What was traditionally considered a time of well-deserved rest and leisure now became "the power years," where people could finally realize their true potential. But clearly not everyone has bought into this concept. There is a new yearning for rest among today's older adults, although not quite in the same way their predecessors envisioned it.
The federal government will not help Ontario in any way in implementing the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP). "Take a hike," was the federal government's basic message. We will not help you improve pensions unless you do it our way. And our way is simple: Canadians should do it themselves. Just figure it out. There is no retirement crisis, says the Harper government. Never mind that our mutual fund industry has among the highest fees in the world, while our best public pension funds have among the lowest costs despite excellent performance. Never mind that the capital markets are increasingly tilted against the interests of ordinary people. Never mind that employers have been abandoning defined-benefit plans for decades. Never mind that some of the most credible researchers in the country have called for a significant enhancement to the Canada Pension Plan.
As provincial and federal governments attempt to improve our retirement system, one has to ask whether Canada currently has an ideal system and what can be done to strengthen it. Determining the best way forward can be challenging, since retirement security spans government politics, employer practices, individual investor education and cultural differences.
Before we blindly adopt the Australian pension system as our own, we need to take several long moments in deep thought and contemplation -- and look at the evidence. Yes, you are able to invest as you wish. In fact, you are responsible for investing your dollars to achieve the highest rate of return available. Is this something for which you feel capable?
Canadians have many reasons to celebrate as their nation turns 148 years old tomorrow. They can even feel a bit of pride in an area that normally provides a healthy dose of shame in the headlines: personal finance. Let's take a look at a list of Canadian financial accomplishments along with lessons we can use to help us become the True North, Strong and Debt-Free.
A new report came out this week that reiterates what we've heard from other sources a few times now: Canadians aren't saving nearly enough for retirement. The Deputy Chief Economist of the CIBC warns that without pension reform now, younger workers today will see a steep decline in living standards as they retire. The Conservative government has recently announced it would like to have a dialogue with Canadians about a potential expansion of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). While this, in itself, is a purely political action -- since it commits the government to nothing -- it is worth looking at what the possible outcomes might be.
Millennials are a cautious bunch when it comes to their money. It's not surprising given the economic downturn of 2008 is still fresh. For many young Canadians, this market chaos was their first experience with investing. But it's important to let cooler minds prevail: avoiding the markets altogether is not wise, especially with so much time on your side.
Canadians are worried about their retirement. Recent polls show that among working aged people there is a growing concern that they simply won't be financially secure in retirement. This concern is validated by statistical data showing that a significant segment of society is having trouble saving enough. Instead of turning a blind eye to a known problem, the Government of Canada should be trying to help Canadians retire with dignity. Clearly, the time is right. All that is missing is federal leadership. Unfortunately, Canadians just won't get it from Stephen Harper, who has always disliked the CPP.
Think about how you feel about money vs. how wealthy people feel and if your belief system is serving you. If you currently have a positive belief system on money, ah-mazing. Keep it up! If you have a negative association with money, wouldn't it serve you better if your habits were one of a money maverick?
There is a kind of loneliness that cuts even deeper than feeling alone. Social isolation -- the lack of meaningful relationships and human contact and connections -- is a devastating affliction, with impacts ranging from depression to accelerated aging and the risk of early death. Older persons are especially vulnerable.Older people face multiple risk factors: a partner's death, disability, chronic illness, reduced or unstable income, loss of vision or hearing, frailty, fear of falling and fear of forgetting.
With another RRSP season squarely behind us, now is as good a time as any for reflection. The last-minute mad dash to make a contribution is generally at odds with proper savings discipline. You can turn anxiety around by extending your savings plan beyond the RRSP season. Here are a few other tips to keep in mind.