Screw it

SENIORS modified

Well, we might as well pooch this entire week. It’s not enough that jobs are fleeing, the dollar is tanking, the polar vortex came back and Justin Beiber escaped custody. We also have to put up with housing hormones in Calgary, realtors giving ‘bidding war lessons’ in Toronto and people in Vancouver actually thinking prices will leap this Spring.

A giant disconnect seems to be taking place between the world as portrayed by the anchorettes on Global, and the reality in which most people live. While rampant consumerism surrounds us, we see thirtysomethings fighting for seven-figure houses, a $6 million pile of bad taste in Mississauga selling in four minutes and 32 offers pouring in for a Toronto shack which fetches $200,000 more than the owner wanted.

These images are set out as reflections of our society. But they’re not. They are pieces of news engineered to support our buy-now-screw-tomorrow culture. Which is cool. It’s capitalism. But tomorrow has arrived.

Lately this pathetic blog has attempted to underscore some of the evil economic news, while giving over some very practical advice on how to lower taxes, build wealth and get a handle on the coming decades of your life. It’s not like any of this is new, or magic. But it works. The sad thing is that as real estate ownership and debt go up, saving and investing goes down, and the prospects for the years ahead are definitely not improving.

You know it. I told you. Only a fraction of people will make an RRSP contribution this year, and the average will be little more than three grand. Only two in 10 people with a TFSA have an actual investment in there. The savings rate is negative in BC. Half of people retiring for the next decade will have an unpaid mortgage. The feds are shoving back the age to collect OAS. And we have nine million wrinklies now heading for a retirement that, at best, will bankrupt the healthcare system.

(This busted leg of mine has had me rolling the halls of one of the country’s biggest hospitals for two weeks, and my eyes have been popping. The Fracture Clinic yesterday morning looked like two-for-one day in Wal-Mart’s lingerie department, and down the hall the line-up for the blood test area extended out the door and a hundred feet down the hall. Don’t even ask about the ER.)

This is where we’re all pooched. There’s clearly a retirement crisis coming which has the potential to tank housing, raise taxes and suck life from the economy for the entire lifetime of people now leaving university with expensive degrees. Consider the latest from a new bank survey designed to scare the poop out of everyone (it’s not working):

First, almost 90% of people say they’re counting on the Canada Pension Plan to support them in retirement. Why? Because (a) they have saved and invested diddly and (b) 100% of them probably have no idea what the CPP actually gives you. The average monthly payment is a miserable $600 while OAS (if it survives), hands out another $537 at age 65. If you can live on this, you are a lichen.

Second, almost half (49%) of the adults polled said they plan on selling their house to make ends meet in retirement. Almost 60% said they would take a part-time job after age 65 to keep Whiskas on the table. Of course, when healthy, active, obedient, nubile 19-year-olds can’t find part-time work, what makes the wrinklies with bad attitudes and Mick Jagger T-shirts think they will? As for half of people contemplating selling the house to survive, that is a huge leap over the last big survey which concluded a third of Boomers would dump real estate in order to get cash flow. If you think this is inconsequential to the housing market, check your pulse. You may already have passed. Or you’re watching Global.

Third, just for comic relief, 34% plan to win a lottery and (even funnier) 28% think they’ll be supported in old age by their children.

Well, there ya go. My work is done here. Time for an Amazonian leg rub and tumbler full of scotch and hydromorphones.

The bottom line, of course, is crystal. You’re on your own. Man up.

251 comments ↓

#1 weedeater on 01.31.14 at 8:52 pm

Wish you a speedy recovery.

#2 Ben on 01.31.14 at 8:56 pm

First Son

#3 allan on 01.31.14 at 8:57 pm

good post

#4 Bob Copeland on 01.31.14 at 8:58 pm

I wish you were that hard on the U.S.. Then I’d feel like I have the straight scoop.

#5 crackers on 01.31.14 at 8:59 pm

wifeS friend just bought a new build townhouse for chinese new year.800000 dollars/steveston richmond.my 2 bits.FIRST

#6 nonconfidencevote on 01.31.14 at 9:04 pm

Just maxed out on my RRSP’s and TFSA for another year……
Am I a 1%’r for doing that year after year?
I’m beginning to feel like an outlaw biker.

#7 Linda Mulligan on 01.31.14 at 9:04 pm

Regarding CPP, not sure what people are thinking they will get. Maybe they are thinking CPP is like an MP/MLA pension (lol). For sure last time I read a poll (given to youth) they thought CPP coughed up something like $30 – $40 K per year! Whereas IF you work from 18 to 65 & pay ‘the max’ CPP for 39 of those 47 years you will receive just over $11 K – hoo boy, not going to live large on that. If you keep working & defer taking CPP until you are 70 you get close to $16 K – again, not exactly a lavish lifestyle here. Maybe covers the cost of renting a place to live for the year but depends on where you live & what rental fees are by the time you hit 70.
As for RRSP, IF you are fortunate enough to have a workplace pension plan then what you can put in your RRSP is dictated by how much your pension plan payments are annually. 18% of what you earn doesn’t leave a lot of contribution room once workplace pension contributions are taken off the top. This might be one of the reasons why the average RRSP contribution is so low.

#8 will on 01.31.14 at 9:08 pm

It’s all so sad. I wish everyone was rich and I wish no one was stupidly in debt and I wish all we had to talk about was what kind of Scotch you are drinking. So, that aside, what kind of Scotch are you drinking Garth?

#9 will on 01.31.14 at 9:10 pm

BTW I’m drinking Jameson.

#10 Linda Mulligan on 01.31.14 at 9:11 pm

Oops, typo error – CPP ‘max’ is actually just over 12 K per year so deferral to age 70 would give you just over 17 K IF you qualified for ‘the max’. Still not going to give anyone living in Canada a lavish lifestyle. Maybe if you moved to a country where the average income is only 1 or 2 thousand a year you’d be able to live large but I suspect you’d be having different issues….

Very few qualify. — Garth

#11 Cash is King on 01.31.14 at 9:12 pm

The next 10 years will bring a retirement and health care financing crisis that our government leaders are not willing to address.

Instead the upcoming election will be about legalizing pot and reducing the cost of phone data plans, cable tv and the internet.

True leadership at its best.

#12 Devore on 01.31.14 at 9:21 pm

That’s the problem with the future. Eventually it arrives.

#13 timmyt on 01.31.14 at 9:21 pm

It’s the nineteen year olds that have bad attitudes and lack basic social skills–not the boomers. I’d hire a 60 year old over a 20 year old with a shitty attitude.

#14 will on 01.31.14 at 9:26 pm

“These images are set out as reflections of our society. But they’re not.”

Excellent line. THEY ARE NOT. They are NOT true reflections of our society. If they are reflections at all they are reflections of realtors’ contempt for the society they live in. They are also indirect reflections of the contempt our current “government” has for its constituents.

#15 bentoverpayingtaxes on 01.31.14 at 9:31 pm

DELETED

#16 Jordy on 01.31.14 at 9:32 pm

Hilarious! I think the scotch is helping :)

#17 Smoking Man on 01.31.14 at 9:33 pm

A good quality wine is the epidural that spans multi color oceans of creativity.

I feel Frankenstein, hearing the first heart beat of the dead coming back to life.

I can write, I can write ……

Thank you Google key board.

Best is yet to come from the smoking man

#18 not 1st on 01.31.14 at 9:37 pm

“…at best, will bankrupt the healthcare system”

Garth, is this really true or just your old hyperbole again?

I hear of no action plan out there.

#19 Son of Ponzi on 01.31.14 at 9:49 pm

#17
“best is yet to come”
———
SM, You mean, the worst is yet to come.

#20 jan on 01.31.14 at 9:52 pm

The number of people hoping to win lottery in bc however is 41%.
Most people will simply be bum-f#$k^d.
I mean, who wouldn’t love to move to frozen Canada and pay millions for a tiny marbleage house just to be taxed to death…….Oh,I know who…..ORGANIZED CRIMINALS because of our lenient laws as now is the case.

#21 Smoking Man on 01.31.14 at 9:55 pm

Technology is the leveler of all man kind. The background noise of the slot machines is screwing up my dictation forcing me to manuly type.

That’s OK . I’m charged up knowing that if Conrad Black and I were in a battle of the words I would destroy him. My imagination goes light years past the letter Z. He is stuck in boundaries.

My fat old man tits have transformed into a shield of armor.

I wana fight with the pen. Dictation actuly. I’m complete now, I fear no Man, Beast , or God.

I’m invinsable.

If a computer can put you dogs out of work…you will be out of work.

evil laughter ……bo ha ha ha bo

My bisep

#22 Waterloo Resident on 01.31.14 at 9:59 pm

The ONLY WAY house prices go down is when a crisis hits. People owe money, so they won’t lower their prices, that’s why in normal times prices ONLY GO HIGHER, with the rate of growth depending on the state of the economy.

Prices NEVER COME DOWN because consumers want to lower their prices, NEVER. Prices ONLY come down once the decision has been taken out of their hands, either through court bankruptcy action or Bank repossession action, that’s the ONLY WAY. And for that to happen requires a MASSIVE MESS in the economy, millions of jobs lost and a massive jump in the unemployment rate. In other words; our housing prices won’t fall down much until our economy begins to resemble that of Greece or Italy, and that’s still a long way off from what I see.
Frankly, I would like it if unemployment rate doubles to 15% (and 50% for youth), that just might shake the people up to how stupid their consumption based economy really is.

And Garth; about your broken leg: I feel sorry for your dilemma. I’d offer you my help but I’m currently taking care of 2 family members who have problems of their own so most of my free time is already taken care of for the next few months. I wish you a speedy recovery and my best wishes.

#23 Freedom First on 01.31.14 at 10:00 pm

Thank you Garth, it is a daily pleasure to be able to come to your blog and hear the truth. Glad to hear you are rolling around the hospital now, enjoying the sites and being treated to your Amazonian massages with refreshments. Very good! I think this will be a special spring for you come Mar. 21st. as your healing will be well underway. Be well Garth.

Today’s post, well, lets just say that the #’s you have been providing for us all this week on the economy and Canadians financial situations do not look good, and consider this an understatement of epic proportions. I have empathy for people, and never like to see people come into hardship, especially good people who are just trying to support themselves/families the best they can. Unfortunately, that is not enough, as it takes prudent and sound financial management to achieve good results. Your blog is very important Garth, and what an inspiration to see you posting since your last dog walk. Perhaps H will present you with the “Order Of Canada”. I say this with respect, to Garth.

#24 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.31.14 at 10:03 pm

Hmmmmmm
I see #21 Smoking Man has been mixing scotch and meds again……………

You’re my hero……….In a sick, antisocial sorta way. Bottoms up!

#25 sasquatch on 01.31.14 at 10:06 pm

It also appears that old age benefits are getting smaller and smaller by the year. Talking to my old man last night revealed the he will get about $1,000.00 if he could retire right now, and my grandmother got about $1,200.00 six years ago when she was still alive.

I would not be surprised if there is no OAS/CPP when my generation gets old.

#26 Smoking Man on 01.31.14 at 10:08 pm

#19 Son of Ponzi on 01.31.14 at 9:49 pm

That only happens when I drink JD. I’m sure the Great Wizard of GF can attest to that. If any mortal has me by the nuts its him.

all my deletes…can you image all my years of trying to corrupt you dogs, take the customer list. screw people and then I become famous…

then gatho look threw the deleted posts goes . hum? $$$$$$

I’m screwed…..

#27 Steve French on 01.31.14 at 10:10 pm

That’s GOLD Soking Man!

Pure, unadulterated, gold.

#28 Ralph Cramdown on 01.31.14 at 10:14 pm

#105 angela — “Since you don’t believe zerohedge charts about channel stuffing […]”

Look, it ain’t that. I’ve been casually following the auto industry for years, and my wife is actually an expert on legal revenue recognition criteria (i.e. how to write contracts and deliver product so that the auditors don’t disallow the revenue).

If you want, I’ll concede for the point of the argument that GM has been building too much product and maybe even overfilling dealer lots. Lord knows that the domestics get religion about pricing discipline every few years, but nine months later they’re right back to stackable incentives, dealer cash back and huge fleet sales at rock-bottom margins that have the added effect of turning retail buyers off those models because they don’t want to look like they’re driving a rental.

But the larger picture is that the US economy is growing. Zeroedge succeeds in finding a bad news story (or five) every day, and that’s not hard in the world’s largest economy and media market, still performing WAY below capacity.

#29 Dual Citizen in Canada on 01.31.14 at 10:15 pm

Let’s face it, 7 out of 10 companies don’t have a pension plan anymore and that number is increasing. Companies are looking for more contract workers so they don’t have to pay out benefits. What’s left for the common worker to do? Get educated, start here. Invest in a financial advisor, earlier rather than later. I’m sure that investment will pay off with $$$ and a piece of mind in your old age. No way I’m banking on a house to provide me a comfortable lifestyle in my old age.

#30 mike in kelowna on 01.31.14 at 10:17 pm

Hi Garth…I drop in every month or so and notice a lot of ‘new faces’..Seems more anxiety expressed by your posters now than I noticed last year. And, unless I read you wrong, you’re not as optimistic about the economy here in Canada as you were a couple years ago. And the US, not as bullish as you were 2009 .. Perhaps I’m misreading what you’re now saying. But I’m sensing a growing ‘angst’ not only with your posters, but also the general public. And perhaps you too?

Looking at the major global stock markets, how far do you figure the US markets might drop from here ; specifically the SPX? Do you think there’s any similarity to what’s happening now to what occurred after the crash of 1929 ( our 2009) which bottomed in ’32 then up into ’36 and another decline into ’42? No one knows if this might occur again.. And hopefully it won’t .. But should it, what do you truly believe one should be invest in to preserve their wealth where global stock markets dropped dramatically again? Yep, I know, it’s a very different world now than then …and we’re speaking hypothetically, but, you’re a student of history and I appreciate your wisdom..thanks

http://stockcharts.com/freecharts/historical/djia1900.html

#31 john mounfield on 01.31.14 at 10:20 pm

34% plan on winning the lottery.
We have lost touch with reality. We are living in a fantasy world and I can only say that I feel sad for people. Intelligence has left us.

#32 economictsunami on 01.31.14 at 10:22 pm

Now that Ben has retreated to academia for teaching, war stories and to write his book, how many meetings will it take for Janet to hit the taper pause button?

US M2 velocity:

https://twitter.com/AmbroseEP/statu/428466285983170560/photo/1

“PCE inflation rate lowest since 2009”:

http://soberlook.com/2014/01/pce-inflation-rate-lowest-since-2009.html

Where will the Loonie Limbo land?

What’s the over/under on overshooting $0.80 to the downside?…

The angst over the loonie’s decline:

http://www2.macleans.ca/2014/01/31/the-angst-over-the-loonies-decline/

#33 economictsunami on 01.31.14 at 10:26 pm

Apologies. Bad link for M2:

https://twitter.com/AmbroseEP/status/428466285983170560/photo/1

#34 economictsunami on 01.31.14 at 10:27 pm

Correct link for M2:

http://tinyurl.com/l4ezoj8

#35 CV on 01.31.14 at 10:28 pm

Hi Garth, what do you make of Pimco’s comment that Canada’s housing market will experience a “cyclical decline’, but no meltdown?

#36 Steven on 01.31.14 at 10:34 pm

The bottom line, of course, is crystal. You’re on your own. Man up.

Part of being a man is having the ability to say no to getting screwed over by a hyperinflated real estate market and its fans for. Too many boomers live in a dream world and that dream world is on its way out.

#37 panhead on 01.31.14 at 10:44 pm

C’mon Garth get with it … that scotch should be mixed with an energy drink. This is 2014 ya know …

#38 X on 01.31.14 at 10:52 pm

Even if the wrinklies don’t downsize and sell….10 more years they won’t have a choice, as many will have to move into retirement homes and care facilities….

Good news for those that haven’t saved…the gov’t is raising minimum wage for the greeter job many will be fighting for at walmart to subsidize their CPP.

Sadly no mention of any efforts to create a few jobs though. Manufacturing could sure use some life support.

#39 Sven on 01.31.14 at 10:53 pm

“It’s the nineteen year olds that have bad attitudes and lack basic social skills–not the boomers. I’d hire a 60 year old over a 20 year old with a shitty attitude.”

… the kids are alright.

#40 recharts on 01.31.14 at 10:54 pm

@poltawadiva re: crash in 4 months
You might not know but there is an imperial decree around here-NO crash ! SLOW EROSSION call us in 5 years Case closed

#41 Retired Boomer - WI on 01.31.14 at 10:54 pm

LOVE the picture tonight!! The juxtaposed sign and the cemetery. Quite accurate, that the one naturally follows the other.
The Greater Fool is the one who thinks they’ll escape.

The next greater fool is the one who fails to plan for life after working. Nobody can tell you how long that timeline
might be. Some drop over shortly after an early retirement, others before they ever reach that point. The most unfortunate ones are those that run out of money, before they run out of time.

