Dr. Garth

Forget Trump and Iran. Plus the impeachment. Oil surging wildly. Whipsawed markets. Australia burning. Hong Kong’s crisis. Climate change or the bond market. You can’t do diddly about any those things – but you can make good choices in your own life.

And that’s what this free clinic is all about. You’re just in time. It’s January 3rd, and the doctor is now sober! Who’s first?

“Longtime–daily–reader of “the greater fool’ here,” says Dave.  “The advice you have dispensed has been invaluable to my family’s financial health–thank you very much.

I have contacted you before and you have been kind enough to respond, so I am going to go to the well one more time.  This week you advised people to commute their pension, something you have mentioned numerous times over the years.  I am an Ontario teacher, and will be retiring soon.  Would you suggest I commute my pension or let it ride with the plan?

The reasons to commute a pension have been debated here fully. In general (a) when you can control your own financial future instead of leaving it to a pension plan, that’s a good thing; (b) retirement is long and your plan could run into trouble – not a big concern with being a teacher, but if you’re a GM worker, look out; (c) you can control your tax rate better in retirement by commuting; (d) commuted pensions are fat now, thanks to low interest rates and (d) by commuting you take over a lump sum of money which can be passed on to your family. Not so if you stay in the plan.

Of course, most people don’t commute because they’re afraid. Or misinformed. But this may be academic for you, anyway, Dave, if you’re over 50. Ontario teachers need to request commuting at least a month before that birthday. If you are, in fact, retiring at age 49, we’re paying you too much.

Jason lives in Calgary, saying “Happy New Year! I love the blog and the dogs.” But he is vexed, and with child.

My wife and I recently had a baby girl. We’re currently in the process of ditching the condo. We’re open to renting or buying. Our stash is big enough to buy outright, or perhaps with a small mortgage (e.g. no more than 25% of value), and still maintain sizeable investment accounts. I am leaning towards renting because it turns out I love liquidity more than mortgages and making repairs. Oh, and it’ll also be easier to flee the Republic of Alberta-stan in the worst-case scenario. I have only one conundrum.

I don’t want to run the risk of being booted from a rental property, especially with a kid involved. In this market I might be able to negotiate a multi-year lease perhaps with some options in our favour, but what are the chances of that?

They’re large. The Calgary real estate market sucks and is unlikely to turn, even if the Iranian/Trump/oil thing gets more extreme. AB problems are structural with the market still in a long, multi-year slow melt from extreme valuations years ago.

So, owners who can’t sell are eager to rent. A nice detached in a good hood can be yours for $2,000 a month or less on a yearly lease. A tenant willing to sign on for two or three years would be a godsend for many of these desperate homeowners. All you have to do is negotiate, and make an offer that protects you – lengthy tenure plus clear-cut provisions if the lease is not honoured by the LL (like an obligation to find you comparable accommodation, long period of notification and/or a big monetary compensation). Hire an agent to represent you, and get the owner to pay for her, too.

Brian also has a snappy MSU (“I want to thank you for distilling complex economic news and trends. Reading your blog daily makes me feel smarter than I am.”) so let’s dive into his little First World problem…

I’m hoping you can give me some Dr. Garth advice. Our house has thrown us a curve ball with a 20k repair, and it’s causing me to have to break one of my two rules: don’t touch our investments until we retire in a few years (we’re 60), and don’t have any debt.

My wife and I both work freelance so income is sporadic. That also means that, other than CPP/OAS, we have to create our own pension. Our minimum goal is 650k, and we’re currently about $100k short.

So my question is, which rule do I break? Borrow money from a 5% unsecured LOC, or cash out from our non-registered investments that I was going to move to our TFSAs on Jan 1? That said, I know we’re fortunate to have these options.

Damn straight.

Let’s assume you have lots of equity in your home (no mention of a mortgage) and your real estate has been appreciating far more slowly than your portfolio. So this is easy – get the house to fix itself.

A home equity line of credit is available these days at 4.5% or less, and with interest-only payments. That’s $75 a month for twenty grand. If your house appreciates by $900 a year, you’re a genius.

Finally, here’s #NotLegalAdvice who says, sucking up nicely, “Throughout the year, my family has religiously read your daily blogs and they have been the subject of numerous debates (this is a HUGE MSU).”

This email is actually being sent on behalf of my wife who has been reading your blog for over a year now. We were once very keen on buying on a house in the GTA, but have lately been leaning toward continuing to rent. We are currently living in a 1B1B in Mississauga and pay a rate of $2000 / month.  As you can imagine, there isn’t much space (500 sq ft).

I am a strong believer that the real estate market in the Ontario (exception: Toronto) will collapse in the near future (really hoping on 2020). Household income to debt ratio is at an all time high and continues to grow. All it takes is the Bank of Canada to increase interest 2 times and down she goes. However, this is unlikely to happen in 2020, right?  Do you see any realistic scenarios in which the GTA, or Ontario, will experience a real estate collapse next year? By collapse, I’m referring to a 10 – 20% correction.

Two grand for 500 feet? In the boonies? Obviously she loves you to put up with that. Must be because she reads this blog – a guaranteed, proven aphrodisiac. Good work.

Will the GTA or southern Ontario market correct by 20% in 2020?

Anything’s possible, but that scenario’s unlikely. The bank rate may creep higher, but that would be due to inflationary pressures, wage growth, Fed hikes and economic expansion – also fuel for the real estate flames. Yes, debt’s at ridiculous levels but this hasn’t stopped people from slurping up more of it. Given new political incentives designed to hike housing demand plus natural growth in the area, the best you can hope for is a flatline or modest decline. No collapse.

Have you considered Calgary?

110 comments ↓

#1 MutteringMillenial on 01.03.20 at 3:38 pm

So will 2020 see a mea culpa on this blog after encouraging everyone to eschew real estate due to sky-high debt, outrageous valuations, and the rise of housing as a speculative investment in Canada?

Nah. I’ve always said buy it if you can afford it, need it and can still maintain financial balance. Nothing’s changed. – Garth

#2 PetertheSeparatistfromCalgary on 01.03.20 at 4:00 pm

I don’t think this Iran thing will blow up. The US and Iran have been fighting a low grade war since the 1979 revolution. Neither side wants to escalate to a full blown war.

Iran will find some way to attack the US again but that is nothing new.

Have a great 2020 and don’t panic!

#3 FreeBird on 01.03.20 at 4:01 pm

Was in similar boat as Brian and his wife (incl self pension/freelance work) and paid with unused Scotia LOC offer at 2.99% (unsecured) for 6mths. Ended Dec 31st so too late for Brian but hopefully they’ll find a good deal. Getting a good contractor and trades can be more stressful then financing. It took a few yrs and expensive lessons but we found both. BTW who could not want to kiss that face? Just have kleenex ready, and a treat.

#4 Jager on 01.03.20 at 4:03 pm

“Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don’t let our people have guns. Why should we let them have ideas?”
Joseph Stalin ~ Communist
Premier of the Soviet Union

“Basically National Socialism and Marxism are the same thing”
Adolf Hitler ~ Nazi
Leader of Nazi Germany

Communism (USSR) = Union of
Soviet “Socialist” Republics

Nazism (Germany) = National “Socialist” German Workers Party

This “Socialist” ideology imploded in the past. How could any coherent (sane) individual believe it will succeed in the future? How many more millions will die in pursuit of it?

Diane Francis: Trumpism is a threat to the world [socialist order j.g.r]— and the world [socialist order j.g.r] better get used to it
https://business.financialpost.com/diane-francis/diane-francis-trumpism-is-a-threat-to-the-world-and-the-world-better-get-used-to-it

#5 Sail away on 01.03.20 at 4:06 pm

So Ponzie- $1 kisses are your retirement job?

You’d have more luck with a dirndl.

#6 gimme stuff on 01.03.20 at 4:08 pm

Ah, the great melt up of 2020.

#7 Linda on 01.03.20 at 4:23 pm

Rentals in Calgary are a renters market. Lots of incentives abound & choice is huge. Main issue is finding work & remaining employed. Even so called ‘safe’ government jobs are being chopped these days.

So I’m wondering about the effects a retiring population will have upon RE values, even in hot markets like the GTA. If one is to believe the headlines, a rather large percentage of Canadians have no pension other than CPP. What many do have is a property they occupy & that might provide the funds to permit retirement to be more than dumpster diving for dinner on a nightly basis. So shouldn’t we expect to see ever increasing listings of properties for sale given that literally thousands of Canadians are retiring daily? Or are those potential properties all of them being used as ATM’s via the reverse mortgage/LOC route? And if listings are increasing as retirees discover they need the cash, shouldn’t that lead to price reductions even in the hot markets at some point?

