Retire this

I spoke with him on the phone yesterday, and he was incredulous. Jim and Nadia thought they were fine. He’s been a contract worker with the provincial electrical authority for the past eight years after a career in construction. She stayed home and raised three kids. Now, at 53, she says she’s unemployable. “I can’t even Google, whatever that is.” At 64 Jim’s ready to stop trekking between transmission towers during a Manitoba winter. “Stopped feeling my toes in November.”

They have a modest, paid-for house, no pensions. Just over $120,000 in RRSPs. All bank mutual funds, of course. And [email protected] told them not four months ago they could have a secure retirement income. So don’t worry.

And they didn’t. Until they talked to me.

As you might imagine, I explained how screwed they are. Nadia never made CPP contributions, and Jim has less than a thousand a month to come in from the public pension. The bank funds are losing, and the money coming out is taxable. “But what about the OAC?” he said. “That’s gonna make a huge difference, right?”

It’s OAS, Jim, I said. And Old Age Security payments average a few hundred bucks a month, or about five grand a year. In fact, add every government payment available to you all together, and the income will barely scrape above the $25,000 mark – less than half his current take-home. Sure, you can haul $1,000 a month out of the RRSP, but that will be taxable at the rate of 28%, meaning they still have only $2,400 a month to live on. So much for a carefree retirement.

Worse, of course, the RRSP is gone in a decade  – about 10 or 15 years too soon. Income then withers to $1,700.

One of the great Canadian myths is that anyone can live on CPP, OAS, GIS or any other government program. Another is that by opening an RRSP and shoveling a few grand a year into it, you’ll be okay. And to top it all off, the greatest financial myth of all time – buying and paying off a house is a sound retirement strategy all on its own.

Let’s get a few things straight. The average CPP payment is $512.64 a month. When you hit 65, you can collect OAS as well. The average payment there is $508. That’s a thousand a month, or $12,000 a year. For a couple who qualify for both, you get twenty-four thousand a year, and of that you have to hand over about $3,000 in tax. In any Canadian city, this amounts to subsistence living, even if you own a home. In fact, utilities, property tax and insurance could consume half of the net amount, leaving $200 a week for food, clothes, meds, gas and ammo.

(And, yes, the tax code does give you an Age Credit when you hit 65, in addition to the personal exemption. But those who claim this replaces investment income are delusional.)

Sp, is that how you want to live? Maybe you could move in with the nice lady from the bank.

Incredibly, most people, like Jim, think it’s okay to work your whole life and retire with a hundred grand or so, because the government will send unicorns and fairies to help you. This could be why the majority of Canadians are completely unprepared. Half have no retirement savings and 73% have no corporate pensions. As this pathetic blog routinely mentions, debt is endemic. Four in ten retirees now quit work and still have a mortgage. And if the real estate market ever corrects (now happening), then suddenly slapping all your extra cash against the mortgage looks like a damn fool thing to have done.

It’s now impossible to change the outcome. The greatest threat imaginable to residential real estate values over the next decade is the sheer volume of selling that will have to take place, by people like Jim and Nadia. The Boomers are a tidal wave. Nine million people, the bulk of whom are house-rich and cash-poor, going into a time of their lives when nothing matters more than cash flow.

After all, if Jim and Nadia sold their $300,000 house, added the cash to their existing investments, then invested the $420,000 to get a multi-year average return of 7%, they’d add $30,000 to their government freebies, to boost income to $55,000. And if half of that was in the form of dividends, their taxes would tumble. If they rented a place for $1,500 a month, they’d end up with $520 a week to spend – two and a half times more. Oh yeah, and they’d never run out of money.

See? Suddenly real estate ownership makes utterly no sense. Why wouldn’t a few million people reach the same conclusion? And imagine what that’ll do to the value of your house.

As for RRSPs, well, be careful.

These fav shelters have the potential to turn into tax traps. In fact, I’d say it’s a certainty. More on that in the days to come.

Remember what I said about liquidity? Worship it.



#1 Josef on 01.11.12 at 10:48 pm

First!!! OH Yeah BABY!!!!!

Does your mom know you’re up? — Garth

#2 kilby on 01.11.12 at 10:49 pm

#190. grantmi from10/1/12.

1991 $130K…….

#3 T.O. Bubble Boy on 01.11.12 at 10:50 pm

Incredibly, most people, like Jim, think it’s okay to work your whole life and retire with a hundred grand or so, because the government will send unicorns and fairies to help you.

I always forget, which government employees are the unicorns, and which are the fairies?

(Unicorns = CMHC, because they should only exist in an alternate universe, and Fairies = Baird and his business cards?)

#4 Mr. Lee on 01.11.12 at 10:52 pm

“Assets go up and down in value, but all debts need to repayed”. the venerable C from the B o C.


#5 TheRealTruth on 01.11.12 at 11:00 pm

May I add Garth…

The $1000 RRSP withdrawn monthly with respect to this couple may be taxed at much higher level than 28%– The GIS clawback begins immediately…so more like taxed at 78% with respect to this couple!!

#6 truth hammer on 01.11.12 at 11:03 pm

And ….this must be why the CHIP reverse mortgage program is on fire. With so many impoverished seniors to rip off the Canadian landscape is a killing field for the greedy ministers who’d like every penny in savings to convert to crystallized tax revenue. Gotta keep those fat greasy civil servants in the pink right? Raping the seniors of their savings is like shooting fish in a barrel.

If you’re a boomer who thinks to do the traditional inheritance scheme of grannies flat’d better think again…the nice man on the CHIP ads hasn’t mentioned the compounding effect of the ‘free money’….nor the rate almost double the prevailing 5 year mortgage……Heck…you’ll have granny in the poorhouse in no time .

Seniors and those on fixed incomes are already starving….add to these the army of retiree’s who will find it impossible to eat more than one meal a day due to the rampant real cost of food inflation that has run at 20++ for the past five years straight. Lets not mention the tax creep that is stealing dollars out of your pocket in prop taxes, school levies, police services, fire, waste, water, parking, insurance, heating, electric, transpo, medical insurance premiums, GST, HST…….ad nauseum.

Lets not forget the age old scheme of herding…..once a majority of retiree’s sell and choose to rent….there will be taxes applied to the payment….just as they tried to slip into the HST on strata fee’s. Cat food will look like a luxury dinner within the next decade.

#7 jonni on 01.11.12 at 11:04 pm

and yet our exalted Members of Parliament slip a paltry $1.00 into their “pension pot” ….. and we, the taxpayers, top it up with $5.00 from us.

Something Is Rotten In The State of KANADA !!!

False. — Garth

#8 T.O. Bubble Boy on 01.11.12 at 11:04 pm

Are there any street drugs nick-named “liquidity”?

Might do well on Wall Street / Bay Street these days.

#9 Andrey on 01.11.12 at 11:04 pm

In Ontario it is also possible to get “Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit”, up to a $1,044 a year

Also, there are “rent subsidy” programs available (such as

#10 Jimbo on 01.11.12 at 11:05 pm

Garth, what’s the better alternative to RRSP’s?

Wait for it. — Garth

#11 The taxman on 01.11.12 at 11:08 pm


If a couple only has CPP and OAS – they will likely pay no tax once over 65 because of the $6,000 age credit added to the $10,000 personal credit. If CPP is $900 and OAS is $500/month – Annual income would be $16,800 or $33,400 for the couple. Given the personal and age credits available this $33.4K income is effectively tax free. Not much to live on – yes – but at that income level taxes are not a consideration for seniors.

You have used the maximum CPP income, which most people do not qualify for. As I stated, the average is $512. — Garth

#12 Devore on 01.11.12 at 11:19 pm

Wait, I thought this blog was for 2o-somethings with a million in the bank and making $150k a year. What’s this normal couple nearing retirement doing here?

Charity night. — Garth

#13 Deano on 01.11.12 at 11:20 pm

Ok, here I go. I suppose this is a question for Garth but I’ll open myself up to ridicule.

Ahem, my wife and I are both teachers (start the flaming). We are both in our second career and started more or less from scratch. It took us about 5 years working supply to get out positions and we averaged maybe 25k each during that time (working multiple jobs!). Now, we’ve both worked our behinds off to get our 82k in university debt out of the way (we have 14 years of uni combined…ugh.) We “own” a 200k house in a sweet neighbourhood in Brantford. I’m sure you all know how much we earn and we have no kids. I’m mid 30’s and the wife is 4 years younger. We currently are putting away 1000 a month into an RRSP/TSFA combo. We still owe 90% of our mortgage, but have room to pay more on it.

Yes, we have pensions. Defined pensions. The sweet kind right? The only problem is, 40% of it has been de-indexed for us young folks (the older teachers are always looking out for us). That concerns me. I think there is going to be a pretty big austerity push in the next prov. gov comes in so I’m doubly concerned for my pension. Should I be saving more? How much more? Should I sell my house now and lose my shirt (and probably my wife)? Should I start dumpster diving to save money?

Please, let’s keep it civil. If you had a bad experience in the 60’s because some teacher put a dunce cap on you and stuck you in the corner, that’s not my fault.

All reasonable advice appreciated.

#14 TheRealTruth on 01.11.12 at 11:24 pm

Since I’m at it… my pet peeve of the day:


Lets say we have 2 couples (The Garth’s and the Turners).

The Garth’s have $120,000 in RRSP’s, CPP pension, no Employer pension, and paid off house.

The Turner’s have NO RRSP’s, CPP pension, no Employer pension, and a paid off house.

…and they all just turned 65. Who is better off monthly??

The Garth’s:

RRSP $1000 a month taxed at 28% = $720
CPP $512 x 2 = $1024
OAS $508 x 2 = $1016
GIS = clawed back by 50% of income = $0

TOTAL = $2760 per month.

The Turners:

RRSP: $0
CPP: $512 x 2 = $1024
OAS : $508 x 2 = $1016
GIS: $486 x 2 = $972 – clawback $512 = $460

Total = $2500


RRSP withdrawals have a target on them I think. Some people in their 50’s already started to withdraw them via smart accounting loopholes.

#15 Guy1 on 01.11.12 at 11:24 pm

Garth, I’m heartened to see that you are concerned for this couple and offering them advice – we all know what it’s like to endure the cold in Canada, and to be dealing with transmission towers in the dead of winter must be brutal – this couple deserves better.

#16 TheRealTruth on 01.11.12 at 11:31 pm

And then the Amazonians…

NO RRSP, NO CPP, paid off mcmansion house with 2 mortgage helper suites.

OAS $1016
GIS $972
illegal suite income $1020 net

TOTAL = $3000

The Amazonians win Garth. What is the point of CPP and RRSP’s if you can win this way??????? Enjoy life I guess…vacations, big screen TV’s, big house?

#17 From the back waters - Ottawa on 01.11.12 at 11:34 pm

How is Canada different from this bubble scenario —

#18 Terra No-more on 01.11.12 at 11:35 pm

Well surprise buy now or be priced out for ever is going the way of freedom 55 – bubble jingles…

#19 Cowtown Refugee on 01.11.12 at 11:37 pm

OK GT, I had a good year, large tax bill coming.

I topped up the TSFA’s yesterday and I’m getting ready to drop $40K into the wife’s and my RRSP’s rather than pay tax. RESP’s are topped up to max the govt contribution (won’t be much in my tax bracket, but $$ are $$).

I’m planning on doing a bleed down on the RRSP’s well before I hit 70. (20 years). Why is contributing to an RRSP a bad idea?

Several reasons which I will detail later. But why would you take after-tax income and make it taxable again? — Garth

#20 Mixed Bag on 01.11.12 at 11:40 pm

“Incredibly, most people, like Jim, think it’s okay to work your whole life and retire with a hundred grand or so, because the government will send unicorns and fairies to help you.”

The question is, why do the majority of people think this? My guess is that, when the majority was younger, 100K was enough to retire on, but inflation withered 100K’s buying power over the years, and people didn’t adjust their numbers accordingly.

#21 Smoking Man on 01.11.12 at 11:41 pm

I live in a different world……………………

My Monthly Budget

Hookers 2000
Booze 600
Casino 4000 to 6000
Cigs 400
Installments to CRA 25K to 30 K

Slipping 20’s to homeless people 600

Loto Tickets 0.00
Church donations 0.00
School Fund rasers 0.00
Orginized Charaty 0.00

#22 Timing is Everything on 01.11.12 at 11:42 pm

But wait, there’s (no) more…

‘Government programs like Old Age Security are expected to be squeezed as baby boomers retire, and there has been speculation Ottawa may bump up the eligibility age from 65 to 67.’ – WFP

#23 T.O. Bubble Boy on 01.11.12 at 11:48 pm

Smoking Man is my hero

I think he is under-estimating his monthly booze budget though

#24 Rantanplan007 on 01.11.12 at 11:49 pm

My weekly Calgary Update! (average prices)

SFH Jan 2012 to date: 432k
SFH Dec 2011 month end: 453k

Condo Jan 2012 to date: 257k
Condo Dec 2011 month end: 280k

#25 Soylent Green is People on 01.11.12 at 11:49 pm

Wawsome god post. Send to every single woman you know.

#26 InvestorsFriend (Shawn Allen) on 01.11.12 at 11:52 pm


Sure our 64 year old should sell the house and rent since almost all of his equity is in the house. And invest with Garth or along the lines he suggests.

Also he may want to hold off retiring as long as possible.

He ain’t exactly gonna’ be traveling the world on his income so if he retires he might basically rot away.

At the least find a cheap hobby.

Wife’s been stay at home all these years and won’t want him around…

Best option, keep working…

Also send the wife out to work at McDonald’s or whatever.

#27 Pat on 01.11.12 at 11:52 pm

An elderly couple with a paid off house can live comfortably with $2000/month net.

Jim and Nadia are fine. Your analysis isn’t (for many reasons).

You must like poverty. BTW, 85 is ‘elderly’, not 64. — Garth

#28 Smoking Man on 01.11.12 at 11:55 pm

When TurnerNation dropped the link in yersdays post about inmates building stuff for 25 cents an hour, im sure many off you where outraged.

Been spending the last few hours trying to figure out how get a peace of the action.

In the animal world the strong and the smarts get all the babes and first crack at the food.

Humans do to conditioning at school are taught to be weak, polite, push overs, and wimps.

The world is going to become a much tougher place, you are either pretitor or prey.

Whats it going to be bubble heads.

#29 RRSPtoDRIP on 01.12.12 at 12:04 am

6 years ago we started taking money out of one of rrsp’s and invested in dividend re-investment plans as one of us had tax room to remain in low tax bracket. All while being retired. The appreciation already replaced the taxes paid and the dividend income can go the TFSA and some shares or free cash. The plan is to slowly move $ to the TFSA and start using the income in 5 years tax free to make up for inflation. I calculated even before the TFSA’s were available that the transfer provides more tax efficient $$ than keeping it in the rrsp to age 71. The rssp can be drained from age 65 for 18 years the average life expectancy while the TFSA and drips and some non-registered $$ accumulates to provide any other additional income. A planner out west called Neil Diamond wrote a book on my idea that he uses it in his planning business. Optimizing the tax on your income is key and he is the only guy I even read who came up with the same idea. It only works if one has enough or too much in the rrsp.

