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Financial Wellness is having a clear understanding of ones financial situation and having the ability to live within their financial means.

Strong links exist between a person's overall health, financial situation and the ability to perform well at home and at work.

Did you know:

  • Money is the number one cause of stress for employees
  • 55% of people are stressed about money
  • 42% of Canadians lack basic financial literacy
  • Canadians are on average spending 25% more than their incomes 
  • 40% of people say that money stress is affecting their productivity at work

Our Commitment

Human Resources Services is pleased to continue our commitment to the financial and lifetime wellness of faculty and staff by offering the following free resources, programs and workshops:

Financial Planning Program

Financial Wellness: See Your Money Differently®

Too often, we spend all our time looking back with our money; paying bills, paying off debt, having enough money to buy lunch, and figuring out if we have enough to make it to the end of the month.

See Your Money Differently is a program designed to change the way people see money and encourage them to begin looking forward and plan for major life events; buying a house, saving for kids' education, taking that dream vacation, being free from financial stress, and preparing for retirement.

This program will help participants take back control of their finances, empowering them to take action, and reduce their stress about money. No workshop can solve all financial concerns, but See Your Money Differently will give participants the information and resources needed to move forward with better financial habits and a new perspective on money.

Participants receive worksheets and resources to help them take action with the information provided.

Topics covered in this program include:

  • determining financial priorities
  • taking control of spending
  • ways to save money
  • the fundamentals of debt destruction
  • understanding mortgages
  • life insurance
  • how to pay less tax
  • RRSPs vs TFSAs
  • who can help you and how to find these people

Program Cost: This program is funded by McMaster University. Parking fees are the responsibility of the participant (or their department).

Withdrawing from the Program: Seating is limited in this workshop. Those who register but do not attend  or withdraw seven calendar days or less prior to the start of the program will have an administrative fee ($200) billed to their department.

All withdrawal notifications must be submitted via email to  .

Next Session: 

November 13, 2018. from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.  Register here.

Retirement Planning Course

Retirement Planning: Helping You Sail Successfully into the Future

Transitioning to retirement can be an exciting and anxious time. Many questions create confusion and information is coming from many directions. This program is designed to guide participants through the process of preparing and transitioning into retirement with confidence. The program will help you build a much clearer personal vision of retirement, determine how much you will need to achieve that vision, and show you where the money will come from to fund your lifestyle.  Participants will receive a workbook and resources to help them take action with the information provided.

In this course you will learn:

  • how to dramatically reduce your taxes
  • how spending changes from working years to retirement years
  • how to change the management of your investments
  • how to plan your retirement lifestyle (what will you do once retired?)
  • the truth about RRSPs, RRIFs, and TFSAs
  • the importance of a financial plan
  • the importance of wills, powers of attorney, personal care directives; and
  • who can help you through the process
This course will NOT cover information pertaining to your specific McMaster pension plan, McMaster group RRSP, or McMaster benefits.  For additional workshops which cover McMaster-specific retirement readiness, please visit here.
This program is open to all active McMaster University employees.

Program Cost: 
This program is funded by McMaster University. Parking fees are the responsibility of the participant (or their department).  Cancellation fees apply (see below).  Lunch is not included.

Withdrawing from the Program : Seating is limited in this workshop. Those who register but do not attend (no show) or withdraw from the session seven calendar days or less, prior to the start of the program, will have an administrative fee ($200) billed to their department.

All withdrawal notifications must be submitted via email to .

Next Session: 

November 1, 2018. 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at 1 James North (Centre for Continuing Education).  FULL

February 12, 2019. 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Mills Library.  Register วิเคราะห์บอล here.

McMaster Resources

Human Resources Services - Retirement Ready Workshops for Pension Plan Members

  • This workshop is intended for active employees enrolled in a Contributory Pension Plan.  In this two hour workshop, participants will:
    • explore an overview of the Contributory Pension Plans, including how your pension is calculated and the pension options available to you.
    • review key ages and dates in the retirement process.
    • learn about the retirement process, including key steps and important timing leading up to retirement.
    • review highlights of the post-retirement services and benefits.
    • discover strategies for transitioning from the workplace.
    • learn about pre-retirement supports and programs available at McMaster.
    • explore ways to stay connected to McMaster after retirement
  • Learn more about this workshop here.