#8 acdel on 01.03.20 at 4:24 pm

At least that lovely canine is making a buck a kiss; entrepreneur at heart; not like the useless felines out there that would probably run for the hills; poor Felix! :)

#9 NotLegalAdvice on 01.03.20 at 4:27 pm

Thank you for the response, Garth! I’d lie if I said I wasn’t considering Alberta – just so many things to consider!!

Perhaps the wife and I need to have a talk (she’ll probably read this in the comment section) !

#10 DeepShock on 01.03.20 at 4:37 pm

Deep Shock at this:

Properties in this Sechelt, B.C. neighbourhood were once worth over $1M. They now cost $2

https://globalnews.ca/news/6359984/sechelt-seawatch-property-assessments/

#11 IHCTD9 on 01.03.20 at 4:48 pm

#7 Linda on 01.03.20 at 4:23 pm

So I’m wondering about the effects a retiring population will have upon RE values, even in hot markets like the GTA. If one is to believe the headlines, a rather large percentage of Canadians have no pension other than CPP. What many do have is a property they occupy & that might provide the funds to permit retirement to be more than dumpster diving for dinner on a nightly basis.
——-

They are cashing out of the GTA and moving to the sticks. Out here, there are subdivisions built just for retiring 60+ folks. No kids allowed, bingo nights, deeded slips where you can park your bass boat. All the advertising pics feature smiling blue hairs dressed like yuppies.

In my little 500 pop. village, two houses sold this spring just up the road. Both went to GTA retirees, one got bid up from 399 to 500k between 5 parties.

These folks likely have 500k plus leftover after buying for cash, plus whatever they’ve saved up, CCP/OAS (x2?) and any pensions on top (hey, all boomers have a fat DB pension…).

So they drive RE up out here, but I doubt they’ll be offering discounts on their gta digs unless they have to – and that would require a big jump in interest rates.

#12 FreeBird on 01.03.20 at 4:52 pm

#7 Linda on 01.03.20 at 4:23 pm
“…Or are those potential properties all of them being used as ATM’s via the reverse mortgage/LOC route?”
————————————
Thought Garth had talked about this but couldn’t recall when so I tried out his search field (handily right under his photo) and found it in Dec 19th. Could be more. Give Garth’s search a spin. Can’t say it’s fun but depends one’s definition ; )

“…Plus $400 billion in HELOCs. Then there are reverse mortgages…

https://www.greaterfool.ca/2019/12/10/the-jubilee/

#13 Coastal Zapper on 01.03.20 at 4:56 pm

I’ve asked what the value of commuting pension would be,( Pulp and Paper Pension Plan not run by the Co. but by Morneau Sheppel) and its only $100,000. When I retire in 3 years my monthly will be $3300. I don’t believe commuting works for me but how do I put a value to my pension on your 90 rule? Is each $1000 month = to $100k, $200k, $300k in invested money? Or am I way off base.
By the way, I sold my house in 2018, invested it all and live in a cabin on the beach. Thank you so much for all your free advice, much appreciated.

The figure you were given is incorrect for a monthly pension of that size. – Garth

#14 MF on 01.03.20 at 4:57 pm

1 IHCTD9 on 01.03.20 at 4:48 pm

Not exactly. The condo boom is also seeing a lot of boomers who are downsizing from their overinflated re sales. This is especially true for 2 bedroom condos in the gta.

Few move to the sticks. The winter is prohibitive 1. Amenities are not as plentiful 2. Their families are still here.

MF

#15 Boris Corbyn on 01.03.20 at 5:20 pm

#12 interesting, so where do families go?

Further east, Cornwall? Northward?
I don’t see this comedy as sustainable, but it’s been that way in the Uk since the late 1980’s (with crashes in 90’s and of course 2008) and the mental disease of real estate speculation is prevalent in Canada now. Sad.

They are so many other things to do in life and invest in, like businesses, tech etc. but no.

Badly (farcical actually) built houses popping up everywhere. next door to us 600k for plywood and finishes that a blind Albanian would reject.

No idea how this finishes, well it starts with pissed of locals, taking aim at immigrants (brexit anybody?)

With our freezing weather and high taxes we don’t have much to offer compared to other places. 250000 US gets you a home in Florida, here we’re talking a million???

Seriously?

#16 Bob Dog on 01.03.20 at 5:24 pm

“I don’t want to run the risk of being booted from a rental property, especially with a kid involved.”

If this isn’t reason enough to question the legitimacy of your own government, I don’t know what is!

#17 yorkville renter on 01.03.20 at 5:45 pm

#14 – Any stats to back up your statements, or is it a case study of 5-10?

what are the sticks? Does Niagara count?
ever hear of Elliot Lake?

You always speak with certainty, but it always seems to be observational

#18 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.03.20 at 5:54 pm

@#13 Zapper
“Pension……its only $100,000. When I retire in 3 years my monthly will be $3300. ”
++++

Ya might want to move that decimal point one space to the left.
$100k pension invested will get you about $330/month

#19 IHCTD9 on 01.03.20 at 5:54 pm

#14 MF on 01.03.20 at 4:57 pm
1 IHCTD9 on 01.03.20 at 4:48 pm

Not exactly. The condo boom is also seeing a lot of boomers who are downsizing from their overinflated re sales. This is especially true for 2 bedroom condos in the gta.

Few move to the sticks. The winter is prohibitive 1. Amenities are not as plentiful 2. Their families are still here.

MF
——

I’m sure there are those downsizing into a GTA condos, but you can take my word for the fact plenty are moving out here. Boatloads of them.

Like I said, entire subdivisions filled with them, even built specifically for them. The winter 2 hrs east of the gta is the same, believe it or not, small town Ontario also has hospitals, clinics, restaurants etc… plus easy access to a lot of outdoor stuff that they might like such as fishing and hiking trails, camping and so on.

I’ll bet plenty of boomers originally came from the sticks and are just returning to a quieter life they already know from their youth.

They are actively bidding up RE out here, that tells me they’re pretty set on exiting Toronto – even if it is just to realize a half mil + in RE gains for living off of.

#20 Interstellar Old Yeller on 01.03.20 at 5:57 pm

Two grand for 500 feet? In the boonies?

DH and I had the exact same reaction. #NotLegalAdvice, is this some kind of luxury building?

That dog looks like a mastiff. I think she could charge $2. :-)

#21 Nonplused on 01.03.20 at 5:59 pm

Looks like Iran will respond because that’s what they do but most of the comments I’ve seen so far do not expect full out war:

https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/iran-will-respond-here-are-some-thoughts-how

I suppose that Iran should not have expected that the downing of the US drone would go forever unpunished, and I don’t think it was very smart of this Soleimani guy to be driving around Baghdad, which is still American airspace. However attempting to capture the guy might have been a more diplomatic route to go rather than raining down hell from the sky.

Anyway grab the popcorn it could be an interesting weekend!

#22 Lost...but not leased on 01.03.20 at 6:03 pm

QUOTE:
I am an Ontario teacher, and will be retiring soon. Would you suggest I commute my pension or let it ride with the plan?

TRANSLATION:

Started working at 22…taught PC nonsense for 10 years..then demanding entitlement.

#23 conan on 01.03.20 at 6:06 pm

Two grand for 500 feet? In the boonies? -Garth

Seems a tad high. I hope you get Netflix with that.

#24 IM in C on 01.03.20 at 6:12 pm

Garth
There are 4 types of preferred shares ( As I understand it)
1 Floating rate
2 Perpetuals
3 Rate reset
4 Retractable
Which of these do you recommend ?
How do you distinguish between them ?

#25 CEW9 on 01.03.20 at 6:17 pm

#24 IM in C on 01.03.20 at 6:12 pm

Garth
There are 4 types of preferred shares ( As I understand it)
1 Floating rate
2 Perpetuals
3 Rate reset
4 Retractable
Which of these do you recommend ?
How do you distinguish between them ?

Buy a good Canadian preferred share ETF and don’t worry about it.

#26 Say my name on 01.03.20 at 6:18 pm

#14 MF on 01.03.20 at 4:57 pm
1 IHCTD9 on 01.03.20 at 4:48 pm

Not exactly. The condo boom is also seeing a lot of boomers who are downsizing from their overinflated re sales. This is especially true for 2 bedroom condos in the gta.

