Sleep—the secret to success
As a syndicated columnist, radio host, prolific author and founder of one of the world’s biggest news websites, Arianna Huffington has become an icon of media multi-tasking in the internet age. There’s no question that she’s a very busy woman, and very successful as well. But the advice she has for those who want to get ahead (in anything, not just media) is disarmingly simple: get more sleep.
In her own words, Huffington “learned the value of sleep the hard way”—she fainted at her desk from exhaustion. However, you don’t have to be pushing yourself that hard to be sleep deprived. A recent study in the United States found that 40% of adults reported nodding off at least once during the preceding month, with a total of 5% falling asleep at the wheel! It also found that men sleep less than women, women have more difficulty falling or staying asleep than men, and people with higher income tend to sleep less than those with lower income.
Get to sleep to get in shape
Huffington has even written a book about the subject, called The Sleep Revolution. She details a lot of the damage that poor sleep can do—including weight gain, depression, anxiety, as well as an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke—and outlines her own guide to “sleep hygiene”. Many health professionals have been promoting this concept recently, and it’s one worth incorporating into your life. Some of the keys include:
- Avoid napping during the day
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol close to bedtime
- Exercise, preferably in the morning or afternoon
- Don’t eat large meals close to bedtime
- Get plenty of exposure to natural light
- Establish a regular routine before going to bed, especially one that’s relaxing and doesn’t involve mental stimulation (like watching TV)
- Make sure your bedroom is dark
And a final word from Huffington: shut off your electronic devices! That blue glow from computer, tablet and cellphone screens emits a particular wavelength that tricks your brain into thinking it’s daylight, when it’s not. If you’re going to read, a good old-fashioned paper book is the way to go. Your body (and mood) will thank you for it the following morning.
A reminder about two important changes
As we noted in last month’s Oaken Update, August brings two important changes for our customers.
New Oaken Savings Account numbers
On August 22, all Oaken Savings Accounts were assigned a new number. You’ll be receiving a notification with your new number in the mail by the end of this month. You can also find your new account number online—simply log in to Oaken Online Banking with your username and password, which remains unchanged from before, and you’ll be able to see it there. As a result of this switch, each account will receive two statements for August—one for the period of August 1-21, and another for the rest of the month. But everything else about this change will be completely seamless to you, and it won’t affect any pre-authorized debits or credits you’ve set up, your account nicknames, alerts, or anything else.
New issuer for future deposits
Also on August 22, we added Home Bank as a second deposit issuer for you to choose from. As Home Bank is a completely separate member of Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), it also offers deposit insurance up to the maximum amount eligible. This means you can make additional investments through Home Bank that provide you with the same peace of mind you already get through Home Trust Company. So you’ll now start to see the option of either Home Bank or Home Trust Company as the issuer for all account opening and renewal forms, as well as be able to view your investments by either issuer (or as a combined view) within Oaken Online Banking. But again, there’s nothing else that will have an impact on any of your existing investments.
RSPs—not just for retirement
We all know that a Retirement Savings Plan (RSP) is one of the main building blocks of your long-term financial plan. But did you know that you can use an RSP for more than just retirement? As a recent post on our Oaken Blog explored, your RSP can also be made available for other financial goals that you might want to achieve before you stop working.
If you’re buying your first home, for example, you can “borrow” up to $25,000 from your RSP to contribute to a down payment. You can also withdraw up to $10,000 a year for two years to devote to higher-learning expenses. These are two great ways to manage your finances through a short period of unusually high expenses.
RSPs can also be a real help in maximizing tax efficiency, and not just by deferring tax to a later date. You can make in-kind transfers of investments from a non-registered account to your RSP, and you can use your account to split income with your spouse—both of which can help lower your overall tax bill. Combine any or all of these strategies with regular RSP contributions from your paycheque (through automatic deductions made by your employer), and you’re well on the way to getting the most out of your RSP.
You can learn more about this topic by reading the article on our blog, called 5 other things you can do with an RSP.
Come see us at The MoneyShow Toronto
If you’re an investor and will be in the Toronto area next month, we hope you’ll have a chance to visit The MoneyShow Toronto. Taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on the weekend of September 16 & 17, the MoneyShow offers a wealth of information for investors of every stripe, from neophytes to seasoned pros. There’ll be more than 50 educational workshops and keynote presentations, a lineup of some of the country’s leading investment experts, and a myriad of opportunities to learn more about investing in Canada.
The country’s top investment and financial services companies will also be showcasing their wares, and that includes us! We’ll be hosting a booth in the exhibit hall, and would love to see old friends as well as new faces, so please drop by and say hello. As usual, we’ll be offering the chance to win a $500 GIC.
The other good news is that this is a free event, and you can register online here.
Back-to-school is just around the corner, so this month’s reading offers a little (light) education on investing, as well as the importance of getting a good night’s sleep…
- We all want a little extra from our savings, but remember that high returns don’t come without risk.
- Rob Carrick of the Globe and Mail on getting the confidence to invest on your own.
- Business Insider magazine is getting on the good-sleep bandwagon, plus as a bonus here’s a short (and amusing) TED Talk from Arianna Huffington on sleep.