I was speaking with a friend who is also a financial planner. He says his “worst moments” are when the 60 something couple comes in, tells him of their plans to retire early, and after seeing the debts, lack of savings, and what they “think” they are going to get from social insurance it is all he can do from laughing out loud.

The clueless ways people conduct their planning is quite depressing. I’ve seen this with friends, as well as a couple of ‘too conservative’ work mates, who while good savers, are horse shit investors. Bonds, CD’s GIC’s in a word no risk – no growth either.
Too bad, losing 30 Stock market years of it’s ups and downs yet it grew great before retirement,
now maybe you can’t really AFFORD to retire.

AT 60 or 65 …. Well…here is your BAD NEWS….
there is just NO do-over for your retirement.

#42 Muttley O'Toole on 01.31.14 at 10:56 pm

“Well, there ya go. My work is done here.”
I hope this doesn’t mean it is Sayonara,Farewell,Adieu?

From where I sit I reckon you are Canada’s main hope and sometime in the near future you will receive your just reward by public acclamation.
Are knighthoods defunct?

#43 Big Brother on 01.31.14 at 10:58 pm

MKULTRA is watching you use your new happy android phone with fancy Google enhancements. Don’t go too far off the beaten path now Smoking Man. Have another drink there free at your American Casino. Drink heavily and we will take you to another plane of consciousness! Actually in your case unconsciousness.

#44 Vangrrl on 01.31.14 at 10:59 pm

#20: That was funny ;). No kidding. As for getting a part ime job at 65, out of necessity to afford barely surviving in this land of tundra, to hell with that! I plan on spending my 60s and up leisurely biking around cobbled streets in some quaint European village (in a warm climate) with a basket on my bike for fresh fruits and veggies, bread, wine, with a dog trotting at my side… Or something like that. Planning for something along those lines anyway.

#45 KWkid on 01.31.14 at 11:09 pm

Curious that half the boomers set to retire will be carrying a mortgage and half of boomers plan to sell their home to fund their retirement. It would be interesting to see how much they actually overlap. Answering that question could be the keystone to discovering how much real estate is likely to fall as boomers will likely cause the selling frenzy.

Once prices make a correction (8-10%) how many boomers will panic and try to sell, the cascade will create a negative cycle causing huge damage. If real estate turns sharply and the perception becomes that housing has gone toxic we could see another 20-25% shaved off as boomers fight to save their “gains.”

Housing will make gains for two more years (2014-15), stall in 2016 (the year BofC rates finally increase) and begin to correct in 2017. Major damage in late 2018 after Spring and Summer see inventories rise to insane levels. Predicting that the “average” 390K (2014) home will be valued at 270-290K

#46 45north on 01.31.14 at 11:12 pm

These images are set out as reflections of our society. But they’re not. They are pieces of news engineered to support our buy-now-screw-tomorrow culture. Which is cool. It’s capitalism. But tomorrow has arrived.

yeah we talked about 325 Perth – sold for $848,625 in Toronto’s west end. This is a piece of news which supports the buy-now-screw-tomorrow culture. It’s astute marketing. If you own a house in Woodbridge it’s your culture because as long as you believe it you’re rich and up-to-now it has worked. Tomorrow, the neighbours put their house up for sale and after a year it sells for a discount. Then you realize it’s tomorrow.

#47 Big Roboto on 01.31.14 at 11:17 pm

Great post … thanks for another daily dose of reality. Storm clouds are on a horizon … in my neighbourhood (Thornhill, ON) at least 3 multi-million dollar properties are sitting on the market for more than a year. Even with a hefty price slash of 15-20% these puppies aren’t moving … signs of upcoming storm?

#48 Castaway on 01.31.14 at 11:20 pm

What else would you expect from a nanny state like Canada. Why bother saving or working hard. Everyone expects the gov’t will look after them!

#49 Rapier Wit on 01.31.14 at 11:21 pm

Lotteries, of course, are nothing more than a tax on stupid people.

#50 learningfromyou on 01.31.14 at 11:22 pm

Thank Garth for your post, I want your leg to improve while you keep using the same pill that makes you write specific financial steps to fix our lives.

I was busy closing non performing investment accounts suggested by the advisors that knock at your door trying to sell you RSP ideas when you are 90 years old. I’m taking control of these investment based in your suggestions in self directed investment accounts
RSP, RESP, TFSA, all together.

Do not forget to take the pill we need Garth, you can blame these drugs for overspeak in your advices, nobody will blame you :}

#51 Coho on 01.31.14 at 11:22 pm

It’s not surprising where this is heading. Hell, forget about heading — we’ve arrived. The middle class is toast. There have been estimates that the rich and affluent have increased their wealth several fold since the financial crisis in 2008. So, the biggest transfer of wealth ever from the many to the privileged few has transpired in the last few years.

Clearly every man for himself isn’t working. Unfortunately it is working quite nicely for our ‘owners’. Divide and conquer has always worked, is working and will always work because of human frailty and fallibility. And of course it is our fault to a degree for allowing ourselves to be manipulated. But, shame on those we entrust to administer in good faith, the affairs of this country and for the common good, only to sell us down the road.

What will happen to those who cannot support themselves? Prediction: Enter a voluntary euthanasia program. It’ll be sold as being a patriot and doing the right thing for the common good. Scotia bank will have a new catch phrase, “You’re more screwed than you think”.

Line up, it’ll be pain free — no more bills, no more chores, no more aches, no more worries, no more tiredness, and best of all — no more whiskas!

#52 Happy Renting on 01.31.14 at 11:29 pm

“The Fracture Clinic yesterday morning looked like two-for-one day in Wal-Mart’s lingerie department”

Might be all the Friday-night wine, but I don’t get it. Someone, please explain this one?

#53 say it ain't so on 01.31.14 at 11:36 pm

#28 Ralph Cramdown on 01.31.14 at 10:14 pm
But the larger picture is that the US economy is growing.
________________________________________

see… you have a real problem…

the only reason we’ve had any sort of expansion in the US economy, is the fed’s printing of trillions of dollars, and keeping interest rates at zero for the last 5 years.

so you say… it’s the fed’s job to manipulate the economy, and has been manipulating the economy for the last 100 years….

well, ok. unfortunately, uneconomic cycles continue to occur, despite the fed’s meddling.. post war business cycles last on average 5-6 years. some more, some less.

unless you believe the fed has found a way to completely do away with economic cycles, at some point, in the very near future, this economic expansion will end.

what will the fed then do to get the economy going again?

print 10 trillion a year?
institute negative interest rates?
force people to spend money?

this economic expansion has gone on for 5 years. its’ going to end very soon. there are no jobs being created in the US. the only way unemployment rates are going down, is they’ve stopped counting millions of people.

zero rate, and trillions of dollars printed, and 74,000 payroll increases this past december. job creation has peaked. next week’s number will also be poor. the economy has run it’s course.

and now there’s nothing the fed can do about it.

#54 Drummond Report February 2012 on 01.31.14 at 11:37 pm

Two years ago Don Drummond, chair of the commission on public-service reform, delivered the roadmap for Ontario’s daunting journey.

It came in the form of a two-volume, 668-page report so weighty that a table collapsed when Ontario Provincial Police officers unloaded embargoed copies in the media lock-up.

“Ontario faces more severe economic and fiscal challenges than Ontarians realize,” said Drummond, a former TD Bank chief economist, warning the deficit would balloon from $16 billion this year to $30.2 billion by 2017-18 unless the hemorrhaging is stanched.

SEE FULL DETAILS HERE:

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2012/02/15/drummond_report_new_roadmap_for_ontario_includes_higher_hydro_bills_larger_school_classes.html

Alwyn

#55 Herb on 01.31.14 at 11:45 pm

Now that the Order of Canada is respectable again, I want one.

#56 Andrew Woburn on 01.31.14 at 11:47 pm

#35 CV on 01.31.14 at 10:28 pm
Hi Garth, what do you make of Pimco’s comment that Canada’s housing market will experience a “cyclical decline’, but no meltdown?
========================

Seems to me that Garth has been clear that he does not expect a catastrophic US-style collapse but instead, a steady price decline over several years.

#57 World According To Garth on 01.31.14 at 11:48 pm

While I’m sure the cherry pickers will be out in force it seems I have been wrong about how much a single useless paper pusher in the govt makes while a family of four makes $68k.

The govt vacuum cleaner? $114,000.00

But don’t take my word for it. Enjoy your Kraft Dinner tonight fools !! And more taxes to come to pay for these vampires pensions which are 600 billion underfunded.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/budget-watchdog-finds-average-public-service-job-costs-114k-1.1174021

#58 cd on 01.31.14 at 11:49 pm

I have read a fair bit of Smoking Man and the more I read the more I want, the more I need…

So smoking man for your fans out there, you need to offer some sort of touring seminar series at various bars across the country. I’ll go for sure. I’ll even let you buy me a drink.

I also thought about a smoking man mentor – protege program.

#59 Shawn on 01.31.14 at 11:49 pm

HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH NET WORTH IN REAL ESTATE?

It has been suggested that over 50% of net worth in real estate is too risky. Of course that is not solved by buying a house with zero down, therefore no net worth in real estate. So not sure that is a good measure of risk.

I believe the proper measure of risk from real estate is your net worth divided by the value of real estate you own.

So a $100,000 net worth divided by a $500,000 house is net worth at 20% of real estate value.

I would say it is risky when your net worth is not AT LEAST 50% of your real estate value. (And the equity in the real estate is not really relevant here)

So, $ 1 million in net worth with a $1 million house and a $900 k mortgage is not all that risky as you apparently have the net worth to pay off the mortgage if you want to. And a 50% drop in your house value still leaves you with $500k net worth.

$50k net worth and a $200k house, paid off (say $150k owed on other loans) is still sort of risky because a 25% drop in the house value puts your net worth to zero.

My measure is simplistic however because it ignores income. if your real estate is only twice your income level then you are not at much risk even if you are just starting out with a net worth of zero. This is because you probably have the ability to build net worth rapidly.

In summary, risk is not defined as percent of your net worth invested in real estate, rather it is your net worth divided by the value of your real estate (not your equity in real estate but the value of real estate).

Put another way if the value of your real estate is more than twice your net worth you are taking a lot of risk of real estate fluctuations.

Anyhow, just trying to puzzle through the math and came up with this on my evening dog walk.

#60 Texas Tea on 02.01.14 at 12:00 am

DELETED

#61 Andrew Woburn on 02.01.14 at 12:01 am

California Getting Record Volume of Canadian Oil by Rail

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-01/california-getting-record-volume-of-canadian-oil-by-rail.html

#62 Andrew Woburn on 02.01.14 at 12:17 am

Anxiety Hits Norway Housing Market

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-30/anxiety-hits-norway-s-housing-market-as-premier-monitors-decline.html

#63 Coho on 02.01.14 at 12:18 am

Just want to add that those we elect to supposedly represent us are ‘us’. They’re no different than the average person. We have our egos to contend with which can express as greed, fear, ambition, selfishness, intolerance, lack of compassion, hate, disrespect and disdain for others to list a few. Granted, some of us control these undesirable tendencies better than others.

What’s worse than an average person with an over active ego who isn’t in a position of power like for example Joe and Mary Front Porch? It is an average person with an over active ego who is sponsored and/or manoeuvres him/herself INTO a position of power.

We all have desires and attachments and therefore can be manipulated. How many others would we throw under the bus to get what we want or save ourselves from going without even if just a little?

Anyone watch the movie Fantastic Four (The Silver Surfer)? Here was this very powerful being prepping planets for destruction through consumption by a horrific planet eating creature. This being enabled the destruction of countless planets and an incomprehensible amount of life in order to keep its loved one safe. This is the hold the planet eater had over this being and what this being was willing to do to ensure the life of his loved one. In the end, the being overcome with remorse for his deeds, did himself in as well as his ‘blackmailer’.

The point? We have a great capacity to love our own, but generally very little consideration, understanding, and compassion left over for others. Love for our own is hardwired into us so it is not a choice, but comes naturally. Caring and consideration for others and working together is something we must choose to do. It takes effort and time to turn our thoughts away from ourselves for just a minute and consider the predicament and needs of others. In my opinion, generally, we fall woefully short in this respect. This is why we are so easily played against one-another. Hence, crumbs for the masses (and we should be thankful for that, they say) and cake and icing for the few.

#64 Notta Sheeple on 02.01.14 at 12:21 am

Not all bad news this evening.

Just read that the Lord of Cross-Dresser has just been stripped of his Odour of Canada.

Curious….Would a convicted felon who renounced Canadian citizenship still qualify for CPP and OAS?

Inquiring minds need to know….

#65 wallflower on 02.01.14 at 12:21 am

Garth – when you gonna have a web-broadcast video roundtable with your most voluminous commentators participating, so we can all meet Smoking Man?
Oh, and about that eye-popping hospital experience… try a few months in old-age chronic care facilities…
Tonight, my Scotch is Grand Old Parr. Aged 12 years De Luxe Scotch Whisky (‘cept my ex-mother-out-law had it for about 20 years already before she gave it to me).
I spent 10 years in/out of 3 old-age facilities caring for 3 Alzheimer/senile grandparents. No words.

#66 sheane wallace on 02.01.14 at 12:26 am

#31 john mounfield on 01.31.14 at 10:20 pm
34% plan on winning the lottery.
We have lost touch with reality. We are living in a fantasy world and I can only say that I feel sad for people. Intelligence has left us.
——————————————–
exactly.
this is by design.
it is the science of hypnosis and brainwashing.
Just stop watching the damn TV.
It will change your perspective and restore your sanity.

#67 Linda Mulligan on 02.01.14 at 12:26 am

#23 Sasquatch: CPP is based on what you pay in & for how long. Hence if you pay in the maximum contribution for at least 39 out of 47 years (they drop the worst 8 years off the calculation) you would get the maximum CPP at age 65. Deferring it to 70 gets you a 42% increase, just as taking it at age 60 gets you a 42% decrease. Most people don’t pay the maximum or work for 39-47 years (age 18 to 65). Most people don’t defer to age 70, either. Because a lot of people take CPP early at age 60 & also because of other factors previously mentioned the average CPP payout is less than six hundred dollars per month as per the Gov’t of Canada website. As Garth commented, few people qualify for the maximum CPP. As for OAS, in order to get ‘the maximum’ for OAS you have to have lived in Canada for at least 40 years after the age of 18. So people who lived outside of Canada for whatever reason for any large portion of their life prior to age 65 in the past & age 67 now only get OAS in proportion of the years they actually lived in Canada. If you only lived in Canada for 20 years between ages 18 & 67 you’d only get half the OAS that someone who had lived in Canada 40 years would receive.

#68 Cici on 02.01.14 at 12:29 am

Nubile…thank’s for the new word Garth. Not only are you helping me with my finances and future retirement prospects, you are also enRICHing my vocabulary. And I earn my living as a writer, so this is a great complement.

Thanks for everything you do, especially the daily reminders.

And about that leg – Ease into and enjoy your downtime. At least it’s winter, and a cruddy winter at that, so you aren’t really missing that much.

And take it easy on the scotch…only Smoking Man can survive off of it. Don’t despair: work out your arms and the other leg, staying in good shape is crucial to recovery. You will get better soon and be able to do everything you used to do just as good as before…so relax, and think of it as a forced vacation :-)

#69 Cici on 02.01.14 at 12:31 am

#8 Will

That’s adorable ;-)

#70 Cici on 02.01.14 at 12:33 am

#11 Cash is King

So right you are! Good analysis.

#71 Big English on 02.01.14 at 12:41 am

Ah hydro morphine I vaguley remember those days.

House sold, sat on cash to keep wife happy while she looked for the house.

Have moved 3 times in 12 months to finally end up in a three bedroom rental in right school catchment for kids. Wife content.

Now time to invest, top up rsp, TFSA etc. Here we go.

#72 DW on 02.01.14 at 12:44 am

It’s funny how investors are so skitish regarding the emerging markets and quickly send their investments to safe havens. But with all the signs and conditions clearly showing that RE is tanking in Canada, bidding wars are still the talk of the town. Employment will be the key that will brake the camels back and with the dollar heading south and imports becoming more costly……tough times lie ahead. With the U.S in recovery mode at least there is a ray of light and 3D printing is coming to a town near you.

#73 Jon on 02.01.14 at 12:50 am

Garth i think maybe you went too far when you suggest that children wont take care of there parents, having a 93 year old mom i know at least in my family we pulled together to keep her supported and happy and i cant imagine there is a younger generation that will throw them under the bridge. Family is family and you take care of your elders. If this is lost from society we are in trouble. However i did have a conversation with one coworker who said he couldn’t support his dad. This pissed me off after he told me he only had about 1 million and he thought it would affect his lifestyle. I wrote him off as a person right then. I dont think this is the norm where kids dont he there parents, but if it is, then fudge!

#74 Jon on 02.01.14 at 12:51 am

Garth sorry i put words in your mouth it was a survey.