Garth you are one of the few who gets it.

#30 U-The Man on 01.12.12 at 12:06 am

The TFSA will be history in the near future and RRSP’s will be heavily taxed. Governments need revenue and the baby boomers will pay.

#31 Van guy blazin kush on 01.12.12 at 12:12 am

This post is for old folks to read. But they don’t know how to use a computer so why waste a post today?

#32 still learning on 01.12.12 at 12:12 am

I am checking your blog every day. I read Greater Fool and other investment books. I have to say I learn a lot.

I am rebalancing my investment porfolio. I own some CML Healthcare stock “CLC” that gives 7% return. Is “CLC” categorized as stock or fixed income fund? I believe it used to be income trust fund.


#33 Sherry Cooper on 01.12.12 at 12:21 am

Ohhh Garth

Don’t REITS to me……

#34 nonplused on 01.12.12 at 12:23 am

RRSP’s are for people who are going to have a million bucks in them by age 65. In other words people who start making their maximum contribution the day they start working and never stop.

Typically, the profile of this person is someone who has a company RRSP which is usually set up so that if you contribute 5% of your salary the company matches with another 5%. This type of hated jerk will also often use his/her bonus to top up the RRSP from time to time.

Typically, this type of a-hole has also made his maximum CPP contribution nearly every year of his working life, so he or she can expect to get the full CPP payout, but of course that will be taxed too.

The advantage this type of complete scum gets from an RRSP is that capital gains, interest income, and dividends are not taxed while in the RRSP, only the withdrawals are taxed. Since the withdrawals are assumed to be smaller than the turd’s annual income was while working, it is assumed he or she will be in a lower tax bracket. Also you get a nice tax break on the money you invest, which could be looked at as a government match program. They invest 20% for you through tax breaks. Another big advantage is you can use your RRSP’s to self mortgage your house as Garth has detailed in Money Road and outline on this blog. If I ever, ahem, if that sort of jackass ever needs to borrow money, this is the way to do it.

The scums who utilize this system will never get OAS unless the RRSP runs out of money before they run out of time.

There are 2 big risks with RRSP’s: They force you into securities, and the tax rate in retirement is at the whim of the government.

Personally, I still don’t think they are a bad idea for the type of 10%ers that use them, may they rot in hell, but they aren’t the best deal out there anymore due to the TFSA.

And now, with the new TFSA, the hated frugalis baastardus can put away up to 18% of their income now tax free risking future taxes and put away $5000 a year after tax but never pay tax on any of the gains. Do you see why savers are so hated? They disgust me.

But for the RRSP to work, you have to maximize contributions early, and then count on a good return on the investments. Econ 101 professors are famous for having their students do a simple calculation to compare 2 scenarios, 1 where an individual invests $2000 a year from age 24 to age 35 and then stops, the other where an individual invests nothing until age 35 and then invests $2000 a year until retirement, using an 8% rate of return. Guess which RRSP has the most money in it at age 65? But of course 8% ain’t easy to do.

Putting money into an RRSP close to retirement is simply a tax bracket arb. You shouldn’t do it unless the arb will earn more than the OAS clawback. For an RRSP to work, you have to invest hard and early, and then earn a good return over many years.

So then the question is, which should you do first, pay off your mortgage or invest in RRSP’s? The answer, as always, comes down to rates. If your rate of return is higher in the RRSP than your mortgage rate, max out the RRSP even if you have to remortgage to do it. If your mortgage rate is higher than the rate you make in your RRSP, pay down the mortgage. And if you have enough money in your RRSP to do the self-mortgage thing, well now you are just printing money.

#35 Mike Rotch on 01.12.12 at 12:26 am

7 jonni on 01.11.12 at 11:04 pm
and yet our exalted Members of Parliament slip a paltry $1.00 into their “pension pot” ….. and we, the taxpayers, top it up with $5.00 from us.

Something Is Rotten In The State of KANADA !!!

False. — Garth.

Maybe 5:1 for MPs is false, Garth should know.

That said, if what I read about an OMERS pension plan is true, it is probably 3:1 or 4:1 for many civil servants.

#36 Analyst analyzer on 01.12.12 at 12:33 am

The real sad part is this couple thinking they can live on the savings from only one middle income and no pension. That just doesn’t make sense, they’ve severely under budgeted for their future.

#37 Stupesing in Cabbagetown on 01.12.12 at 12:36 am

#9 Andrey – Any idea how many thousands of families are on the wait list for “rent subsidy” programs, or the number of years desperate people are expected to wait for Toronto Housing? That is not a realistic option.

#38 Waterloo Resident on 01.12.12 at 12:45 am

I just LOVE all these REDNECKS who keep saying that in Northern Alberta they work in the oil patch and they earn $300,000 a year ! Really, are we supposed to believe that?

I read the following on Yahoo Answers, her is what one person said about the truth in Fort McMurray:

Anyone who tells you that jobs for labors are easy to get may not be telling the whole story. Fort McMurray while in an economic boom is maily looking for skilled trades people. If you are an ironworker, heavy equipment operator or almost any kind of mechanic the jobs are definately there. Many people go there thinking that non-trades jobs are plentiful when in fact this isn’t really the case.

If you are in the customer service, hospitality industry there is a need for them. Every retailer, fast food restaurant, etc are crying for help. Are the wages even close enough to live on? ABSOLUTELY NOT !

Even thought the retail/hospitalty industries may be paying $14.00 plus in a town where the average price of a home is well above the $800,000 mark It’s not anywhere close to providing one with a living. Rentals are scare and the prices close to the $4000 per month range providing you can even find any available accommodations, which is beyond the hourly wage that is being paid in these industries.

Most basic labour’s wage are in the $19.00 to $22.00 per hour range and the majority in the $20.00 per hour range. With a $20.00 per hour wage beng the norm, most if not all of your wages will go towards paying for rent and other extremely expensive necessities in that city. To be honest the wages in Ft. McMurray for unskilled labour are not in line with the ecomony there, if you go there and only earn $20.00 per hour you will NOT be able to survive. You may want to reconsider trying to find work somewhere else like the place you are at now.

#39 Professor Iberious Que, Ph.D., Sociology and Human Sciences, Magna Cum Laude, University of Fox Creek. on 01.12.12 at 12:49 am

Respectfully, Mr. Turner, there will not be any retirement crises. Our long range modelling shows that in the next 4 to 8 years the so called “Baby Boom” generation will simply elect an NDP government (or something of the social equivalent) and raise CPP payments to the national median income, indexed. Why would they not do this when the government of Canada can borrow at 1% or less?

In fact, some of my more aggressive models indicate that they may go for the average national income, or a term that fell out of an internet traffic monitoring engine, a “decent retirement income” (associated with $150,000 per year, incredibly). But the one thing that is clear through all of the modelling and research my team has done is that this so called boomer generation will not suffer any indignities willingly, has the majority vote, and is not afraid of using government policy to their own advantage regardless of the financial consequences. These trends have been in place many years. The Canadian government has become a Tragedy of the Commons , and that will not change until it has too.

Our modelling also shows no labour shortage as the boomers retire, as popular media often predict, as we believe these same boomers will vote to literally “open the borders” in an attempt to ensure there are plenty of hot Amazonian nurses to change their depends at cheap rates, whether the rest of the job market be overrun with Amazonian taxicab drivers or not.

Regretably, the models do not predict long term durability for the bond market.

#40 GTA Girl on 01.12.12 at 12:49 am

I love that Smoking Man included tax payments for the CRA…..along w/the hookers

Conservative Min Fantino today issued a opinion piece in one of his risings local papers. It’s a warning to bloggers/twitter users about slander.

The back story is that he is trying to shutdown area residents who have been critical of him and his use of the FED/DEV program.

That a Federal Minister would threaten lawsuits to curtail critics and questions, is very worrisome for vocal opposition from the common man
To know the history of Fantino and to read his words, makes my blood run cold.

Please spread the word. Canadians must know that our federal government now threatens SLAP lawsuits

#41 Joseph [Original] on 01.12.12 at 12:53 am

You need to be careful about citing market returns of 6-7% on an annual basis. In today’s world, timing is everything, and that is something none of us really control. Legendary investor John Bogle says the stock market now is purely run by speculators, not investors.

“Our financial system has gone off the rails”, says Bogle. “Our markets have gone crazy, and there is 200 times as much speculation as there is investing,” Bogle told the Associated Press said in a recent interview.

Bogle says those considering investing in stocks with the idea of a one-year outcome, should not invest. “You can lose a lot,” he says. “If you invest in stocks with a five-year outlook, I would think it is highly debatable if you should do that.”

“You have to think about more than just the probabilities of a market crash. You have to consider the consequences for your savings, and whether you’d be decimated.”

#42 Devore on 01.12.12 at 12:59 am

#32 still learning

Is “CLC” categorized as stock or fixed income fund? I believe it used to be income trust fund.

“Fixed income” implies certain things, so CLC is not it. Fixed income is bonds, preferreds, annuities and such. Anything with a FIXED payout. A dividend stock or income fund can change this amount, or even suspend payouts entirely (see YLO).

For distribution tax treatment, check the investors relations section on the company web site, and see what portion of the distribution is classified as income (taxed as income, duh), dividends (yum) and return of capital (zero tax).

#43 Marie on 01.12.12 at 1:02 am

OMFG! I’m so screwed.

#44 mark on 01.12.12 at 1:08 am

“But why would you take after-tax income and make it taxable again?” – Garth

Because 1. I get a refund of tax at my current high rate (+35%) 2. my investments can grow tax-free 3. when its time to take the money out, it will be taxed at a lower rate. In summary, I’m deferring tax. What is the problem with this?


You believe that? — Garth

#45 Cristian on 01.12.12 at 1:20 am

What is “[email protected]”?

#46 Arshes on 01.12.12 at 1:21 am

@ #14 TheRealTruth

Your tax calculations for the Garths are wrong.

Once your turn 65 you qualify for the Age amount credit, so that’s $ 6000 tax free income for each.

If they convert their RRSP to RRIF (which you can do any time after you turn 65, and you dont need to convert all your RRSP to RRIF unless your over 71) they would qualify for the Pension Amount of $2000 each.

So esentially they would be able to have approx. $10,000 + $6700 + $ 2000 = $18,700 each or $37,400 together, tax free.

So its actually $ 3040 for the first couple, approx. $ 500 more. And you should note that OAS and GIS aren’t pre-set like CPP, that they can change rules for the OAS and GIS much more easily than for CPP.

#47 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 01.12.12 at 1:24 am

“This could be why the majority of Canadians are completely unprepared.” — Great sentence in a great post. Points out the vast majority of sheeple are clueless re: finances.

If they would only learn to pay themselves first — 20% off the gross — going into a TFSA or non-registered plan with DRIPs, doing that all the while for 25 or so years, there wouldn’t be this debacle happening.

Even if Jim and Nadia do sell their home for $300K, follow your advice they will be one of the more fortunate couples. At least they would have a chance of a semi-decent retirement.
First China, now Russia rejects Iran oil sanctions; Shop local Good advice; OJ price rising ‘Health’ alert raise prices, while Natural Gas price decreases; Jobless Grad sues govt. for forcing her to work for free; Mafia Italy’s largest business; Greece Fear and Austerity killing economy;Bond mystery solved.

This story goes back a while, but it has taken new steps. “. . . Iran swiftly countered planned US sanctions against its Central Bank yesterday by announcing that it will no longer accept the US Dollar as payment for its oil shipments to India, Japan and China, and further announced that bilateral trade between itself and Russia will, also, break from the US Dollar for settlement in favor of the Iranian Rial and Russian Rubles.” With Iran’s currency falling rapidly, and HI present in Iran, they are wise to finish with the US$ altogether. Then this — Hyperinflation in Iran The west’s economy is like a corpse, so they can transfer the effects east, and this; Savings Think savings are bad here? Think again; Globalism is a dead-end horse, which is why free trade doesn’t work. Fair Trade — Yes; Time Bomb; India; Greek Drugs; Germany, Spain etc.; Bullish on Chinese RE; Deleveraging Japan style, but Let’s Get Real; Japan’s lost (third) decade.
1:15 clip The only reason why Romney is rich is because he has messed a lot of lives on the way up, but Romney will lose against Obomba; Shark lawyer put into shark tank; Whooping Cough (the killer version) making a comeback; Brisbane, Oz Neo-nazis set up a music fest; Nepal Child goddess; India 40% or more of children are malnourished; Dark Matter shows cosmic web.

Surprise, Surprise Happened in Tunisia, Libya, Syria and now Iran (don’t forget Iraq and AfPak);New Pyramid Found Cause of the ‘quakes there recently? Residents call for a limited form of martial law in a city in Florida.

#48 Rizzo on 01.12.12 at 1:26 am

Hey Smoking Man-Is there any way you can squeeze an extra 100 bucks into your January budget for a grade 3 spelling class? As much as I enjoy your entertaining comments- the horrible spelling makes me think you might be equally poor at math and mistakenly add extra zeros to all your ridonkulous stories. And dont blame it on the booze…………..or the prostitute.

#49 Bill Gable on 01.12.12 at 1:35 am

I spent 45 minutes trying to console my friend. He has been working in the media since Garth wore Keds, and he just got canned. Er, downsized.
He has drank the Kool Aid that RRSPS were the way to go, and has zip savings, no pension and like the Eagles said years ago – he pays heavily debts.
In short screwed. I didn’t do much more than listen

That is the kind of people Mr. Turner talks to every day, as evidenced by todays post.
How stark does this have to get, before people wake up.

I was at a restaurant that used to be packed – not today.

It was a long walk home in rare Vancouver sunshine.
It made me realize that my Family is blessed.



#50 Edgar on 01.12.12 at 1:38 am

All these things I planned for and paid into have taken a beating, and I’m worried there will be nothing there when I need it if I don’t get hired soon.

It’s not a place I thought I’d be at this point in my life.

It’s spooky.

#51 gpc on 01.12.12 at 1:40 am

Actual exchange between a commentator and the host of the Edmonton Real Estate Blog. In a previous comment, the realtor outlined his opinion of the key criterias home buyers should consider when purchasing a home, he did not income as a key criteria.

Here’s the exchange:


“All good things to consider and I’m sure most buyers do, especially with your good counsel…

But, what about income?

Best case scenario:

Buyers should have 20% down and a 25 year mortgage. The purchase price should not be more than 3-3.5x their present combined household income(instead of the current 5+).