Few move to the sticks. The winter is prohibitive 1. Amenities are not as plentiful 2. Their families are still here.

MF

—————

The Defender of Mediocrity has spoken. Outside of Toronto it’s too cold. Don’t leave ever. Cold. Much to cold. And there’s no where to buy groceries outside of Toronto either. Nothing. Need to trap and hunt for human survival outside of city limits.

#27 Ustabe on 01.03.20 at 6:20 pm

I’m sure there are those downsizing into a GTA condos, but you can take my word for the fact plenty are moving out here. Boatloads of them.

Ditto in my other side of the country boonies.

While these new residents all seem to have lots of money and lovely haircuts, they sure drive way more aggressively than needed.

You can drive from here to the other side of the Island in less time than the average Lower Mainland commute, despite that they sure are in a hurry.

#28 T on 01.03.20 at 6:34 pm

#19 IHCTD9 on 01.03.20 at 5:54 pm
#14 MF on 01.03.20 at 4:57 pm
1 IHCTD9 on 01.03.20 at 4:48 pm

Now you guys are just fighting for the sake of it.

Come on. People retire to condos, smaller rural communities, retirement residences, retirement communities. There is no one size fits all. The only known is people want to be more comfortable in retirement, and that means different things to people.

I will say again, MF, there’s a lot of living happening outside of the utopia of Toronto. Much of it at far higher standards than a city, especially that city, can offer. You should explore sometime and shake off the Stockholm Syndrome.

#29 MF on 01.03.20 at 6:48 pm

#22 Lost…but not leased on 01.03.20 at 6:03 pm

Entitlement?

One of my parents was an Ontario teacher.

They tought grade 12 science courses for almost 30 years.

I saw them leave at 730 and come home at 9-10 most days. Never earlier than 8. Tons of lesson planning on weekends and evenings. Staying after class to hep struggling students. Calling parents to help children succeed.

Many of those children went on to be really successful, often keeping in touch with my dad and letting him know how much he helped them.

This is in addition to helping me and my brother with our own work, projects, speeches, essays etc.

That pension is well deserved IMO.

To brand the entire teaching profession as PC entitlement just shows how ignorant and clueless you are.

MF

#30 Dog Breath on 01.03.20 at 6:53 pm

“I am a strong believer that the real estate market in the Ontario (exception: Toronto) will collapse in the near future (really hoping on 2020).”
———————————————
It really is pathetic reading this blog year after year with all these people wishing, hoping, and praying for a real estate collapse. Get real folks, it ain’t going to happen. Start facing reality. Real estate prices will continue to rise well into the future!

#31 MF on 01.03.20 at 6:53 pm

#26 Say my name on 01.03.20 at 6:18 pm

Towonto is baaad. I don’ wike it!!!

Maybee if I huwooo insowts I weeo feeoo betta!

MF

#32 Big Zit on Nose on 01.03.20 at 6:54 pm

So, which industry will Trudeau kill next? Energy, Ag, Mining, Resource, Infrastructure, even dope.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/even-30-rout-can-t-stop-etf-investors-chasing-cannabis-returns-1.1368989

The public pics coming out on FB of a sagging besotted drunk with a bag of liquor bottles in Costa Rica look like redemption? Not really. Ask any consumer about the dozen cents a liter on gas and the raging food inflation. Who voted for this guy? Let’s hope Costa Rica wants him.

#33 Ustabe on 01.03.20 at 6:58 pm

#22 Lost…but not leased on 01.03.20 at 6:03 pm

QUOTE:
I am an Ontario teacher, and will be retiring soon. Would you suggest I commute my pension or let it ride with the plan?

TRANSLATION:

Started working at 22…taught PC nonsense for 10 years..then demanding entitlement.

And this contributes how?
Why so bitter and so keen on publicly displaying that bitterness?

Are your bone spurs acting up?

#34 the Jaguar on 01.03.20 at 7:00 pm

@#26 Say my name on 01.03.20 at 6:18 pm

Ha ha! Thanks for that post! It really captures the attitude. I remember arriving in the GTA for a six year stay some years ago and was shocked by the lack of sophistication of the locals. They knew nothing about anything outside of the GTA, many never taking advantage of regional and broader travel opportunities given their location advantage, and many had no experience or knowledge of other parts of the country. It was a revelation. In Vancouver many are still convinced that if it were possible everyone would wish to live in the coastal regions of British Columbia. Not so much, really. Nice places to visit, but as a permanent home, no thanks. The reasons have little to do with the cost of real estate..

#35 Rargary on 01.03.20 at 7:14 pm

Jason and wife, in Alberta, perhaps everywhere else? 3 year residential leases automatically become commercial leases. You would no longer fall under the Residental Tenancy Act of Alberta. Now you need a lawyer as commercial leases are a different animal!
Start with 2 year lease and negotiate prior to 90 days b4 your end term.
OR… buy a mouse and hope the pipeline and oil economy are kind to us repressed Calgary home owners.

#36 Joe Schmoe on 01.03.20 at 7:17 pm

Sadly for me, my wife has been offered a great work opportunity in GTA. She is a physician and would be paid “above average”

Crunching the numbers…and wow…it is EXPENSIVE to live there. All sorts of idiot taxes. Reminds me of the Simpson’s where the movie studio tries to make a go of it in Springfied.

The only bullet I have left in the chamber is if we move to TO, we have to rent. It makes no sense otherwise.

We would be leaving Calgary. The house we bought in Jan 2009 was just assessed at less than the purchase price. Not a big deal, it’s paid for, but so much for “housing only goes up”…meanwhile the equity would have done exactly what in in the same 11 year period?

We are fine either way, this is not a decision of desperation…but I cringe at what I watch others do to themselves…

#37 Jager on 01.03.20 at 7:19 pm

Iranians, Iraqis Are Celebrating Trump Taking Out Soleimani, but WaPo Calls Terrorist Leader ‘Most Revered’
https://www.redstate.com/nick-arama/2020/01/02/wapo-is-at-it-again-calls-soleimani-most-revered-internet-lights-them-up/

Hong Kong protestors held American flag, sang U.S. national anthem
https://youtu.be/fOwID54DBl0

#38 oh bouy on 01.03.20 at 7:21 pm

@#19 IHCTD9 on 01.03.20 at 5:54 pm
______________________________________

same in the collingwood/blue mountain area.
booming with wealthy wrinklies.
Although they probably have a condo in Toronto as well.

#39 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.03.20 at 7:22 pm

@#27 Ustabe
“You can drive from here to the other side of the Island in less time than the average Lower Mainland commute, despite that they sure are in a hurry…’
++++
About 15 years ago I was in Nova Scotia in the Summer time driving along the Bay of Fundy heading north west .
The tide was out, fish boats on stilts, pretty little villages…picturesque.

I came upon two old farmers about mid 70’s on tractors, hauling fully loaded hay wagons.
Stopped.
Blocking the road.
They were shooting the shit.
I was in no hurry so I just watched and laughed as the traffic began to build behind both tractors/hay wagons in both directions.
Nobody was getting past
5 minutes…. they’re still Bullshitting.
“Honk! Honk!’ they look back at a tourist from New York in a Winnebego.
Pffft.
Kept talking.
Honk Honk Hooooooonk!
They looked back and waved.
Didnt give two shits.
Everyone was laughing.
Mr New York was fuming but he stopped honking.
Coupla minutes later these farmers started driving away….slow…. traffic crawled behind them
I pulled off on a wharf and took some pics and waited about 30 more minutes.
Vacations are about ……Relaxing

#40 Darren on 01.03.20 at 7:27 pm

So will 2020 see a mea culpa on this blog after encouraging everyone to eschew real estate due to sky-high debt, outrageous valuations, and the rise of housing as a speculative investment in Canada?
____________________________________________
Follow the money, my friend. Listen to what your intuition is telling you. Reality will come soon enough for people who enslaved themselves for overvalued houses. People are getting wiser to the middle class suck in. I feel a movement coming on.

#41 NoName on 01.03.20 at 7:33 pm

#29 MF on 01.03.20 at 6:48 pm
#22 Lost…but not leased on 01.03.20 at 6:03 pm

Entitlement?

One of my parents was an Ontario teacher.

They tought grade 12 science courses for almost 30 years.

I saw them leave at 730 and come home at 9-10 most days.

So question is did they do that during winter and summer brakes???