#75 Notta Sheeple on 02.01.14 at 12:55 am

Hard to figure out who the Greater Fool is here:

a. The Lexus-leasing, big-screen addicted, stainless & granite mortgage slave? or,

b. The retiring 57-year-old Big Five bank CEO who waited until just 20 years before his best-before-date to spend $11,000 per day of his $85,000,000 stock option package?

#76 Andrew Woburn on 02.01.14 at 12:55 am

Chief economist’s apparent suicide is the latest in a series of bizarre deaths in the financial world this week

http://business.financialpost.com/2014/01/31/chief-economists-apparent-suicide-is-the-latest-in-a-series-of-bizarre-deaths-in-the-financial-world-this-week/

#77 AfterTheHouseSold on 02.01.14 at 12:56 am

Don’t know Garth. Must be something in the drinking water. That or valium. Lots of valium. People seem absolutely oblivious to these tumultuous times.

Here in Florida its all about Super Bowl Sunday party. The big news maker? Markets tumble! Nope. Shortage of Velveeta cheese! But not to worry, walmart to the rescue, pallet of massive slabs of cheese disappear in minutes. That and the “family size” bag of chips that could pass for a floatation device. Party on!

Here’s raising a glass of bourbon to you. Salute.

#78 overthepond on 02.01.14 at 1:05 am

#9 will

Jameson is an irish whisky, not Scotch.

That said, if you can manage to drink that stuff straight, you are a stronger man than me!

#79 thedoubter on 02.01.14 at 1:12 am

Come Monday, CBC will broadcast To Rent or To Buy? It will be interesting to see what they have to say.

#80 rich young on 02.01.14 at 1:33 am

my best buddy that I went to business school went on to partner in a CGA firm on Vancouver Island. He makes a pile of cash and does not contribute to an rrsp. I don’t either. who cares. you pay tax on the money now or later.

you cant short 4,000 shares of ron.to inside and RRSP or short amzn before earnings … hence. you can make tiny returns in some doomed Ponzi scheme reit inside your rrsp or you can trade your cash in the market and play the 15 minute rule on gaps up or down in the market… and make a pile more and just get taxed on it now but make crazy returns.

the only reason I don’t short a reit as to time its blow up is near impossible and in the meantime you must pay the dividend knowing it will just go deeper in debt to hold on to those dividend craving customers that take the return and can’t even beat inflation.

Garth, I agree with you on housing. Read the book by Rubin. Energy prices will kill the pay cheque to pay cheque horny house lover. I have 2 kids, Cat and a beautiful wife and we live in a rented half duplex in Calgary. Our ENMAX bill was $371.70 last month. When I moved out in 1988 from my home in Victoria to my first place with a friend, we split an apartment at $430 per month, $215 each. This included heat and hot water. MY wage as a grocery clerk then is the same they pay clerks today. Bread was stocked daily on the shelf and weekly today as it is so full of garbage to keep it fresh.

Housing is going to fall but along with it all those REITS and all those RRSP that point long the market. Some people by 2x etfs inside an RRSP that can short gold or banks but they don’t coincide with price movements and fail to return what is promised.

If you want to grow wealth in todays bloated stock market or housing market you better be prepared to work at hard. Stocks and homes are now buy and hold at these nose bleed levels.

Good luck all and suggest reading Rubin’s book called NO GROWTH as inflation in food and energy pummel us all.

#81 nancy on 02.01.14 at 1:44 am

The lower Canadian dollar and the promise of stable interest rates had sparked the interest once again of China foreign investment in Canada’s real estate. They are stupidly in a buying frenzy. Until we put a cap on this foreign speculation prices will not come down. I was driving past the Richmond development of River Green tonight and there were only 3 or 4 suites with lights on in each building. Magnum Properties marketed and sold a large percentage of this project in Asia. Why doesn’t this bubble burst already?

#82 Phil Indablanque on 02.01.14 at 1:58 am

I want to be invinsable two

#83 KommyKim on 02.01.14 at 2:03 am

RE: #77 AfterTheHouseSold on 02.01.14 at 12:56 am
The big news maker? Markets tumble! Nope. Shortage of Velveeta cheese!

The whole Velveeta shortage was a marketing ploy. There was no shortage.

#84 Shiny on 02.01.14 at 2:04 am

Glenfiddich single malt! A Christmas present from “my Amazon”.
Thanks Garth and good health!

#85 Time has come today on 02.01.14 at 2:13 am

Under no circumstances mix alcohol and opiates.

You could end up occupying a long term time share at the local cemetery, or worse, a time share in Florida, I know, but “you’ve just won a free cruise”, either way, it’s a recipe for disaster.

#86 Time has come today on 02.01.14 at 2:14 am

Oh, I just looked at the picture, HAHAHAHAHA!

#87 Dean Mason on 02.01.14 at 2:19 am

To Retired Boomer WI

What do you consider a good saver. A good saver is like my father’s friend that saves $9,000 in his RRSP, his wife saves $6,000 in her RRSP and they both save the maximum as well in their TFSA’s of $11,000 combined.

They are saving 31% of their annual gross income combined of $84,000 a year.

They never put any money in stocks, mutual funds, ETF’s, REIT’s etc. or going deep into deep borrowing a bunch of money for buying physical real estate.

They have no debts and are debt free for 27 years now. They own a $350,000 house free and clear, 2 cars which are 3 years old free and clear.

They have 20% in GIC’s, 5% in savings accounts, 75% in Canada, provincial bonds, Canada, provincial strip bonds.

They have been doing this for decades maybe 31 years now and have over $1,351,270 getting 4.88% on all their investments.

Their C.P.P. and OAS combined when they retire in 2015 will be $2,260 a month.

They are more than satisfied with their financial situation and income, cash flow.

When they both retire, their gross income will be 110% of their gross employment income plus they will not be paying C.P.P., E.I. and union dues which is currently about $6,000 a year.

Most so called experts say you should have 75% of your gross employment income to have a decent retirement which in their case would be gross income of $63,000 a year.

#88 Dean Mason on 02.01.14 at 2:25 am

I forgot to mention that with their C.P.P., OAS and income from their investments, RRSP’s, TFSA’s, they will have a gross income of $93,061 a year.

This is $30,061 or 47.71% more gross income a year than the retirement experts say they need which is 75% of their gross, $63,000 a year.

#89 HAWK on 02.01.14 at 2:28 am

#4 Bob Copeland on 01.31.14 at 8:58 pm

==============================

The US has seen its suffering. People living in cars, 47 million on food stamps etc, etc the point is we thought smugly that we we’re “different” but we are not.

#90 sasquatch on 02.01.14 at 2:43 am

#67 Linda Mulligan

Grandmother lived some 20 years on long term disability because of working with harsh chemicals, and father has worked pretty much consistently after high school. The truth is the benefits are getting smaller to new recipients every year. bit by bit. In the area that I grew up in. Old folks that worked similar careers but retired 1-5 years apart noticed smaller and smaller returns.

#91 Fiendish Thingy on 02.01.14 at 2:49 am

#57 WATG-

Yeah, just think how great this country will be when the police, ,military, teachers and nurses are all earning the same as the staff at Tim Hortons…at least you’ll have to find something else to whine about- maybe the real paper pushers at G-S etc. who do more damage to the economy then all the civil servants you constantly rant about.

#92 Mark on 02.01.14 at 3:17 am

If the boomers think that I’m going to bust my butt, to support their profligate lifestyle, they got another thing coming. As it stands, the boomers aren’t even allowing the young to work in significant numbers. We have a huge unemployment crisis in Canada. Just ask any professional who has tried to find a job outside of the public sector or a few narrow sectors (FIRE, O&G) in the private sector how good the economy is. The response is almost certain to be a bunch of expletives. Quite frankly, I’d rather not work and collect the welfare alongside them, than to work my butt off to pay $100k+/year government pensions to workers that added practically not one iota of value to the economy over their entire careers.

#93 Humpty Dumpty on 02.01.14 at 5:13 am

Chinese New Year… Year of the horse…

Human infections of H7N9 bird flu soared in the lead up to Friday’s start of the lunar New Year celebrations in China, with fall-winter cases now overtaking the tally from last spring’s first explosive outbreak of the new virus.

http://www.canada.com/health/With+Chinese+Year+H7N9+cases+soar+experts+struggle+assess+risk/9454296/story.html

A new strain of the Black Death

which killed half the people in the world in the 14th Century – could emerge without warning, scientists say. And while modern medicine would help to combat such an outbreak, the ease with which people move around the globe could make it worse.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulrodgers/2014/01/29/new-strain-of-black-death-could-emerge-without-warning/

Proverbs 14:27

The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, That one may avoid the snares of death.

#94 Sue Walsh on 02.01.14 at 5:15 am

Well said. Should be required reading for 20-30 somethings
hell….40-50-60 somethings

#95 Buy? Curious? on 02.01.14 at 5:59 am

Hey Garth! Any prize for guessing what hospital you’re going to? I know quite a few nurses.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8JNPXdSmhQ

Oh, and the dude @60 Texas Tea,
“The Edmonton ER is standing room only and you feel like a minority with all the towel wraps in there for a hang nail.”

I’d much rather be in a room like that than in one with a bunch of overweight truckers with the baseball caps and lumberjack jackets with their wives in tow pleading with them to get their prostate checked inbetween runs to the vending machine and the designated outdoor smoking section. Go research your family tree and unless your name is “Sleeps with Pigs” from the Sioux tribe, go back to Alabama. Just because your family got here a few years before these people, doesn’t make you any better.

Rob Ford 2014! Suck it Beeatches!

#96 Steve French on 02.01.14 at 7:12 am

***DELETED***

Sigh…. censored for my brilliance, yet again.

#97 kaganovich on 02.01.14 at 8:59 am

# 76 Andrew Woburn

Here: http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2014/01/on-death-and-derivatives/

#98 Joe on 02.01.14 at 9:08 am

If you can live on $600 you’re lichen?! Wow. You’ve just described millions of welfare and disability recipients in Canada. If they can pull it off, rest assured the elderly population will do just fine on OAS+CPP. Hardly a crisis. Same goes for healthcare — it’s been declining and in the dumps for years now.

Why would you want to live on crumbs? I have shown repeatedly for most people this constitutes failure. — Garth

#99 Detalumis on 02.01.14 at 9:10 am

#44 Vangrrl if you want to ride your bike in Europe I would suggest go for it now, take a sabbatical. My 2 college girlfriends had the same idea as you did, work hard, save up, good retirement. They both ended up with cancer and died at 48 and 51, so never got to retire or see their kids grow up and get married and all that good stuff, strange cancers too like pancreatic.

Their mothers are still alive though, they will make it to 95 I’m sure. Boomer women are dropping of cancer like flies, it could be the stress of leading a double life, work and homework they are the canaries in the coal mine. Don’t put your dreams on hold for some nebulous future, it can evaporate in the blink of an eye.

#100 economictsunami on 02.01.14 at 9:12 am

So what’s been eating at EM and commodities?

Don’t hold your breath on XL.

The US will need that pipe capacity for H2O…

China’s economic reset is likely to hurt world’s emerging economies:

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/01/31/216559/chinas-economic-reset-is-likely.html#storylink=cpy

Copper Prices May Be On The Rise, In Sharp Contrast To The Other Much Duller Commodities Markets…

http://www.ibtimes.com/copper-prices-may-be-rise-sharp-contrast-other-much-duller-commodities-markets-1550555

#101 MC on 02.01.14 at 9:51 am

Garth,

I am sorry to hear about the leg. A visit to a hospital is never fun and it is depressing sometimes to see what our tax dollars buy and how quickly the system can be overloaded.

Gen Y these days (or at least my colleagues who are mostly designated accountants) realize that the government won’t save us, our employers won’t save us and we are going to have to do all the heavy lifting ourselves to get to retirement and a financially secure life.

In some ways though, Gen Y is more conservative than, well, anyone…and that is not a good thing.

#102 Obvious Truth on 02.01.14 at 9:53 am

6 am was awesome in southern ontario this morning. Lightest snow falling. And birds singing. What a start to the day.

Back in at 635 and tuned to cp24. Hot property on. Seen it twice in 6 months by accident. Same condo peddler featuring the same building on college st. The sales pitch was slimy. Last time I think he said it was super hot, there weren’t a lot of units and they were preordering. Now you should buy one for your kid to go to u of t in 2 or 3 years. Along with 3 or 4 ridiculous other reasons.

Morning went from great to needing a shower to work off the slime.

Ann needs to invite Garth on the show. Whole half hour. With youngsters calling in. Ratings would skyrocket. We’re talking Susie orman numbers.

Another nibble for me on fri. Vix still worrying. Hope it’s just traders scared of a weekend currency collapse.

Hope you’re out quick garth.

#103 Hicksville Alberta on 02.01.14 at 10:01 am

#99 Detalumis

Great post and so very true.

I have seen and continue to see so much as what you have posted. Life definitely isn’t fair and the world doesn’t owe you anything ever.

Here is a great chart on life expectancy on retirement that i cabbaged a few years ago and give out to people as i get the chance: http://ceplocal10b.com/Retirement&Death.html

It is a real eye opener and really supports what one sees one by one around them as they get older in their lives.

#104 World Traveller on 02.01.14 at 10:07 am

I prefer Fancy Feast myself

#105 Franco on 02.01.14 at 10:10 am

@#12 —- Yes the future does usually arrive, but what we thought we get and what actually happens are 2 different things. This is why forecasting is not an exact science.

#106 AfterTheHouseSold on 02.01.14 at 10:10 am

#60 Texas Tea
“towel wraps”

Did this slip by you Garth?

Yes it did. Now gone. — Garth

#107 World Traveller on 02.01.14 at 10:11 am

#98 Joe on 02.01.14 at 9:08 am
If you can live on $600 you’re lichen?! Wow. You’ve just described millions of welfare and disability recipients in Canada. If they can pull it off, rest assured the elderly population will do just fine on OAS+CPP. Hardly a crisis. Same goes for healthcare — it’s been declining and in the dumps for years now.”
****

oh yeah, $12K a year, break out the caviar. There is a difference between just surviving and having a good retirement. Those millions on welfare are not thinking that they have struck it rich.
If you are in an urban centre, $1000 month minimum for a flea bag apartment and then what, I guess you eat the lichen?

#108 BG on 02.01.14 at 10:16 am

#99 Refreshing point of view on this blog.

We read people explaining how their strategy worked sooo well.
We read no post from the dead telling us how they regret.

If people are getting in debt with cars, houses, vacations and iPad maybe it’s not because they are stupid and we are so clever. Maybe it’s just because life is right now.

They are taking the risk to go bankrupt. We are taking the risk of saving big amounts of money and dying before enjoying it. Pick your poison.

#109 World Traveller on 02.01.14 at 10:18 am

This is one scary post, Garth. So many of my friends in their late 30s and 40’s a broke and some are very underemployed. I have never seen things so bad in my life. Worse than the low pay is the expectation to work free through.

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/03/11/desperate_graduates_work_for_free_goar.html

With a lot of people working for low or no pay or not being able to find a job, who are the boomers going to sell their house to, themselves? Unless the houses are selling for $5000 a piece like in Detroit, they can forget it.

#110 Ayn Rand Army on 02.01.14 at 10:20 am

These images are set out as reflections of our society. But they’re not. They are pieces of news engineered to support our buy-now-screw-tomorrow culture. Which is cool. It’s capitalism.
—–
Gosh Garth, why would you portray capitalism in such a low light?

That’s sales and marketing in a free market that is misleading borderline on fraud, which is a crime.

Capitalism is not evil. It’s property rights and investment in capital and control over the means of production and distribution. Property rights over the assets and the money to finance them, plus control ove the cash generated by them.

Property rights that are constantly under attach by our tax code. And distribution controls, taxes, tariffs and subsidies also distorting the real market. Like CMHC!

So i would highlight CMHC and our central bank and big banks as the scum bags, all government controlled and influenced. Not capitalism. sheesh…

hope you’re feeling better.
(probably the drugs makin’ you a little kooky-er) hehe

#111 Hicksville Alberta on 02.01.14 at 10:25 am

While we are talking more and more about retirement, here is a summary comparison of retirement land between Public employee pensions and Private employee pensions taken from an April 2013 report by the Fraser Institute examining 2011 wages and employee benefits and the gap in some key areas:

Canadian employees covered by a registered pension plan – Public sector – 88.2% ; Private sector – 24.0%

Average retirement age – Public sector – 60.0 ; Private sector – 62.4

Canadian job losses (as a % of employment) – Public sector – 0.6% ; Private sector – 3.8%

Source for this is from the CA magazine, August 2013, Page 10.

Want to make a bet who gets the highest percentage of Defined Benefit pensions (by a longshot) over Defined Contribution pensions ?

No wonder the prospects for the Canadian Dollar are less than stellar as this is just one of the embedded vested interest costs in our society that has gone way beyond the pale.