A suitable yearly income to cover the housing costs (utilities, insurance, maintenance and taxes).

And a nice healthy savings account above that to cover all the things that we seem to forget about-major house problems like a new roof, bad plumbing, sudden income loss etc.”

•Blog Host:

“Not bad advice, but that leaves a really small percentage who could buy. Millions of homeowners in Canada have built equity off of a 5% down payment however I understand where your opinion is coming from.”

Which is illiquid in a clearly falling market.

See what I mean…?

Read more: Edmonton Real Estate Market Weekly

#52 Crash Callaway on 01.12.12 at 1:42 am

Canada 2018

Govt flunky:
“Sire! the Pensioners are revolting!
they say have no bread”

Prime Minister: “Tell them to make toast”

#53 Signpost in the bushes on 01.12.12 at 1:54 am

“The average CPP payment is $512.64 a month. When you hit 65, you can collect OAS as well. The average payment there is $508. That’s a thousand a month, or $12,000 a year. For a couple who qualify for both, you get twenty-four thousand a year, and of that you have to hand over about $3,000 in tax.”—Garth

Perhaps they need an accountant to verify this(?). This is definitely not the experience of many over the age of 65. You have forgotten the GIS on the income side and the “age allowance” ($6720pa per senior on annual incomes less than approximately $36K) on the tax credit side of the equation. Also the 2012 personal allowance is $10,822pa. The answer to the question; “How much does it cost to live in Canada?” “Why, whatever you have.”

#54 Onemorething on 01.12.12 at 1:55 am

If I hear another boomer on this blog comment that they are never going to sell and live in their home until until they die I’m gonna puke!

The sooner you face the harsh reality as noted above by Garth, and sell to fund your retirement now the better!

#55 geneticistx on 01.12.12 at 1:59 am

Oh no… I think this globe and mail article puts an exclamation mark on what garth is saying. Reverse mortgages are at a record high.

We’re so screwed.

#56 TOC on 01.12.12 at 2:01 am

Time and time again, we’re seeing more articles siding with Garth…..

#57 Signpost in the bushes on 01.12.12 at 2:02 am

“The average CPP payment is $512.64 a month.”—Garth

This average is lowered by the many Canadians who opt for CPP payments to begin before age 65. If there was an average CPP payment for only those Canadians who wait until age 65, it would be significantly higher. Those who apply early are invariably disappointed, while those who wait are generally, pleasantly surprised.

#58 Van guy blazin kush on 01.12.12 at 2:27 am

Listings in the lower mainland are starting to pile up. Monday and Tuesday saw over 700 homes listed. Even Ozzie Jerkoff is saying its a bad time to buy. Ozzie says west van condos are down 20% since may and some parts of Van west, avg declines were up to 17%. These numbers will look clearer as a yoy comparison. So by May-June, we should see those numbers close to 30% for Van west. It’s dead out in the wild wild west side.

For Van East, listings are slowly appearing but not exploding. There are far less new condos on the east side. So overbuilding isn’t as much of a concern yet. Character homes close to Main st are still in demand. That’s one area that should see less if a correction because those types of home show very much interest and usually take little time to sell. 1 just sold on Sophia and e 16 ave for 1.168 mil. Price declines are showing up in patches throughout the south coast and should be in all areas by the spring.

#59 Jody on 01.12.12 at 2:30 am

“One of the great Canadian myths is that anyone can live on CPP, OAS, GIS or any other government program. ”

Which is why we need to get rid of all those stupid programs, they give people a sense of security they should not have. Tell people the government will give them nothing, make it sink in and you’ll see a wholesale change in the amount people save. Everyone thinks the government will save them with some kind of mythical social safety net. Sorry, I’m not about to pay 90% tax to save any dipshit. If the government or boomers think younger generations won’t turn around and tell them to go to hell then they have their heads shoved so far up their own arses they can watch themselves swallow. I’m sorry, but I think enough people would be willing to take part in a tax revolt if it got bad enough.

Instead of pissing my money away on a crap shack in the suburbs I bought some land and have started a farm on the side, the pigs will be ready to slaughter come spring time, yum, yum. Soon it will be the boomers turn.

#60 Jody on 01.12.12 at 2:37 am


I think you should have put a wrinkly old boomer in that picture instead. Should be good times for young men who like GILF’s.

#61 TheRealTruth on 01.12.12 at 2:52 am

I think we all should read this…

It’s about Web addiction to certain sites…ahem…and brain changes.

Garth, are you on to something?

#62 stage1dave on 01.12.12 at 3:16 am

There’s nothing like first-hand experience to convince a person that something is seriously out of whack with RE valuations in this country; or in my case, Edmonton.

For as long as I’ve been observing this slide, & occasionally posting on this forum I’ve had several experiences with friends, family, & acquaintances & their respective experiences in this downhill market. (some of which I’ve posted here, all second hand, obviously) Based on these observances, & what I’ve read/heard etc; I decided 4 years ago to keep renting & see where all this led…

Anyway, the GF & I are vacating our pathetic rented townhouse in a couple months & moving into a not-so-pathetic house…rented. In a desirable area, steps from the ravine, no traffic to speak of, great yard, etc. We rented the bloody place for about HALF of what it would cost to carry a conventional mortgage at it’s appraised value! In fact, it turned out that the place had been rented for a couple years (at $200 more) simply to keep some cash flow moving…

I can’t think of a better example (to me personally) that confirms prices here have a LOT FARTHER to tumble…if this house was truly salable for anywhere near market value it would be sold, not rented out! (the owner is apparently waiting for the value to return, or exceed; where it was 4 1/2 yrs ago)

When rents start bearing no relation to the carrying cost of actually owning/amortizing the property, the market is tanking.

But maybe I’m living in a different world, too;

Monthly Expenses:

Booze $0 (I mooch off future BIL)
Loans/CC/LOC $0
Smokes $500 (hey, that’s for both of us!)
Shop rent/utilities $1942
House rent $1200
Utilities/cable/IN $600
Restoration budget (fast cars) $500
Restoration budget (faster cars) $1000
Investment grade OPC $200
Guitars/music/recording gear $250
Food bank donations $20
CRA pymt $250 (OK, now I KNOW I’m not making enuff money to hang on this forum!)

And most importantly: being able to organize the days as we see fit, & knowing the two us could walk away from all of this in 90 days & go do something else; PRICELESS!

Btw, Smoking Man; I remember a well-known Canadian politician who struggling with retirement (& the resultant pay cut) confided to a colleague that he’d found a way to save $365 a year…his equally-frugal & retired friend inquired about specifics…he replied: “I’ve found a tasty brand of scotch whiskey that’s a $1 a bottle cheaper than the brand I’ve been drinking…”

#63 RCL on 01.12.12 at 5:52 am

Garth: Excellent post. Unfortunately, most Canadains I know are in the same boat as Jim & Nadia. They work all their lives, no pension plan , Not enough RRSP’s to make a difference.
A lot of these folks have not had wage increases tha thave kpet up with the cost of living over the past 20 years, so I’m not sure where the blame should lie. But you are so right , as a country of aging boomers we are screwed.

#64 Tim on 01.12.12 at 7:03 am

2 grand a month isn’t THAT bad. A one bedroom apt can be had in most canadian cities other than near toronto for 600 bucks, so even after utilities you still have 1200 a month to live on. Food might be 200 a month for old people…. I just don’t see the poverty here, I feed 3 kids rent a house and have no debt and almost twice that amount. Oh there’s the key isn’t it NO DEBT…..

#65 truth hammer on 01.12.12 at 7:09 am

#37 Stu….call on any co-op or subsidized housing group and find out for yourself that the wait list for subsidized housing is decades long in some cases. There is a lot of nepotism going on in these places and a lot of scamming by the social workers who over see the programs. Vancouver had many cases of fraud in the court que.

In False Creek Co-Ops for example you will find lawyers, movie producers ( hey its a great location and co-op rates are a third the market rent so why not eh?) and every sort of affluent lickspittle……of course there is zero accountability in these places. So much for the single moms etc who really need a break… about a means test for subsidies? Can I get a hell yeah?

Just for a laugh…stroll past the parking lots of these places……..nice to be so needy.

#66 Steven Rowlandson on 01.12.12 at 7:39 am

Yes when home owners need cashflow what are they going to do? Sell to dudes like me? Doubtfull and not without taking a 90% plus hit to their house price.
Ask the government for a raise? Ask the banks for higher rates on their savings? They better get a pair of ear protectors as the laughing will be very loud.
The world as we know it is bankrupt or nearly so and there is absolutely no intention to stop the government borrowing and pay down the debt and there by stabilize the economy. At the very least one needs an asset with no counterparty risk, is physical, portable and respectable every where.

#67 detalumis on 01.12.12 at 8:05 am

Sorry Nadia you my dear are the problem and you paint a really negative picture of women. I am 51 and sincerely don’t know a single non-trophy wife under 70 that would throw up her hands and say I cannot get a job doing ANYTHING because I cannot google. You had a really good run of it, I can’t imagine sitting around while my 64 year old husband was climbing hydro poles in the winter.

Instead of drawing down your RRSPs early I would suggest you go to work in a fast food restaurant or some such thing for the next 10 years. You also could go sign up for computer lessons and learn how to do spreadsheets or even set up a budget binder like Gail Vaz Oxlade keeps harping on. I don’t spend 4,200 a month living in an expensive Toronto suburb and there is no reason you need to either. You my dear should stop acting like you are an 85 year old and you do a huge disservice to other 50+ women who are downsized and need to find new employment.

#68 Daniel on 01.12.12 at 8:05 am

Hilarious – the bank CEO’s in relation to the condo market in Toronto and Vancouver:

All three CEOs assured the business audience that they have little exposure to lending in the overbuilt condo market.

Ya they each only have 25% of the exposure (with 25% made up of the other smaller banks).


#69 Daniel on 01.12.12 at 8:06 am

#70 GregW, Oakville on 01.12.12 at 8:10 am

Hi #47Nostra, re: your ‘this story’ link.
Iran-oil-US dallar-payment issue worth starting war/killing human beings for(I know it’s not, but others in charge don’t all seem to agree with me!)
I hope they don’t start shotting. Or have they already started the fighting, trade wars signing, car bombs?

This guy seems to have an interesting take on the issue of oil trade-currency and peak-oil, if you haven’t seen it yet.
Look up this entertaining show titled, if interested,
“Robert Newmans History of Oil” it about 45min long

#71 David B on 01.12.12 at 8:13 am

Hey Garth, as a stay home mum she does get some CCP, albeit not much, yet a cheque each month with her name on it. She is also 53 and has time to build her CCP and who knows she could make it all the way to Ottawa with a little help from “F”. In any rate they are not as bad off as it seems.

Fact: less than 5% of the worlds 7 billion people can reach into their pockets and pull out enough change to buy a coffee …. and of course we know about the top 1% …. suspect you have been lucky enough to make that grade Garth.

Happy New Year …. off to Second Cup to read …. new quiet digs now as I told my ode Tim buddies ” I found a better class of losers’ LOL

Note; Haiti anniversary ….. we are the lucky ones eh?

#72 House on 01.12.12 at 8:23 am

Will you tell us about how pension income is a trap too? It is fully taxable.

#73 bigrider on 01.12.12 at 8:24 am

So what do we all do now , stop contributing to our RRSP’s ?

I am in the top tax bracket. Seems counter-intuitive to me to forgo 46% savings today because government may or may not raise tax rate 20 years from now when I start withdrawing from my RRSP.

Really, is that the answer?

#74 Danforth on 01.12.12 at 8:25 am

….Just over $120,000 in RRSPs. All bank mutual funds, of course. And [email protected] told them not four months ago they could have a secure retirement income. So don’t worry. …

This is probably because this is more money than the lady at the bank has herself! “These people are sitting pretty compared to me!”.

She, too, is screwed. And seemingly delusional.

#75 Sky on 01.12.12 at 8:53 am

@ Signpost in the bushes – “The answer to the question; “How much does it cost to live in Canada?” “Why, whatever you have.”

Brilliant comment !

@ Jody – “I bought some land and have started a farm on the side, the pigs will be ready to slaughter come spring time, yum, yum. ”

Please let us know how the meat turns out. Something has gone terribly wrong in the last couple of years. Been cooking all my life but can’t seem to find a piece of pork lately that isn’t dried out and tough as nails. Tenderloin is only OK, and as for pork chops or ribs – might as well eat cardboard.

Jody, if your pork is tender and succulent then I’ll know there’s still hope in that dept. and sojourn to the north Okanagan to track down some local farm raised pork. I’ve given up on the butcher shops.

#76 Mr C on 01.12.12 at 8:55 am

you may want to use this Toronto Star link in a future column. I am not sure if its on MLS, but it doesn’t sound like something I would want to buy for $350k.–house-in-a-box-up-for-sale-for-349-000?bn=1

#77 Kevin on 01.12.12 at 9:10 am

One of the great Canadian myths is that anyone can live on CPP, OAS, GIS or any other government program.

Not a single individual, no, but I think a married couple with no debts and full careers of CPP contributions could get by just fine, no? Isn’t that over $32k/year? And if that’s their only income, they pay no income tax at all ($16k each). Throw in a couple part-time jobs, or even a pittance of a pension/RRSP savings, and they’d get by nicely.

Not by my standards. — Garth

#78 Waterloo Resident on 01.12.12 at 9:26 am

People without jobs drastically curtail their spending = less home buying.

Unemployment will worsen because people over 65 continue to work because the values of their homes in which they once counted on as the financial basis of their retirements has dropped so sharply. Jobs that older people have taken are often ones that younger workers might have.

And yes, it is true that as homes fall in value the boomers will be sayin that they are NEVER GOING TO SELL, AND THEY WILL LIVE IN THEIR HOMES UNTIL THEY DIE !

Oh by-the-way (btw): for those who believe that you can get a one bedroom apartment anywhere near Toronto: KEEP SMOKING YOUR POT man ! One bedroom apartments start at $750 and go up from there ! I would say more like $900 / month for a 1-bedroom !

#79 Realitybytes on 01.12.12 at 9:30 am

So buying a house isn’t a sound retirement strategy…

But Jim and Nadia’s retirement could be ok because they bought and paid off a house…

Worry less about tax traps, and more about logic traps.

Imagine if they had been smart enough to downsize years earlier and build up their liquid wealth. No crisis. — Garth

#80 Incubus on 01.12.12 at 9:37 am

$1500 for renting is too much. They have to move to a cheaper place.

In Montréal, they can rent a nice 4 1/2 for ~$750 a month.

#81 McFurnish on 01.12.12 at 9:43 am

@ #45 Cristian
[email protected] = the nice lady at the bank

#82 Alistair McLaughlin on 01.12.12 at 9:46 am

Added to Jim and Nadia’s troubles is the fact that Manitoba income tax rates are among the most confiscatory in the country. The bottom tax rate in Manitoba is just under 11% (10.8%), closer to the top marginal rate in some other provinces, and the next marginal bracket kicks in at a paltry $31,000 – lowest in the country.

