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What Would You Do: Lump Sum or Weekly Cash for Life?

What Would You Do: Lump Sum or Weekly Cash for Life?

By Kate Musgrove

Here's a question I have been thinking about lately. If you were to win one of OLG's Cash For Life prizes, would you take a lump sum payout, or the weekly payment? The Cash for Life ticket available right now offers $2000 a week for life or a lump sum of $1.35 million. A quick call to OLG this afternoon confirmed that you do actually receive the money for life (some lottery programs offer "for life" payouts that last as little as 20 years) and that if you win the Cash For Life prize at the age of 71 or older, you can will the prize to someone else and it will pay out until what would have been your 91st birthday.

Here is the major pro for taking the lump sum: compound interest. Even saving half of the payout in a high-interest mutual fund would mean quite a bit of passive income as time went on. But you actually have to save and invest the money in order to get compound interest -- that's not something everyone is interested in or capable of doing.

Those are not erasable markers.

On the side of the weekly payout, the big pro is that even if you're not great at managing money you've got a regular income source -- and it's $2000 a week, tax free, while any income generated by investing will be taxed. But, if you're worried about caring for a spouse and children, it's worth noting that, uh... the income will stop when you die. The passive income your lump sum generates, on the other hand, keeps on coming. But, macabre as it is, you might also want to consider your age and life expectancy when making the decision. With the lump payment at only $1.35 million, you're basically getting thirteen years worth of Cash For Life payments if you take it -- but if you live thirty years after winning the prize, you'd get more than double the lump sum payment. (And of course, if only live ten years after winning the prize, you're getting about $300,000 less than you would be if you had taken the lump sum.)

Either way, it's a interesting debate, and we're definitely curious to hear what you would do.

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All 65 Future Shop Stores Converting to the Best Buy Brand are Now Open for Business!

All 65 Future Shop Stores Converting to the Best Buy Brand are Now Open for Business!

By Kevin Ngai

As a follow up to our article on the Future Shop store closing, all 65 Future Shop locations converting to the Best Buy brand are now open for business! Here's a complete list of the consolidated stores with address:

British Columbia:

  • Nanaimo, Country Club Shopping Centre, 3200 Island Hwy N.
  • Duncan, Cowichan Commons, 2900 Drinkwater Rd.
  • Victoria, Uptown, 3450 Uptown Blvd.
  • Langford, Gateway Station, 779 McCallum Dr.
  • Courtenay, First Pro Shopping Centre, 3245 Cliffe Ave.
  • Vancouver, Robson & Granville, 798 Granville St.
  • West Vancouver, Park Royal Mall, 2100 Park Royal S.
  • Surrey, Scott Road Crossing, 12048 80th
  • South Surrey, Grandview Corners, 2267 160th
  • Prince George, Brookwood Plaza, 3900 Walls Ave.
  • Chilliwack, Centre Point Plaza, 45805 Luckakuck Way
  • Kamloops, Aberdeen Mall, 1320 W. Trans-Canada Hwy
  • Vernon, First Pro Shopping Centre, 5600 24th

Alberta:

  • Calgary, Shawnessy Town Centre, 350R Shawville Blvd. SE
  • Calgary, Beacon Hill Centre, 11810 Sarcee Trail NW
  • Albert, 760 St. Albert Trail
  • Lloydminster, 7501 44th
  • Medicine Hat Mall, 3292 Dunmore Rd. SE
  • Downtown Edmonton, Oliver Gates Centre, 10304 109th NW
  • Edmonton, Clareview Towne Centre, 4250-137th

Saskatchewan:

  • Saskatoon, Preston Crossing, 1723 Preston Ave. N.
  • Prince Albert, Cornerstone, 800 15th E.

Manitoba:

  • Winnipeg, Pembina Crossing, 1910 Pembina Hwy.
  • Brandon, Corral Centre, 901A 18th N.

