip dividend stocks, you should expect to have returns lower than the index. Reducing short-term volatility almost always means lower long-term returns. There is nothing wrong with this, if you are more comofortable and can still live the way you want with the lower returns.

    You can learn the skill of having a higher risk tolerance. Get educated on stock markets and learn how to stay optimistic during declines.

    The stock market has recovered from 100% of declines in history. The only way you lose money is if you have low quality investments or if you sell when your investments are down.


  11. Margaret on June 3, 2022 at 3:39 PM

    You mention ‘we invest’, do you make investments on behalf of your clients? What fees do you earn for doing that? I’m currently with one of the large investment firms (DS), I’m not getting the returns from my stocks that you mention, I had told them they must be blue chip dividend stocks. I’m very conservative having lost money in the market previously, most of my savings are in GICs. What do you advise? Thank you. Margaret.

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