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Trends Spotlight: Getting Back to Basics

If this past year underscored one thing, it was the importance of appreciating the basics — our health, our family and friends, our finances, our home. A lot of the other concerns we stress and obsess about don’t seem to matter as much.
That realization is leading many to take stock and make sure the most basic and satisfying elements of our lives are taken care of.

Here’s a practical checklist to help you get started:

    • Schedule annual physicals for yourself and members of your family as well as a visit to the dentist.
    • Research and buy affordable life and long-term disability insurance or, if you already have policies, review them with your financial advisor to make sure they’ll protect you if and when you need them
    • Review your finances, file your taxes, contribute to your RRSP, TFSA and/or rainy day fund
    • Walk around your home, inside and out and top to bottom — look for signs of leaks in the basement, the roof, faucets and the dishwasher, listen for rattling from appliances and check their rubber seals, clean vents and filters, and check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
    • Test your air conditioning in the spring and heating in the fall, check for air flow issues and call on a professional to make any necessary repairs
    • Consider a maintenance and protection plan to help you avoid unexpected repair costs that may arise with your furnace, cooling, plumbing or electrical
    • Do a good deed for a friend or a perfect stranger — donate money or lightly used items to your favourite charity, bake a cake for a neighbour or provide a meal for a person who is homeless
    • Give yourself 15 minutes a day — no phone, no TV, no kids — to practice mindfulness, meditate, give thanks or simply relax.
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