Ontario:

  • Sarnia, 1380 Exmouth St.
  • Waterloo, Kingspoint Centre, 580 King St. N.
  • Orangeville, Fairgrounds Shopping Centre, 95 First St.
  • Brantford, Parkway Mall, 61 Lynden Rd.
  • Chatham, Pioneer Square, 802 St. Clair St.
  • Guelph, 151 Stone Rd. W.
  • Mississauga, Winston Churchill, 2975 Argentia Rd.
  • North York, Empress Walk, 5095 Yonge St.
  • Weston, First Pro Shopping Centre, 2625 Weston Rd.
  • Toronto, Yonge and Eglinton, 2400 Yonge St.
  • Toronto, Keele and St. Clair, 10 Old Stock Yards Rd.
  • Oshawa, First Pro Shopping Centre, 1421 Harmony Rd. N.
  • Thunder Bay, Memorial Plaza, 767 Memorial Ave.
  • Sault Ste. Marie, 548 Great Northern Rd.
  • Orillia, Westridge Place, 3200 Monarch Dr.
  • Peterborough, 1101 Lansdowne St. W.
  • North Bay, Northgate Shopping Centre, 1500 Fisher St.
  • Timmins, 1390 Riverside Dr.
  • Ottawa, First Pro South Keys, 2210 Bank St.
  • Orleans, 2020 Mer Bleue Rd.
  • Nepean, Barrhaven Town Centre, 3777 Strandherd Dr.
  • Cornwall, Brookdale Square Tollgate Rd. W.

Quebec:

  • Taschereau, Greenfield Park, 1800 Rue Auguste
  • Anjou, 7400 Boul. des Roseraies
  • Centre-ville, Montréal, 470 Rue Ste. Catherine O.
  • Sherbrooke, Carrefour de L'Estrie, 3450 Blvd. de Portland
  • Chicoutimi, Place du Royaume, 1401 Blvd. Talbot
  • Jerome, Méga Centre, 1040 Blvd. du Grand-Heron
  • Lachenaie, Les Galeries de Lanaudiere, 790 Montee des Pionniers
  • Mascouche, SmartCentres, 133 Montee Masson
  • Trois-Rivières, Carrefour Trois-Rivieres-Ouest, 4520 Blvd de Recollets
  • Granby, 90 Rue Simonds Nord
  • Vaudreuil-Dorion, 3090 Boul. de la Gare
  • Rimouski, SmartCentres, 387 Montee Industrielle-et-Commerciale
  • Drummondville, Méga Centre, 850 Rue Hains
  • Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Carrefour Richelieu, 600 Rue Pierre-Caisse

New Brunswick:

  • Moncton, Trinity Power Centre, 50 Plaza Blvd.
  • Saint John, First Pro Shopping Centre, 80 Consumers Dr.
  • Fredericton Mall, 1220 Prospect St.

Nova Scotia:

  • Sydney, Mayflower Mall, 800 Grand Lake Rd.

Prince Edward Island:

  • Charlottetown, First Pro Shopping Centre, 191 Buchannan Dr.

For the complete listing of all Best Buy locations across Canada, or to find the closest store nearest you, follow this link.

You Had One Job, Disney

By Elaine Jair

I recently went on a 2 and a half week trip to Hong Kong and in between all of the shopping and eating, my sister and I decided to visit Hong Kong Disneyland Park. After all, Hong Kong Disneyland Park is an extension of the Happiest Place on Earth™ and everyone can use a little happy in their life.

So, off we went on a cloudy, but warm, afternoon to the Happiest Place on Earth™ (Hong Kong Edition). Our happiness began at approximately 1 PM, which is when we arrived. We waited in line to purchase our tickets (which cost $499 HKD or roughly $80 CDN) and chattered excitedly about what we were going to do all day and which characters we were going to take pictures with.

Our excitement and happiness promptly ended at 1:10 PM when we actually entered the park and was met with this view:

Of course, the park wasn't built with that terrible rendition of the Sleeping Beauty castle -- it just so happens that they are currently renovating the castle and decided to put up a cardboard version in the meantime because, obviously, no one can tell the difference.