#112 economictsunami on 02.01.14 at 10:31 am

Chart: House price to income ratio and real house price rise… (source JP Morgan/ OECD)

http://tinyurl.com/ld2f4nu

#113 World Traveller on 02.01.14 at 10:34 am

#51 Coho on 01.31.14 at 11:22 pm

Line up, it’ll be pain free — no more bills, no more chores, no more aches, no more worries, no more tiredness, and best of all — no more whiskas!
****

Sounds like Quietus from the movie “Children of Men”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VnIrXmdYhY

#114 Smoking Man on 02.01.14 at 10:45 am

#108 World Traveller on 02.01.14 at 10:18 am

This is one scary post, Garth. So many of my friends in their late 30s and 40′s a broke and some are very underemployed. I have never seen things so bad in my life. Worse than the low pay is the expectation to work free through.

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/03/11/desperate_graduates_work_for_free_goar.html

With a lot of people working for low or no pay or not being able to find a job, who are the boomers going to sell their house to, themselves? Unless the houses are selling for $5000 a piece like in Detroit, they can forget it.

…………..

if you’re dumb enough to pay tens of thousands of dollars to get an education that is absolutely free on line, you don’t deserve to get paid.

In fact the on line info is far more advanced than old textbook’s.

Humans , oblivious to the obvious.

#115 TheCatFoodLady on 02.01.14 at 10:47 am

About living on CPP + OAS only or, with very little else in retirement. It’s doable but one had better have a pretty flexible idea of ‘living’ or some really low key plans.

The main squeeze & I live on his ODSP & part time work I manage around caring for him. I’ll put it out there because I suspect a lot of people think it’s a piece of cake, an easy adjustment to make. Oh, HELL, no. Years of idiotic financial stupidities, (independently because we weren’t together), left us with squat to draw on. “I’ll start saving tomorrow!” is a common theme among younger workers. Then your world crashes down around you, tomorrow is here & you’ve got to play the hand you dealt yourself. You can whine, get into debt, stay a step ahead of collection agencies & sheriffs with eviction notices or you can ‘man up’.

After rent, (which includes utilities), cable/net/phone which in bundled, we have about $900/month to live on. Cable/net/phone we see almost as a necessity as opposed to a want. My partner can’t easily get out in winter – big tv user. For me, the net is education, entertainment & a fair bit of social contact. Way cheaper than drinkie poos with the girls or a movie night…

So what do you do with $900 a month? Surprisingly, a fair bit but you have to budget to within a micron of a nickle’s life. If you allow yourself to get into debt – you’re screwed. You can get out but you’d better like No Name Kraft Dinner type ‘food’ because you’re going to be eating a lot of it until you clear debt. Ask me how I know – bad habit of learning the hard way, I have!

$900 needs to cover food – easy enough to shop the cheap grocery stores, stick to a list & buy loss leaders. I keep a very well stocked pantry by buying lots of sale items. We don’t drink coffee or tea or alcohol – luckily, we’re not keen on either but I’m a ‘milkaholic’. We eat quite well.

Clothing – I love off retail. We shop twice a year – summer clothes as we’re heading into fall & winter clothes when we’re heading into spring. That’s a great way to pick up good quality items for 5-10% of retail cost. We try to buy quality – not a lot of items though. I mean, how many pairs of pants or tops do I need? Everything co-ordinates.

Personal care – DIY haircuts & I’m pretty good at them. I wear 2 good perfumes – they last forever. Don’t wear much makeup & don’t spend a lot of money on it. We both have several good pieces of jewelry we vulched at pawn shops.

A car is out of the question. We walk everywhere or take the bus. Cabs are for emergencies. We live where we can walk to everywhere we need & 20 miles or so a week of walking keeps me out of the doctor’s office.

We KNOW what we own & plan as well as budget for replacement items. If I know for example, my toaster oven is almost toast, I put money aside, then vulch a new one on sale. Same goes for everything.

Our hobbies are inexpensive & keep us content. We do a lot of walking/biking in the summer out into the boonies. We pack our own food & drink.

So it can be done BUT without something in reserve, it’s CHOICE that is limited. We were very lucky in that my spousal unit received a small inheritance a few years ago. We’re jealously guarding that money for emergencies, future needs in retirement; especially medical needs. According to ODSP rules, the inheritance had to be placed in trust, (I’m the trustee) & can only grow to a certain maximum limit. Did well with investments this year – almost at limit. Outside of trust, we can only accumulate $7,500 maximum in other assets- all assets totalled. Making sure we follow the rules keeps me on my toes. It was a steep learning curve at first but I’m grateful we have something TO monitor & look after. Many don’t.

We don’t have kids at home & poor retirees won’t either. But we also don’t have cell phones or most consumer goodies – everything we buy has to undergo our cost/benefit analysis.

A new retiree who was earning good money but living up to their pay without putting anything aside, who thinks they can go into retirement carrying debt yet travel & still have all the goodies… well, that person or persons are in for some huge shocks.

Anyone coming up to that age, rattling around in the big family home – sell NOW. Invest the money well. Take a good look at your ‘toy collection’ & be reasonable about your retirement plans & capabilities. The sooner adjustments are made, the less of a shock.

#116 angela on 02.01.14 at 10:48 am

take a guess what Wal-Mart cited as a key reason for its reduced sales. Yep, you guessed it, the recent reduction in U.S. government food stamps payouts. Yes, essentially the only thing the government has cut is food stamps; not to mention, its refusal to extend long-term unemployment benefits to 1.3 million people, which will likely show up in a plummeting Labor Force Participation rate on Friday. Gee, less food stamps and unemployment benefits – coupled with a collapsing economy, “tapering” of U.S. Treasury monetization, and the commencement of Obamacare. What could possibly go wrong, especially with the U.S. “debt ceiling” requiring an increase by the end of February?

#117 Daisy Mae on 02.01.14 at 10:49 am

Millions of lichen? ‘Slow-growing organism of simple structure”? Oh, oh…. :-)

#118 Detalumis on 02.01.14 at 10:57 am

I also suggest you save some of your medication, if you are taking this drug every day you will be addicted very quickly and most certainly will suffer withdrawal symptoms (flu-like) when you run out. I would suggest saving at least 25% of your meds, then break them up into smaller bits and take as little as possible to taper off and avoid feeling sick. Doctors never help you wean off it’s too bad – so sad.

#119 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.01.14 at 11:02 am

@#93 Humpty Dumpty
Hmmmmm . The Black Death and the Gospel all wrapped up in one post……
Interesting, buy gold (you can melt it down into bullets if necessary).

#120 Tripp on 02.01.14 at 11:04 am

#13 timmyt on 01.31.14 at 9:21 pm

I agree. Unfortunately our education system creates plenty of self-confidence with little knowledge and poor social skills.

#121 RVP on 02.01.14 at 11:09 am

Linda Mulligan #67 said:

“If you only lived in Canada for 20 years between ages 18 & 67 you’d only get half the OAS that someone who had lived in Canada 40 years would receive.”

That’s how it should be. At least there is one thing that is still right about this country.

#122 Ralph Cramdown on 02.01.14 at 11:14 am

#53 say it ain’t so — “the only reason we’ve had any sort of expansion in the US economy, is the fed’s printing of trillions of dollars, and keeping interest rates at zero for the last 5 years.[…] uneconomic cycles continue to occur, despite the fed’s meddling.. post war business cycles last on average 5-6 years. some more, some less. […] at some point, in the very near future, this economic expansion will end. […] there are no jobs being created in the US.”

I actually do believe that our cycles are less cyclical than they used to be. Here’s why:

Classic Business Cycle Theory holds that when somebody finds a moneymaking idea, others will soon flood in to copy it, they’ll malinvest in too much capacity, overproduction … bust … unemployment. This was very true in the age of railroad building and onshore manufacturing, when businesses rushed to make white goods, cars and other goods for the middle class whose living standards were rapidly rising. It’s still true in industries like commercial and residential real estate development, where there’s many companies building essentially the same thing and lead times are long, commodity mining, and for some manufacturers (EG Microsoft’s tablet and any hardware that Blackberry has made in the last two years to sell in the first world), but much more of our economy is now in the service industry, most of our manufacturers use better market forecasting, just in time production and an IT system that spans from the factory to the retail point of sale. And, because it takes fewer barrels of oil to make a dollar of GDP in the West than it used to, we’re less leveraged to oil prices.

What causes recessions, lately?
– Fed raising interest rates to cool inflation. Won’t happen now, as they’re nowhere near full employment and commodity prices are low.
– Oil price shock. I’m currently far more worried about a price collapse than a spike.
– Housing bust. Well, they already had theirs, and new home starts, while rising off a very low low, aren’t even near average yet.

I’m partial to Richard Koo’s “balance sheet recession” theory.

And if you think there are no jobs being created in the US, you need better data. Here’s Civilian Employment, from the survey where they call people at home and ask if they’re working:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CE16OV?cid=32444
Here’s nonfarm employees, from the business survey where they ask how many are on the payroll:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/PAYNSA?cid=32305
Here’s private payrolls from ADP, the largest payroll processing company:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/NPPTTL

You can say they’re not as good as the jobs that were lost, or they’re part time and the employees need full time, or there haven’t been enough to keep up with population growth, and that may all be true, but you can’t say there aren’t more people working than in 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, because it just isn’t true.

#123 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.01.14 at 11:15 am

@#109 Any Rand will do
Your premise that capitalism isn’t evil, politics are the real problem is hopelessly naïve .
Capitalism corrupts politics.
Perhaps you have never heard of the term “Lobbyist”.
A multi billion dollar industry of corporations shoveling bucket loads of cash to “their” politician to help them get elected so that they will pass protectionist laws to ensure more profit. All at the taxpayers expense.
Lobbyists weren’t so blatant when Ayn Rand was writing her dreadfully pedestrian sci-fi novellas.
But I digress
Capitalism can truly do good if avaricious , evil people were not in charge.
But that wish, like Ayn Rand’s delusional gin soaked predictions for her perfect world, will never see reality.

#124 rapier wit on 02.01.14 at 11:20 am

I wish you a comfortable recovery Garth. I, too, had a little surgery on the 16th of December. Sad part was that it was on my head. The comedian ENT promised to look for the spot in my brain where the bad attitude dwelled and remove that whilst he was in there – experiment failed, but he might have nicked it a bit.

The first couple of weeks were, well, not great. It was the narcotic haze that did it. The good side was that I could watch the same TV show 4 or 5 times and still not figure out how it ended. Seemed a fitting analogy for the RE lessons of the past few decades.

One of the lessons learned over the past 6 weeks is that we do not heal quite as quickly at our 6th decade as we might have remembered in years past. Also, a fitting analogy. So, take it easy… recover well… and look forward to the adventures in life.

All the best.

#125 RVP on 02.01.14 at 11:23 am

@John#73:

You wrote:

“having a 93 year old mom i know at least in my family we pulled together to keep her supported and happy and i cant imagine there is a younger generation that will throw them under the bridge. Family is family and you take care of your elders…one coworker who said he couldn’t support his dad. This pissed me off after he told me he only had about 1 million and he thought it would affect his lifestyle.”

The younger generations are more impoverished and indebted than the baby boom generation and so it will be much harder for the younger generations to look after their baby boomer parents when they get old. Most people–esp. the younger people–will never have a million dollars. You’re talking about looking after a 93 year old mother–that suggests to me that you are in the baby boom generation. I wouldn’t expect the gen X-ers and the millenials to be anywhere near in the same position to look after their baby boomer parents when they get old. Not only do these younger generations have more debt and less wealth, they often have more precarious job situations where you may be going from contract to contract or you may have to work really long hours during certain times of the year. It’s just not going to be that easy for the younger generations to take time off work to look after their parents when they got old. Baby boomers tend to have more stable employment and they may have employers who allow them to take time off to look after their parents. The baby boomers have basically crapped on the younger generations with this real estate bubble that prices us out of our own communities and with union-busting and offshoring jobs to cheap labour markets. Ironically, the chickens will come home to roost for the baby boomers when they are in their final years–their children will nowhere near have the same capacity to look after them in old age compared to the capacity of the baby boomers to look after their parents in old age.

#126 TurnerNation on 02.01.14 at 11:28 am

Attn. new blog dogs. The following usernames are still available; reserve yours today.

Proletariat Chariot

Gee I See ‘er

Blog Dogma

Gambit coin

Avarice Advisor

Chancellor Rebalancer

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Tune in, Turn On, LOC out.

Erik Splott

…..

Reserved:
Blog Dog Poloz

#127 Daisy Mae on 02.01.14 at 11:38 am

#68 CiCi: “….so relax, and think of it as a forced vacation :-)”

********************

Yeah, right….how are the meals? LOL

#128 Daisy Mae on 02.01.14 at 11:46 am

76 Andrew Woburn: “Chief economist’s apparent suicide is the latest in a series of bizarre deaths in the financial world this week

http://business.financialpost.com/2014/01/31/chief-economists-apparent-suicide-is-the-latest-in-a-series-of-bizarre-deaths-in-the-financial-world-this-week/

******************

This played out, also, in the ‘dirty 30’s’.

#129 RVP on 02.01.14 at 11:50 am

Okay one more comment. It seems like there are a lot of upper middle class baby boomers on this blog who are talking about how difficult it would be to live off of $1000/month for CPP and OAS and how they would have to resort to eating lichen. I would like to say it’s not really that hard to live off of $1000/month. That’s pretty much what the younger generation of min. wage baristas live off of. I’ve lived off of $1000/month for years. It’s not that hard–but you just have to learn a few tricks–it takes talent to live in poverty. I would say the number one rule to survive on $1000/month is don’t be a sucker. So many middle class people are swindled out of their money by sales people. You have to be able to see value in things and if it is not superb value you can’t afford it when you are living on $1000/month. You never pay retail prices. You resist every sales’ person attempt to upsell you on something you don’t need it. When you go into a store, you don’t buy something unless you were planning for at least the past few weeks to buy that item before you even went into that store. You only ever buy things on sale. You shop around for the absolute lowest prices. You make your own food and you make big batches and freeze it. You get rid of frivolous expenses like cable bills which are a huge rip off. You get rid of your telephone landline and only use a basic cell phone with no data plan. You use the internet at the library. You take advantage of every freebie you can get. You cut coupons. The hardest part is the rent you will have to pay. You’re going to have to really look hard to find a cheap rental–they do exist. These things may sound painful at first, but you will get used to them. You may actually start to appreciate your poverty–you may see things from a better, clearer perspective. You will have more free time because consuming and shopping actually takes up a lot of time. Instead of shopping you can go for walks on the beach or take up knitting (knit yourself some clothes and save money that way too!!!) or some hobby. You find peace in living a simple life with minimal money. It’s actually okay. I think there are a lot of middle class people who have no idea how wasteful they are and have no idea how big of a sucker they are to all the sales people out there–those are the people being taken advantage of by the Smoking Men. Even though Smoking Man is filthy rich, in order to live in poverty happily, you do have to have a lot of the same attitudes as Smoking Man–you have to be able to see the herd of middle class sheep for what it is–a mindless herd.

#130 Ralph Cramdown on 02.01.14 at 11:51 am

#115 angela — “take a guess what Wal-Mart cited as a key reason for its reduced sales. Yep, you guessed it, the recent reduction in U.S. government food stamps payouts.”

As much as I feel for people who need food stamps and the retailers for whom they make up a disproportionate share of the customer base, let us take a moment to contemplate the fate of the Walmart shareholder. The stock price is only up 58% in the last five years, and the quarterly dividend has only increased 72% in that time. Is that any way to live???

Costco’s share price and dividends have increased 150% and 94% in the same period. I remember how going into this recession some investors were bullish on WMT because people have to shop somewhere. WMT’s other reason for lowered guidance was weather, it doesn’t report until late February, and it expects numbers to be near or above last year’s.

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/RSAFSNA

#131 GeorgianBayBoater on 02.01.14 at 12:03 pm

#71 Big English

“House sold, sat on cash to keep wife happy while she looked for the house………..

Now time to invest, top up rsp, TFSA etc. Here we go.”

I am in a similar situation. Money to invest, but paralyzed by not knowing what to do. Sure, I understand balanced, diversified and liquid.

But with the wife and I both newly retired, I am scared s***less of making the wrong move. Meanwhile a large percent of our net worth is barely making more than inflation.

Stocks and ETFs are too expensive right now and are likely headed for a correction at best. Bonds are toxic. I have been watching Prefereds and Reits fall by the month. (yes, Garth says they are on sale, but when to buy as they go lower?) Returns on GICs are tumbling along with the CDN$.

The liquid money is sitting in a self directed account ready to go.

So blog dogs, where and when does a retired, risk-adverse investor catch a break. Need some ideas here.

#132 A Yank in BC on 02.01.14 at 12:06 pm

“Screw it.” I get it. A little double entendre going on there. Some Home Depot hardware now goes where you go?

Thanks for continuing the blog during your travails. You’re a trooper.