Here in Ontario, with my modest salary, I take home an additional $3000 per year over what I would in Manitoba. I’ve worked it out with tax software. Worse, Manitoba tax brackets are not indexed to inflation. Tobans are therefore subject to a stealth tax increase each and every year. Interestingly, the contestants in the recent provincial election mentioned NONE of this. They chose instead to argue over who would build more new community centres.

Numerous other nickle-and-dime schemes exist in MB as well. In Ontario, we renew our driver’s licence every five years. In MB? Every year. And they pay almost as much as what an Ontarian would pay for a five year renewal. Photo radar and red light cameras are ubiquitous in Winnipeg now, and the fines are downright devastating. For a person on a low income driving his old beater to work in the morning, his entire week’s take-home pay disappears with the flash of a camera. It happens.

This isn’t Manitoba bashing. I grew up there and my family is still there and I return often. I still consider Manitoba home. I’d love to return someday, but I’m not willing to sacrifice standard of living or disposable income to do it.

#83 eaglebay - Parksville on 01.12.12 at 9:52 am

#13 Deano on 01.11.12 at 11:20 pm
“ow much more? Should I sell my house now and lose my shirt (and probably my wife)? Should I start dumpster diving to save money?”
Wife in love with house not hubby.
Isn’t love grand. Typical.

#84 TurnerNation on 01.12.12 at 9:53 am

This nubile weblog is garnering over 200 comments per day now.

Blog dogs are in a frenzy as our mind control breaks down. Runaway inflation, massive job losses, yet our regime tells us everything is ok, and dazzles us with displays of military might against unseen but omnipresent enemies (have blind faith!), while distracting us with non issues (symbol, head scarves, royal insignias). Our glorious leader jets to hockey games in 6-star finery.
Is this N. Korea? Cuba? Or Canada.

Couples each spending 60 hours a week at work and in the commute, paying 50% taxation on essentials like gas and booze (not really an essential, but for some…), insurance, hydro, and banks raising rates and fees by the month.

I listened to Garth’s Montreal radio station podcast. He fired salvo after salvo of unilingual logic bombs at the incredulous mind controlled callers. Real estate always goes up! Running a capital loss is a sound business plan, they opined.

#85 johnny5z on 01.12.12 at 10:00 am

I examine banks in another country. We used to admire how much “net worth” many of the commercial borrowers had – most of it in real estate. Suddenly their “net worth” disappeared and they ran into huge problems because the had little, if any, LIQUIDITY. The lesson is that “net worth” is monopoly money until it’s cashed out in green.

#86 eaglebay - Parksville on 01.12.12 at 10:16 am

#31 Van guy blazin kush on 01.12.12 at 12:12 am
“This post is for old folks to read. But they don’t know how to use a computer so why waste a post today?”
We “old folks” started this computer revolution.
I’ve been using computers for over 30 years.
Based on your previous posts your reading comprehension is nothing to brag about.

#87 moi on 01.12.12 at 10:16 am

She raised 3 kids but can’t Google? How scary is that.

#88 Steve on 01.12.12 at 10:17 am

Actually, it’s even worse because of inflation. Garth’s suggestion that:

“to boost income to $55,000. And if half of that was in the form of dividends, their taxes would tumble. If they rented a place for $1,500 a month, they’d end up with $520 a week to spend – two and a half times more. Oh yeah, and they’d never run out of money.”

The problem is by using that whole 55,000 and not building up their savings during retirement, no matter how long they live the 55,000 is a cap, but inflation will hit their other costs… heck, rent alone, if it went up 2% a year, would be up to 2000 in 15 years, so there would be no money left for food at 80!

Hopefully their kids are wise about money and can help them out, at least with 3 there’s better odds one will be able to :)

#89 poco on 01.12.12 at 10:20 am

The Canadian David Lereah

#90 Tom from Mississauga on 01.12.12 at 10:21 am

Hi Garth
I swore that the blog tonight would be on Bill Doyle from BMO saying mortgage debt now poses a systemic risk to the Canadian banking system. Sherry Cooper must have told him. Is she selling Bridle Path to move next to the Bunker?

#91 Michael Hawk on 01.12.12 at 10:26 am

So I read this yesterday… “The robust Canadian housing sector, especially the booming condo markets in Vancouver and Toronto, could be at risk in 2012, say the heads of some of Canada’s biggest banks.”

But today I read this…. “Canada’s housing market will continue to be strong this year, with rising property values expected in all major markets, real estate brokerage firm Royal LePage said Thursday.”

What en EFFING joke the mass media has become….(Sigh) …..

LePage is a real state marketing company. The only joke is that their media releases become news. — Garth

#92 Devil's Advocate on 01.12.12 at 10:32 am

#79Realitybytes on 01.12.12 at 9:30 am
So buying a house isn’t a sound retirement strategy…

But Jim and Nadia’s retirement could be ok because they bought and paid off a house…

Worry less about tax traps, and more about logic traps.

Imagine if they had been smart enough to downsize years earlier and build up their liquid wealth. No crisis. — Garth

Realitybytes has a good point although I certainly do concur with the premise of Garth’s editorial today which brings forward a probable scenario that lays in wait over the not too distant horizon.

The backstory of all history is economics and the backstory of all economics is demographics. We have a world population of 7billion currently. At the time of the last significant demographic shift that took place there might have been at most half that number. When the current torrent pushing through the pipeline emerges I don’t think the economy will be prepared to handle it. And we do know it is coming. We have known it’s coming for some time now. It’s just a plain undeniable fact that there are more boomers out there than we are prepared to deal with in their sedentary years who have not themselves prepared to deal with that stage of their lives.

It is not the Boomers like Jim and Nadia we have to worry about so much. We need to worry about those Boomers who don’t own their own home free and clear and thus have no assets they can liquidate to supplement their retirement regardless of what the market is for those assets then. Again this “pathetic” blog speaks to the comparably wealthy. But then I am sure these economically challenged Boomers must be a concern to those comparably wealthy Boomers as the comparably wealthy must foresee that they will be expected by this socialist society to kick some of their own retirement resources into the pot for those comparably economically challenged who did not plan for these sedentary years they face just over the horizon.

Moral of the story…. taxes are going up… way up and those OAS payments Jim and Nadia might have relied upon to top up the income from the investment of the sale of their home? – Clawed back to be sure. Clawed back that the funds may be redistributed to they who need them most – they who neglected to prepare for a sedentary life.

I question when that time comes if our RRSPs and TFSAs will be so secure to our personal benefit. Where can you put your money today that you will know it is still there when you need it and that you can use it yourself when you need it without having to share it with those who did not work for it but need it too?

The question is; will we stand for this? Are we that socialist? Do we care that much about our fellow Canadians who were less diligent in planning for their future than we?

I don’t think we are quite so much and in consequence something different might take place. What that would be I do not know. What I am sure of is; change will occur – change we cannot forecast but change will occur.

You’ve seen it before. Watch it again…

“The key to success is often the ability to adapt”

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

“If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change. If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change.” – John A. Simone, Sr.

#93 John saccy on 01.12.12 at 10:32 am

Many Canadians’ retirement plans in dire need of reality check.

#94 Devil's Advocate on 01.12.12 at 10:38 am

One of the best retirement strategies you can implement is; learn early to live on less.

#95 Mike on 01.12.12 at 10:41 am

Baby boomers are complete idiots. You’re screwing yourself with your spend spend spend attitudes and you’ve screwed the entire planet. Thank you very much A-holes. Sincerely, Generation X

#38 Waterloo – You have so much mis-information about Fort McMurray that your post should be deleted.
Here’s the facts about fort mac as I lived there for 3.5yrs:
-Don’t drive up there thinking you’ll be handed a job. You won’t. Not anymore. This isn’t 2007. You’ll end up sleeping in your car and/or turning to meth.
-Average house price is around $650k
-Average wages are around $14/hr for no skills (Ie Timmys), $20 for non-skilled site, and $30-$50/hr for skilled site. You also need to account for a TON of OT for every type of worker. That’s what get’s that $50/hr process engineer making $200k and not $100k.
-Rent is anywhere from $800/month for a bedroom to $2000 for a small apartment to $5000 for a mcmansion
How do people afford it??? They PILE a shit-ton of people into every place imaginable. I dated a girl that lived w/ 9 friends in a 2bedroom apt when she first moved up there. I lived (on 2 seperate occasions) in a 1700sq ft house with 6-8 other people. That’s the only way it’s affordable. That, or you’re an exec for the big guys and you live for free in one of their $850k homes.

Once again, unless someone invents cold fusion, Ft Mac will be BOOMING for at least another 100 years. I can’t say what’ll happen with house prices, but it’s all about supply and demand, and there is a ton of demand (over the last month they just announced $18BILLION in new projects) and very little supply (There’s no more land to build on right now, and even if they had land, the infrastructure is maxed out. Everything is designed for 50k ppl, and they have at least 2x that right now.)

So there you have it. Fort Mac in a nutshell. It’s amazing that for such an important and vital industry to our country’s economy, the only people that understand what it’s all about are the ppl that have been there. The rest of you just think it’s 20yr old crackheads working on the ‘rigs’.

#96 Devil's Advocate on 01.12.12 at 11:01 am

What I would give to be young enough to embrace all the change that is about to take place.

These truly are exponential times and I believe we are at the brink of a new Renaissance which will through necessity broaden our individual and collective horizons.

What an adventure the future has in store.

#97 Canadian Watchdog on 01.12.12 at 11:01 am

“Imagine if they had been smart enough to downsize years earlier and build up their liquid wealth. No crisis. — Garth”

Imagine if the BoC lifted rates when it should have, governments didn’t spend so recklessly and banks didn’t leverage themselves beyond solvency. No Crises.

#98 Uh Oh Canada on 01.12.12 at 11:02 am

Just read this column from the Globe. Very reasonable estimation of house prices after the bubble. Expect houses to come down to the year 2000 levels.

#99 Colin on 01.12.12 at 11:04 am

You make it sound so easy to get a multi-year average return of 7%.

How many times do we need to go over this ground? — Garth

#100 BPOE on 01.12.12 at 11:22 am

The experts agree housing is the BEST

#101 WHY ME on 01.12.12 at 11:23 am

Dear Garth, why have you deleted that out of work prostitute picture from your post?
We all saw it…

So what? — Garth

#102 Danforth on 01.12.12 at 11:28 am

Lots of talk about ability to get by on the government freebies in your old age…

If you’re THRIFTY, yes, its possible…while both parties are alive (and still co-habiting).

But – if one becomes widowed prior to the other (as is often the case), it doesn’t work on HALF that government freebie !

It doesn’t work anyway. Government income support programs were designed to replace 25% of income. If you want to live on that, get used to the underclass. — Garth

#103 Daisy Mae on 01.12.12 at 11:28 am

#6 TRUEHAMMER: “The Canadian landscape is a killing field for the greedy ministers who’d like every penny in savings to convert to crystallized tax revenue….”


In the fifties and before, the income tax form was a single sheet of paper, pages 1 and 2…with 1-2 attachments. People filled out their income tax forms themselves. Very basic. Very simple.

Now it’s FOUR pages and multiple attachments. We’re required to add income here, and deduct it there. The feds dazzle us with their footwork to the point where we’re so intimidated the vast majority turn all the paperwork over to ‘tax preparers’ for a price, of course…..and half the time THEY don’t know what they’re doing.

It doesn’t need to be this complicated, but it’s been an effective job-creation ploy.

#104 Spiltbongwater on 01.12.12 at 11:29 am

Royal LePage is forecasting a 2.3% rise in Vancouver house prices. Guess all that talk by the bank CEO’s is just talk, as the experts predict a rise.

#105 GTA Engineer on 01.12.12 at 11:30 am

Garth – for RSP vs TFSA contributions, understandably you want to hold interest-bearing instruments in your RSP and dividend/capital gain instruments in your TFSA. Aside from that, is there a reason to hate on RSP’s? Assuming you pre-invest the tax return, I see no problems (eg. Say you want to contribute $10k @ 40% marginal tax – instead of contributing $10k you would instead contribute $16666 and get a refund of $6666, effectively reinvesting your tax refund rather than blowing it on cookies for the Amazons). Anything else wrong with RSP’s? Feel free to tell me to wait for a future blog post – I just hope you address the topic..

#106 Smoking Man on 01.12.12 at 11:32 am

#48 Rizzo on 01.12.12 at 1:26 am SAID
Hey Smoking Man-Is there any way you can squeeze an extra 100 bucks into your January budget for a grade 3 spelling class? ………………………………………………………………

Rizzo why would I do that, you haven’t figured it out yet.

My Bad speeling and grammer is a rebelion against the machine. That being the school system, who’s primary function is to produce obideant tax farm slaves, that have no balls or courge.

A perfictly exicuted paragraph would singnal to the bblog dogs, I comply, I aggree with there methods.

In fact my book which I am going to sell for 100 bucks a shot, will not be edited or corrected.

I will teach whom ever wants to listen how to beat the man at his oun game. The reson its 100 bucks is I dont want to sell alot. Capitalism will not work if everyone is a capitalist. We need dumb down tax farm slaves to serve us.

#107 pjwlk on 01.12.12 at 11:33 am

What a joke!

“Royal LePage said even pricey housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto — where standard two-storey homes averaged $1.1-million and $629,188, respectively, in the last quarter — will see continued price appreciation in 2012.” Here’s the FP article.

Sheesh… make up your mind: Cooling housing market forecast by Royal LePage

This one appears to have been removed:

Toronto Star – 27 minutes ago Canadian home prices will keep rising, but slowly: LePage

“TORONTO—Canadian home prices will continue to go up in 2012, although at a slower pace than they did last year…”

#108 Ret on 01.12.12 at 11:40 am

#13 Deano and the OTPP

The plan had structural problems from inception and is really about $30B (25-30%) underfunded. Some of that shortfall was disguised as accounting “smoothing.”

Principals, superintendents etc. take out huge in relation to what they put in. Become a Principal in your last 5 years, put $2000 a year more into the fund, and your pension increases $10000 a year for the rest of your life. This is a huge structural weakness that could eventually bring down this plan along with all other government pension plans that are not backed up by a federal printing press.

Most teachers don’t even know that their indexing has been cut for last year. Curtailing full indexing was rather quietly done, announced but not clearly explained. Most teachers just look at me when I try to explain it to them. They don’t get it. (Typical, “I’m not retiring this year anyway.” Duh?)

There would have been riots in the street if C.U.P.E. or local municipalities had the same scaling back of pension indexing. They would never ever have agreed to similar de-indexing.

