If you're an average Canadian, you probably own a principal residence and have a few dollars invested or saved somewhere. If you have money invested in stocks, bonds or real estate, you may be concerned about losing your money. This is a reasonable thought; although, depending on what you're invested in, your concern (read: worry) is probably a waste of time.
Weight issues are among the most common causes of health problems affecting boomers. Two-thirds have made at least one dietary adjustment to lose weight, and more than half to reduce cholesterol levels. Overall, this generation seems better informed about the ins and outs of nutritional health than its predecessors.
Now, in Australia, you get a lump sum pay-out (hardly any Aussies annuitize their lump sum). Once again, you have to manage your retirement on your own. Now, even if you knew exactly when you were going to die, this would be difficult, but when you have no idea of your personal life expectancy, this is a problem beyond the capabilities of the average Canadian.
Canadians are certainly living longer, healthier lives but not everyone. Twenty four percent of seniors have multiple chronic conditions and take on average 5 different prescription meds. Older workers who lost their jobs in the late 1990s had three times as much difficulty getting new ones as their younger counterparts and they either got jobs within the first two years or not at all.
While every individual situation is different, there are some things one can do to prepare for their retirement, especially with the RRSP deadline just around the corner. This is a time of year we all think about saving and it is a good reminder, however a well thought out plan can help you ensure you save regularly and are not playing catch up when time is running out.
Each year you are required to take out a portion of your savings from your RRIF, which is subject to tax, but there's no limit on how much you can withdraw. In addition you can name your spouse as a beneficiary, so RRIF assets can be transferred to your spouses' RRIF or RRSP on your death. You can't keep your savings in an RRSP forever.
The employer groups that vehemently oppose CPP hikes mostly don't offer any pension support for their employees. And their arguments are increasingly hysterical. They are still calling any CPP increase a "job killer" and managed to convince the junior minister of Finance to parrot their talking points.