Now, whenever lonely, I will go to the hardware aisle. — Garth

#133 Retired Boomer - WI on 02.01.14 at 12:07 pm

#88 DEAN MASON

I would classify your father’s friend as a “Super Saver” not merely a ‘good saver.’ Saving 31% of their combined income is excellent! Few achieve that level. The combined 4.88% return is quite excellent as well. When the old Bonds expire what is the renewal rates on “NEW BONDS”? Might be different as these things have been in flux.

My point was the ‘good saver’ saving 10-15% or so of salary likely didn’t achieve enough ‘lift’ from a fixed income only portfolio for their ‘secure’ retirement. Bonds have a place as do stocks and cash. Much harder to get where you need to be with 100% of just one, but rather simple with an uncomplicated mix of the three parts.

There are many ways to achieve “critical mass” defined as when your investments produce the same, (or even more) of what you received from working. Some consider any government benefits the icing on the cake if you wish.
Others add in the government benefits + investment income = “critical mass”

I prefer the first definition myself, more error room for the inevitable stock fluctuations.

THAT is when you have achieved financial freedom.

#134 Infused with Opiates on 02.01.14 at 12:11 pm

87 Dean – These people are realistically living at their retirement level now. There will also be some work
related expenses that will be eliminated, but the
biggest one will be the need to save money for
retirement. Currently they are living on about $58k per
year.

85 Time – I never mix. First one, then the other.

#135 Don Derc on 02.01.14 at 12:11 pm

Rich young #80 – job well done sir.

#136 Linda Mulligan on 02.01.14 at 12:16 pm

#98 Joe: re your comment about welfare/disability/OAS people living on $600 per month & managing ok – if living in debt, choosing between eating or paying for prescription drugs & oh yes, having to live in a homeless shelter because you can’t afford rent & haven’t yet gotten placement in low income housing suits then yes, you are managing to ‘live’ on $600 per month. The low income so many live on is heavily supplemented by society ‘safety’ nets like homeless shelters, low income housing & in Canada the universal access to health care. All of which costs a fair chunk of change so what happens if those expenses get cut back due to budget constraints? There is a reason why those who can afford ‘more’ live longer & in better health.

#137 Raven on 02.01.14 at 12:28 pm

Escape Velocity or Terminal Velocity?

US expansion in the fourth quarter of 4.1%, although shy of normal post recession growth of 5-6%, is still capable of
escaping the gravitational pull of lax demand to achieve the vaunted “escape velocity” of perpetual, self sustaining growth. Will the Canadian/Brazilian home purchasing effect US housing in the coming quarters with their declining currencies along with tapering and rate increases? Probably, but not for long as more cylinders of the Buggati of economic engines
to our south starts firing up.

Countries with the highest productivity and the lowest capitol costs always win.

As Canadian business failed to take advantage of our low dollar, to invest in productivity enhancements last decade we rode our laurels to growth through devaluation. The Americans were getting leaner and meaner while competing with the world with a high dollar. We keep exporting inflation to China, while they keep devaluing their Yuan. The internet is the great equalizer on global purchasing, through price comparisons. Credit growth since 2008 in EM has been unprescident. It is their turn to put private debt on the publics shoulders.

Is the rest of the world now resetting to the global imbalances established ofter the 2008 Great Recession?

With our negative real interest rates, we cannot lower them much to increase the spread between inflation and and interest rates, to truly stimulate our economies as we did in past recessions. This spread needs to be increased to truly allow the lower rates to effect meaningful growth.

Cellar Dwellers fear not as your justification of actions (or inactions ) will be rewarded. Revenge is dish best served cold!

“A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew”

#138 eddy on 02.01.14 at 12:35 pm

Wait times in ERs? Come on Garth, get with the psyop,
perhaps you need a psychological evaluation along with your next Xray. The province is busy spending Stealth System money, that they don’t have, on things that defy explanation:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/60-million-slated-for-newly-created-psychiatry-alliance/article16542521/

#139 Doug in London on 02.01.14 at 12:49 pm

What? You mean to tell us it’s not different here in Canada? As for the part about the healthy, active, obedient, nubile 19-year-olds can’t find part-time work that’s proof of the coming labour shortage the self proclaimed “experts” have been telling us would come when the Boomers retire. If you believe that rubbish I’ll sell you some Nortel stock at the dirt cheap, practically giving it away, price of only $1000 per share.

#140 Texas Tea on 02.01.14 at 1:00 pm

#105 AfterTheHouseSold on 02.01.14 at 10:10 am
#60 Texas Tea
“towel wraps”

Did this slip by you Garth?

Yes it did. Now gone. — Garth

=====================================

Sorry,

I should have been more politically correct and said “New Canadians”

#141 $$$BPOE#1$$$ on 02.01.14 at 1:10 pm

Jericho Lands on the block? Stay tuned. 3 bilion dollars. World Class all the way. Stay tuned

#142 Greg, Oakville on 02.01.14 at 1:36 pm

Hi Garth,

I hope you’re recovery is as speedy and uncomplicated as possible.

Staying as mobile as possible while you’re there will help keep the blood flowing and hopefully help you recover faster. Multiply laps around the ward, past the nursing station, can’t but help lift the spirits.

If you’re lucky enough to receive ‘a get well gift basket’ with chocolates and stuff, I’d recommend sharing it with your wards nursing station staff. (my hospital experiences, it can’t hurt.)

I hope the hospital food is ok. Maybe if you’re lucky someone close to you (maybe Scott?) will being you in one of your favorite lunch sandwich from time to time.

If you happen to run out of halls to explore in that hospital during your two week stay, I recall there’s an ice free tunnel, so you can get to the other hospitals nearby. Your ward’s nursing staff can probably help direct you to the tunnel. If you’re feeling that adventures?

Thank you for your blog.
Get well soon.

#143 Texas Tea on 02.01.14 at 1:37 pm

I can forgive him his crack smoking, his drunken stupors in public, his groping at parties, his crude comments about his sex life, his attempt to characterize reporters as pedophiles, his texting while driving, his conflicts of interest, his tossing customers off a TTC bus, his skipping council matters, his consorting with known criminals, his missions to extort the crack video, having his ex-bother-in-law beaten in jail, his lies and false denials…I can forgive all that. But this – jaywalking in Vancouver? This is one step too far.

#144 Ralph Cramdown on 02.01.14 at 1:46 pm

#130 GeorgianBayBoater — “I am in a similar situation. Money to invest, but paralyzed by not knowing what to do. Sure, I understand balanced, diversified and liquid. […] Stocks and ETFs are too expensive right now and are likely headed for a correction at best. Bonds are toxic. I have been watching Prefereds and Reits fall by the month. […] So blog dogs, where and when does a retired, risk-adverse investor catch a break.”

Not here, and not ever, unfortunately. Investors didn’t load up the wheelbarrow when bonds were paying 12%; they worried that they’d go to 14% and inflation to 16%. Ditto when stocks were in the dumps.

You need to evaluate yourself. Can I manage my own investments? Can I run a small business or apartment building? How much money do I need, and how long will mine last (see: The 7 Most Important Equations for Your Retirement).

Do you have a head for math and financial analysis? Statements like “stocks are expensive” are silly. There’s tens of thousands of stocks the world over, and they range in price from crazy expensive to crazy cheap. Likewise with country markets and sectors. Canada is cheaper than the US, and some Canadian sectors are much cheaper than others.

ADRs offer an easier way to buy large cap foreign dividend payers, but study tax treaty rates and keep them in your RRSP to avoid nasty withholding tax surprises.

Writing covered calls can supplement portfolio income nicely, but study up first.

Many ETFs are a waste of money. If most of their holdings are concentrated in a few underlying issues, you can save the management fee by just buying the bigger holdings directly assuming your positions are big enough, and who wants to throw away 0.5% instead?

Can you build a portfolio and live on the income, perhaps with a bit left over to reinvest to counteract inflation? If not, you’ll have to draw on capital, which means you’re somewhat more sensitive to the fluctuations of the individual securities. Typically, you’ll need more money when young and spry than when old and cranky. But consider retirement and nursing home costs.

Don’t buy anything that gets sold, including mutual funds that have trailer fees, private REITs, anything that bank employees are willing to recommend, anything from the life insurance industry… There are exceptions, but unless you understand exactly what and why, best to avoid entirely.

If you can’t do this yourself or with the aid of a fee-only planner, you’ll need help, and that help is expensive, typically north of 10% of your portfolio’s returns every year for smaller amounts, for percentage based advice. Commission based “advice” should probably just be declared obsolete.

Understand tax, backwards and forwards. Do your returns longhand and read all applicable information from the CRA. The question isn’t “how much do I owe?” it’s “what are my optimal investment strategies, including tax considerations, and once those are set, how do I minimize tax overall between now and death?”

Consider a small business or property rentals, if the math works. Being that you have to work at it, the good ones should generate good returns.

Do your research, read lots of books and newspapers and figure out whether you can do it alone or not.

Diversify.

If you put your money with anyone on a discretionary basis, make sure he and the custodian are completely different organizations, and the custodian is a large company you’ve heard of and can trust, that you’ll get your statements from. This avoids the Bernie Madoff thing where your monthly statements look great but then it turns out they were all fiction.

Canadian REITs are still on sale, and some of them hold much or all of their properties in the US or overseas. The energy sector offers value, both producers and services companies. Emerging market bond funds just got a lot cheaper. The best that can be said of high grade government bonds is that if your other stuff goes down, they might not. Just my opinion.

If you can’t do this yourself, there’s about a million people out there willing to offer you help. Most of them aren’t any good (at helping, though many of them are excellent at selling). I don’t have any tips on how to find a good one, and to satisfy yourself that he is indeed good.

#145 pinstripe on 02.01.14 at 1:53 pm

I am at a point that I do not believe any type of statistic unless I do it myself. Is there a reason for so much pumping?

Last night I attended a community dinner and there was no evidence with any shortage of money when the talk focused on jobs, retirement, savings and pensions. It appears that everyone is prepared for retirement with millions of dollars put away.

A lot of chatter about government policy linked with corruption at all levels of government, or some scam to punish the savers. No one in a suit can be trusted anymore.

Also chat about the 20 billion dollars of projects on the books for the AB Industrial Heartland area.

No doom and gloom here.

“It appears that everyone is prepared for retirement with millions of dollars put away.” You are so full of it. — Garth

#146 angela on 02.01.14 at 2:01 pm

@#129 Ralph Cramdown on 02.01.14 at 11:51 am
http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2014/01/24/after-five-years-of-obamanomics-a-record-100-million-americans-not-working/

#147 Retired Boomer - WI on 02.01.14 at 2:02 pm

#128 RVP

Hey, not much has REALLY changed over the years. 40 years ago when I started out on the road of life, good jobs did not just happen, you earned the opportunity to get one. At that time $12,000 a year was a bloody fortune, minimum wage was $2.35 an hour.

The point is, you had to learn to save something from that $100 or $150 a week earning. My dad retired in 1972 on disability at 62 on a whole $420 a month. I remember buying my 1971 AMC Javelin for like $3100 (yeah financed for 3 year at like $90 a month).

Todays retirement allotments are not much more generous than a generation ago, even less with manipulated cost of living adjustments.
Wages have been rather stale for years. Young, old, whose getting rich off of their salary today? Not too many.

It is a world market, we are now competing with cheaper countries for all things either mfg or creative.

Today the young tend to put too much value on education, not enough on street smarts. I never finished college, but that’s only because I could never justify the cost vs value equation. In this aspect, I tend to value, and agree with the Smoking Man.

Many young I know live cheque to cheque. Yet they have “toys” like I phones, car payments, credit cards. How the heck do you expect to save much if anything if you are not willing to cut your lifestyle? People can, and do live ok on basic government allotments, but why would you want to? Most still have time to make a choice on that?

#148 World Traveller on 02.01.14 at 2:09 pm

On another note, I’m glad to not have to date in T.dot anymore.

http://www.rooshv.com/15-reasons-why-toronto-is-the-worst-city-in-north-america-for-men

#149 Julia on 02.01.14 at 2:16 pm

I don’t see the Toronto baby boomers in the chart here. http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/as-sa/fogs-spg/Facts-csd-eng.cfm?LANG=Eng&GK=CSD&GC=3520005
They don’t seem to have bigger numbers than those in their 40’s or even 30’s.

#150 Shawn on 02.01.14 at 2:55 pm

RICH Young at 80 supported by Don Derk at 134…

Given your understanding of markets and RRSPs it is indeed a pleasure to have you as a competitor in the markets.

But it’s not too late for you to learn.

My wife’s RRSP is worth precisely $9.16 for every $1.00 ever contributed. The RRSP was started in 1990.

Mine has not done as well and is only worth $7.03 for every dollar ever contributed. It was started in 1989.

This was done with lower risk value oriented stocks. mid to large caps. Essentially no penny stocks, essentially no commodity stocks.

As this is well above the market return our excess gains were someone else’s losses. They should get educated. I try to educate as many people as I can.

#151 GeorgianBayBoater on 02.01.14 at 2:58 pm

#143 Ralph Cramdown on 02.01.14 at 1:46 pm

Thank you (and Garth) for the excellent advice. Like most things in life, if they are worthwhile you have to work for them.

As Garth says. Time to roll up my sleeves, get busy, and “Man up”

#152 Too negative on 02.01.14 at 3:10 pm

yes, u can live on a 2200 pension among 2 retirees – your house already paid-off and renovated, upgraded for efficiency

800 a month are taxes and utilitities, food 500, and 500 the car….we re retiring in style Garth, don’t be envious

or we can pocket the 500000 half-mil appreciation tax free and live da vida loca in cuba (to be open for capitalist sharks, very soon :))

stop the annoyance and retire

#153 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.01.14 at 3:22 pm

@#140 BPOE
Ahahahahahahahaha, God bless ya crazy little real estate pumping rat. You bring tears to my eyes.
Now its my turn to bring tears to YOUR eyes.
Meet me in an elevator in Richmond………….

#154 Mike T. on 02.01.14 at 3:31 pm

So I really have to take exception to comments like

‘if you’re dumb enough to pay tens of thousands of dollars to get an education that is absolutely free on line, you don’t deserve to get paid.’

Question: how many times do you go see the doctor with the internet education? Lawyer? Accountant? Instructor? Engineer? etc.. etc.. Would you feel comfortable trying to evaluate their credentials?

I get it, tons of kids are in school learning about the history of Europe 1300-1700 for no reason and it will not benefit them other than starting something and having the foresight to see it through to the end. That actually means something in this world….maybe not as much as it used to…and if they are just going to be restaurant managers, yeah save yourself 40K and get a head start on that career. People with a plan will make out fine going that route, and always will.

Also, this reader is in full support of this becoming a (scotch? and opiate? fueled) weblog, as long as the health of the host is not compromised.

Wishing you a full recovery.

#155 DocInWaitingRoom on 02.01.14 at 3:41 pm

Having worked in orthopedic for 2 mo and rotating throughout most medicine and surgery you can plainly see we are vastly unprepared for the future in healthcare. 500k retirees per year over the next 5 years and I had quite the difficult time similar to many smart hard working Canadian students to go into medicine. Sadly even as residents we are over worked, un appreciated by most and clearly under paid. I worked 30 hour shifts and made about 4 dollars an hour on weekends. I had about 1 hour sleep during surgery calls. I guess that is why hospital visits are not as safe as flying. So I am sorry but just like education and the future of this country including our next generations you reap what you sow.
Then you wonder why people like Garth and entire generations dislike pompous seniors.

#156 Andrew Woburn on 02.01.14 at 3:59 pm

#28 Ralph Cramdown on 01.31.14 at 10:14 pm
#105 angela — “Since you don’t believe zerohedge charts about channel stuffing […]“

Zeroedge succeeds in finding a bad news story (or five) every day, and that’s not hard in the world’s largest economy
==================== ==============
Angela

The thing that puts me off about Zero Hedge is the poor quality of the comments section. If I am going to invest time in a site, I want to know that it is read by people who know more than I do about the subject matter and have interesting perspectives to offer (like Ralph Cramdown). The bulk of the ZH comments sound like they are written by juvenile conspiracy theorists taking a brief break from their first-person-shooter games in their Mom’s basement.

#157 World According To Garth on 02.01.14 at 4:20 pm

“The only government structure that seemed to have worked for a few hundred years was where the head of state held that position for just one year and never again. In that manner, he would never enact something he himself would not wish to live under. Once you have CAREER politicians, regardless of the form of government, they enact laws that relieve them of the very same responsibilities they impose upon the people.”

That is equally true with life long useless paper pushers. They don’t give a crap about people. Only their $114,000 salaries.

http://armstrongeconomics.com/2014/01/31/the-government-of-russia-ukraine-are-not-the-people-of-either-country/

Good thing we live in a nice safe place like Kanaduhhhhh where we can feel safe from our govt.

Oh Wait………….

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/jury-makes-9-recommendations-after-inquest-into-rcmp-shooting-of-ex-soldier-1.1664018
 
“The RCMP officers involved testified they were aware that Matters suffered from PTSD, yet a helicopter and a team of officers dressed in head-to-toe camouflage gear and armed with M16s were sent to arrest him.”