#109 Brad in Calgary on 01.12.12 at 11:40 am

It’s interesting how the disease of “self-entitlement” gives Mr. Turner ammunition to go after the youth of today for house horniness.
And yet, the very same disease causes Mr. Turner to snub his nose at people with paid-off houses who choose to live on $2000k a month. It can be done sir, and it is done.
They are not “screwed” in the slightest.
Because, they can forego. They aren’t afflicted with the sense of entitlement – for vacations, new cars, whatever.

Granted, 2k a month (net) won’t be nearly enough in 15 – 20 years. But it is today.

If you want to live on Alpo, be my guest. There is no reason, given the choices we all have, for anyone to fail so completely and six or seven decades of life. — Garth

#110 disciple on 01.12.12 at 11:41 am

It’s mind-boggling. Here is an age demographic that had EVERYTHING one could imagine. The world was their oyster and every conceivable opportunity at their fingertips to propel mankind to the outposts of civilization and social progress. They even had the Greatest Generation for parents. My grandfather and his compatriots, although farmers and tradesmen, were rocket scientists and in various disciplines compared to what the universities churn out today as PhD’s…it’s disgusting to even think about it. And then the student debt overhang, that just makes me throw up a little in my mouth…what a mess…

And yet, here we are, at a quagmire of economic inequality, in real terms probably worse than the start of the 20th-century, poorer than the dirt we still haul out of the ground to dig out our own graves. And I don’t only mean money-wise. If you know disciple by now, you would know my thesis that the problems always begin within. Anyway, HOW DID IT HAPPEN?

Basically, we (yes, even though I am a Gen-X’er , still I know the X’s, Y’s, and Z’s will be dealing with the same problems) have been sold a bill of lies, untruths, and outright frauds. And we continue to believe those who continue to lie to us. The same ruling families.

Which is why we all cherish the time Garth puts into this blog and the effort he puts into putting the numbers and ideas into explaining all of these financial problems that are either befalling us now, or for some like me, would surely befall us in the future if we hadn’t read his words.

Thanks Garth. I for one, really appreciate what you do. Retirement is a long long way off for me, but at least someone out there is trying to help out the common man and make straight the path to a more prosperous future – disciple

#111 Alistair McLaughlin on 01.12.12 at 11:44 am

Nadia is just 53 years old? Sorry, but nobody is “unemployable” at that age, unless they suffer from debilitating illness, or just plain give up. Since no illness was mentioned, I assume the latter. It is her attitude that needs fixing before their financial situation can improve. Many women who stayed home with the kids re-enter the workforce in middle age. Indeed, it is normal. Her “I’m just a helpless housewife” schtick must be getting rather tiresome for her husband.

#112 Form Man on 01.12.12 at 11:53 am

#234 DA yesterday

Narcissism is rampant in your comments. Last time I checked, this blog was about the ‘Canadian Housing Market’ ( not about DA and his desperate ego ). Confine your comments to the facts presented, and you will find others are less harsh with you. Deflecting rebuttals you find awkward, and launching personal assaults is a sure sign of the poverty of your case. You have joined forces with westernman and eaglebay to form a troika of irrelevant, petulant, schoolyard outcasts.
I pity you, however I must point out you are completely responsible for the sad position you find yourself in. It is much better to approach the world of business without emotion and armed with accurate data. Those who ignore facts and spout irrational rage, along with ‘gut instinct’ decision-making, are likely to remain angry, frustrated, and impoverished.

#113 Mixed Bag on 01.12.12 at 11:54 am

Brava! #67 detalumis on 01.12.12 at 8:05 am

Doesn’t matter what age you are, if you have no education, you’re (almost) unemployable. In fact, there are educated people who have been working in a job for 20+ years who got downsized and needed to re-train and did and got work. Nadia’s situation isn’t all that different. Frankly, they were lucky to be able to afford to live on and raise a family on one income all these years. Perhaps they live in a more traditional household, whatever, if there isn’t anything keeping her from working, such as illness, they would do good to consider to detalumis’ advice.

#114 Scooby Snacks on 01.12.12 at 11:59 am

#79 Realitybytes on 01.12.12 at 9:30 am

So buying a house isn’t a sound retirement strategy…

But Jim and Nadia’s retirement could be ok because they bought and paid off a house…

Worry less about tax traps, and more about logic traps.

Imagine if they had been smart enough to downsize years earlier and build up their liquid wealth. No crisis. — Garth

Spoken like someone who may be in the same situation! Let’s face it, Garth’s advice in this situation will fall to death ears!

I’ve done my job. People who don’t listen are on their own. — Garth

#115 South of 49 on 01.12.12 at 12:06 pm

#45 Cristian

[email protected]
The nice lady at the bank.

#116 City Slicker on 01.12.12 at 12:16 pm

My investment plan is simple, gold stocks in TFSA and so far it’s tripled. All tax free!
What is the TFSA becomes obsolete, can we still have our holdings in it, just no future contributions I assume?

#117 Aussie Roy on 01.12.12 at 12:29 pm

Aussie Update

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) Economics Group has released a note on where it sees dwelling prices heading for 2012.

It appears that the Australian banking system continues to pay the price for the European crisis and its reliance on foreign funding. As I mentioned last week CBA paid a high price to issue covered bonds in the European market due to the costs of swapping Euros back to AUD.

Philip Lowe, who is set to become the second most senior official at the Reserve Bank of Australia when he becomes deputy governor next month, appears in little doubt that central banks have to be more vigilant about asset price growth.

Of course no problems here in Australia because we don’t have a bubble – LOL

Don’t we keep being told we are saving?.

Australian credit card debt has struck a new record high of $50 billion, ballooning by almost a third in the past five years.

New figures from the Reserve Bank, published today, show outstanding credit card debt topped $50 billion for the first time in November, with $36.3 billion of the total accruing interest.

Skyscrapers Foretell Financial Collapse: Look Out China, India

The European Central Bank should ramp up its buying of troubled euro zone debt to support Italy and prevent a “cataclysmic” collapse of the euro, David Riley, the head of sovereign ratings for Fitch, has warned.

Once per quarter investment professionals from across PIMCO’s global offices gather in Newport Beach for our Economic Forum. These sessions have been the foundation of PIMCO’s investment process for years; we debate and update our short-term and long-term views for the global economy, and, from that, for individual asset classes, such as government bonds, corporate bonds, mortgages and stocks. Last month we gathered for our December Forum and the topic that dominated the discussion, as it has in recent quarters, was the fate of the euro.

#118 Boomer on 01.12.12 at 12:32 pm

#71 David B—a stay at home Mom who never contributed to CPP will receive zip! You only get CPP if you have contributed.
A question for Garth, why does the MSM quote the 5 to 1 pension contributions for MP’s? Garth you said that was not true. Having been an MP can you give us the true ratio? Thanks

#119 Pat on 01.12.12 at 12:55 pm

You must like poverty. BTW, 85 is ‘elderly’, not 64. — Garth

Young man, you must think that most Canadians live in poverty.

Under $30K for a couple in any major city is financial failure. — Garth

#120 Dr. Wayne on 01.12.12 at 12:56 pm

And a continued 7% return on investment is highly optimistic :

That’s what you get reading the CBC for investment advice. — Garth

#121 Devil's Advocate on 01.12.12 at 1:03 pm

“Imagine if they had been smart enough to downsize years earlier and build up their liquid wealth. No crisis.” — Garth

How many years earlier? Enough to have put the money into investments just before the financial markets tanked or enough years earlier that they might have missed out on the rampant increase it their homes value?

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a good raindance. Hmmm looks like rain.

Life is a gamble no matter what you do.

Balanced portfolios don’t tank. Unlike Kelowna houses. — Garth

#122 Arse on 01.12.12 at 1:04 pm

Oh, why did Garth change the picture from a hooker willing to work for food to a driving granny?

Popular demand. — Garth

#123 Macrath on 01.12.12 at 1:15 pm

Cage dogs of Hong Kong. Downsizing HAM style !

#124 avenirv on 01.12.12 at 1:16 pm

Tha Taxman said:

If a couple only has CPP and OAS – they will likely pay no tax once over 65 because of the $6,000 age credit added to the $10,000 personal credit. If CPP is $900 and OAS is $500/month – Annual income would be $16,800 or $33,400 for the couple. Given the personal and age credits available this $33.4K income is effectively tax free. Not much to live on – yes – but at that income level taxes are not a consideration for seniors.”

GT said:
“You have used the maximum CPP income, which most people do not qualify for. As I stated, the average is $512. — Garth”

this may mean their income is somewhere around 28K/year, 14K per head.
does this mean 14K/year are taxed at 28% ?
that is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

#125 Lorne on 01.12.12 at 1:20 pm

Cameron Muir is on CKNW with Bill Good right now…
Listen live

#126 Two-thirds on 01.12.12 at 1:25 pm

@ #34 nonplused

That was a fantastic post! – I loved the fake veiled hatred/envy tone. I hope it is fake and not “fake”…

I seriously liked your “the hated frugalis baastardus” line.

I know many people that feel precisely that way about some of u$, who choose to live below our mean$ – and $ave a $ub$tantial portion of our non-in$ub$tantial income.

Thanks for the laugh.

#127 jess on 01.12.12 at 1:35 pm

Those drivers also carry guns!
92 year old woman shoots up home of man who refused to kiss her…



Joe McGuire, a member of Occupy Detroit’s Direct Action committee, was part of the Ambassador Bridge protest.
DETROIT: Billionaire bridge owner ‘Matty’ Maroun jailed for …
As part of the area’s Gateway project, the Ambassador Bridge was to be connected directly to the freeways. The Michigan Department of Transportation sued the bridge company in 2009, saying that the DIBC was not building its portion according to the design that both agreed upon.

On 25 March 2010, it was announced that Moroun is suing the US and Canadian governments over the Detroit River International Crossing. He has sought to block construction of the new bridge as it competes with his own proposal for a second span of the Ambassador Bridge, which he would also own.[9] Critics suggest that Moroun’s opposition is fuelled by the prospect of lost profits from duty-free gasoline sales, which are exempt from about 60 cents per gallon in taxes even though the pump price to consumers is only a few cents lower.[10]

tax free fuel sales are bonanza for Ambassador bridge owners

Gasoline and diesel fuel sold at the sprawling plaza on the Detroit side of the bridge typically are priced only a few pennies a gallon lower ($3.84/gallon for unleaded Thursday) than at nearby non-duty-free stations and truck stops. That means about 60 cents a gallon of what would be state and federal taxes anywhere else goes straight to the bottom line for the bridge owners.

#128 TaxHaven on 01.12.12 at 1:36 pm

I fail to understand how a couple with paid-off house can’t live on C$2400 a month.

My son and I spend bout $450-500 a month on food, plus about the same on taxes, car insurance, gas, forced government medical insurance payments, miscellaneous bills and utilities, plus about $300 on other stuff. Total no more than @$1250/month. We shop on sale items only, cook at home and eat out only on 2-for-1 fast food deals about once a week. But we have great peace of mind: the ability to live happily yet frugally is a valuable asset.

Perhaps Canadians’ expected living standards have gotten too high? Time for retirees to stop playing, travelling, touring, golfing and shopping and time for them to start enjoying LIFE.

#129 Spiltbongwater on 01.12.12 at 1:40 pm

Cameron Muir on CKNW

“We have not seen any signs of an overheated market in Vancouver. We think prices will be flat for a few years” No bubble here obv.

#130 Devil's Advocate on 01.12.12 at 1:44 pm

Form Man

I can see that you are intent on nothing more than escalating this childish exchange between you and I as demonstrated by your most recent post directed solely at insulting me and contributing absolutely nothing to this “pathetic” blog. As such I respectfully decline to respond and will ignore any further such comment by you.

#131 Lorne on 01.12.12 at 1:48 pm

Royal LePage is forecasting a 2.3% rise in Vancouver house prices. Guess all that talk by the bank CEO’s is just talk, as the experts predict a rise.

Yep, those EXPERTS at Royal Lepage really show no self-interest when making predictions!!! Have they ever predicted a sharp decrease, or any decrease at all???

#132 Devil's Advocate on 01.12.12 at 1:52 pm

Balanced portfolios don’t tank. Unlike Kelowna houses. — Garth

But Garth the average Kelowna home is still up 85% over that which it was pre-boom and many more than that. Both investments, those you flog and those I flog, are long term holds. Anyone who does otherwise is a speculator and gambling with little or no guarantee.

#133 Canuck Abroad on 01.12.12 at 1:55 pm

Nadia is still young and there are plenty of jobs out there that do not require computer skills (shop clerk, waitress, greeter, nursery assistant, and so on). At only 53, she could build up 12 years at least of CPP contributions. If her husband wants to retire in 2 years he could take care of the house while she works. They’re just going to drive each other crazy if they’re both home all day anyway.

#134 Devil's Advocate on 01.12.12 at 1:58 pm

Excuse me there are no “guarantees” just varying degrees of risk.

#135 disciple on 01.12.12 at 2:10 pm

“Where can you put your money today that you will know it is still there when you need it and that you can use it yourself when you need it without having to share it with those who did not work for it but need it too?”
Ignoring for the moment the obvious selfishness in the above, I wonder how it is like to live your life always worried that someone is trying to steal your pile of money… hmmm…. I’ve never actually felt this emotion, is it painful? The more you give, the more you receive, idiot.

#136 Arshes on 01.12.12 at 2:17 pm

@ #125 avenirv

Eveyone gets a basic credit of approx. $ 10,000, if your over 65, theres the age amount of $ 6700 and then if you get a pension, theres the pension credit of $ 2000. Thats for each person, with income splitting opprotunities and such retirees can approx $ 27400 or $18700 each, im tax free income.

#137 Kurt on 01.12.12 at 2:35 pm

I like the little old lady better than the out-of-work hooker – it’s a better fit for the post.

#138 unbalanced on 01.12.12 at 2:35 pm

To #29 RRSP to DRIP.

I believe the guy you’re talking about is Daryl Diamond from Winnipeg. He has an office in an area called Osborne Village. Not wanting to start anything, I didn’t know he USED your idea.

#139 Arshes on 01.12.12 at 2:41 pm

#79 Realitybytes on 01.12.12 at 9:30 am

So buying a house isn’t a sound retirement strategy…

But Jim and Nadia’s retirement could be ok because they bought and paid off a house…

Worry less about tax traps, and more about logic traps.

Tax Trap? Jim and Nadia have a paid off home, but will have barely any money when they retire. A paid off house still needs to be heated, needs electricity, water, property taxes, and maintenace.

Whats the point of having a paid of home when your retired, if you have no money for heat, water, or power????????

I’m also pretty sure that Jim and Nadia would also like money for food, gas for thier car, and tv (essential item, if you havent saved for retirement and all you can do is sit in your house all day long.)

#140 Herb on 01.12.12 at 2:46 pm

“Popular demand.”

