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.
Santa is a senior. My guess is he never had a defined benefit pension and needs the extra cash. He knows that although Canada has made great strides in eliminating seniors' poverty, too many of our older adults still live a low-income lifestyle, especially in major urban centres where costs of living are high. This Christmas season, I urge you to remember and reach out to the elders in your life.
Imagine it's March, 2013 and you discover to your considerable horror that you must pay the government $9,000 in addition to the taxes you normally fork over. Sounds pretty far-fetched, doesn't it? Well, you and I, and every other man, woman and child in Canada are each on the hook for an extra $9,000 to pay for the $300 billion (or more) in promises to public sector pension plans that governments don't have the money to pay.
Most Canadian private sector taxpayers are blissfully unaware of the existence of a wonderful bonanza public sector workers enjoy at their expense -- namely, the Canada Pension Plan bridge benefit. But if people were fully informed about the special treatment accorded to public sector workers, one aspect of which being the bridge benefit, they likely would have been less willing to jump on the bandwagon of later retirement for themselves.
Some days, don't you get weary of being yourself? Wouldn't you love to assume another identity, at least for a breather? Recently, I changed my "outdoor" name to Hal. Until now, no one in my family has seen the "Hal" in me. The everyday me is a writer, a cyber space inhabitant, and, under recently, a pencil pusher from the city.
You must live life in the present -- the key to aging successfully -- but you can't do so if one foot is chained to the past and both hands are shielding your eyes from the fuzzy future. Your vision will be blocked, your hands will be full and you'll be teetering on one leg! Try to integrate the following eight habits into your day as often as possible.
In the wake of May's bond market rally from heaven, administered rates have seen additional downward pressure into June. GIC rates have extended their decline, while Canadian mortgage rates are downright juicy. Given this environment, it's no surprise that Canadians are uncertain as to whether they should be paying down debt instead of building investment nest eggs.
Real estate in some parts of Canada is expensive, which makes the East Coast, with its affordable real estate, attractive to potential retirees. So the question becomes, how does a small tourist town accommodate the diversity? Does it want to cater to folks who like art galleries, crafts shops and upmarket restaurants, or does it want to cater to people who like stripper bars, fast food, loud entertainment and rebel paraphernalia?