What a bunch boys with toys thugs. I wonder how tough they would be without all that tacticool shit….I suppose their doughnut guts would be exposed at least.

#158 espressobob on 02.01.14 at 4:35 pm

It seems rbc direct has eliminated the $29.99 trade for investors with holdings below 50k. Problem is they can charge $25 per quarter on balances below 15k, go figure.

http://www.rbcdirectinvesting.com/pdf/commission-fees.pdf

On another note, it’s possible Rob Ford might make a career change. Imagine this guy a financial advisor?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjj7BrGEcg4

#159 happity on 02.01.14 at 4:53 pm

USA will have MyRA which is really a no choice purchase of gov debt, they can also probably take the Ira and 401k and transfer it into the MyRA – for your retirement protection of course.

Canada will soon have the same, so don’t worry about all your digital investments in tfsa or rrsp because soon the gov might protect it for you, like garth says folks don’t know how to prepare for retirement so the gov will do it for you.

Yay!

#160 Smoking Man on 02.01.14 at 5:26 pm

Conrad Black has his Order of Canada revoked with the blessing of Harpo. Who doesn’t Harpo throw under the bus for having even the slightest opinion contrary to his.

He rules with an iron first, yet worships another country with un questioning conviction.

I just had a vision , something my mind made up…

The harpos are watching the news . Miss Harpo says I feel a bit sorry for the Palestinians. So fast was the back hand no one could see it. The only thing we notice is a body summersaulting through the air, jewelry shoes and earings flying in different direcions.

Yet I got to vote for him next time around…Tree huggers are way more frightening.

#161 45north on 02.01.14 at 5:44 pm

Mark Quite frankly, I’d rather not work and collect the welfare alongside them, than to work my butt off to pay $100k+/year government pensions to workers that added practically not one iota of value to the economy over their entire careers.

here’s a story: A young man did well in a math test but his teacher said that some people in his class (his favourites really) had not scored as well as they should have and that others (like him) had scored too well and as a result the test would be redone. The young man’s sense of justice compelled him to get a failing mark on the second test.

So Mark if you want to be on welfare then be on welfare but don’t whine.

#162 World Traveller on 02.01.14 at 5:50 pm

#153 Mike T. on 02.01.14 at 3:31 pm
So I really have to take exception to comments like

‘if you’re dumb enough to pay tens of thousands of dollars to get an education that is absolutely free on line, you don’t deserve to get paid.’

****

Don’t worry Mike, SM thinks all the education he needs is in Google apps. You can probably tell from his posts that it just isn’t working for him. As his posts demonstrate, the internet is full of errors and misinformation, so I certainly wouldn’t use a lawyer that obtained their diploma from Yahoo university. Cheer up SM, AI is just around the corner, so once that happens you can completely shut off your brain (although it seems that might have happened already.).

#163 Entrepreneur on 02.01.14 at 5:53 pm

Some comments make me laugh like #125 TurnerNation with list of names for new blog dogs; #142 Texas Tea on the list of bag things but could not put up with jaywaking in Vancouver.

#156 World According To Garth on a politican should only run for a year instead of the Career corruption…oooops, politican that is going on today. Agree with you and will this madness stop…no, they are living of the fat. I do like the internet as it brings people together and that is what the politicians fear; whereas, before everyone would work & watch t.v…controlled.

Something to think about: Could Nostrodramus third Anti-Christ be banks…just a thought.

With so many people getting the exit paper time to think of how to survive…start your own business…it is tough at first but gets easier with time. Support your small business store which will support your community. Big box stores and casinos rob the comunity as we are seeing unfold right now. Start thinking people.

#164 M. Giardino on 02.01.14 at 6:03 pm

Mr. Turner.

1 – Get well soon. I’m recovering from a broken leg, ankle and torn tendon. It sucks but it will get better (yup telling myself that as ell)

2 – My wife and I are public servants. (Federal) Assuming our pensions are around when we retire (HA!) how much would CPP and OAS be reduced on our pension plan?

3 – We are interested in procuring your services as an advisor. How should we contact you?

Thank you and take care.

M.

#165 Sotiri on 02.01.14 at 6:07 pm

“Best Buy announced today it would lay off 950 employees at its Best Buy and Future Shop stores”

#166 Maxamillion on 02.01.14 at 6:27 pm

It’s 5:30 pm in Toronto and looking out the window now I truly understand why it costs so much to live here. Where else in the world could you experience such great weather, maybe the Arctic! It’s a special place up here.

#167 Andrew Woburn on 02.01.14 at 6:58 pm

#97 kaganovich on 02.01.14 at 8:59 am
# 76 Andrew Woburn

Here: http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2014/01/on-death-and-derivatives/
=================================

Thanks, if that is the right word.

Who is this guy? Let’s hope he’s really, really wrong.

#168 recharts on 02.01.14 at 7:16 pm

#130 GeorgianBayBoater on 02.01.14 at 12:03 pm
#71 Big English

“House sold, sat on cash to keep wife happy while she looked for the house………..

Now time to invest, top up rsp, TFSA etc. Here we go.”

I am in a similar situation. Money to invest, but paralyzed by not knowing what to do. Sure, I understand balanced, diversified and liquid.

But with the wife and I both newly retired, I am scared s***less of making the wrong move. Meanwhile a large percent of our net worth is barely making more than inflation.

Stocks and ETFs are too expensive right now and are likely headed for a correction at best. Bonds are toxic. I have been watching Prefereds and Reits fall by the month. (yes, Garth says they are on sale, but when to buy as they go lower?) Returns on GICs are tumbling along with the CDN$.

The liquid money is sitting in a self directed account ready to go.

So blog dogs, where and when does a retired, risk-adverse investor catch a break. Need some ideas here.

DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR.
LOOK AT IT LIKE THIS:
• you are going to get at most 8% (Garth’s estimate) if everything is OK
• you are going to lose a 10-15% if a correction comes and 15-30% if a crash comes

Sure ..there is the mantra “long term investors bla bla bla….” but nobody tells you when the wise investors enter the market.

#169 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 02.01.14 at 7:19 pm

ST. GARTH OF “THINGS TO COME”

This week just past has seen the unseen hand of Garth weave a picture of economic woe, on Canada at the very least, such as I’ve not seen him pen in quite some time.

A harbinger or just a wild rant by our hero who continues on his timely mend?

The former I’d say; the latter will work out well I expect.

His are words worth printing up and taping to your fridge.

All s0o-called “good things” must come to an end at some point.

So what will it be?

A good end?

Or a none so good one?

It all depends of your demographic and the luck of your “draw” to date.

There is no sterotyping of folks for what is coming next. Just about everyone will be whacked to some degree or other, as some of the following issues get noisier:

–more upset in Ukraine;

–stock markets. What can I say? Watch it;

–more money printing (laundering and dry cleaning, actually) in the make-believe Eurozone “economies” where China daily exports her trade anxieties (trade deficits or surpluses depending on the day of the week) and Europe can’t do a damn thing about that. This is known as a currency war and Europe is being roasted on a spit;

–China: big, big worries there;

–is the US really recovering? Summing up the week’s economic numbers indicates no to slow growth. the torpor of a failing empire proceeds apace;

–will the Fed end its taper if markets roil enough? Don’t know. But if they do, it will cure nothing;

–corporate layoffs. How soon will it be before more folks get launched onto yonder sidewalks? A day or two;

–federal budget. If the feds have any sense they’ll throw more money at our vets because what will it take to sate their fevered brows? After WW1, vets had no institutional support to come home to. Since WW2, it’s been the exact opposite. The feds must fix this latest issue quickly.

–provincial budgets. Watch for civil service cuts;

What we’re all seeing here is the result of unlimited printing of money by many central banks since 2008.

The problem is thus:

What is the REAL value of the currency that YOU use?

I don’t know either.

And that’s the problem.

We all swim in a central bank induced fog threatened by economic “rocks” and nasty bits all around and we’re banging into some of them now, aren’t we?

For all of you anti-Christian atheists out there, the meek really shall inherit the Earth.

Those would be the debt-free cautious ones as they watch their indebted jack rabbit neighours struggle to survive this monied calamity that is suddenly AGAIN booming back on us all, after a quiet hiatus of fictitious “recovery.”

“…interesting times” doesn’t near describe this awful turmoil to come.

#170 Smoking Man on 02.01.14 at 7:28 pm

#153 Mike T. on 02.01.14 at 3:31 pm

Did you know that doctors kill accidentally more people than guns do in the USA.

It’s fact. Account s please I do all my corp taxes and personal taxes I just pay a CA to push it through. avoids audits.

Engineering . as kid I designed and flew RC aircraft. then ultra lights.

I modified a Lazar with a T tail up sized the main spare and dobuled the power plant.

can’t do dose not exist in my vocabulary.

now go shine up that apple for your teacher.

suck up

#171 Herb on 02.01.14 at 7:32 pm

#159 Smoking Man,

“Your opinion is important to us. Please hold …”

#172 Smoking Man on 02.01.14 at 7:44 pm

#161 World Traveller on 02.01.14 at 5:50 p

You really don’t get how the world is Chang in a . what a redicouless monkyer you use. Try this one..( my glasses are fogy but I can’t find my teacher to tell me what to do
I suggest you study the archives here and look at the amazing and timely calls I have made.

why? I’m a f-en genius…

The universe is shrinking and I guess when the people you
where taught to worship figure out what I did in an afternoon.

2014 Universal Shrinkage will common belief in science .

obviously you and mike make a living in schooling.

#173 live within your means on 02.01.14 at 7:47 pm

#99 Detalumis on 02.01.14 at 9:10 am

Good advice to not delay your dreams. I’ve traveled since 18 & still do, despite major health problems over the years.

I’ve several boomer g’friends (widowed, divorced, etc.) that travel a lot, despite some health problems. They’re like energizer bunnies.

#174 Smoking Man on 02.01.14 at 8:02 pm

last post slightly over the line walking over to fallsview. don’t worry wizard of gf. leaving phone in the room. delete button can have have a break this weekend.

but why do so many idiots think that mastering the task of memorizing , regurgitation and certificate collection gives you the ability to solve problems . find opportunity and make a shit load of loot.

its almost as if the schooled blow a gasket when they encounter an unschooled who refuses to lose.

igniored the gidance counclers advice to be a garbage man.

The schooled don’t get it. Education is free and its everywhere.

#175 live within your means on 02.01.14 at 8:16 pm

OT – A week or so ago I watched an hour long show about Chris Hadfield – middle of the night. Learned so much amazing stuff.

Next day wondered, how do they do laundry on the space station, so I finally googled it today – http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-08/how-often-do-astronauts-do-laundry

Fascinating.

#176 Aggregator (Canadian Watchdog retired) on 02.01.14 at 8:24 pm

December housing stats look a whole lot different for Van when looking at Landcor data (actual title transaction volume). Chart

That's what happens when organized real estate adds presales to resale data.

#177 joblo on 02.01.14 at 8:35 pm

So Gen X, Y, Z, AA, BB etc. etc. want jobs
Well…the Wrinkles, Boomers gonna need a lot of help.
Think SM of the oops in Long term care, Healthcare, Pharma,services etc.
Slaves will have their pick in the New economy.

#178 mark on 02.01.14 at 8:37 pm

Nice example of what happens when the economy goes sour. Lenders and mortgage insurers don’t want to know you.

http://www.idiottax.net/2014/01/straight-shooting.html

#179 recharts on 02.01.14 at 8:45 pm

Gar(th)field
http://www.fascinatingpics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/234fd.jpg

http://www.fascinatingpics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/gfvda4.jpg

#180 Danforth on 02.01.14 at 8:55 pm

Appears to be the topic du jour…
The scotch of choice this evening is Glenkinchie.
Purchased at duty free at an airport….that $20 savings, now invested, will grow to $100 when I retire, and offer me another bottle of fine scotch later in life!

#181 Basil Fawlty on 02.01.14 at 9:11 pm

Mark #92 “Quite frankly, I’d rather not work and collect the welfare alongside them, than to work my butt off to pay $100k+/year government pensions to workers that added practically not one iota of value to the economy over their entire careers.”
Who are you talking about here? The RCMP, Veterans, Coast Guard, DFO Scientists, Health Scientists, Plant Scientists?
Do you realize that civil servants contribute to their pensions every payday?
Are you one of those happy to see veterans tossed under the boss, while the savings are spent by Harpo to glorify the wars they fought in?

#182 angela on 02.01.14 at 9:11 pm

#155 Andrew Woburn on 02.01.14 at 3:59 pm

100% agreed about zerohedge comments but you have to agree that their articles are interesting and if you dig deep into their articles they are not far from the truth often times quoted from real world events with a sarcastic twist sort of british dry sense of humor i like to enjoy life but also enjoy sarcasm not always life in a f***en stuffy snotty golf course etiquette style where you fart on the course you can lose your membership the economy is definitely in “where no man has gone before territory” so i like the sarcasm we need to lighten up, also zerohedge almost always backs up their story with the same charts you and i look at they also allow me to question status quo, they also did have lots of articles (2-3yrs ago)about the currency issues that will ensue with the us dollar QE program being a problem in the future for other countries like Argentina,Russia,indonesia,Turkey Brazil ,venezuala .Why did they know this ?? because they research currency issues (monetary science).If you just focuse on staring at the ticker tape or S&P500/dow percentages your going to be in a rude awakening when your currency (Canadian/Dollar 89cents is a 11%drop in 4months)loses value like the countries listed above wait till those countries are forced to use their us dollar reserves to buy commodities (food) to feed their people and energy or selling their us treasurys to raise capitol .Where are to excess dollars gonna go ??? right back home to usa then you will see inflation when those dollars outside of the us find their way home from these countries with deflating currencies .an explanation of this is here http://blog.milesfranklin.com/the-carnage-is-just-starting if you ignore the currency issues you are ignorant about reality

#183 economictsunami on 02.01.14 at 9:13 pm

If you watched before, it bears watching again…

Full Episode: CBC Doc Zone-Generation Jobless… (Canada only)

http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/episodes/generation-jobless

#184 angela on 02.01.14 at 9:18 pm

#155 Andrew Woburn on 02.01.14 at 3:59 pm
PS dont focus on the comments at ZH read the articles and question them like I question Garths articles ,i dont always agree with him but sometimes i do, so i read them same with zerohedge

#185 Randy Macho Man Savage on 02.01.14 at 9:43 pm

#143 Ralph Cramdown on 02.01.14 at 1:46 pm

Best comment of the day Ralph! I agree 100% with your advice of saving the management fees from ETFs and buying the largest underlying asset classes.

#186 Cici on 02.01.14 at 9:51 pm

#97 Kaganovich

Definitely murder, not suicide.

I remember a string of such “suicides” some twelve to fifteen years ago, in early 2000 I think. I can’t recall exactly, but they were either oil or bank executives.

And there wasn’t much media coverage. You’d hear about one, then there would be another, and another, but they’d only get about a day or two of print time each, after which it would be very difficult to find any trace of the articles, even via Internet searches.

My guess is that these guys took huge risks and things were starting to go sour…a lot of money was owing to groups who wanted reassurance in the way of cashing out their holdings. These guys knew their days were numbered, and decided to take things into their hands. Or they were just murdered and it was covered up as suicide.

#187 Cici on 02.01.14 at 9:55 pm

#97 Kaganovich

Or maybe I just watch too much TV?

But then again, I have a lot of imagination, but I still can’t imagine any financial exec caring enough about their institution and clients to lose sleep over impending losses, let alone commit suicide.

#188 Smoking Man on 02.01.14 at 10:02 pm

DELETED

#189 economictsunami on 02.01.14 at 10:05 pm

How safe is your job?…

http://www2.macleans.ca/2014/01/08/how-safe-is-your-job/

#190 Cici on 02.01.14 at 10:12 pm

#52 Happy Renting

Seriously dude, he means there were load of people there.

Lay off the wine, it’s messing with your brain. Reach for an espresso instead, or a green detox smoothie.

#191 Entrepreneur on 02.01.14 at 10:14 pm

So that is what Garth Turner looks like…looks sooooo
content.

#192 recharts on 02.01.14 at 10:19 pm

#172 Aggregator (Canadian Watchdog retired) on 02.01.14 at 8:24 pm
December housing stats look a whole lot different for Van when looking at Landcor data (actual title transaction volume). Chart

That’s what happens when organized real estate adds presales to resale data.

I thought they got you! Don’t do that again! Welcome back

#193 Obvious Truth on 02.01.14 at 10:20 pm

#171

That’s really cool. Good find.

#194 recharts on 02.01.14 at 10:25 pm

#172 Aggregator (Canadian Watchdog retired) on 02.01.14 at 8:24 pm
December housing stats look a whole lot different for Van when looking at Landcor data (actual title transaction volume). Chart

That’s what happens when organized real estate adds presales to resale data.