For the hooker or the granny?

#141 betamax on 01.12.12 at 2:52 pm

#67 detalumis — Bravo. Thanks for the blunt honesty and wisdom. Hopefully Nadia and others in her situation will listen.

#142 spaceman on 01.12.12 at 2:55 pm

“You need to be careful about citing market returns of 6-7% on an annual basis. In today’s world, timing is everything, and that is something none of us really control. Legendary investor John Bogle says the stock market now is purely run by speculators, not investors.”

And that is biggest reason not to play the game. you can’t time the market so don’t do it.

Read some books on balanced portfolios, Dividend Paying investments, and Value investing (Benjamin Graham is a good one) Get educated.

Even with cash in my portfolio, (about 10%) I still average 6-7%. 50% bonds, 40% Equitys, (mixed dividend, large and small cap, US/Canada)

RRSP/TFSA/RESP all are good, and the one thing Garth never talks about, its almost unheard of these days

whole life, insurance policys.

Mine is worth $90,000 and is tax exempt. But i have to die to collect right? No, I can borrow against it, invest it, claim the exemption on the interest, and generate income during my life time. When I die, the tax exempt capital pays off the loan in full. Done deal.

#143 Mark on 01.12.12 at 3:12 pm

#95, Mike — “That’s what get’s that $50/hr process engineer making $200k and not $100k.”

The APEGGA survey only shows a 10-20% increase in average wage for an engineering professional in Fort McMurray versus the average in Alberta. So $200k is quite atypical (and process engineers typically wouldn’t be paid hourly…).

#144 Kevin on 01.12.12 at 3:16 pm

Under $30K for a couple in any major city is financial failure. — Garth

So leave the city.

If you’re retired, and on a (low) fixed income, why would you stay in an expensive city? Why not move someplace quieter and much cheaper, and make those dollars stretch farther?

You may not be able to live in Yaletown on $30k/year, but you can certainly pull it off in Digby.

Hospitals. Culture. Public transit. Family. Besides, have you ever been to Digby? — Garth

#145 Kevin on 01.12.12 at 3:21 pm


“does this mean 14K/year are taxed at 28%?”

No. Senior citizens don’t pay income tax in Canada. It’s intergenerational theft on a massive scale, and we’re supposed to feel sorry for the poor souls “scraping by” on their $50k/year/couple tax-free income.

Between the $20k in personal income tax exemptions (remember: a married couple), and the age credit (another $13k), pension splitting (to ensure it all evens out and minimizes any income exposed to tax), plus senior citizen discounts, drug credits, housing credits, HST rebates, and everything else, you have to be a truly profligate septuagenarian to actually have to send the CRA anything more than pocket change.

Complete crap. Ask your folks. — Garth

#146 Blacksheep on 01.12.12 at 3:25 pm

Resurrected for Disciple & Smoking Man,

Any Human alive today is a product of successful genetics going back 100′s of generations.

Many struggle with the fact man is an animal, with certain drives that have helped ensure our survival.
Food, shelter and the instinct/desire to reproduce are at the root of our needs.

Some people feel lost, trying to discover “what is my purpose” in life?

Reread the first paragraph, to find the answer to the above question.

We have been programmed by the doctrine repeaters, as was our ancestors, from birth to be “good citizens”, based on social expectations. In our world, perceived success generally comes via financial gains, giving the victor, Independence, lifestyle and power.

Food, shelter and the opportunity to reproduce, are a very basic version of: Independence, lifestyle and power.

When we see a ultra successful, Alpha man or woman, there’s a high probability their indoctrination didn’t take very well due the influence of a nonconformist mentor.

We have seen the bankers sipping champagne on Wall Street, looking down from ivory towers at the OWS protesters and laughing, as the public cringes with disgust.

The people sharing the banker’s insight, understand, they see the world as it really is, not as the masses were sold it to be. They’ve realized many of the rules don’t apply, see opportunity for gain everywhere, yet have no expectations of fairness from life.

All the while, the sheep in the street know something is not right, but can’t do anything but voice their grievances, like a pack of adolescent wolves yelping from the periphery, as the Alpha male & female eat.

The scheme of life, our capitalistic mentality, this survival of the fittest is at the very core of our success as humans and will not be denied.

Today…has generations blaming each other for their plight. The Boomers are too greedy & Gen Y are too spoiled.
This anger is misplaced, as we are expirencing what authors Strauss & Howe’s have labelled “The Fourth Turning” from 1997. The book reviews the past 500 years and the cyclical nature of generational influences. It attempts to explain how approximately every 80-90 years the cycle refreshes to start a new.

A child raised in the 1930′s depression, will have a much different mind set/values/expectations as an adult, than a child born in 1990′s with a barrage of new technology and very high living standards.

Little Suzy didn’t understand why great Grandma used to keep all that jarred/canned food in the basement, but we know why.

Like many have stated here recently, most don’t
recognize the farm or fences that is the “SYSTEM” and continue to drudge along through life, because they don’t know what else to do.

In order to take the first step and mentally leave the farm…one must accept it’s existence.

take care,

#147 Form Man on 01.12.12 at 3:42 pm

#131 DA

capitulation, and now surrender. perhaps the delusion is beginning to recede…….

#129 taxhaven

you are complaining about the cost of Canadian medical insurance ? try living in the U.S. ( especially at your age )

#148 Cato on 01.12.12 at 3:54 pm

Groupthink. Everyone sees their neighbours, friends & family as ill-prepared for retirement as they are and simply think its normal. They think they are doing everything right because its what everyone else is doing.

People are survivors, they’ll suffer through it. Living life of austerity for their remaining days probably isn’t what most expect but its what they deserve. Unlike many other hapless souls on this planet they were born into a free and prosperous society. They had the opportunity to do better and made selfish choices.

Anyone under 45 better get their head in the game and save themselves while they still can. I don’t have much sympathy for the impending boomer crisis, the crisis my generation faces will be much far, far worse.

The boomers will have no choice but cash out what assets they have to fund basic retirement. I suspect majority will use financing to cash out equity. For the most part there will be no inheritance for their kids. What assets the kids inherit will probably be encumbered by debt.

Entitlement projections are way off, the historical models many most managers rely on are broken. The initial boomer wave will buckle many private and public pension plans. Those of us coming after shouldn’t rely on this income in financial planning. It might be nice to have but only a fraction of those expectations should be relied upon.

Our healthcare system in its current form won’t survive. Hard choices will have to be made. Expensive new life extending/saving treatments & technologies will have to be forgone in favor of funding basic, universal care. If we stick our heads in the sand and don’t allow private healthcare those Canadians seeking a better standard of care will simply have to seek other avenues. Anyone who doesn’t have the funds won’t get access to care regardless if we have a two teir system or not.

This is basic math. No-one wants to talk about it because for most boomers its not their problem and the younger generations are apathetic. They have fallen into the groupthink dynamic of their boomer parents. Buy a house, make your public pension contributions and everything else in life is just spending money. They won’t realize their mistake until its too late but by that time the jig will be up. The generation that follows mine will have little interest in continuing to fund schemes seen as insolvent, if they don’t pay in then my generation can’t cash out. The only ones to make it out with retirement future intact will be those who spent their lives saving and investing at a far greater rate then previous generation. As we enter the end the debt super cycle everyone needs to wake up to the fact they are on their own, don’t expect government to save you.

#149 Daisy Mae on 01.12.12 at 4:05 pm

#33 DEVILS ADVOCATE: “….the average Kelowna home is still up 85% over that which it was pre-boom and many more than that.”


Assessments for 2012 in West Kelowna — at least, in this gated community — are down around 2010 levels. They do generally fluctuate up and down abit from year to year.

It will be interesting to see what our mill rate will be…

#150 bigrider on 01.12.12 at 4:11 pm

20 % decline on a balanced portfolio in 2008 is considered a ‘tanking’ to most people. Just saying.

Especially if a 15% decline in housing prices would be a “devastating event” as you have alluded too.

In any event, please keep in mind that high yielding securities such as preferred’s are still somewhat vulnerable in a deflationary cycle. Cash is best category if asset deflation is an investors premise.

Jean Francois Tardiff, featured on BNN last week and arguably the best hedge fund manager now retired in the country currently has 60% of his portfolio in cold ,hard cash. The remainder of 40% divided between high quality dividend payers, some gold and oil and gas.

I guess he doesn’t need income to put food on the table then, does he? Your comment bears no relation to the reality faced by the people I profiled. — Garth

#151 Bob on 01.12.12 at 4:16 pm

I’m sorry, but retiring in Canada makes no economic sense. Working here is bad enough, as is the cold, feminism and materialistic “culture”. As soon as I can I’m renting off my paid off condo and retiring to the Philippines. It’s always warm, English is spoken, everything is much cheaper than Canada and best of all the women have not been spoiled by feminism and capitalism.

#152 Alistair McLaughlin on 01.12.12 at 4:20 pm

Kevin, my parents are both seniors. Their incomes are modest, yet they pay fairly high marginal taxes. Yes, they get a few more credits than they used to. But after that, they’re being hit not only with the same punative rates as everyone else, but clawbacks besides. Not looking for any sympathy for them or anything. Just presenting reality. $10,000 in extra credits is a savings of $1500 in federal tax. Perhaps another $1000 provincial tax. Thats’ it. And credits do not lower the taxes paid on marginal income (i.e. your next dollar earned). Indeed, seniors find their true marginal tax rate to be higher due to benefit clawbacks. Again, this isn’t a sob story, just reality.

#153 Tkid on 01.12.12 at 4:22 pm

Would the best thing for Kim and Nadia to do be to sell the house, invest the proceeds in preferred shares getting four or five percent dividends. If the house gets them three hundred thousand, they would have fifteen thousand in extra income, plus it would have a tax advantage of seventy five percent off their normal tax rate. The fifteen minus taxes pays for rent, the CPP pays for food, etc. Any further income requirememt can come from part time local jobs?

#154 Dorothy on 01.12.12 at 4:34 pm

It has always bothered me that so many folk refuse to save enough to assure themselves a comfortable retirement (and that applies just as much to young folk as it does to Boomers).

Knowing that our society would not let old people starve to death, it seems to me it would be wise to have a system which FORCES people to save for their old age, so as to avoid those of us who WERE prudent having to subsidize those who were not. And that is why I think we should pressure the government to increase CPP premiums so as to be able to increase CPP benefits, thus enabling people to support THEMSELVES in their old age as opposed to asking society for a handout.

This would be far more effective than the current proposal of creating the equivalent of a defined contribution plan, which only benefits the banks in the form of increased fees. Because the average Canadian does not have the financial skills to benefit from such a program, and besides which, as Boomers have learned, no-one benefits from such programs if you happen to retire during a financial crisis.

Increasing the CPP would solve a lot of problems when it comes to figuring out how society is going to cope financially with an increase in pensioners.

However, it would not solve the problem of stay at home mum’s who never contributed to CPP, which is why I’ve long advocated a system of allowing those who are financially able to do so to contribute to CPP on a volunteer basis during their non-earning years. I know I would have willingly made such payments, had I been given the opportunity, in order to ensure a more secure retirement.

No-one should use their house as a piggy bank, either to underpin a HELOC or to finance their retirement. Because a house is merely shelter, which cannot be counted on to hold its value. That has always been true, not just during this recent downturn. Boom and bust cycles of Real Estate have been going on for as long as I can remember. Yes, it may be worse this time, or it may last longer than past busts, but there again it may not. The point is that no-one really knows for sure how far prices may fall, or for how long. But anyone who studies history knows that a drop in prices was in the cards sooner or later, and shouldn’t have relied on their house to finance ANYTHING.

On a brighter note, prices will eventually rebound, but again no-one can predict when or by how much. The point is that if you buy a home it should be because you can afford it, prefer home ownership to renting, like the house and want to live it. NOT because you intend using your home as a piggy bank.

#155 Rob now in Nova Scotia on 01.12.12 at 4:43 pm

This is the exact same strategy that my Dad used. House worth $300K in Hamilton and $100K in GICs looked in for 2 years. Then another $1,000 a month to live on and property taxes alone $4,500 a year. He lived very poor, never went anywhere and to save money he turned the heat down to nothing. Then he got sick at 72. He has since passed away.

I’m glad I have my money in silver and am a looser renter.

#156 EB on 01.12.12 at 4:43 pm

“Being called a Realturd is hateful and hurtful, please stop it.”

This is the internet. Everybody gets disrespected.

#157 Bill Gable on 01.12.12 at 4:54 pm


Your ignorant post betrays an IQ of about your shoes size. Mr. Turner spends time pro bono to help folks.
You add nothing to the discussion.
Waste time on some other board.

#158 Devil's Advocate on 01.12.12 at 5:04 pm

#136disciple on 01.12.12 at 2:10 pm
“Where can you put your money today that you will know it is still there when you need it and that you can use it yourself when you need it without having to share it with those who did not work for it but need it too?”
Ignoring for the moment the obvious selfishness in the above, I wonder how it is like to live your life always worried that someone is trying to steal your pile of money… hmmm…. I’ve never actually felt this emotion, is it painful? The more you give, the more you receive, idiot.

Besides completely missing the point of my post… well done spoken like a true bleeding heart liberal on the receiving end of the anticipated (expected) handout.

The point? If you are actually in a position to share your wealth you are probably soon to find out it will not be so much that it is a matter of the more you give, the more you receive but rather the more that is taken away from you the less you have left for you and your family. I wholly endorse the former. it is the later I have a problem with.

#159 Pat on 01.12.12 at 5:12 pm

Under $30K for a couple in any major city is financial failure. — Garth

It is housing costs, primarily, that make big cities more expensive – obviously not an issue in this case. Other items are often cheaper there. Owning a car may be unecessar

#160 jess on 01.12.12 at 5:12 pm

If we are living in an “envy-oriented” class warfare world doesn’t that mean Romney will lose? Garth your guess that Obama will win becomes more true.

#161 Van guy blazin kush on 01.12.12 at 5:26 pm

#130 Spiltbongwater on 01.12.12 at 1:40 pm
Cameron Muir on CKNW

“We have not seen any signs of an overheated market in Vancouver. We think prices will be flat for a few years” No bubble here obv.

Cameron Muir is drinking bong water.

Morry will be excited with this news.

#162 Smoking Man on 01.12.12 at 5:26 pm

#148 Blacksheep on 01.12.12 at 3:25 pm

Damn Good Post :)

Looks like my years of bitching about the school system is infuencing others, that can spell.

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.” – Henry David Thoreau

Have you ever noticed how vehemently people react when you question something they believe in instead of ever being able to have an intelligent discussion with him or her? In the below video, Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize winning American journalist, author, and war correspondent, nails the reason that explains why it is so difficult to change a person’s mind when they are committed to believing something even when they are confronted with a mountain of evidence that points to the contrary. Chris states that universities have stripped away humanities and other courses that develop critical thinking skills and instead, due to the historical influences of men like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, focus on teaching young men and women “what to think” instead of “how to think.”