#42 oh bouy on 01.03.20 at 7:39 pm

@#32 Ustabe on 01.03.20 at 6:58 pm
#22 Lost…but not leased on 01.03.20 at 6:03 pm

QUOTE:
I am an Ontario teacher, and will be retiring soon. Would you suggest I commute my pension or let it ride with the plan?

TRANSLATION:

Started working at 22…taught PC nonsense for 10 years..then demanding entitlement.

And this contributes how?
Why so bitter and so keen on publicly displaying that bitterness?

Are your bone spurs acting up?
________________________________________

someone should tell that guy envy isn’t good for the soul.
come on lost, turn that frown upside down.

#43 Significant BC Assessed Value Drops on 01.03.20 at 7:41 pm

For the first time in 20 years the entire province has declined in value.

Lower Mainland smashed:

UBC to Port Moody = down 16-11% in value.

Declines for two years in a row in Vancouver has amounted to a 645k drop in value on my friends place in the past two years.

Anyone who has bought in the last few years in the lower mainland is underwater by around 200-300k.

This is a clear signal for any boomer who has been thinking of cashing out. $410 of value in your house is evaporating everyday. And this is in economic boom times.

#44 Westcdn on 01.03.20 at 7:44 pm

My family left in Vancouver feel sorry for me for moving to Alberta. I can’t convince them it was my best decision. I remember Central Canadians saying both provinces were a backwater. I am not out to change your mind – just beat you in a good way?

I saw a report on executive pay – it angers me. These guys are replaceable and I don’t care if a hockey player makes more than them. Marketing drives and that I recognize. People are out to make a buck for nothing. Anyone can manage for big bucks if there is no uncertainty and there is no responsibility. Mind you, I have few kind feelings for unionized public “servants”.

These “gods” of finance need to eat humble pie. There is no way they are worth more than 10 times the average person. I may be the smartest person in the room but I am not smarter than the room unless I withhold information.

Commodities are doing well these days. I looking to sell and move – not sure where but it is not somewhere hot and sunny. My lizard days are behind me. One gift/curse “God” gave me was a very good memory. Hypocrisy annoys me a lot.

#45 oh bouy on 01.03.20 at 7:44 pm

@#28 T on 01.03.20 at 6:34 pm
#19 IHCTD9 on 01.03.20 at 5:54 pm
#14 MF on 01.03.20 at 4:57 pm
1 IHCTD9 on 01.03.20 at 4:48 pm

Now you guys are just fighting for the sake of it.

Come on. People retire to condos, smaller rural communities, retirement residences, retirement communities. There is no one size fits all. The only known is people want to be more comfortable in retirement, and that means different things to people.

I will say again, MF, there’s a lot of living happening outside of the utopia of Toronto. Much of it at far higher standards than a city, especially that city, can offer. You should explore sometime and shake off the Stockholm Syndrome.
_________________________________________

Come on T. you know everything has to be either black or white with those two. No grey allowed. ever. :)

#46 Treasure Island CEO - 76,087,437.88 Offshore on 01.03.20 at 7:50 pm

The net worth of people in BC is in free fall, mainly because everyone in BC has their money tied up in their home and home values are sinking like a rock.

The last of the slick speculators in BC slipped out the door this past year. Dirty buggers.

New home owners and people slow to realize what is going on left holding the bag.

Even though it is hard to time the market, when you buy and sell matters.

#47 Nonplused on 01.03.20 at 7:52 pm

Reading more about this Soleimani incident, because that is about all the news and commentary is about today, I am even more convinced that no matter who gets elected major government policies just don’t change all that much. Donald “Orange Man Bad” campaigned on lower taxes, less spending, “Make America Great Again” (actually one of the best campaign slogans ever, much better than “I’m With Her”), build the wall, and ending the forever wars. What’s he done? He built a bit of wall, lowered taxes on the rich more than anyone else, launched a trade war, bombed and invaded Syria, and now assassinated an Iranian official.

Now, Soleimani was no hero and indeed was a very bad man, and has been implicated in several assassination attempts himself, at least one on US soil. So there is every reason to be cheerful that he has met his 70 virgins. (Although what you do with 70 virgins in the afterlife is hard to say, I’d rather have 2 of the other type any day.)

But I think by Monday morning we will find out that this was handled badly. I guess when it comes to war, the first rule is that there are no rules to war, but still, this seems destabilizing. Oh well, I guess if you want to make an omelette…..

So is it the “deep state”? Something like the deep state exists in the lobbyist, CIA, FBI, and the bureaucracy in every country, but I believe these people represent foot soldiers not leaders. They aren’t setting the policy, just implementing it. So who controls policy, if not the deep state or the politicians? Well, my guess would be campaign donors. The ones with a lot of money. Like Raytheon. Northrop. And now Google.

Nobody can get elected if they can’t get the donors behind them, Trump maybe being the exception. This is why Elisabeth “1/2020th” Warren has no hope of being president. Have you read her platform? She has plans to tax the heck out of all sorts of things that are not money and therefore are hard to monetize, like “wealth”. She knows nothing of which she speaks. Wealth is not money until the article of wealth in question is sold. That’s why you don’t pay capital gains on stocks until you sell them; they aren’t money until that point. They have a notional value only, which can change every day and isn’t cash.

So the rich will never fund a Warren or Sanders campaign because they know they cannot pay a wealth tax with money they don’t have based on some mark to market of what their businesses are worth. Is there even enough money out there to liquidate the properties and stocks? Does the Federal Reserve buy them and print money to do so? Does Zuckerberg have to take out massive loans to pay them? From whom? Or does he have to sell shares? To whom? It won’t and can’t work. The people with “wealth” know that. So they won’t be financing a Warren or Sanders campaign.

If you want to truly understand how things work in this world, always follow the money. And the one thing all the people enlisted in the US army or providing extremely expensive equipment to it need is an enemy. Not too big of an enemy, it would be suicidal to bomb Russia for example, but a big enough enemy so that the aircraft carriers and bombs must be built and deployed. Iran, unfortunately for it, fits the bill almost perfectly as did Iraq.

“War Is a Racket” – Major General Smedley D. Butler

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Is_a_Racket

#48 Lost...but not leased on 01.03.20 at 7:52 pm

#29 MF on 01.03.20 at 6:48

#33 Ustabe on 01.03.20 at 6:58 pm

Hmmmm…

Methinks this blog is 24/7/365 monitored by the ever diminishing Entitlement Class…

If, as alleged..one’s relatives are working looonngg hours….one is either a crappy teacher and/or victim of SJW and their agendas.

Back in the day?
……..one had ONE chance to write a test and the grades per term stuck..
…..nowadays???..students can RE- write a test to improve mark !!!

Is this the REAL WORLD???

#49 MF on 01.03.20 at 7:53 pm

41 NoName on 01.03.20 at 7:33 pm

“So question is did they do that during winter and summer brakes??”

..and the answer to your stupid question is:

-My dad never took vacations. The holidays were always the same thing. First half was much needed decompression. Second half was lesson planning and prep. Days before school he would go in and start getting really prepped.

The students were everything to him, after us of course.

MF

#50 Lost...but not leased on 01.03.20 at 8:06 pm

#42 oh bouy on 01.03.20 at 7:39 pm
someone should tell that guy envy isn’t good for the soul.
come on lost, turn that frown upside down.

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

I must have been a truly evil person in my past life
…given I have a disproportionate number of public school teachers/Principals in my family(in- law side) and their friends, most now retired..who I listened to 30+ years of bitching and whining ….

NOTE:though I am not aware of any law that forces them to stay in this profession.

One interesting come-uppance was an In Law(GREAT GUY)…got Masters…tried to be a Principal..but was ambushed by the Teachers Union Shop steward..went back to teaching. Soooo…Who runs the show???

Message is:
Suck it up…whining could result in reaction by the UNentitled General Public.

#51 AB on 01.03.20 at 8:08 pm

So thankful to be in Canada, especially Calgary. Those poor suffering Aussies. Unbelievable catastrophic bush fires. Cudos to the Canadian, American and New Zealand fire fighters who have gone to help.

#52 MF on 01.03.20 at 8:09 pm

#48 Lost…but not leased on 01.03.20 at 7:52 pm

Lol reading comprehension not even once.

Complete sentences not visible for miles.

Cohesive arguments more absent than parliement on holidays.

I’d respond but I have no idea what you are saying.

