making a will

These are the key life skills we wished we learned through the Ontario school system

While high school may be a very distant memory for some of us, there are certain skills we learned that are still applicable every day as an adult. But, there are a number of skills that we didn't learn in our teenage years, many of which could really help us with the growing demands of daily life.

Sure, the students who went on to pursue certain lines of work may have benefited from learning" y=Mx+b" or "sine and cosine," but for many of us, this information has had little-to-no practical application once we left Grade 11 math class.

Elective courses like auto shop and home economics gave us the option to learn car basics — knowing how to change a flat tire is key — or how to generally maintain a family household, but there are a ton of aspects of banking, for instance, that most adults wish they'd been able to learn in school with the proper support.

There are also important concepts, like knowing when and why to make your will, which is an absolute necessity, and where to turn for guidance. Though our school system may have overlooked that information, companies like ClearEstate are thankfully here to fill that knowledge gap. 

Below are some important concepts we perhaps should've learned in school, and many will turn to outside resources for practical information regarding them:

Mortgage basics

While few people can actually afford to buy a house in and around Toronto, home ownership is a goal for most of us — and yet, school never taught us what a mortgage is and how it works!

The fact that interest rates have been rising for months amid record inflation makes it an important topic of conversation that really needs to be understood. 

Unfortunately, it will likely be a mortgage advisor at your bank or a third-party firm that shows you the ropes when you're ready to take the step toward home ownership.

Budgeting and investing

Financial woes are some of the most stressful, and basic money management — including stocks, RRSPs and other types of investing — is something most of us had to learn on our own.

While the internet is full of resources for self-education, talking to a financial advisor is the best bet to find what types of investments might work for you depending on the amount you're willing to invest, for how long, and what level of risk you're willing to take.

The Ford government finally added the building blocks of financial literacy into the general curriculum for Grade 9 students in fall 2021, but you'd have to be born after 2010 to benefit from that revision.

Creating a will

Most Canadian adults — more than 50 per cent — don't have a will in place for when they pass, meaning their last wishes for their belongings, funds, and more remain a big question mark if something were to ever happen to them.

Every adult should have a will in place, and there are a ton of common misconceptions about will-making out there:

  • Misconception 1: That you only have to think about making one in your later years. This is wrong — all adults should have one regardless of their age or life status. Whether it's a chequing account or a home, and whether you have pets or children, if you have assets of any value and personal items that are special to you, you'll want to be able to say what happens to all of them when the time comes, making sure your loved ones are protected and taken care of.
  • Misconception 2: That you need to pay a lawyer to help craft one. Again, that's false. 

Through ClearEstate, you can make your own lawyer-approved, legally valid will through a super easy, step-by-step process, and you’ll have access to professionals if you need any help.

And, you can get the service completely for free if you visit the company's Facebook or Instagram page — just hit follow, like a post and tag a friend or share to your Stories and they will send you a link to make your own custom will online, free of charge.

The Canadian fintech startup, which is based in Montreal with offices in Toronto, can also help with other types of estate planning and estate settlement services, so check them out to fill the gap and make sure all your affairs are in order.

Lead photo by

Supplied by ClearEstate

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