Disney's castles are probably one of their most recognized icons (they do feature it at the start of all Disney movies), so it's an understatement to say we were sorely disappointed to arrive at Disney and witness what they've done to their beloved icon. You had one job, Disney.

All jokes aside, Disney's parks are inevitably going to be renovated sometime or another during the operating season, so we can't exactly fault them for our unfortunate timing. In fact, for its 60th anniversary, the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, recently underwent renovations in preparation for the park's 60th anniversary:

In retrospect, my sister and I probably should have planned our trip better and Disneyland was kind of an impromptu thing (I mean, they did put a one-liner on their website about the castle being refurbished, so we should have expected a cardboard castle, right?) But even so, when you visit Disneyland once every few years and pay $80 - $100 for a ticket, you can't help but be slightly disappointed when you're met with a fake castle -- especially when the renovated castle won't be unveiled until after you leave.

Long story short, if you are planning on heading to Hong Kong Disneyland, make sure to book your trip for early June when renovations have ended. Or, you can head on over to Disneyland in California starting May 22 to join in on their 60th anniversary celebrations.

IKEA to Release a New Line of Phone-Charging Furniture

IKEA to Release a New Line of Phone-Charging Furniture

By Kate Musgrove

IKEA is releasing a new line of charging furniture this month in Europe. It will arrive in Canada this August. It's pretty basic Qi technology supported by about 80 mobile phones and many more mobile accessories. I could see it being really handy on a nightstand or bedside table and indeed, most of the offerings are small tables and lamps. They also have standalone charging pads (that basically look like oversized wooden coasters).

While laying your phone down on the surface indeed happens wirelessly, all of these units need to be plugged in, of course. So you're cutting down on some tabletop cord clutter, but you're certainly not going cord-free. And in the case of the standalone charging pads, you're plugging something in and then setting your phone on top of it to charge, which to me doesn't feel appreciably different than plugging something in and then connecting it to your phone to charge -- although you can charge multiple items with some of the larger charging pads.

No exact pricing for Canada has been released yet, but prices in the US are $70 for the Varv Table Lamp and $60 or $110 for the nightstands. The standalone charging pads start at $28 (for a pad that can charge a single device) up to $65 (for a pad that can charge up to three devices).

Google "Find My Phone" and Find Your Android Phone Instantly

Google "Find My Phone" and Find Your Android Phone Instantly

By Kate Musgrove

You can now literally Google "find my phone" and Google will find your phone. It's not a miracle -- it only works on Android phones with the Google app installed, but it's actually helpful in two really smart ways. One, it immediately highlights on a map where your phone is. This is not what you need if your phone is somewhere in your house with you (like mine is 99% of the time it's lost), but it would be great if you left the phone in a cab, at a bar, at a friend's house or whatever. From that screen, you can lock or erase your device.

The second smart thing it does it give you the option to make your phone ring -- exactly what you need if your phone somewhere near you. I tried the ringing option on my own phone with all sounds and alerts set to mute and it still forced it to ring, which I thought was pretty fantastic. (Because I usually have all the ringers/sounds/alerts on my phone set to mute, I can't even call myself from another phone if I'm looking it, so I love that it does this.) The phone rings for five full minutes or until you hit the power button.

Are You Trolling Us, Anthropologie

By Kate Musgrove

I've always enjoyed shopping at Anthropologie for fun, unusual housewares and gifts. Some of the items they carry are gorgeous, some are unusual are some are, honestly, just not for me. Then there are the items that make me wonder if Anthropologie is just straight-up trolling us. For example:

It's a desk made out of wood and plexiglass which is fine, but it looks incredibly poorly constructed and um, costs $3480 USD? Which is insanity?

I have to admit if I saw this piece of furniture in your house I would say "oh my God, what happened to your desk? Does it have WARTS?" (I assume you would frostily inform me that it is a console, not a desk.) Also it costs $2498 USD which is more than you would pay for the same piece of furniture not covered in bumps?