I think that those are 30 days rolling averages. Because of lack of data the last days on the graph tend to disrupt the shape of the graph. That is why in my charts I have vertical line delimiting the less reliable data toward the right end (last week)

#195 boopsie on 02.01.14 at 10:39 pm

Enjoyed this discourse today, esp. RVP, Catfood Lady,
GeorgianBayBoater. Not so keen on WATG nor SM, tho’
hadn’t heard that about Mme H.
Having been investing since 1988 in a modest way, I can say that …first you get good, then you get fast. Play around with fake portfolios, make a few modest mistakes, and in times like this, do not be ashamed about sitting on cash.
Has anyone noticed the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives recent paper on pension income splitting and much-anticipated income splitting for families with under-18’s? The rich get richer (thanks Garth).
Got a health shock last fall with double pneumonia…
5.5 wks CCU…thank you Tommy Douglas!

#196 TheCatFoodLady on 02.01.14 at 11:08 pm

Garth & a number of posters have touched on another looming economic catastrophe. We’ve beaten the “my retirement money is in my home equity” horse to death. Health care – Garth has now had a fair amount of first hand experience in recent weeks; I have no idea if or how often he’s had to go to hospitals in recent years. None of my business in any case.

Until recently, I was off to hospitals every month or two, accompanying a pair of frail elderly neighbours with no nearby family. She has dementia & physically, he was in poor shape. They absolutely needed someone to physically help with wheelchairs & to keep track of what doctors said as well as helping them ask the right questions. The elderly are used to the old system where the doctors had time to know what was going on, to co-ordinate care. Now, patients are increasingly expected to be their own case managers & that’s very difficult for many elderly. I took that on for these two.

It didn’t seem to matter what time of day or night, what day of the week we needed to go to emerg, it’s a zoo. Even if the waiting room is mostly empty, cubicles are full & waiting times are agonizingly long & here’s why:

staffing is being cut & while they do the best they can, they’re not superheroes. Only so much work can be done in any given amount of time.

If you wander the halls & peek into patient rooms, you’ll notice most patients are well north of 50. Their base state of health before their admitting diagnosis is poor. Mythical Mr. Green may be in for pneumonia but his atrial fibrillation & type 2 diabetes complicates his care. The majority of patients have several chronic conditions complicating their current, acute admission diagnosis.

Patients, especially older ones, are often not used to questioning ‘experts’ & that can lead to medication errors as well as other mistakes. Those can add to their current problems – to put it mildly.

Hospitals are rife with hospital acquired infections.

Now – this is all BEFORE the bulk of the boomers start needing a lot of care. It’s not just hospital care – in some communities, waiting lists for certain specialists are literally, up to 2 years. I have 2 personal examples within my immediate family as to how this impacts your ability to work & contribute to your own future economic well being as well as further complicating one’s medical condition & making treatment more complicated.

Next time you’re in emerg, look at the patients waiting. Many have a long list of prescribed meds they bring with them, as hospitals like you to do, if you don’t have a list in your wallet. It’s clear looking at them – at any age, that their health isn’t good. This adds to the current stresses on the health care system.

Health care costs are growing, in spite of attempts to cut costs. They are going to grow much more quickly. We boomers are into the ‘cardiac years’ with heart attacks, strokes & other cardiovascular issues looming. That will be followed by the cancer years, on top of arthritis, prostate, vision & hearing issues.

We’re just beginning to see a HINT of the increases & in many cities, the health care system is hanging on by the skin of its teeth. What Garth experienced is the norm in an increasing number of communities in Ontario & my son experienced similar wait times in the ‘fax. He tells me Nova Scotia has a lot of health care system problems. I can’t speak for the rest of the provinces or territories but it stands to reason unless they’re swimming in spare cash, it can’t be much better.

As we hit retirement, what do ‘we’ do? If we’ve sold our homes for retirement money, we can buy our weekly cat food but how do we cover the increased number of health care costs we may have to cover ourselves? How do we pay for retirement homes & nursing homes? Those will be at a premium. Home health care for those of us for whom that will be a viable option?

This isn’t getting any easier…

#197 Uh-oh-what a vibe she has on 02.01.14 at 11:17 pm

https://twitter.com/HomeSweetKaryn/status/428706074317684736

‘oh oh, I am fainting …Oh wow. Over 600 views on my #torontorealestate lifestyle video since listing this condo yesterday”

She shows you the condo she shows you …everything she has… but not a word about the history of this property: listed for 750K in September it is now down to 694K and wow..600 views.
I bet you they all wanted to see the condo, the fridge and …the sushi

vimeo.com/85190057

#198 Chris on 02.01.14 at 11:50 pm

Garth, why are in a hospital? You broke your leg walking your dog? Suck it up buttercup, be a man and fix it yourself. Wrap it up, plaster some durock 20 on it and be done. Are you a pussy?

#199 Linda Mulligan on 02.02.14 at 12:07 am

Re comment on paying $100K plus for government pension – don’t confuse MP/MLA pensions with what is paid to government workers in general. I am willing to believe there may be some long term, very highly placed managers who might score $100K for a pension upon retirement, but the vast majority of government workers are not going to see anything near that kind of pension income on retirement. In Alberta the province is looking at making changes to pension legislation to a number of pension plans, one of which is LAPP (Local Authorities Pension Plan) which includes most of the province municipal workers so they are government workers, right? So what is the average pension paid to those people on retirement? Not the lavish amounts most would think. The average as reported is a mighty $14,000 per year. That is quite a few dollars shy of that $100K+ being quoted as the average government worker pension, no?

#200 aril on 02.02.14 at 12:19 am

Just saw on BNN – headline -” condo market coming bust” by a professor of economics at Toronto University… didn’t manage to get his name. Garth’s bloggers already know that anyway.

#201 Andrew Woburn on 02.02.14 at 12:34 am

#92 Mark on 02.01.14 at 3:17 am
As it stands, the boomers aren’t even allowing the young to work in significant numbers.

#124 RVP on 02.01.14 at 11:23 am
The baby boomers have basically crapped on the younger generations with this real estate bubble that prices us out of our own communities and with union-busting and offshoring jobs to cheap labour markets.

Mark
Very few boomers are actually at retirement age. Most are under 60. They will retire as fast as they can. Working after 65 is not fun.

RVP
Very few boomers were consulted on whether they wanted a real estate bubble. The bubble was caused by the US government crashing interest rates to save Wall Street banks and its own butt. Some boomers will be smart enough to take the money and run, most won’t. Some are mortgaging their phantom equity so their kids will also have a house to lose when interest rates turn.

If I could presume to offer you advice, don’t do what the boomers did. Vote. Intelligently. While you still can.

#202 b on 02.02.14 at 12:41 am

“If you can live on this, you are a lichen.”

LOL. One of your best lines yet. Your injury has obviously not affected your humour. Get well soon!

#203 randman on 02.02.14 at 1:20 am

not your time yet Garth…..but here’s an idea!

http://photoblog.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/31/22527563-ohio-mans-wish-fulfilled-as-he-is-buried-on-motorcycle?lite

#204 Adam Smith on 02.02.14 at 1:36 am

Yeah, Canada’s a little bit f’d if I’m doing more to prep for retirement than the old people. I’m only 25 and have some cash in 3 very different ETF’s in my TFSA. Not for a huge amount of money yet, mind you, but the seeds have been planted.

I’m a little bit worried about my US dollar denominated stocks though, and yes I’m aware that it’s Canada’s dollar that is plummeting.

Just read an interesting thing from the father of Reaganomics and former US Assistant Treasury Secretary PCR on his website.

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/

He’s discussing why the Fed is tapering and is basically saying that it’s because some of the big players are finally really losing faith in that mass printed cash. He has a neat chart showing that the US gov is shorting gold and did so on Jan.30th of this year. Read his post, it’s pretty interest. Seems to be suggesting that the US actually has no physical hold left in possession which is why they refused to give Germany their gold back.

What would all of this imply and would it matter if the US gov has been shorting gold and possesses none? Honest question.

#205 Nosty the Vladzorcist on 02.02.14 at 1:42 am

In the Year of the (Trojan) Wood Horse, I cannot choose between ‘Hawks by five or Broncos by nine, so pick ’em.

#113 Smoking Man on 02.01.14 at 10:45 am — “Humans , oblivious to the obvious.”
— and —
#128 RVP on 02.01.14 at 11:50 am — “Even though Smoking Man is filthy rich, in order to live in poverty happily, you do have to have a lot of the same attitudes as Smoking Man–you have to be able to see the herd of middle class sheep for what it is–a mindless herd.”

David Chilton’s “The Millionaire Next Door” comes to mind. Enjoy it (wealth) but don’t flaunt it which is why they’re they’re sheeple and we’re not — they haven’t been taught how to live a really good life yet, but that’s what rebirth is for — we get better each time we come back.

Sheep are slightly more intelligent, as they stay in their allotted plot of land, chew on their cud and don’t cause wars, economic brouhahas, etc. SheepLE do the opposite, ‘coz they don’t have a clue. About the reality of life or anything else. They’re only interested in themselves.

BTW SMan — take a look at the small diagram at the top of this link. Orwell was pretty accurate!

#115 angela on 02.01.14 at 10:48 am — “Gee, less food stamps and unemployment benefits – coupled with a collapsing economy, “tapering” of U.S. Treasury monetization, and the commencement of Obamacare.”
— and —
#158 happity on 02.01.14 at 4:53 pm — “USA will have MyRA which is really a no choice purchase of gov debt, they can also probably take the Ira and 401k and transfer it into the MyRA – for your retirement protection of course.”

ObombaCare, forced Gun Control and MyRA’s — it appears sheeple have given our blessing to let the nutbars and looneybins drive us into the ground, and they are doing an outstanding job presently. Fortunately, some of us are capable of looking after ourselves and setting ourselves up with a continually adequate income stream.

#162 Entrepreneur on 02.01.14 at 5:53 pm — “Something to think about: Could Nostrodramus third Anti-Christ be banks…just a thought.”

Sholy heephit! Now I’ve been relegated to the position of Anti-Christ. Must have been those links I posted about The Exorcist Version 2.0 the other day!

#167 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 02.01.14 at 7:19 pm — “–China: big, big worries there;”

It would be fascinating to know why the Chinese are investing in the US — Buying Up America. Don’t know about this country, ‘tho or other parts of the west.

#206 Humpty Dumpty on 02.02.14 at 1:56 am

Planning for your furneral…
Consider this…

The dying wish of an Ohio motorcycle aficionado that he be buried astride his beloved Harley-Davidson was fulfilled by his family

http://photoblog.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/31/22527563-ohio-mans-wish-fulfilled-as-he-is-buried-on-motorcycle?lite

#207 Jon on 02.02.14 at 3:58 am

#127 RVP i dont really buy your arguement im 44 my mom had two kids at 48 and 49 years old. I had to start to support my parents much younger than most at 27 i was already paying support. Parents moved in and we all lived together until a home was required. It doesnt cost much as family to all pull together and live under one roof, and i certainly wasnt wealth at 27. Im 44 now and who knows my 93 year old mom could outlive me , people need to take care of their family and some bullshit arguement about gen x not beinign able to afford it is crap. Sell the BMW, you dont need granite, look at the palce ypur parents live in and see how much they spent on upgrades, zilch. The younger generation may say they cant afford to look after their parents, but they can if they just gave up GUCCI, and lattes. The whole thought of gen x saying they cant support their parents is just an act of selfishness. I dont buy what you said at all, look at how kids waste there money on flashy cars today its absurd. My father never rich, and couldnt even leave a will but raised 4 successful kids, never had a rolecx or an audi but i tell you he was very respected in the community bulding baseball diamonds, and churches. Your argument is what is wrong, the overall economy is not bad and gen x made out just great. Every kid of a boomer i know is way richer thani was coming from university. The old people new how to save and new what was important, that was my rant. I feel like smoking man right now hearing your nonesense

#208 Jon on 02.02.14 at 4:02 am

Smoking man save me from rvp 124 i am aboot too loose it, ah theres the whiskey!

#209 Woke To The Sounds Of Horking on 02.02.14 at 6:14 am

#166 recharts —
Lots of people have ‘revealed’ that the best time to enter the markets is when stocks are on sale. How do you know the exact moment when the market is having a sale? You don’t, so you just gotta jump in there when it’s lower than it was yesterday. Buy and hold, couch potatoes.

#128 RVP —
Some great tactics, many of which I’ve practised for years. I would add that, if you can, consider moving abroad to a tropical, developing nation with a lower cost of living. Sure, maybe you can’t drink the tap water (mind you, would you drink the tap water in Mississauga?) and maybe you’ll miss the ice storms, but hey. . .
To heck with Canaduh and its overpriced everything.

#210 Dean Mason on 02.02.14 at 7:41 am

To #132 Retired Boomer WI

Actually, their income goes up over the next 2 years because they both have LIRA’s that they are transferring in about 20 months.

One is $65,000 and the other is $85,000 so they will have $150,000 in extra investments.

Even at 4.00% on longer term provincial bonds that spins off $6,000 a year but is paid $3,000 every 6 months.

Their 75% in government bonds mature in 20 years so they don’t have that problem of falling yields and them maturing giving them long term steady income.

Their 25% in GIC’s mature in almost 4.5 years so that will have little impact on their total overall annual interest rate, bond yield of 4.88%.

If GIC rates hit 2012 lows when matured, they still will be earning 4.50% on all their investments.

Another important point is they are still saving that 31% on all their gross income which is $28,000 a year.

They top up their $11,000 TFSA’s and invest the rest. This will bring in another $1,100 a year in annual income.

Basically by 2016, they will have about $101,000 in total gross annual income or 120% of their gross employment income versus 110% in 2014.

They will also have $208,000 more in LIRA’s, TFSA’s and some non-registered money by 2016.

They always saved a higher percentage of their income by projecting and using a conservative 4.00% interest rate, bond yield combined, since the early 1990’s.

They never believed that GIC’s and government bonds would pay 6% to 9% as many of their advisers were projecting.

#211 Tripp on 02.02.14 at 8:15 am

The 34% counting in a lottery win are more tragic than comic. It is worrisome to realize that a third on Canadian population is barely grounded in reality to the point of being delusional.

#212 T.O. Bubble Boy on 02.02.14 at 9:22 am

Not sure if anyone posted this yet… a detailed article (or, obituary?) on the history of League REIT. This ponzi scheme reads like a combination of Bernie Madoff and Enron.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/league-of-their-own/article16583968/?page=all

#213 T.O. Bubble Boy on 02.02.14 at 10:15 am

@ #183 aril on 02.02.14 at 12:19 am
Just saw on BNN – headline -” condo market coming bust” by a professor of economics at Toronto University… didn’t manage to get his name. Garth’s bloggers already know that anyway.
————————
I watched a lot of that segment… I tend to pay more attention when the using facts and not screaming to make a point like that UofT Prof (David Foot) did.

Here’s the link:
http://www.bnn.ca/Shows/Money-Talk.aspx

His key points:

– “The Boomers” cover a 15+ year age range, so the impact of this group is somewhat lessened. Yes, the boomers will be cashing out of RE and Stocks, but it will be from say 2013-2030. So, anyone predicting a 2014 market implosion from Boomers cashing out is making a false assumption that “boomer” only applies to those born in 1948, and not the rest of that generation.

– The Echo (Gen Y) have been the driving force behind the condo boom: they grew up in the burbs, but want to be in the city. However, the older end of Gen Y are now in their 30’s, and are moving back to the burbs (Prof Foot noted Milton as an example of this trend – 30-somethings moving out of condos downtown into cheap SFH). So, as Gen Y ages and has more money and kids, the demand for condos goes down… expect a BIG impact here.

– Immigration is a different dynamic now vs. 1950-2000. Immigrants tend to be in their 30’s because the process takes longer, and therefore immigrant families are targeting the burbs like Brampton, Markham, etc. (he even noted London, ON) instead of urban centres like you saw with the wave of immigrants in their 20’s.

– Immigration to North America will be from countries with a “surplus” of educated 20-somethings… Latin America figures to be the biggest immigration wave, and the U.S. is currently a better fit vs. say Canada because of the existing latin population.

His opinions on Real Estate:
– The small condos of today are screwed, because as Gen Y moves out, there is no one left who wants to live there. Even the Boomers wouldn’t want 500-800 sqft units — they will want 2000 sqft condos (which don’t really exist).

– SFH in decent commuting areas should do ok, as Gen X and Gen Y want to live there.

– He seems to think vacation/recreational properties will do ok, but I somewhat disagree here, as many seem to be moving towards renting these places for the 1-2 weeks a year vs. buying.

– He noted that a “small town renaissance” could be coming, as Boomers retire and move… but only in locations near to a good hospital/health care services.

*** I would point out that businesses do not target downtown offices like they did in prior generations (look at the sprawl of office space in Mississauga and north of Toronto), so a “commuting-friendly” location may not mean what it did in the past. I think this is the biggest flaw the the current RE thinking in the GTA — if the jobs are not being created “downtown”, then paying $1M for a dumpy SFH near TTC makes less sense. This is also why transit is forever screwed in Toronto: the failed planning of the GTA burbs has put offices and SFH all over the place, with no predictable commuting patterns. When you have people hopping in cars each morning and going in every direction across the city to get to work, you can’t optimize that problem. This is why a few subway stops here and there don’t solve anything: unless you can centralize where the jobs are, you will never get the density/commuting patterns to correspond with a transit lines. The American-style suburban sprawl has made the GTA an urban planning nightmare… unless there is a plan to change business taxes and office space rents (to encourage businesses to move to specific areas that can be targeted with transit), the problem will never be solved.