Human Resources Services - Support from your HR Advisor

  • In preparing for retirement, it is important to understand all the factors involved in your decision. There are a number of resources available to guide you through the process and have been included here for your convenience. Should you wish to speak with someone regarding your personal retirement options, please contact your HR Advisor to book a confidential meeting.

Desjardins One-on-One Education Meetings for Members of the Group RRSP

  • McMaster Group RRSP members are invited to spend 30 minutes with a Desjardins Education Advisor in a personal one-on-one meeting to review your Group RRSP. In this session, you will have the opportunity to review your account and investment selections online, ask questions about available investment choices, learn about information and helpful resources available on the Desjardins' participant site, and more!
  • Next meeting date is November 15, 2018 at the McMaster University Student Centre. To register for a 30 minute one-on-one meeting with a Desjardins Education Advisor, please visit here.

Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)

Free Financial Consultation

  • Our EFAP can help you by arranging a discussion with a financial expert or can provide ongoing coaching to help you build confidence to solve almost any financial challenge.  More information is available here.

Free Legal Advisory Services

  • Our EFAP empowers you with the information and support you need to help you deal with your legal affairs.  They arrange for a free, in-person consultation with a lawyer and you will have access to phonecall follow-ups for 30 days on the same subject.  This service does not include legal representation or preparation of legal documents but if you require an attorney to represent you, a referral can be made at a discounted cost.  More information is available here.

Free Pre-Retirement Planning

  • Our EFAP can help by arranging a conversation with a retirement counsellor who can walk  you through the types of support you can benefit from - written materials, internet resources, financial software, and more.  They will connect with you as often as you need while using the materials to help you build confidence with your pre-retirement planning process.  More information is available here.

Employee Career Services

  • The McMaster Employee Career Services team offers confidential one-on-one meetings to assist you with retirement or encore career planning or to support your considersation of volunteer, part-time or full-time roles.  Their website highlights work/retirement planning resources as well.

Financial Literacy Month Programming 

  • November is Financial Literacy Month and along with a weekly newsletter with tips for your financial wellness, we host weekly financial wellness workshops over the lunch hour on topics such as retirement, savings strategies and estate planning, along with a full-day program on achieving your personal financial wellness.  For more details or to register, please visit our Financial Literacy Month webpage.

Venngo WorkPerks: McMaster's Employee Discount Program

  • McMaster employees can enjoy an employee discount program through a partnership with Venngo WorkPerks. Discounts are available from over 1,700 vendors across Canada including restaurants, tickets, travel, clothing and personal items, health and wellness, and much more. To learn more about this program, visit the McMaster employee discount webpage.

Community Resources


  • FREE online personal budgeting webinars 
  • My Money Coach
  • The Canadian Insolvency Guide (Free)
    • The Canadian Insolvency Guide is an excellent resource, for anyone suffering a debt crisis. It’s written by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee and gives a person the knowledge they need to make an informed decision on how to get a fresh financial start.
  • Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC)
    • CAFC is the central agency in Canada that collects information and criminal intelligence on such matters as mass marketing fraud (e.g., telemarketing), advance fee fraud, internet fraud and identification theft complaints.
  • Understanding Mortgages
  • Financial Tools and Calculators
    • Tools to help you choose a bank account and credit card, including budget and mortgage calculators.
  • Financial Consumer Agency of Canada: Your Financial Toolkit
    • A comprehensive learning program that provides basic information and tools to help adults manage their personal finances and gain the confidence they need to make better financial decisions.

Know of a great resource that you think would benefit other employees, email it to  and we'll add it to our list!


McMaster Benefits and Retirement Plans

The Human Resources Service Centre is responsible for administering the many valuable benefit and pension plans available to eligible employees and retirees of McMaster University.  For further information, please visit:


For further information about any of our Financial Wellness programs, please contact:

Deb Garland

Program Manager, Engagement & Wellness
Organizational Development
Human Resources Services
dgarland@mcmaster.ca or ext. 24556

Melanie Garaffa

Senior Manager
Organizational Development
Human Resources Services
garaffa@mcmaster.ca or ext. 28660