Read More

#163 Arshes on 01.12.12 at 5:32 pm

@ #154 Alistair McLaughlin

What would be considered modest?

Because unless your parents have income over $60,000 each or $120,000 together, OAS doesnt get affected. And credits do make a huge difference, my parents are to retire soon, and after all theire credits and income splitting, thier taxes should only net to approx 10%.

#164 brainsail on 01.12.12 at 5:32 pm

#156 Dorothy

“And that is why I think we should pressure the government to increase CPP premiums so as to be able to increase CPP benefits, thus enabling people to support THEMSELVES in their old age as opposed to asking society for a handout.”

That is a very good question! I worked half my life in Canada and the other half in the US. Some of the differences between Social Security and the Canada Pension Plan are major. Although, the US does not have OAS benefits, the contibutions required by higher income earners helps to offset the cost of lower income benefits while helping people later in their careers catch up when their incomes increase.

There are other differences, like if one spouse marginally or never contributed, they will receive 50% of what the other spouse’s benefits amount to at 65.

Canada US

Tax Paid On First $47,200 $116,000

Employee Tax 4.95% 6.2%

Employer Tax 4.95% 6.2%

Self Employed 9.9% 12.4%

Total Contribution
/ Year $4,673 $14,384

Maximum Payout
/ Mth $1,043 $2,400

Average Payout
/ Mth $600 ($513) $1,000

#165 Brad in Calgary on 01.12.12 at 5:57 pm

If you want to live on Alpo, be my guest. There is no reason, given the choices we all have, for anyone to fail so completely and six or seven decades of life. — Garth

1) Rich people are just as likely to be failures as poor people.
2) Hyperbole much?
3) Show us budgetary proof (current day prices) that a couple can’t live on 24k, net, per year… assuming their house is already paid off. You won’t, because you can’t. Unless you include excessive discretionary spending like vacations. Not everyone needs to travel, Mr. Turner. Not everyone has to eat out two or three times a week. Some people can be poor and content at the same time. Doesn’t make them “screwed”. Doesn’t make them failures either. Bringing up “Alpo” is simply exaggeration for the sake of misdirection.

This is financial failure. If it suits you, wear it. — Garth

#166 Critical Mind on 01.12.12 at 6:00 pm

Just when you thought it was over, the interest rate trend continues to be down, down, down. 2.99% 5yr fixed:
This fire may not be out of fuel yet. The negative real interest rate economy has arrived…

#167 Westernman on 01.12.12 at 6:06 pm

No, they don’t deserve better and they don’t deserve worse. They “deserve” exactly what they worked and planned for – no more & no less.

#168 Westernman on 01.12.12 at 6:19 pm

One morething @ # 54,
Hey, I’m never going to sell and I’m going to live in my home till I die.
Now puke, dammit!

#169 bigrider on 01.12.12 at 6:24 pm

#152- Garth to Bigrider- ” I guess he does not need income to put food on the table does he. Your comment bears no relation to the people I profiled.

This is true. Tardiff requires no income and most likely has wealth the rest of us can only dream of I’m sure. I also get that a person with limited savings and need of income may not have the option of a large cash position.

The only point I was trying to make was that in a deflationary cycle, of which appears to be strong evidence we have entered, all income producing assets aside from cash are vulnerable.

I would also argue that in a severe deflationary cycle, like a depression, the income itself from these assets could be threatened , after the assets have long since declined in value.

If liquidity is king, which I agree, than nothing is more liquid than cash. That was my only point.

#170 Amar on 01.12.12 at 6:33 pm

You could have a 1 million portfolio and get max OAS/GIS assuming no other income because there is no asset wealth test. Who knows what OAS will be like in 20-30 years, but people retiring now with a lot of wealth can still get paid by the gov’t if they avoided stupid RRSP’s. Just one example. The whole system needs to be rebuilt.

Sucks that most of us are private sector employees with no employer pension, saving for our retirement on our own with RRSP’s typically. RRSP’s that will claw back gov’t top ups like GIS. Nice for the public sector workers that have gov’t backed defined benefit plans that we support with our taxes, both pre and post retirement.

Hopefully private sector pensions don’t start going up and rely on Ontario’s (not sure if other provinces have it too) top up program.

#171 Westernman on 01.12.12 at 6:33 pm

Form man @ # 113,
You wrote an entire post and didn’t mention your best friend Westernman once…
I’ve never been so insulted!

#172 live within your means on 01.12.12 at 6:34 pm

Dropped in to see my sister on Tues. Later, her hubby & a bro who has lived with them for 25 yrs, joined us in the kitchen. They both got on a rant about aboriginals & others screwing Canada. Hilarious. BIL, who was in the reserves yrs ago now receives all kinds of perks, like v. expensive hearing aids every 2 years (that he doesn’t use) & other perks.

My bro did not file an income tax return for more years than I can count & had been on welfare for years. An accountant friend sorted it out. He’s better off than ever. He smooched off my parents for a year, then me for a couple of weeks (after his separation) until I moved. When my sis & I bought a townhouse, he stayed with us for 1 yr. and even stole money from our cookie jar. My bro moved in with my sis & her hubby ‘to tide him over’ when my sis & I married on the same day. Yes, he did work now and then over the years and did most of the renovations in their TH. But, for both my BIL and my bro to rant about others ripping off the system is more than hypocritical. Both my sis & I tried to change the topic. I finally left. She has had to put up with this for so long.

Garth, you know who he is.

#173 Junius on 01.12.12 at 6:42 pm

#164 Smoking Man,

Good post. Chris Hedges is one of America’s finest public intellectuals. His beat down of Kevin O’Leary on the CBC was probably the first time people have ever seen him.

He is a clear writer and a great original thinker.

#174 TaxHaven on 01.12.12 at 6:44 pm

@#149 Form Man,

Not complaining about the cost – which as it is remains unsustainable without cuts, waiting times or subsidies anyway – but the fact that it’s MANDATORY.

I would like a choice.

#175 Devil's Advocate on 01.12.12 at 6:52 pm

“The more you give, the more you receive, idiot.” – #136disciple on 01.12.12 at 2:10 pm

I think too many use that phrase without any forethought. What do they really mean? Does the what the originator of the phrase meant mean the same.

Most certainly the more you put into something the more you will get out of it. And I would like to think that holds true for money or time and effort. If you put more time and effort into something certainly you ought to get something in return for it. But is that as assured of putting more money into something?

If we help our neighbor by giving to them a forgivable loan or handout we should surely not count on getting any of it back. What we give such a gracious gift for is that it makes us feel good about ourselves and that is the only return we can truly rely upon. So we ought not enter into such a gifting arrangement unless the “feel good” reward is ample compensation in our sole opinion.

I give to my children and sometimes I give to the children of others but never to I give to those who are capable of acquiring themselves that which I might otherwise give them. But there is one thing I will gladly give to anyone willing to accept it… an education.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.

I am sorry disciple but I am just not as generous a person as you I suppose. I really do believe that social assistance is one of the greatest failings of this country. The greatest lessons my children ever learned were after I cut them from the apron strings.

#176 John Prine on 01.12.12 at 6:54 pm

Was talking to a long time realtor in Victoria today. He is faintly optimistic about SFH but is pretty sure condos are going to tank completely this year. Just a little concerned about vendors refusing to believe that their houses are not worth what they thought, hard to put a realistic asking price on them……

#177 Willa on 01.12.12 at 6:56 pm

Garth, you keep mentioning how 73% of Canadians don’t have pensions.

What about the screwed 27% people who DO have pensions? They’ve been paying into them all their lives, thinking they’re fine, expecting that they’re going to receive every dime that the pretty piece of paper says they get.

Is that not delusional too?

Pension funds are already going broke trying to pay for all the retirees living 30 years or more. In many places, pension funds are already cutting back, giving retirees only a percentage of their entitlement.

These are people with no RSPs, no non-RSP savings or investments. Their financial security is all in one place, all tied up, locked in, and totally non-liquid, just like homeowners.

How about saying that any situation where you yourself are not in the driver’s seat of your future financial security, whether it’s in the volatile housing market or in company pension funds, you’re at risk.

#178 AprilNewwest on 01.12.12 at 7:04 pm

Which bank does Cameron Muir for for?

He’s Chief Comedian for the BC Real Estate Association. — Garth

#179 Form Man on 01.12.12 at 7:17 pm

#173 westernman

either you are joking or your reading comprehension has taken a serious turn for the worse. you are most definitely mentioned in my #113 post. I wouldn’t want you to feel left out………

#180 Dan from Richmond Hill on 01.12.12 at 7:24 pm

In my humble opinion, 2000 CAD per month and owing the house does not mean “financial failure”. I admit, you could do better, but raising 3 children is not easy. All you need is a little bit of imagination + good health, for you and your loved ones. After all, you can have milions and feel miserable about your life. And since I am new here, my best wishes to Mr. Garth Turner, your blog is very interesting -:)!

Then raise your goals. — Garth

#181 Westernman on 01.12.12 at 7:27 pm

Form Man,
Damn! I thought I had you set up for a particularily nasty comment with that bait but you didn’t bite…you must be smarter than you come across… I hope so for your sake ( couldn’t resist throwing some kind of insult in there)
Protocol, you know…

#182 SRE on 01.12.12 at 7:29 pm

Bernanke saw ‘relatively soft landing’ in housing in 2006 –from the G & M; funny how as soon as a negative report is printed in the Vancouver sun, the next day glwoing reports about how housing is great come out (and in Nanaimo’s diddly littel paper “Housing is still the best investment”); phew, can smell the gas leaking from those who bought a house as an investment. perahps would be good to invest in companies producing antidepressants and adult diapers.

#183 GregW, Oakville on 01.12.12 at 7:35 pm

Hi #99Colin, it all can become much clearer if you make a small investment (in your own future) by buying Mr. Turner’s last book ‘Money Road’ and read it cover to cover.

And besides it helps to pay for this ‘free blog’ you and so many others seem to find of value. Book’s $20 for 300 pages filled with info the masses aren’t told in high schools. It’s even autographed! See top right side of blog page above, for link to by direct.

#184 Van guy blazin kush on 01.12.12 at 7:47 pm

#180 AprilNewwest on 01.12.12 at 7:04 pm
Which bank does Cameron Muir for for?

He’s Chief Comedian for the BC Real Estate Association. — Garth

So is Muir considered a real estate expert?

#185 Form Man on 01.12.12 at 8:05 pm

#176 taxhaven

the reason the cost is low is because you have no choice ( economy of scale ). If there was a choice, the cost would be much higher ( just like in the U.S.). That is the great failing of Libertarianism, it looks great on paper……..not so much in practice.

DA various political comments:

It astonishes me how many people simply throw out slogans without having any true idea of political ideology. In Canada we have socialists on the left ( the so-called bleeding hearts ), represented by the NDP (and Bloc in Quebec)
We have the Liberals in the middle of the spectrum ( they essentially have no overiding ideology, simply borrowing ideas from the left and right.)
On the right we have the Conservatives who believe that whatever worked long ago still applies regardless of current realities.
This is a bit of an oversimplification, and I am sure there will be howls of disagreement……….

#186 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 01.12.12 at 8:14 pm

#141 Herb — “Popular demand. For the hooker or the granny?” — Hmmm. That is a real poser. Critical thinking is required, and I are not capababble of that. Shooting a sabre toward Neptune, I guess a hooker. Is I write?!

#167 Brad in Calgary — “1) Rich people are just as likely to be failures as poor people.” — You do have a point. There have been a few ‘poor’ people who have bought a lottery ticket, their numbers came up, cashed in the ticket and within a year were completely broke.

They are like many who simply don’t have any clue at all.

#169 Westernman — Exactly. A person gets back from life precisely what they put in. It’s an equal opportunity world.
The Dangers of Deflation As compared to in-, stag- and hyper? Statistics NAmerica has a wonderful future (not); GS and the MEast “Remember what Goldman Sachs did to Libya? GS “lost” 98% of Libya’s investment and never had to pay it back because of the subsequent invasion!”, and this; Chronic Govt. finances leading us back into the 1930s; Adding 14 mln. Since the recession ended? What country is being spoken of?

Soros Next stop (for an economic + violent) revolution — Indonesia; 9:07 clip Kalispell, Montana depression; JPM A couple more hit the slammer; Obummer Making sure his friends are taken care of before the election.
m$m bullying bloggers New tactic; 3:23 clip A false flag, like 9-11, would be a pretext for a US invasion; USDA ignores pesticide killing bees; 3:55 clip Ron Paul’s young supporters want a revolution; Five Minutes “Wesley Clark was given a list of 7 Muslim nations 10 days after 911 that America was to invade. That 2001 hit list originated in Israel in 1982. The last nation on that list is Iran.”; START Treaty really UN’s globalist agenda; Trapped in Ice “The next ice age will first manifest in the far north.”; Cyber Security “It’s “the absolute perfect spot in the U.S. government” to centralize efforts toward creating an “identity ecosystem” for the Internet, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt said.”

#187 Mr Buyer on 01.12.12 at 8:39 pm

#177Devil’s Advocate…But there is one thing I will gladly give to anyone willing to accept it… an education.

Aside from training more docotrs, open and fully funded (free) post secondary education is another excellent place to start. How this present system of freshly minted 20 to 40k indebted graduates is a benefit to our country is beyond me.

#188 a prairie dawg on 01.12.12 at 8:44 pm

#179 Willa

You’ve made some wrong assumptions. And not all pensions are created equal. There are 2 kinds of plans that are the most common in Canada these days.

The kind you’re thinking of are Defined Benefit plans.
These offer a specific payout at retirement usually represented in a certain monthly payout until you die, and are based on a specific formula of years of service and wages earned. Yes, they “could” be underfunded if the employer doesn’t top up their share each year. Some large companies (or gov’s) don’t, thinking they can top it up with a lump sum later on. These are usually company controlled plans and administered by them directly. The gov would still have many like this too. They guarantee you a set amount on each retirement cheque, similar to an annuity in that respect. The car-maker GM, down in the US, would be a great example of what happens when a company doesn’t keep up with their contributions over the years. (it becomes an unfunded liability, and the employees get stiffed when the company goes Banco) You still make monthly contributions to these plans while you work, but that has no bearing on the payout. It’s based on whatever formula they use. And each company uses a different formula.

However, the majority of private companies out there, and many provincial and municipal gov’s have switched to Defined Contribution plans. The only thing you know for sure with these, is how much goes into it from each pay cheque. Contributions are usually in the 5% employee, 5% employer, shared realm. It offloads some risk to the employee by putting the responsibility in your hands to decide if you have enough money to retire on. These are registered pension plans in your name, and under your control, and usually administered by an employee board of directors. (ie: not the employer) The money goes in up front, compounds over the years, and most likely will be there when you retire.
The employee board gives guidance to the fund managers they hire to administer the plan and invest the money for them.