#214 T.O. Bubble Boy on 02.02.14 at 10:18 am

(to clarify: Prof David Foot was easy to watch on BNN because he was well-spoken and focused on facts and research vs. being a hot-head like Kevin O’Leary or whoever and just trying to be obnoxious to try and make a point)

#215 Kaganovich on 02.02.14 at 10:24 am

184 Cici

Perhaps. I don’t know.

#216 Yuus bin Haad on 02.02.14 at 10:45 am

Good thing schools are protecting our impressionable youth from how things really work by organizing field trips to the zoo – how about a tour of the local hospital or the local hospice or even the local shelter (food bank, ghetto, …). I’m surprised it even surprises Mr. T.

#217 World Traveller on 02.02.14 at 10:50 am

#170 Smoking Man on 02.01.14 at 7:44 pm
#161 World Traveller on 02.01.14 at 5:50 p

You really don’t get how the world is Chang in a . what a redicouless monkyer you use. Try this one..( my glasses are fogy but I can’t find my teacher to tell me what to do
I suggest you study the archives here and look at the amazing and timely calls I have made.

why? I’m a f-en genius…

The universe is shrinking and I guess when the people you
where taught to worship figure out what I did in an afternoon.

2014 Universal Shrinkage will common belief in science .

obviously you and mike make a living in schooling.

*********

I know I’m being trolled, but for the sake of it being Superbowl Sunday and I have some time here.

Once again making assumptions about other posters on GF. No, I don’t make money from the education sector, not even close, but Thanks for playing. The timely calls you claim to have made were made well in advanced by other economists including Garth himself, so to borrow another school term, stop copying other peoples work.
By the way, The universe is expanding.

http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/174427-astrophysicists-create-the-first-accurate-map-of-the-universe-its-very-flat-and-probably-infinite

Maybe you meant the World is shrinking? Who knows? When I rarely bother to read your garbage posts, most of the time I don’t know what you are talking about either in content or due to horrendous grammar. I won’t bother to “study” your past posts as I have a life.
You are obviously in need a hobby and some self esteem because your posts about how everyone else is dumb and you are the oracle of truth and knowledge are getting very very old. I suggest you maybe edit your posts and check for grammar before posting and stop blaming it on Dyslexia which you say you have. It does a disservice to those with Dyslexia as I have seen post without grammatical mistakes on rare occasions so I highly doubt you have it.
I am a writer myself so I know what I am talking about.

Happy Superbowl Sunday!

#218 Dan from Richmond Hill on 02.02.14 at 10:56 am

#128 RVP on 02.01.14 at 11:50 am

Very good post!

#219 World Traveller on 02.02.14 at 10:57 am

#211 T.O. Bubble Boy on 02.02.14 at 10:15 am
@ #183 aril on 02.02.14 at 12:19 am

Not to mention, that companies sometimes move out of the core to the suburbs. One company I worked for moved from downtown west to just outside the airport. I am lucky I lived in Etobicoke so the commute actually ended being less time due to the fact I was going against rush hour traffic. I would guess not everyone is as lucky as I was.

#220 unbalanced on 02.02.14 at 11:02 am

I’m trying to read an article on the G&M. It says UNLIMITED. The other day someone mentioned how to get around this. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

#221 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.02.14 at 11:07 am

@#194 catfoodlady

Total agreement about the Health “Care” system in Canada as it currently exists.
As the boomer cohort average age pushes past 55 years old the looming medical crisis is the 800 lb financial gorilla sitting in the corner waiting to strangle us……
What we need is a 2014 swine flu epidemic to purge the world of all those pesky Boomers(of which I am one) and then all the gen x and y kids can move right on into our mortgageless homes, cash in our rrsp’s and tfsa’s and borrow borrow borrow……
Its a brave new world!

#222 Eaglebay on 02.02.14 at 11:16 am

#163 Sotiri on 02.01.14 at 6:07 pm
“Best Buy announced today it would lay off 950 employees at its Best Buy and Future Shop stores”

The Beaudoin (Bombardier) family will hire 2300 people to build a new cement plant.
You’re allowed to look at the positive side of things.

#223 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.02.14 at 11:19 am

@#196 Chris
Tell ya what.
Smash your ankle with a ball peen hammer until you know the bones are crunchy. Walk around on it a bit until it swells up. Drive to Home Depot in a standard transmission truck using a hockey stick to work the clutch and buy some duct tape( only whimps use plaster). Wrap it up good and tight( no passing out). Drive home and crack the first of many beers.
You rock!
If, in a few weeks, your ankle starts to smell a little “odd”, that’s blood poisoning and you may have to amputate. No worries. Just switch to tequila before , during and after the “operation”.

#224 Rexx Rock on 02.02.14 at 11:41 am

Its very sad with so many layoffs and thousands thrown out of work recently.To top it off ,the goverment will add tens of thousands of people to our population to make it harder to find work with lower wage .Our goverment should come out and say,”We hate you and want you to suffer immensely”.I guess the country’s 1.4 million enemployed just have to work a little harder to find work.Our standard of living is going down big time.

And you blame immigrants? That’s rich. — Garth

#225 Daisy Mae on 02.02.14 at 11:54 am

#194 TheCatFoodLady: “It didn’t seem to matter what time of day or night, what day of the week we needed to go to emerg, it’s a zoo. Even if the waiting room is mostly empty, cubicles are full & waiting times are agonizingly long & here’s why….”

********************

QUOTE: “Although the reason for the overall increase in patients is complex, ministry of health spokeswoman Sarah Plank points to a Canadian Institute of Health Information report from September 2005, which shows more than half of Canadian emergency department visits are for non-emergency care.”

******************

Here’s why: “More than half of visits are for non-emergency care” — each unnecessary visit costing the health system a minimum of $286 in BC. And this is getting worse. I can attest to that fact as an Emergency volunteer.

We should be using Walk-Ins to alleviate these wait times. The hospitals try to encourage this. But, do we listen?

#226 NoName on 02.02.14 at 12:02 pm

nothing like, little bit of social engineering on sun morning…

http://www.baekdal.com/opinion/how-inapp-purchases-has-destroyed-the-industry/

#227 Daisy Mae on 02.02.14 at 12:14 pm

#194 TheCatFoodLady: “If you wander the halls & peek into patient rooms….”

******************

In the Emergency Department at KGH in Kelowna visitors don’t get to “wander the halls and peek”.

Security is very tight — 24/7. Locked entrance to admitted patients.

#228 TheCatFoodLady on 02.02.14 at 12:24 pm

#222 – Daisy Mae: Yeah, I made that sound like I might have been randomly creeping the wards; my bad. Both my elderly neighbours had to be admitted several times over the past 2 years, on whatever floor had space. It was when accompanying them upstairs, then later visiting that I got a good idea of who was occupying beds.

I think I prefer your hospital’s security system. Ours isn’t locked down that tightly & should be.

#229 tiger on 02.02.14 at 1:02 pm

215, World Traveller!
Brilliant ! Have a great day!

#230 Rainclouds on 02.02.14 at 1:11 pm

#130 Georgian Bay

If you are unable to make decisions perhaps a Fee only financial advisor ( pointed out on this pathetic blog routinely)…… For the minimal cost sounds like you are a candidate.

Reason: take the emotion out, allows for proper asset weighting and rebalancing when required.Tax implications considered, And you can deduct the non registered fee portion from your income

Maybe check out this guy (from the center of the universe.) http://www.turnertomenson.ca/

Garth: Pls send referral cheque to the SM diction rehab society

#231 bentoverpayingtaxes on 02.02.14 at 1:16 pm

DELETED

#232 jess on 02.02.14 at 1:17 pm

too much wealth to care?

….”third of the mansions on the most expensive stretch of London’s “Billionaires Row” are standing empty, including several huge houses that have fallen into ruin after standing almost completely vacant for a quarter of a century.

A Guardian investigation has revealed there are an estimated £350m worth of vacant properties on the most prestigious stretch of The Bishops Avenue in north London, which last year was ranked as the second most expensive street in Britain.”

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/31/inside-london-billionaires-row-derelict-mansions-hampstead

http://www.uspirg.org/reports/usp/closing-billion-dollar-loophole

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/01/31/how-states-can-reclaim-1-billion-from-offshore-tax-havens/

#233 Squatter on 02.02.14 at 2:11 pm

#220 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.02.14 at 11:19 am

@#196 Chris
Tell ya what.
You rock!
If, in a few weeks, your ankle starts to smell a little “odd”, that’s blood poisoning and you may have to amputate. No worries. Just switch to tequila before , during and after the “operation”.
——————————————————
Nah, Chris obviously has balls, he’s gonna amputate his leg himself with a chain saw of course!
And no meds for pain, it’s for girly men!

#234 Smoking Man on 02.02.14 at 2:14 pm

#215 World Traveller on 02.02.14 at 10:50 am

So you’re a writer? Can you handle some constructive criticism?

I will assume you can..

Your style is bland and boring. No use of allegory or metaphors. No originally… Zzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzz

Obviously you don’t do fiction.

#235 Daisy Mae on 02.02.14 at 3:22 pm

#225 TheCatFoodLady: “I think I prefer your hospital’s security system. Ours isn’t locked down that tightly & should be.”

**************************

The need to beef up security surfaced a number of years ago with the abduction of an infant from the maternity ward. Police found the baby, safe. And, of course, there was an instance on Vancouver Island — volunteer was opening up the gift shop, punk wanted her float. And murdered her to get it.

#236 Victor V on 02.02.14 at 3:48 pm

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/mortgages/when-the-walls-close-in/article16644502/

Kristen and Howard earn good money – $205,000 between them – so it’s no wonder they are growing impatient with living in her 600-square-foot Vancouver condo.

Their dream long term is to move to a detached house in North or East Van, but they will settle for less – a townhouse – in the meantime. He is 37, a lawyer, she is 34 and works in advertising.

They are being cautious because they may decide to have a child or two and Kristen may even go back to school – events that would lower their income temporarily. Once all that is behind them, they would sell the townhouse in a decade or so and move to their forever home.

“Our goal is to get to the point where we can make the leap to a larger condo or townhouse, but that’s been hard since the value of our condo has really stagnated,” Howard writes in an e-mail. “We were really hoping to be a bit further along by now.”

The centrally located townhouse they have in mind would cost $700,000. How soon can they move?

#237 World According To Garth on 02.02.14 at 4:12 pm

Sounds to me like he’s blaming the govt for allowing so much immigration thereby making it harder for Canadians to find work.

#221 Rexx Rock on 02.02.14 at 11:41 am
Its very sad with so many layoffs and thousands thrown out of work recently.To top it off ,the goverment will add tens of thousands of people to our population to make it harder to find work with lower wage .Our goverment should come out and say,”We hate you and want you to suffer immensely”.I guess the country’s 1.4 million enemployed just have to work a little harder to find work.Our standard of living is going down big time.

And you blame immigrants? That’s rich. — Garth

#238 Doug in London on 02.02.14 at 4:15 pm

@ Woke To The Sounds Of Horking, post #207and recharts, post #166:
So, how do you know the exact moment when the market is having a sale? There are some good tell tale signs there’s a sale on. The best one I have seen yet is to read the comments on this blog. When you read negative comments about how the stock market is bad and getting worse, like what happened in late summer of 2011, that’s a sign of a good time to buy. Over the last 7 months I have read a lot of negative comments about REITs and preferred shares because they have dropped in price. Again, a signal it’s time to buy. I wasn’t following this blog in late 2008 and early 2009 (did it exist then?) but it was probably overflowing (at least 1000 times more than the Bow River in Calgary was last June) with negative comments about stocks at a time when waste management companies were being paid to haul them away. Again, it’s time to buy when all you hear is bellyaching about what a bad investment stocks (or ETFs that invest in them) are. Stay tuned.

#239 Spaccone on 02.02.14 at 4:38 pm

Having no real national pension plan and only a token pension supplement system is probably another contributor to the overinflated real estate economy here. Pretty much borrowing from the future to consume or “invest” in today. Imagine where we would be if we had a pension system like some Euro countries with 40-50% deductions out of gross earnings from employee and employer.

The difference is here they get to hole up in their deathly dull cookie cutter bedroom communities with no character, where most barely know their neighbours and have to drive everywhere, while most Euros/S. Americans live in interesting/vibrant live-and-work communities.

#240 Happy Renting on 02.02.14 at 4:41 pm

#188 Thanks, CiCi. Was over-thinking it, wondered if there was a special demographic my Walmart-purchased Fruit of the Loom and I now belonged to. :)

Going to try water and the gym tonight. Predict wine would be more fun, though.

#241 economictsunami on 02.02.14 at 4:41 pm

Bouncing around between, what Nomura’s Richard Koo refers to as a balance sheet recession and what Larry Summers refers to as, secular stagnation.

The result of feeling rather strongly that markets shouldn’t be able to correct and clear, due to their global inter-connectivity/ domino effect contagion.

Talking Troubled Turkey:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/31/opinion/krugman-talking-troubled-turkey.html?_r=1

Ah, globalization, ain’t it grand?…

#242 AK on 02.02.14 at 5:08 pm

#238 economictsunami on 02.02.14 at 4:41 pm
“The result of feeling rather strongly that markets shouldn’t be able to correct and clear, due to their global inter-connectivity/ domino effect contagion.

Talking Troubled Turkey:
Ah, globalization, ain’t it grand?…”
====================================
Blah, Blah and Blah.

Have you heard of “Current Account Deficit”? Guess what? Canada is in the same group.

Investors are moving their money into a real Currency. The U.S. ($). Get used to it.

#243 Pulp Faction on 02.02.14 at 5:23 pm

“A giant disconnect seems to be taking place between the world as portrayed by the anchorettes on Global, and the reality in which most people live.”

It’s not a TV, it’s a mind-control device.

Isn’t it amazing, how easy it is ?

#244 Happy Renting on 02.02.14 at 5:39 pm

#114 TheCatFoodLady on 02.01.14 at 10:47 am

Thank you for the detailed and realistic look at what life is like with financial restrictions. Most of us aren’t rich enough to have all the present and future consumption we want, so it’s useful to see what one might forego later if spending now.

Whatever mistakes you feel you made in the past, you certainly are wise and well-considered with your finances now! Congratulations on having it together.

#245 Spectacle on 02.02.14 at 6:05 pm

Thanks Garth.

Truly excellent blog, and comments from about #100 onwards today are stellar. Just goes to show how sometimes dodging the “bus of life” or a “nasty bit of ice” can bring opportunities. Garth is that ” bus/block of ice” , of clarity, to so many readers here!

Stellar blogging as always Garth!!

And, Kung Hei Fat Choi to everyone!

#246 World Traveller on 02.02.14 at 6:23 pm

#231 Smoking Man on 02.02.14 at 2:14 pm
#215 World Traveller on 02.02.14 at 10:50 am

So you’re a writer? Can you handle some constructive criticism?

I will assume you can..

Your style is bland and boring. No use of allegory or metaphors. No originally… Zzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzz

Obviously you don’t do fiction.

****

Oh no, a bad literary review from Smoking Man, what will I do?
I’ll tell you my friend, your writing style, in addition to your grammatical and spelling errors, is nothing to write home about, pun intended.

I do write both fiction and non fiction for a couple of magazines. I assume you have been published? Let me know your ranking on Amazon, I would love to look you up.

If you want a metaphor here’s one:

Smoking Man’s posts are like throwing a dictionary into a blender.

Cheers!

#247 World Traveller on 02.02.14 at 6:30 pm

#229 jess on 02.02.14 at 1:17 pm

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/31/inside-london-billionaires-row-derelict-mansions-hampstead

This is getting to the crux of the high cost of housing. we have allowed the obscenely rich to buy up properties without living in them. There should be a heavy tax on anyone who buys a property and does not live in it or rent it out.
At the very least, there should be heavy fines for anyone who lets a property fall into such a state of disrepair as displayed in the article.

#248 Woke To The Sounds Of Horking on 02.03.14 at 1:02 am

#236 Doug in London —

Exactly, Doug. Thanks

#249 GCR1968 on 02.03.14 at 1:32 pm

Hope you feel better soon.

Great post.

#250 JustPutinItOutThere on 02.03.14 at 8:15 pm

heres a little commie thought….nationalize all natural resources…..profits to the people…dont shoot!

#251 Doug in London on 02.04.14 at 12:09 pm

@Woke To The Sounds Of Horking, post #246:
Have you seen the latest comments about the stock market in Garth’s newest posting? I wouldn’t go on a buying binge just yet but it’s definitely time to put in some lowball offers (especially if you are heavily weighted in cash) and patiently wait.