MF

#53 oh bouy on 01.03.20 at 8:10 pm

@#48 Lost…but not leased on 01.03.20 at 7:52 pm
#29 MF on 01.03.20 at 6:48

#33 Ustabe on 01.03.20 at 6:58 pm

Hmmmm…

Methinks this blog is 24/7/365 monitored by the ever diminishing Entitlement Class…

If, as alleged..one’s relatives are working looonngg hours….one is either a crappy teacher and/or victim of SJW and their agendas.

Back in the day?
……..one had ONE chance to write a test and the grades per term stuck..
…..nowadays???..students can RE- write a test to improve mark !!!

Is this the REAL WORLD???
__________________________________

oh lordy, not the ‘back in my day’ schtick.
please stop. pulllleassse.

#54 MF on 01.03.20 at 8:12 pm

#28 T on 01.03.20 at 6:34 pm

Perhaps. But i’m going by what I see with my parents.

Easy retirement and living in the GTA with no desire to leave. Their exact reasons for staying in Toronto are less winter, more amenities, more family.

MF

#55 AB on 01.03.20 at 8:16 pm

#50
Kudos, not Cudos. Whoops! Enjoying some New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with spouse after work.

#56 GrumpyPanda on 01.03.20 at 8:18 pm

A neighbour is moving to Muskoka area where his daughter is a realtor. They are selling developments to people leaving the GTA due to renoviction, retirement and white flight. Only one is politically acceptable to report.

#57 Felix on 01.03.20 at 8:29 pm

Sad photo, yet another useless canine prostituting itself for the fleeting favour of homo sapiens.

If only dogs had higher IQs they could support themselves in ways that demonstrated self respect.

#58 AACI Home-Dog on 01.03.20 at 8:42 pm

Commuted funds are fat now, IF they have been invested aggressively, no ? So, am I correct to think that the “fatness” depends upon where the employer is investing ?
HNY Garth et al !

#59 NoName on 01.03.20 at 8:42 pm

@MF

Man i dont know wtf is goin on with you, you cant take even simple joke? And funny to.

#60 Have you considered Calgary? on 01.03.20 at 8:43 pm

Yahoo, not.
Opened the mail today DOWN 20% on assessment from 2019.

So will my property tax be down 20%? fat chance.

#61 AR on 01.03.20 at 8:50 pm

Commuting pension – I did it at age 49. I got $340,000. $277,00 went into my LIRA. $15,000 went to taxes and the rest to a cash account, unsheltered. All dictated by government rules.

Now 7 years later my LIRA is worth $369,000 6%/yr after fees)

I would have taken my pension this year and made $3400 a month. 5% of $360,000 annually equals $1600/mos. so not even close to what I would have made. Lucky I have other pension savings.

I still believe I did the right thing getting out of a job that was killing me and starting my own business, making $30-50,000 a year which I will continue happily for several more years. I’m also happy that when I die my heirs will get a lump sum. Whereas a pension would have died with me.

I wouldn’t commute unless a) your pension is at risk or b) you have the ability to earn additional income on your own terms or c) you need to leave work for health reasons.

What happened to the cash portion of the pension? Blow it? – Garth

#62 Katherine on 01.03.20 at 8:50 pm

#29 MF
Hope you showed your post to your teacher parent.
I am a retired high school accounting teacher….loved my job and was really interested in helping my students achieve. It always warmed my heart when they would return after graduating to share uni stories and how I helped them to be successful after graduation. Those who teacher bash I believe have no idea the dedication many teachers have to their students. Those who spend 30+ years in education don’t do it to become rich, most really love what they do.

#63 crazyfox on 01.03.20 at 8:52 pm

“You can’t do diddly about any those things” – Garth

Yeah, but its still something to talk about outside of our stuffy homes. You go to the coffee shop and get to hear, “hey, did you hear the nutter in the WH offed a guy? Trump’s a killer now. Murderer…”. Sociopath orders his first kill, what could go wrong from here…

There is potential for this to spin out of control, obviously. If either Iran or the U.S. engage in industrial sabotage (one would provoke the other into both), oil will get pricy especially if it spreads to Iraq or possibly even Saudi Arabia. There is a risk of oil targets destroyed in Iran and Iraq at minimum, just ask ourselves who are the winners and losers?

Here we have Americans cranking out record new production and Americans sure do like a war time president… it’s a timely distraction for an impeached president but war can come a bit too soon if gas is sky high at the pumps come election time. I talked about the risks and motives of Iran/U.S. war last summer, hope I don’t need to remind but there’s a growing chance of it all unfolding now as war changes everything including economic risk.

#64 acdel on 01.03.20 at 9:20 pm

#47 Nonplused

You make some fine arguments but never underestimate the U.S., love them or hate them in today’s times no one comes close. Sure if one country wants to launch there arsenal then like the rest of us we are all doomed; whether one lives 100ft underground or not!

#65 Dog Breath on 01.03.20 at 9:23 pm

#29 MF
One of my parents was an Ontario teacher.
They tought grade 12 science courses for almost 30 years.
I saw them leave at 730 and come home at 9-10 most days.
——————————————————–
A teacher worked until 9-10 at night! HAHAHA. Now that’s funny! Did your mother ever realize he was probably fooling around with some young, hot teacher’s assistant. One of the perks of the job before the ME-TO movement!

#66 Sail Away on 01.03.20 at 9:42 pm

#44 Westcdn on 01.03.20 at 7:44 pm

I saw a report on executive pay – it angers me.

————————————-

Why waste anger on this? It’s a completely non-productive use of energy.

Just decide to be an executive and use your energy to pursue that goal instead. Don’t overcomplicate things.

#67 oh bouy on 01.03.20 at 9:44 pm

@#65 Dog Breath on 01.03.20 at 9:23 pm
___________________________________

kinda surprised you let this nonsense get posted Garth.

#68 acdel on 01.03.20 at 9:49 pm

On a lighter note!

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7849929/Cops-arrive-Florida-home-neighbors-mistook-parrot-woman-screaming-help.html

#69 oh bouy on 01.03.20 at 9:51 pm

@#62 Katherine on 01.03.20 at 8:50 pm
#29 MF
Those who teacher bash I believe have no idea the dedication many teachers have to their students. Those who spend 30+ years in education don’t do it to become rich, most really love what they do.
________________________________________

sadly its a bit of an anti-intellectualism echo chamber in here lately.

#70 Shawn Allen on 01.03.20 at 9:52 pm

Why are commuted values fat and high?

#53 AACI Home-Dog on 01.03.20 at 8:42 pm

Commuted funds are fat now, IF they have been invested aggressively, no ? So, am I correct to think that the “fatness” depends upon where the employer is investing ?
HNY Garth et al !

************************************
You are completely wrong. Commuted values apply to defined benefit pension plans and are calculated as a sum of money that could be invested in relatively safe bonds and match the promised pension.

Mathematically, it does seem reasonable that you could take that sum and create a pension higher than the DB promise by going to a balanced approach. But it takes some discipline not to spend the money too fast or be scammed out of it.

I don’t believe one answer (commute) fits all.

Government employee DB pension plans that I am familiar with don’t allow commuting after age 55. Garth pointed out that the Ontario teachers plan does not allow commuting after age 50. Few teachers would retire that young.

Imagine if it were possible to commute the old age pension and CPP. There’d be a lot of starving people in their seventies and eighties who had blown it all and/or had the money taken away from them especially by their own kids.

Commuting pensions should not be allowed. Pensions need some people to die young, collecting little, to offset those who live past 90. Pooled mortality risk. Brutal math.

Of course pension commutations should be allowed. Ask a Stelco or Nortel worker how their retirements worked out staying in the plan. – Garth

#71 AR on 01.03.20 at 9:52 pm

Nope. It slowly moved to the TFSA and also bought our pre-retirement (used) vehicle. And I will need the income from that (TFSA) too to make the same income I would have.

Commuting only works if your pension is seriously at risk or your job is killing you. We will have less income, but we are happier. So all good for us.

There is no way commuting makes any sense if your pension is secure and you’re happy in your job.

#72 T on 01.03.20 at 10:21 pm

#54 MF on 01.03.20 at 8:12 pm
#28 T on 01.03.20 at 6:34 pm

Perhaps. But i’m going by what I see with my parents.

Easy retirement and living in the GTA with no desire to leave. Their exact reasons for staying in Toronto are less winter, more amenities, more family.

MF

——

See, my parents are the exact opposite of yours and recently left the GTA and head east for more land for their dogs, hiking, far less traffic, and an easier lifestyle.

But I don’t discredit your parents’ decisions.