My company uses the Defined Contribution style plan, and has for over 30 years already. They switched away from Defined Benefit plans back in the 1970’s.

You now know more about the 2 most common pension plans used in Canada today. And probably far more than the average dude on the street ever will.

For what it’s worth… lol

#189 a prairie dawg on 01.12.12 at 8:51 pm

#177 Devil’s Advocate

I really do believe that social assistance is one of the greatest failings of this country.

– – –

Hold on now DA. If you’re going to start making sense on here, we’re going to have to see about getting your realtor license revoked. ;)

#190 Skoop on 01.12.12 at 8:53 pm


#191 Habbit on 01.12.12 at 8:55 pm

#95 Mike Blaming is easy ain’t it? What have you done to improve the screwed planet?

#192 AprilNewwest on 01.12.12 at 9:04 pm

#180 – Thanks Garth. That says it all.

#193 Arrow to the Knee on 01.12.12 at 9:14 pm

I used to think investing in a hipster-esque one-bedroom, 800 square foot detached house just west of Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood was porn-star cool…

then I took an arrow to the knee.–house-in-a-box-up-for-sale-for-349-000?bn=1

#194 Mr Buyer on 01.12.12 at 9:17 pm

#152bigrider…As soon as I can I’m renting off my paid off condo and retiring to the Philippines. It’s always warm, English is spoken, everything is much cheaper than Canada and best of all the women have not been spoiled by feminism and capitalism.

I have to point out that while Asia in general has a different culture there is also a much greater level of poverty. My wife and her family are much wealthier than my Canadian family and the Japanese economy is much healthier than that of Canada’s (5% unemployment is cause for great alarm here. How Japan remains the economic power it is with no natural resourses is still a source of wonder for me). Poverty is a form of debasement that does not sit well with me (not that any type of debasement does) as it is often needless and serves to make those afflicted by it more manageable in the minds of some. My wife’s apparent values are not primarily the result of the need to obtain money. While I have grown somewhat disenchanted with women raised in Canada (as a result of my narrow range of experiences) I also remember a news story from Canada a few years back (I can’t remember all the particulars but here goes). A man woman and very young child were walking up a mountain trail to their cottage and the man went ahead with a good deal of the gear they were carrying and was going to return to carry the rest. The mother and child continued up the mountain trail on their own. A mountain lion attacked the young child and was trying to make off with the child. The mother faught the mountain lion bare handed and saved the child. She died of her wounds sometime later. Such is the heart of a woman, even in our culture.

#195 a prairie dawg on 01.12.12 at 9:28 pm

#164 Smoking Man

Still beating the rebel-without-a-cause drum I see.

Really, I’m down with the whole “question authority” mantra, and I have been for many years, but beyond that you’re a bit too fringe for most people.

A person can learn to read and write fluently, and yet still question authority and challenge the overlords. I’ve been doing it for decades. Ya don’t believe me. Here’s an example using capitalization. It shows how you’d be interpreted by others, and how drastically your meaning can be skewed, depending on how badly you mutilate the language.

1. You help your Uncle Jack off a horse.
2. You help your uncle jack off a horse.

Any questions?

The other day you posted about a RE opportunity that was sure to make a million dollars. Then you stated that you were too lazy to do it yourself, and too rich besides.

Then after that, you posted another rant about prisoners making 25 cents an hour working, and you then mentioned how you wanted to try to figure out a way to get a piece of that.

You’d give up a sure thing million dollar profit on RE, but you’re interested in getting a piece of the 25 cent an hour wage that prisoners get.

Right… totally believable…

#196 Boombust on 01.12.12 at 9:46 pm

“I really do believe that social assistance is one of the greatest failings of this country.”

What an idiot.

#197 Pat on 01.12.12 at 9:49 pm

#196 Mr Byuer:
” How Japan remains the economic power it is with no natural resourses is still a source of wonder for me”

Added value.

#198 Snowboid on 01.12.12 at 10:02 pm

#185 GregW, Oakville on 01.12.12 at 7:35 pm…

Best payback ever for $ 20 (actually cost me more – first copy ‘stolen’ by brother-in-law).

This blog is the icing on the ‘road-to-money’ cake!

#199 a prairie dawg on 01.12.12 at 10:18 pm

#198 Boombust

Not so fast bub.

No one is saying the infirmed or disabled should not be taken care of. That’s a given.

What most taxpayers do object to, are whole generations of families on the dole, with no end in sight.

And it’s not strictly race related either. There are plenty of white anglo saxon leeches on the dole here right now.

Bring in a work-for-welfare system. Send them to a doctor, and if pronounced physically fit, they are given a choice of jobs. No work, no pay.

There is no reason to have as many people on social assistance as we do in Canada, when our economy was booming, and the unemployment rate at an all time low.

They’re importing immigrants here to work at fast food places by the bucket load. And yet all these downtrodden poor people we already have here still can’t find a job? I call BS.

It’s not that most of them aren’t capable. Most of them won’t even look for work, and wouldn’t take it if you offered it. Doing nothing and getting paid for it has become a career choice for too many losers. It’s time to cut the cord.

Tough love.

#200 disciple on 01.12.12 at 10:51 pm

Blacksheep… You and Smoking Man have been schooled. Darwin was wrong. There are no transitional species. Hardly anyone buys into that 19th century nonsense, only die-hard Social Darwinists with an agenda maybe. That set us back big time in our understanding of the seething foam of zero point. It was not unintentional.

You’re 100 years behind in your knowledge. Here is an example. Your outdated and easily proven wrong idea is that the artificial systems are built up through natural social processes, but that is impossible. Either it is natural or it is artificial. Take your pick.

Humans are certainly not animals. To believe such a thing, you have to be hopelessly lost in the artificial mind-control programming. Willful ignorance must be bliss, eh, Blacksheep? I also don’t know what that emotional state feels like either. Unlike you, I live… to know, not merely to survive. Time for you to grow up…

#201 Guy1 on 01.12.12 at 10:59 pm

In response to: Westernman “Guy1, No, they don’t deserve better and they don’t deserve worse. They “deserve” exactly what they worked and planned for – no more & no less.”

Westernman, everyone deserves basic dignity. I gather you aren’t a religious or moral person i.e., you do not believe that there is morality (and interwoven socio-economic benefits) in caring about (and helping to ensure the practical well-being of) someone you do not know. I don’t know if it was your intention, but with all due respect, you sound like Ebenezer Scrooge. It makes me wonder if you are in some cold cognitive space given the detached nature of your statement. How can you reconcile such a position with i.e., the following? “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me…’” Conservative, Liberal, NDP or Green, most of us in this country (not including the 3-5% sociopathic/psychopathic population) have a morality that understands that the complexities of socio-economic power can leave good people in financially compromised conditions (our debates/differences aren’t about if we should help, but on how we can best help our fellow countryman/woman). A big part of the problem is the lack of financial education which not everyone knows to obtain (or might have obtained but from the wrong albeit convincing sources)… This is why Garth’s blog is vital and his stand inherently moral. So, I still stick by my original statement. And, you might be advised to google “lack of empathy” + “definition” to understand the implications of your aforementioned commentary whilst perhaps going back to some kind of Sunday school… This is some introductory stuff, mon ami… “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

#202 pjwlk on 01.12.12 at 11:05 pm

[email protected] = The nice lady at the bank.

Click on my name to view other acronyms and references.

#203 disciple on 01.12.12 at 11:24 pm

Mr Buyer on 01.12.12 at 9:17 pm
…and best of all the women have not been spoiled by feminism and capitalism


Oh boy. Are we all stuck in some kind of 18th century time loop? Please tell me that our educational system has stopped producing such ignorant views. I think I need an arrow to the knee… where is that kid?

#204 Smoking Man on 01.12.12 at 11:42 pm

#197 a prairie dawg on 01.12.12 at 9:28 pm

I have a drinking problem and a split personalaty.

Text book loon……..Im happy

#205 Smoking Man on 01.12.12 at 11:43 pm

#202 disciple on 01.12.12 at 10:51 pm

Their is no god……..Get over it, heaven is 3 hookers and a joint

#206 Smoking Man on 01.12.12 at 11:46 pm

a prairie dawg

Real easy to chirp people but coming up with oridginal content. You fail

#207 Smoking Man on 01.12.12 at 11:54 pm

a prairie dawg

i found this realy neet Chilain Red wine, resulting in buetiful s shaped logs the next day. My wife likes the white stuff that exits me in a high presure mist , light a match in the thrown and my head would be sticking threw the ceiling with legs dangling .

See boy that creativity something you lack

#208 a prairie dawg on 01.13.12 at 12:15 am

Wow, let that be a lesson to all of us.

#209 DonDWest on 01.13.12 at 12:19 am

While having the philosophy of being good, giving, and merciful is divine, certainly you must understand that the current system rewards just the opposite. The system rewards the cold, cunning, and calculating type.

Only by creating an economic system that actually rewards good deeds can a world of good be conceived. This is where opponents of the system stray off target. You can plead for others to see your point of view, but all said others see is a pathetic beggar.

You must understand that not all humans are good; and indeed many are incapable of even contemplating the concept of basic empathy. Pleading accomplishes nothing; action accomplishes everything, or better yet, sometimes what you decide not to do creates the greatest accomplishments of all.

Evil triumphs when it’s empowered. Evil needs good to empower it through manipulation and fame. It stands to reason that if evil is a lust for power; then evil is defused when the means to achieving that power are no longer available.

Therefore, the best way to defeat evil is by ignoring it. Evil thrives when given undeserved attention. Evil is amused when good pleads, “why can’t you play nice?”

Seeing that humanity is a social species, by disconnecting and disassociating from evil people, evil has lost all means of power. Powerless evil is impotent.
In layman’s terms, the neo-con Westernmann’s of the world would hold no influence if people just ignored them and recognized them as irrelevant. For what skills could they possibly offer the world if they didn’t always have someone to fight with/compete against? They’re nothing more but mere barbarians at the gate. So keep the gates closed. Enjoy as they feely bloodlust upon each other exercising their primitive subconscious.

#210 Mr Buyer on 01.13.12 at 12:52 am

#205disciple…I think you have mis-attributed that statement to me. If it was a mistake, it is forgiven, if it was intentional, it was hamfisted. As for Darwin, pick up a molecular biology text book, read it and get back to me.

#211 Tony on 01.13.12 at 1:19 am

Sounds like they’ve done quite well for a couple living in Manitoba. Well above average anyway. Hopefully the Canada Pension Plan won’t go broke as they can only raise rates so much and people will just stop working on purpose.

#212 betamax on 01.13.12 at 3:24 am

#60 Jody: “Should be good times for young men who like GILF’s.”

LOL. GILF’s. Too funny.

#213 betamax on 01.13.12 at 3:36 am

#109 Brad in Calgary: “people with paid-off houses who choose to live on $2000k a month. It can be done sir, and it is done.”

Sure it can be done, but it’s not done well. I know a couple living like that, and they have no money for emergencies of any kind. A recent $400 vet bill for a sick pet was a calamity. Fortunately, the vet allowed them to pay in installments, otherwise they’d be screwed.

Even aside from emergencies, things wear out and require replacing: cars, appliances, furniture, clothing.

Obviously, many people live near or below the poverty line, but to do so is fraught with financial danger.

#214 Guy1 on 01.13.12 at 3:49 am

Mr Buyer, there is a distinction between Darwinian theory (and it’s a theory and was never meant to be interpreted as a fact) and the human ability (socialisation, intelligence & consciousness) to rise above ‘animalistic barbarism’ or a dog-eat-dog society which has never been civilized. Yes, we can act like untamed creatures or we can consciously choose to be closer to i.e., the scriptures or in non-religious terms that which is morally just. Some will argue that humanity is inherently aggressive and needs to be tamed, while others can argue that we are inherently good and that survival of the few fittest at the expense of the larger whole is a product of evil. Either way, we are conscious beings who can decide what behaviour is constructive, what needs to be tamed or untamed, etc. It us up to us how we define ourselves. And, I would maintain that we shouldn’t bring Darwin into a discussion to justify our conscious capacity for either good or evil.

#215 Guy1 on 01.13.12 at 4:02 am

DonDWest, I take your point… “Evil triumphs when it’s empowered. Evil needs good to empower it through manipulation and fame.”

My comments aren’t directed to those who oppose my views but to those ‘newbies’ who have yet to form an opinion.

#216 Mike on 01.13.12 at 10:33 am

#145 Mark – The APEGGA survey only shows a 10-20% increase in average wage for an engineering professional in Fort McMurray versus the average in Alberta. So $200k is quite atypical (and process engineers typically wouldn’t be paid hourly…).

Process or Power engineer. I can’t remember what they’re called, but they’re not a typical “Engineer” (Typical as in going to school for 4 yrs). But once again, you’re another example of someone who doesn’t live in FMM trying to talk about it. What the hell is an APEGGA survey? Never mind – It doesn’t even matter. I had a 20yr old roommate that took the course for a year, got hired immediately after by Suncor as a student on a 1yr placement term @ $35/hr and then after he finished that year of work/school, he was a full out power/process engineer, making $50/hr… Per HOUR. Not salaried. And then soon after bought a 1bd apt in the ghetto “Towers” for around $250k (That’s cheap up there) and moved out.

#217 Westernman on 01.13.12 at 4:38 pm

Guy1 @ # 203,
What a king-sized barrage of new-age, bleeding heart liberal, tree- hugging, marxist, feminist, counter-culture, metrosexual HORSESHIT.
They don’t ” deserve ” a damn thing. They will be awarded in direct proportion to the effort, planning,perserverance and attention they put into this endeavor known as life.
Grow up kid, before you end up carrying a cardboard sign whining how ” the man ” is keeping you down…

#218 Guy1 on 01.13.12 at 5:43 pm

Re. # 219 Westernman… I am a person of deep religious convinction… scripture dicates my positions… I would suggest that you research political and religious positions more carefully as those who ask for God’s blessings tend to sit on the centre-right of the political spectrum i.e., I was in regular communication with Pat Binns, the former Premier of PEI, a Progressive Conservative. You may wish to note… “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5;10); “…If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:20) “Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” (Matthew 5;11).

#219 Westernman on 01.13.12 at 5:50 pm

Like I always say, there’s no nut like a religous nut… let the congregation say AMEN!
Now pass that collection plate….

#220 Guy1 on 01.13.12 at 6:37 pm

Westernman, Thank-you for finally answering my question… i.e., that you aren’t religious.

#221 m hayes on 01.14.12 at 9:59 am

i find it a little hard to believe a 7 % return is out there. not sure i would use that rate in the example.
what kind of investment is this ?

Covered many times already. — Garth