This rug isn't terrible, except it's $1998 USD and the whale looks like it is dead. Okay, I think I just described something terrible.

It's $1898 USD and will never look like anything but an ambitious and unfinished arts and crafts project. Like, seriously, where is the rest of the rug?

It's all fun and games until a sweaty person sits down on your white $1000 Muppet-fur chair. Plus, call me a pendant, but why does the matching $400 ottoman have super modern spindle legs while the chair has ornate Edwardian legs that basically look like hooves? I really need more consistency in my incredibly overpriced, absurdly furry furniture.

Seriously, every item in this store is $300 and covered in lumps.

Buying an Apple Watch: Two Perspectives from the RFD Staff

Buying an Apple Watch: Two Perspectives from the RFD Staff

By Kate Musgrove

The Apple Watch is available for pre-order now and sources estimate that more than one million have been ordered so far. As it happens, among the Apple enthusiasts in the RedFlagDeals.com office, there's one that pre-ordered the watch and one that didn't! Here's a bit from each of them on their reasoning why.

James: "I've ordered the watch. I'm a big fan of Apple design, build quality and community. I've lined up on launch day for the iPhone 3G, iPad 2, iPhone 6 (reserved) and was an early pre-orderer of the Apple Watch (foolishly believing I could pick it up on April 24). And I've got a couple Apple gift cards from birthdays and Christmas that I've been saving. I think the watch would be a great addition to the Apple ecosystem I am now fully invested in -- especially for things like calendar items, location-based to-dos, simple directions. And I'm pretty active so I'm really looking forward to the HealthKit tracking features, since I don't have a FitBit or any other kind of health-tracking device. It's also annoying to have to pull out my iPhone to adjust my music when I'm running, an Apple Watch would be a huge benefit to me as far as adjusting music and doing other phone tasks on the go."

Kevin: "I'm not ordering the watch. As much as I'm an Apple fanboy, I won't buy first gen Apple products. I'm also a traditional mechanical watch guy -- a wristwatch is one of the few items of jewellery for guys. Plus the whole wearable tech thing is still not mature enough for me to jump on board yet. "

I actually hadn't considered it previously, but Kevin's comment that he's a traditional watch guy made me wonder if dedicated watch wearers would actually be harder to convert to smart watch wearers than people who didn't ever wear a watch! Are you interested in an Apple Watch? Are you waiting a few gens to let them perfect the design?

Going in With a Friend on the Buy One, Get One 50% off IKEA Sofa Deal

By Amanda Aikman

I've been in the market for a new couch recently. Preferably a fabulous retro-inspired one Don Draper would look right at home lounging on. Unfortunately, my 21st-century budget doesn't quite meet my mid-century modern tastes, so IKEA it is. Some late-night Googling led me to IKEAHackers.net, where I found the clean-lined Karlstad sofa modified with tapered legs and tufted cushions and I was sold.

IKEA ad

But, being a confirmed RFDer, I did a search and noticed IKEA's Sofa Event generally came up this time of year so I held off, and, voila, two days later I got the email advertising the popular Buy One, Get One 50% Off sale on fabric sofas, loveseats and armchairs. The problem was, I only wanted one sofa. But my thriftiness was not so easily thwarted. My first stop was to the RFD forums to see if I could track down anyone in my city willing to split the discount. Then I put up a plea on Facebook, and a neighbour of mine took the bait. Off to IKEA!

The thing about BOGO 50% off sales is that they often sound better than they are. Fifty percent off a couch? Yes please! But when you have to buy two couches and only save 50% off one of them, the best case scenario is that you're saving 25% off each couch... and that's only if they are of equal value. But still, some savings are better than no savings and I had almost shelled out $1400+ with delivery for this particular couch so I was happy for the opportunity. I also found that the deal works slightly different in store than it does online. I was purchasing the IKEA Karlstad corner sofa for $1199 and my friend wanted the Kivik sofa with chaise for $949. Online, when we added these items to our cart, the Kivik was discounted to half price. But when we arrived in the store ready to buy, we were told that because the Kivik comes in two pieces, the discount only applies to the chaise and not to my sofa at all. We explained to the staff member that it worked online and she was nice enough to let us show her on her computer and then call the necessary higher-ups who let us have the discount we thought we'd be getting. But it was a hassle and the same results can't be guaranteed from all staff members at all stores.