You need to start seeing all sides, the whole picture. I’ve been saying this to you for years now. Just because you don’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not true.

#73 WUL on 01.03.20 at 10:25 pm

#69 oh bouy on 01.03.20 at 9:51 pm

“sadly its a bit of an anti-intellectualism echo chamber in here lately.”

*****

It’s a conservative thing. Anti-science and anti-intellectual. Well known.

I’m surprised MF is on the other side of this sickening anti-teacher position. A rare young and strident conservative with a social justice conscience. When I read his comments, in my mind I call him “Young Dief”.

WUL

#74 Deplorable Dude on 01.03.20 at 10:30 pm

Job posting : Drivers needed..lol..

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appoints assassinated commander Qassem Soleimani’s deputy, Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani, to succeed him as head of the country’s Quds Forces.

#75 Fred on 01.03.20 at 10:30 pm

Most of the people I have seen commuting their pensions
were not familiar with stock market investing. Some of them did it before the last crash and couldn’t handle it when they started to see a loss in their account. So they sold after they lost a good chunk of their pension money and had to go back to work. Other people had good reasons to commute but they were experienced investors. A government pension, inflation protected, you would be crazy to commute it.

#76 NoName on 01.03.20 at 10:40 pm

#69 oh bouy on 01.03.20 at 9:51 pm
@#62 Katherine on 01.03.20 at 8:50 pm
#29 MF
Those who teacher bash I believe have no idea the dedication many teachers have to their students. Those who spend 30+ years in education don’t do it to become rich, most really love what they do.
________________________________________

sadly its a bit of an anti-intellectualism echo chamber in here lately.

Oh please, anti intelektualizam I can’t even spell that word, I must be one of tnose…

But in my defense I did manages to read 17 different books, mainly related to health/medicine and economy/money management and SCIENCE.

Not bad for ileterate to read one book every 3 weeks. Maybe this year I push to 52 books a year with help of audible.

Ok there it is my new year resolution 52 books this year.

#77 WUL on 01.03.20 at 10:48 pm

Ahh… We made it through December in Ft. Mac.

The promise that accompanies a New Year.

Haggard – “If We Make It Through December”

“Everything’s gonna be alright, I know”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiwLvIF4tNA

WUL

#78 Gregor Samsa on 01.03.20 at 10:49 pm

Yesterdays post “#67 Gotta Get Out of Calgary” was a real zinger. I always suspected there was something fishy about those “give away my house” deals.

Before considering “investing” (aka throwing away your money) on Calgary real estate, check out the rental market first (rentfaster.ca being the main site for the city). The amount of rentals on the market has exploded, as most underwater home owners have gone with the “housing only ever goes up” fallacy and decided to rent (likely cashflow negative) as opposed to selling at a small loss.

I am not exaggerating, there are hundreds and hundreds of rentals available. Plenty of choice for good apartments sub $1000 / month.

You’d have to be a special kind of stupid to buy a condo (with $500 condo fees right off the hop) when you can rent for so cheap.

And yet they are still building new condos in Calgary.

#79 L Greco on 01.03.20 at 11:50 pm

#54 MF

Exactly….most retirees are not leaving Toronto. They are staying put where they’ve always lived, close to family & friends. We are mid 60’s & have absolutely no desire to sell the large family home to move 2 hrs east or west of Toronto. Just not happening.

#80 fishman on 01.04.20 at 12:18 am

So I was invited to Christmas turkey this holidays. My friends’s wife’s father was there. He’s telling me about selling his house & car in England this summer & coming back to Van after 25 years. I ask if he’s still driving a car & got a license?”Ya”. Lets see it. He digs it out & sure enough, a Union Jack on a British driving license: born June 23 1920: renewed 2017: expires June 03 2020. Your just like Philip. Who? You know,Prince Philip, he flipped his car this summer. He dismissed me with a wave of his hand, turned away “I don’t know them”. Just a few days go I watched the same thing on Netflix when De Niro was asked about Jimmy Hoffa. We all know he knows them. He had gone AWOL married a british naval officers daughter, lost his stripes. Two weeks later wounded & taken POW at Dieppe. His pals in Van were the likes of Colonel Merritt & Smokey Smith. Smokey had been busted to private at least 6 times & had to be guarded so he wouldn’t skip out on his appointment with the King to get his VC. His retirement house in England was an hour on the tube to the gardens of Buckingham Palace. These guys were pistols & them enjoyed their company.
He kinda went quiet after that & his daughter said, How about Colonel Merritt dad? Well he straightened right up.
Colonel Merritt! Colonel Merritt was MY colonel. So proud the colonel’s daughter had come over & talked to him. The last Dieppe reunion. The last veteran. Never dishonour the regiment.
About that movie. It was an Irishman that in the end got to that them & squared the circle of Dieppe. Maybe we got it backwards. Life does follows art.

#81 Russ on 01.04.20 at 12:57 am

Shawn Allen on 01.03.20 at 9:52 pm

You are completely wrong. Commuted values apply to defined benefit pension plans and are calculated as a sum of money that could be invested in relatively safe bonds and match the promised pension.

Commuting pensions should not be allowed. Pensions need some people to die young, collecting little, to offset those who live past 90. Pooled mortality risk. Brutal math.
———————————————————————–

Of course pension commutations should be allowed. Ask a Stelco or Nortel worker how their retirements worked out staying in the plan. – Garth

—————————————————————————-

You can add small companies to that list there Garth.

Pope & Talbot, family business started in 1867 which eventually bought up a bunch of Canadian assets by mid-2000.
Over-extended by Maria Pope and the company crashed & burned after raiding the staff pension plan trying to survive… aided and abetted by Revenue Canada and the Superintendent of Pensions, British Columbia.
A small file, ask me about it.

I second Garth’s position whereby if you have the opportunity then commute the damn pension. Don’t trust anyone to look out for your interests, especially don’t trust a government body!

Cheers, R

#82 Captain Uppa on 01.04.20 at 1:02 am

#38 oh bouy on 01.03.20 at 7:21 pm
@#19 IHCTD9 on 01.03.20 at 5:54 pm
______________________________________

same in the collingwood/blue mountain area.
booming with wealthy wrinklies.
Although they probably have a condo in Toronto as well.

——————————————-

100% true. I visited Collingwood three years ago for the first time since I was a teenager and it blew me away. Very well-to-do. Wrinklies with nice cars, flowong silver hair and lime coloured sweaters hanging around their necks.

As for GTA, the RE “boom” is everywhere. What was once considered the sticks is not anymore. To some it’s a virus that keeps spreading, to others it’s a godsend. Depends on your situation.

#83 DON on 01.04.20 at 1:09 am

#49 MF on 01.03.20 at 7:53 pm

41 NoName on 01.03.20 at 7:33 pm

“So question is did they do that during winter and summer brakes??”

..and the answer to your stupid question is:

-My dad never took vacations. The holidays were always the same thing. First half was much needed decompression. Second half was lesson planning and prep. Days before school he would go in and start getting really prepped.

The students were everything to him, after us of course.

MF
************

Good Dad, Good Teacher, Great Man.

I always remember these types of Teachers.

#84 LP on 01.04.20 at 1:12 am

#8 acdel on 01.03.20 at 4:24 pm
At least that lovely canine is making a buck a kiss; entrepreneur at heart; not like the useless felines out there that would probably run for the hills; poor Felix! :)****************************

Nah, the feline has the tissue and disinfectant concession just out of sight up the sidewalk a ways.

#85 DON on 01.04.20 at 2:09 am

I’m with CrazyFox on the industrial sabotage especially from Iran’s point of view. They have a cyber army at their disposal.

Didn’t Iran just announce the discovery of an new big oil field back in November.

Joint China, Russia, Iran naval operations under the guise of preventing terrorism. Russia announcing the commissioning of the Avangard hypersonic missile system.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50927648

Space wars here we come. Who doesn’t want 5 G networks in space.

As per Trump’s kill call.

https://www.npr.org/2020/01/03/793289176/how-is-the-world-reacting-to-the-u-s-assassination-of-irans-qassem-soleimani

Not only an Iranian killed but also a high profile Iraqi.

As per the out going Iraqi PM “The assassination of an Iraqi military commander who holds an official position is considered aggression on Iraq … and the liquidation of leading Iraqi figures or those from a brotherly country on Iraqi soil is a massive breach of sovereignty,” Abdul-Mahdi. The president is stepping down as a result of mass protests etc.

