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.
Labour Day is about more than a well-deserved day off. It is a time to celebrate the important contributions working people make to our economy. It is also a good time to reflect on what is needed to improve the economic and social well-being for all workers. Economic recovery is being undermined by federal government actions over the last two years that erode workers wages, including: exploitation and fast-tracking approval for business to employ temporary foreign workers at wages below market rates; cuts to Employment Insurance and forcing workers to work at lower wages, continuous interference in the collective bargaining process on the side of employers, as well as attacks on unions and labour rights.
Is now a good time to buy real estate amid glowing reports of low mortgage rates and high demand Professional pictures of stunning homes and condos with granite, marble and nine-foot ceilings all serve as eye candy, tempting gullible and may dupe home buyers to drop down payments on not-so-smart real estate buys.
I read an article the other day that brought up a problem that sadly, happens more than we think; dying before you collect Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement benefits. The message was clear and correct -- a lot of people contribute a lot of money into CPP and never receive an income payment. Is this fair? I don't think so.
It is clearer than ever that most Canadians have to fend for themselves when it comes to retirement. For most retired Canadians, the combination of an employer's Defined Benefit Pension Plan, CPP and Old Age Security (OAS) provided them with a secure retirement lifestyle. This is not the case in 2013. Why?
When I'm lecturing to students I like to ask them how much a $100 pair of shoes costs. The most common answer is $100 plus tax. Would you believe me if told you it could be as much as $1,376.46? As a 20-year-old, if you convinced yourself not to buy the shoes, and invested it instead -- with an assumed rate of return of 6 per cent -- you'd have $1,376.46 by the time you were 65 years old.