In our case, it worked and we got the deal. We split the savings equally at $237.25 each and the cashier was patient enough to manually figure out how much we each owed after the discount and tax and let us pay with two forms of payment. Going to the store together and paying independently meant we could avoid any awkwardness over who owed who, and I'd definitely suggest doing that if you're able.

In the end, between the discount and reduced delivery charges I ended up saving just over $300, got to spend an evening at IKEA, and now have a new couch. It's not the screaming hot deal you might think of when you hear "buy one, get one", but I was able to save $300 just by waiting for the sale to come around and putting a call out on Facebook to see if anyone else was interested in buying a sofa. I'd definitely do it again.

YouTube to Offer a Paid, Ad-Free Browsing Option

By Kate Musgrove

If you are frustrated by the ads you see when you're watching videos on YouTube, you might be interested to know they are planning on launching a paid option allowing users to skip ads. This is in addition to the paid, ad-free music streaming service they launched in beta in November.

It's an interesting move, one meant to bring YouTube into competition with streaming content powerhouses like Netflix (and Hulu, in the US). There's no word on pricing yet, but some sources say $10/month -- which seems pretty pricy. By comparison, Netflix is $7.99 or $8.99, depending on when you signed up and it contains a lot more high-quality content in an easy-to-watch format. (On the other hand, it doesn't have any music, which YouTube has tons of, and there are definite gaps in its offerings.)

Are you interested in in an ad-free, paid YouTube option? Why don't you watch this great Apple engineer parody video while you decide.

Amazon Dash Button: Absurd, Mildly Helpful, Not Available in Canada Yet

By Kate Musgrove

Today Amazon.com launched a product so specific and ridiculous that many thought it must be an April Fool's Day joke. It's not -- it's a tiny, branded button allowing you to reorder your favourite products with one push. Now, instead of laboriously using their computer or mobile device to order products with one click, Americans can simply push a button that they've mounted near the products in question (reusable adhesive is included, of course). The product isn't available in Canada yet, but we'll let you know the second it is.

dash button

This is a similar product as their Amazon Dash remote that launched last year. The Dash is a handheld device that lets you reorder products by scanning their bar codes or dictating your requests. But while the Amazon Dash works for more than 500,000 different items in your home, the Amazon Dash Buttons each work for one item -- the item that they've been clumsily branded with. There's a limit of three Dash Buttons per household, a restriction I assume they've put in place to keep production costs low while people test the product. (The only thing more expensive than sending one plastic automatic-ordering Amazon widget to a customer so they can reorder a single item is sending ten of them to a customer so they reorder ten single items, right?) There's about 250 products available to order with the Amazon Dash Button and presumably each product available has it's own chubby, logo-laden button.

One of Amazon's strengths is that they're always innovating, and this product is certainly an innovation -- it's a completely new way to initiate your paper towel or laundry detergent order (but after the initial button press, everything is completed online as usual). It's also kind of absurd, unnecessary and I can't imagine it being anything but mildly helpful at best. Would you use one? If you did, what products would you want to use it for?

Not every ordering innovation from Amazon is quite so clunky -- they're also developing Dash Replenishment Service, a device that can be integrated with physical items to automatically reorder products you're getting low on. The examples Amazon gives are a coffee maker ordering more coffee beans or a pet food dispenser ordering more food. That seems like an idea that has merit and broad practical applications and I suspect is the sort of product integration (rather than chunky, branded, adhesive-included buttons) we'll be seeing a lot more of in the future.