If Trump has the evidence why not go through Congress? Gotta wonder if this is part of his plan to exit the region ‘irreparable damage’.

Having backpacked in the region all I ever remember seeing is people, families striving to make a living just like you and me.

Who is concentrating on the IS bad guys as reports have surfaced recently of their re-organization efforts?

#86 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.04.20 at 8:07 am

@#62 Katherine
“Those who spend 30+ years in education don’t do it to become rich, most really love what they do”
++++

Riiiiight.
Average salary 75K ? or higher….
The 2 months off during summer.
The 2 weeks off at Christmas.
The 2 weeks off at Spring Break.
The “Professional Development” days tacked on to every Long Weekend for another 7 days per year off.
The juicy, guaranteed pension.
The union protection.
The excellent medical, dental benefits…

Have nothing to do with it.

#87 Dog Breath on 01.04.20 at 8:19 am

#67 oh bouy
————————–
So no one is allowed to make fun of or criticize our under worked, over paid precious teachers especially ones that work until ten at night!

#88 Dharma Bum on 01.04.20 at 9:02 am

#29 MF

One of my parents was an Ontario teacher.
——————————————————————–

Ohhhhhhh….NOW I get it.

Nuff said.

#89 N on 01.04.20 at 9:05 am

https://www.iheartradio.ca/newstalk-1010/audio/podcasts/january-2-more-canadians-filing-for-insolvency-1.10390280?mode=Article

#90 Dharma Bum on 01.04.20 at 9:14 am

#17 Yorkville Renter

Ever hear of Elliot Lake?
——————————————————————–

I’ve driven through Elliot Lake on a few occasions.

I could never figure out why it was ever set up to be a “retirement community”.

It’s more like a place that should’ve been picked to be the site of a super-jail style maximum security incarceration facility.

Honestly – retiring to Elliot Lake?

More like banishment to Siberia.

What a thing for someone to look forward to after 35-40 years slogging it out in the rat race.

Dismal.

#91 IHCTD9 on 01.04.20 at 9:25 am

#38 oh bouy on 01.03.20 at 7:21 pm
@#19 IHCTD9 on 01.03.20 at 5:54 pm
______________________________________

same in the collingwood/blue mountain area.
booming with wealthy wrinklies.
Although they probably have a condo in Toronto as well.
———

I’m thinking the born/raised in the gta boomers will mostly stay there because of familiarity/family.

If they moved there for work from the sticks, they’ll likely move back to the sticks.

My sticks born Gen X peers that ended up in the gta all plan on moving back here. No brainer, they return to a life/area they already know, and crystallize big RE gains in the process.

I have relatives in Collingwood, if you see a camo’d up goon with a striking beard walking by while dragging knuckles, say hi!

#92 crazyfox on 01.04.20 at 9:27 am

#85 DON on 01.04.20 at 2:09 am

Gotta wonder if this is part of his plan to exit the region ‘irreparable damage’. – DON

I think it is, Don. When you consider U.S. oil production ramping up 7 million bpd over the last 8 years, (they will exit 2019 somewhere around 12.9 mil bpd) what it will take to keep up this pace of growth in the future (higher oil prices and less world oil production, the U.S. already has the refining capacity for it in Texas, all they need to do is develop its Permian basin assets through higher pricing), it all reeks of price fixing oil prices higher through choking world oil production first through trade embargos and now through war.

Here’s the thing. OPEC has agreed to produce 1/2 a million barrels next quarter:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenrwald/2019/12/06/opecs-decision-to-cut-production-is-a-risky-one-heres-why/#7d32c7da662d

One would think that through diplomacy, the U.S. could make it’s oil production intentions well known, that through words alone the U.S. can maintain a million barrels per day of annual growth while stabilizing prices as the world consumes more oil each year. (world projections are 102+ mil barrels per day of consumption this year) But that’s not what is happening under Trump.

If Iran goes after soft oil producing targets, it only plays into Trump’s hands. Iran could easily cripple Iraq oil production now back up to some 4.35 million bpd since it’s produced by western nations including the U.S. . They could go after Saudi oil fields as well. It’s less far fetched than people think as one considers the concentration of Shia Muslim populations:

http://www.shianumbers.com/shia-muslims-population.html

And look at where they are concentrated on a world map:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shia_Islam#/media/File:Madhhab_Map3.png

When you overlay this with a world map of nations:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_EM2yrps4_gI/Sw1NKA5OaKI/AAAAAAAADSI/RDAgH3_8i_M/s1600/Worlp+Map.jpg

And factor in populations of Shia Muslims in Yemen:

http://www.shianumbers.com/shias-in-asia–europe.html

11.5 mil out of a total pop of 28.5 mil (est) Yemen pop are Shia Muslim and the Saudi’s are at war with Yemen now. Basically 20% of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims world wide are Shia explaining a big part of the reasons why Iran is so involved with Iraq, Syria and Yemen. It’s religion that binds them and no one on this planet takes God more seriously than those who follow the Islam faith. Islam is, after all, translated “I surrender”.

But I wander. The end goal for Trump is crippled world oil production to fill the void with surging U.S. oil production but to do it with high prices that pay for it. If Iran takes out Iraq oil production, Trump will be justified in destroying Iran’s oil capacity as well as Iran’s natural gas production which would make Texas producers and Putin extremely happy. By taking out Iran gas capacity, Qatar could also be taken out since they draw from the same gas reserves and then Putin could have tremendous political influence over Asia and Europe through providing natural gas (meaning Canada needs to get on LNG through the Atlantic seaboard, our contribution to world peace, climate change be damned):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_natural_gas_proven_reserves

All this begs to question, what should Iran do? Soft oil targets are the easiest but this is what Trump wants. Hard targets (military bases, naval ships etc) are the most difficult and would give Trump the response to wipe out Iran’s oil refinery’s and production so that leaves terrorism and how effective or justified is this? Because there is some now. U.S. actions are an act of war.

I know what I would do if I was Iran. I would have war plans set and ready, firstly the assassination of Trump, VP and Republican Senators as terrorist targets, secondly to destroy all oil production in the region without exception (including in Texas) to drive up the world price of oil to unheard of levels (think for a moment why) and thirdly to use religion to encourage all other Islam brothers to rise against the U.S. . I would have these plans ready to set in motion or have then started in motion and wait. Wait to see if Trump attacks again.

If or as Trump continues more attacks to provoke war, the more Iran is seen as the victim and its a powerful motivational weapon in warfare as it weakens ally support. Certainly Shia’s are galvanized against Trump through a decades long history of war AND oppression. Whether other Islam caliphates would sympathize enough to join in that war against Trump remains to be seen. If Trump doesn’t attack, I would stage one or more false attacks or false flags and blame it on Trump to play the sympathy card to weaken U.S. ally support and use for further provocations for war of which, the lines only further blur from there.

Or… there is a fourth choice. Try to wait it out to the 2020 election and see if old Joe beats Trump… if that’s at all possible. I don’t think it will be. Certainly from Trump’s ordered assassination, Trump will do what he can to provoke or start a war. A second rocket attack was ordered by Trump again on Friday:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/six-iraqi-militia-members-killed-in-second-drone-strike-ordered-by-president-trump-in-baghdad/ar-BBYB6kf

I’m not a CIA analyst, can’t say but that’s what I would be planning or have planned for a while now if I was the Ayatollah. Anyone else? Thoughts?

#93 IHCTD9 on 01.04.20 at 9:52 am

#27 Ustabe on 01.03.20 at 6:20 pm

I’m sure there are those downsizing into a GTA condos, but you can take my word for the fact plenty are moving out here. Boatloads of them.

Ditto in my other side of the country boonies.

While these new residents all seem to have lots of money and lovely haircuts, they sure drive way more aggressively than needed.

You can drive from here to the other side of the Island in less time than the average Lower Mainland commute, despite that they sure are in a hurry.
———

I’ve noticed the two new retiree neighbours I gained this spring like to whoop it up. Party central over there all summer. They have an enclosed porch out front that is regularly decorated with empty wine glasses and misc. bottles on weekends. The guys’ wife likes to smoke stuff out there too.

Interestingly, the previous owners of that house were from BC, young couple with two little kids. They put a ton of work into the place.

#94 Bytor the Snow Dog on 01.04.20 at 9:54 am

#49 MF on 01.03.20 at 7:53 pm sez:
“41 NoName on 01.03.20 at 7:33 pm

“So question is did they do that during winter and summer brakes??”

