Savour the moment: This is the first public pension reform in a generation and will go a long way to improving retirement security for today's workforce, 11 million of whom have no workplace pension plan to help them save. Younger voters, given credit for the Trudeau election win, might not have known it at the time but this is for them!
I did not get to usher my parents into old age, or really even into retirement living. My grandparents had all passed away by the time I was 19 years old. I have no direct experience caring for elderly people. As a result, I'm not sure what I can expect my own day-to-day life to look like when I am "old."
The Uber economy and related growth in income precariousness is a pressing social and cultural issue and one that needs more innovative thinking and action. But there's another side to the labor disruption underway: for highly skilled professionals, consultants, knowledge workers and accomplished executives -- the gig economy offers the opportunity for an unprecedented level of career control and satisfaction.
The Trudeau government's first budget offered hope but little change on increasing the CPP in our lifetime. After extolling the virtues of the Canada Pension Plan, we're told that the finance ministers talked about enhancing the CPP last December and set a goal of making a collective decision before the end of 2016.
We've seen this story before in the mid-1990s, when out-of-control deficits and an impending sovereign debt crisis led to painful spending cuts and tax increases. The government is wrong to make the return to budget balance conditional on strong economic growth. Population aging is already taking its toll on long-term projections, and too many unforeseen events can derail the fiscal path. Only tight fiscal discipline can balance the budget within a reasonable timeframe, protecting Canadians' standards of living from future large tax increases and cuts to government services.
A 65-year-old man notices he's feeling more tired lately. He's gaining weight and losing muscle. He can't get as many erections, and generally feels foggy and unwell. His family doctor takes some blood tests and rules out thyroid problems, high cholesterol and blood sugar issues. The only finding is low testosterone -- but that's a normal part of aging, right?
In a 2015 global study by Morningstar, Canada's investment environment was rated the worst in the developed world when it came to Fees and Expenses. Don't worry, though, there's good news; our D- score is up from the F earned in 2014. The real question is the implication of our less-than-impressive grade.
While it is a worthy goal to maximize your savings prior to retirement, it is even more important that you retire debt free. If you retire and are still making payments on car loans, mortgages, or high interest rate debts like credit cards and payday loans you require a much higher income in retirement to survive.
The first major financial deadline of 2016 is February 29. This is the last day you can make a contribution to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and claim the contribution on your 2015 tax return. You still have the first 60 days to make contributions but with the leap year, the deadline is midnight at the end of the month.
The 2015 Sun Life Financial Annual Check-Up found that 66% of Canadians say their debt level is the same or worse than it was at this time last year. Though 67% say they're optimistic about 2016, only 13% note that paying down debt is among their top three New Year's resolutions. Just four per cent rank savings as a top resolution. Now is the time to make that change!