..and the answer to your stupid question is:

-My dad never took vacations. The holidays were always the same thing. First half was much needed decompression. Second half was lesson planning and prep. Days before school he would go in and start getting really prepped.

The students were everything to him, after us of course.

MF”
—————————————————-
Sounds like your Dad was a dedicated teacher. That said, I hope your Dad didn’t teach you astronomy as he got it wrong when he taught you that Toronto is the centre of the universe…

#95 NoName on 01.04.20 at 10:37 am

#91 crazyfox on 01.04.20 at 9:27 am

here it is

https://time.com/5691642/iran-supreme-leader-ali-khamenei-trump/

#96 Gruff403 on 01.04.20 at 11:06 am

Dave;

DO NOT COMMUTE YOUR PENSION!

Sorry for shouting. I am a retired Alberta Teacher and almost made that huge mistake. Your pension is like winning the lottery. Ontario Teachers Pensions are 100% fully funded, highly diversified globally, fully indexed to inflation, have $191 Billion+ under management. (CPP has just over $400 Billion) They tried to buy BCE a few years back!
If you have also contributed to other investments, you are golden. Leave the kids the house.
I would strongly consider commuting if I were single and ill or I had a questionable corp pension. Why would you take on all the investment risk when you don’t have to? Ontario Teachers have a proven track record. If you like to DIY, do it with you TFSA and RRSP. Good Luck and thanks for working for Ontario’s youth.

#97 Trumpocalypse2020 on 01.04.20 at 11:26 am

We are on the cusp of enormous disruption and chaos.

Those who may not believe me, please read the astute #91 post by crazyfox again. Try to put yourself in the heads of Iranian officials now. Virtually nothing left to lose by going all out in so many ways. Trump himself is also fast approaching a similar level of urgency. But the sooner he creates a war-distraction, the better his gamble to avoid political disaster. War can be his way out, at least so he thinks. War for Iran is now “why not, WTF”.

War on both sides, coming together with differing rationales.

But the same destructive effects.

And multiples of spin-off consequences.

Iraq.
Israel.
China.
Hong Kong.
Russia.
Turkey.

Plus environmental chaos in Australia and soon Southeast Asia.

Not months. Not weeks.

Days, maybe hours away.

PREPARE

#98 Yukon Elvis on 01.04.20 at 11:44 am

crazyfox on 01.04.20 at 9:27 am

I’m not a CIA analyst, can’t say but that’s what I would be planning or have planned for a while now if I was the Ayatollah. Anyone else? Thoughts?
………………………………..

Business as usual. Lots of noise. More terrorism/attacks by proxy. Nothing that would provoke a direct attack by the USA whose wrath would send Iran back to the stone age.

#99 Tom on 01.04.20 at 11:51 am

Increased my gold position mid-2019 and boom !!

Feel like champion ,haha !

#100 Dr V on 01.04.20 at 12:10 pm

Good discussions on commuted pension values.

I would think the commuted value is lower than an
individual investor might expect.

Firstly, a large pension only has to play for the “average” and a small safety margin. If the average
life expectancy of pension beneficiaries is maybe 85 yo
they may play for 87. But the individual investor should prepare for 95 to give a high degree of certainty that you wont outlive your money.

Secondly, the management fees for pension plans should be much smaller than the individual investor.
Probably 0.5% compared to 1.5%. That yearly drag means the pension can produce a similar income with a smaller principal.

Does anyone know if any of the employer’s contribution
is lost when commuting?

#101 Phylis on 01.04.20 at 12:21 pm

oh bouy on 01.03.20 at 9:51 pm
@#62 Katherine on 01.03.20 at 8:50 pm
#29 MF
Those who teacher bash I believe have no idea the dedication many teachers have to their students. Those who spend 30+ years in education don’t do it to become rich, most really love what they do.
sadly its a bit of an anti-intellectualism echo chamber in here lately.

Not to worry, the teachers i know talk about the poor behaviour of the parents. The bashing is balanced.

#102 heloguy on 01.04.20 at 12:23 pm

oh bouy on 01.03.20 at 9:44 pm
@#65 Dog Breath on 01.03.20 at 9:23 pm
___________________________________

kinda surprised you let this nonsense get posted Garth.

Looks like someone touched a sore spot.

Every stereotype has a grain of truth associated to it.

Caught my high school math teacher banging the guidance counselor in the AV room. Good times.

#103 Shawn Allen on 01.04.20 at 12:25 pm

Commuting Pensions Should Not Be Allowed

Of course pension commutations should be allowed. Ask a Stelco or Nortel worker how their retirements worked out staying in the plan. – Garth

************************************
Agreed, it was very beneficial for those who commuted Nortel and (I imagine) Stelco pensions before they were declared as unsustainable and all the remaining pensioners took haircuts.

But it should not have been allowed. Those pension funds at some point were under-funded and with little hope of ever being fully funded. Yet some people were allowed to extract (escape with)100% of what was promised from a plan that was only ever going to be able to pay say 60% on average or whatever. Every one that left made the situation worse for those that remained. Good for them. It’s what they should have done. But fairness and math would have restricted their commuted values to the 60% or whatever level the plan was funded. I simply would not allow commutations as it harms the pension pool.

And I would not allow commutations from strong government plans because then the people in ill health could leave when the actuarial assumptions were that they would stay, die young, and subsidize those you die very old. That is the essence of pooled pension math. And there is usually a minimum 5 year payout even if people die before retirement. Also there are surviving spouse benefits where the pension continues at at least 50% and sometimes 100%.

Defined Benefit Pension funds are meant to provide monthly sums in retirement until death. They were never meant to to provide an inheritance. Nor should they.

To protect the integrity of DB pension plans for the greater good and to keep pension costs lower, commutations should not be allowed.

If people want the benefits of commutation they should get a job with a DC pension or just invest on their own. Commutation tries to get the benefit of a DC pension from a DB pension at the cost of making DB pensions unaffordable. Commutations are one of the reasons DB pensions are becoming rare in the private sector.

Alternatively, I would calculate the commuted value discounting at Garth’s 7% balanced return not 3% safe bonds. In which case almost no one would commute.

#104 Sail Away on 01.04.20 at 12:40 pm

#91 crazyfox on 01.04.20 at 9:27 am

———————————-

Crazy, you mention Trump 15 times in your post.

You do know he’s just a democratically-elected official of another country, right?

Maybe go out for a walk. Try not to mutter too loudly, though, or people will wonder.

#105 Phylis on 01.04.20 at 1:11 pm

For db benefits, also consider commutations would lead to require the company to increase contributions. However it is like that any company would only contribute the minimum, hence would never be fully funded as that would not be an efficient allocation of capital.

#106 Tony on 01.04.20 at 1:52 pm

Re: #47 Nonplused on 01.03.20 at 7:52 pm

The voters are the other 90 plus percent who have probably now figured it out about Trump’s tax cut. America will turn socialist and then communist its only a question of when. For the good of the world we can only hope Trump is soundly defeated in the 2020 election.

#107 hookshott on 01.04.20 at 3:04 pm

#86 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.04.20 at 8:07 am
@#62 Katherine
“Those who spend 30+ years in education don’t do it to become rich, most really love what they do”
++++

Riiiiight.
Average salary 75K ? or higher….
The 2 months off during summer.
The 2 weeks off at Christmas.
The 2 weeks off at Spring Break.
The “Professional Development” days tacked on to every Long Weekend for another 7 days per year off.
The juicy, guaranteed pension.
The union protection.
The excellent medical, dental benefits…

Have nothing to do with it.
…….
If it is such a great deal, please go to university for 5 years and join the crowd! I am sure you will be “god” to a class of 30, 14 year olds!

#108 Dog Breath on 01.04.20 at 5:25 pm

#95 Gruff403
Your pension is like winning the lottery. Ontario Teachers Pensions are 100% fully funded…
—————————————————
I guess that’s the payoff for working until 10 every night LOL!

#109 acdel on 01.04.20 at 7:32 pm

#57 Felix

I am really starting to feel for you! At least that good looking canine is earning it as opposed to hand outs like a typical feline cat~ One day you will get it! :(

#110 Bonnie Dean-stobie on 01.05.20 at 11:51 am

Hey Ryan,
Thanks for the analysis. Can you do one for us of like how you think an Alexandria ocasio cortes green new deal type would play out? I would like my kids to inherit a planet as not-on-fire as possible but I would also like to understand what kind of hit my finances/lifestyle might take. Cheers!