Oldies

Twenty-five years ago, ricocheting from my first political career, I wrote a cheeky little volume called “2015: After the Boom.” My publisher, Key Porter Books, was struggling at the time (unbeknownst to me), so when the thing went on to sell more than a hundred thousand copies, I was an office god. (The Internet eventually killed Anna Porter’s creation. And I became a pathetic blogger.)

Anyway, the ‘boom’ referred to in the title was the Baby Boom. The book’s thesis was that my cohort was truly screwed if people didn’t start investing and stop believing their houses would save them. They had two decades to prepare for a retirement crisis – to create an income – and over that time financial markets would gallop. (Turns out stocks went up an average of 7% per year since then.)

So here we are. Junior boomers are 56. Senior boomers are 76. Every week another 5,000 of them retire – that’s a quarter million annually. Every four years it equals the population of Edmonton. Wrinklies everywhere. It’s an epidemic.

What are the financial facts? A Ryerson University think tank has just summarized them for us. And, oh yes, we are s-o-o-o pooched.

  • Of 19 million working Canadians only 6.2 belong to some kind of company pension plan. Two-thirds have nothing.
  • The median savings for those families entering retirement without a pension plan: $3,000
  • The median family income for those households, including CPP, OAS and GIS: $31,400.
  • The median income for the lucky minority with a pension: $55,400

But wait. It gets worse – especially if you’re not retired and pay taxes. As I predicted in the 90s (when most Millennials were playing with their toes) we have a demographic time bomb on our hands. Look at this:

In 1986 there were twice as many kids under 15 as oldies over 65. Now, reversed. There are more seniors than children. And it just gets more intense for the next few decades. It’s been almost 50 years since we had a birthrate (2.1 per woman) that replaced the population. Yes, we have more immigration, but not enough to alter that chart above.

The pressure this will put on government is huge. But a string of prime ministers – Trudeau1, Mulroney, Chretien, Harper, Trudeau2 – have completely ignored it, despite the inevitability. The 5.8 million Canadians now collecting OAS will grow to 9.3 million in ten years. Life expectancy has jumped, and so will health care costs. Already the government needs to run a massive deficit to get by. What will happen to taxes in twenty years? What’s the plan? Do we cut the old people off, or expect the working people to fork over more?

After all, the Boomers’ kids (and their kids) complain bitterly now that life’s tough – real estate is unaffordable, incomes insufficient, taxes onerous and saving impossible. Plus, of course, most have no pensions. So without big housing equity, investment portfolios or corporate retirement benefits, what’s their plan for when the career ends?

Pooched. And we need to do something about it, say the Ryerson researchers in a paper released this week.

So here are the discussion points that have been raised, and the questions thrown out for debate. Give your thoughts. I‘ll pass them on.

  • Should all employers, by law, provide a pension plan or a forced-savings scheme to their employees?
  • Should employees be allowed to opt out of such a plan?
  • Should the retirement age be raised, as Stephen Harper did (to 67) or was Trudeau right to drop it (to 65)?
  • Should government be responsible for financial literacy and financial wellness among Canadians?
  • Should people be encouraged to work well past the traditional retirement age?
  • How do we increase the savings rate for low or middle-income earners?
  • Boomers will croak soon anyway, so why not just take all their stuff? (Don’t answer that one.)

By the way, in case you didn’t know, current government pension support is not – repeat, not – enough to live on. It was never designed to be. OAS (paid to everyone at 65) is about $7,000 a year. The GIS of ten grand annually goes only to those in desperate need (under $18,000 income) and the CPP averages $800 a month. Recent changes will increase that to a maximum of about $20,400 a year – but not until 2065, when the average Millennial is 75. (Please make a note to return here at that time, and I will update the stats.)

Now you know why I wrote that book a quarter century ago. Fat lot of good it did. But I’m apparently too naive to stop trying.

 

 

172 comments ↓

#1 JSS on 02.11.20 at 4:21 pm

OMG I’m a junior boomer! No wonder I’ve been feeling cranky lately. Plus my back and knees hurt.

#2 Andrew on 02.11.20 at 4:26 pm

Bitcoin mining stock traded on the TSX. HUT.TO Based out of Alberta. Bitcoin mining will become part of Countries national security within a decade.

https://web.tmxmoney.com/quote.php?qm_symbol=HUT

As an aside, does anyone know of an article explaining why Canada sold all of its gold reserves? I’ve looked but haven’t come across anything. Thanks

#3 Francesca Puppatello on 02.11.20 at 4:30 pm

Isn’t sad that Canada once a great leader and country is now a big welfare state and entitlement place to live.

I can’t see anything coming out good as long as NDP, Liberals etc. are in power. Canada will fall into a second economic tier country as the world planners, lefties, socialists want to control world resources and make natural resources gas, oil, mining etc. a much worthless commodity.

Sad to be a long, tax paying Canadian and soon a Canadian period.

#4 DM in C on 02.11.20 at 4:31 pm

” Junior boomers are 46.”

No, we’re called GenX. Graduated into a huge recession in the early ’90’s. We’re the Breakfast Club/Grunge/Douglas Coupland cohort.

Neither boomer nor millennial.

Obviously 56. – Garth

#5 Kurt on 02.11.20 at 4:33 pm

Well Garth, democracy is the system where the people get the government they deserve. Typical Canadians (not the folks who come here) are careless, shallow, short-term thinkers (not to mention selfish and entitled). This is expressed in our appalling governance at every level. Keep fighting the good fight, but you won’t win it until we start producing better citizens.

#6 Lost...but not leased on 02.11.20 at 4:38 pm

Phhyyrrzzzt…

#7 Steveston on 02.11.20 at 4:39 pm

I read it and listened.

#8 Mf on 02.11.20 at 4:40 pm

I wish I would have read that book years ago, when I was young, but your advice on this blog has helped me a lot for my upcoming retirement.

#9 Look to Australia on 02.11.20 at 4:41 pm

Australia has a ‘forced savings’ called superannuation. 9.5% of your pre-tax income goes into a plan each paycheck for your entire working career. There are drawbacks though. 1. You can’t remove it until your old. No exceptions (* – catastrophic event only). 2. All of the funds charge high fees. 3. You can manage it yourself but it involves a high amount (250k +) and is expensive to setup (lawyers etc..) so no-one really does that.

As an Australian that’s immigrated here, I prefer Canada’s RRSP/TFSA system better. WAY more flexibility. My only gripe is as a self employed person to try and shake the double dip of CPP contributions! That hurts when I’m clearly doing my own thing.

#10 sarnya on 02.11.20 at 4:42 pm

Hey Garth,

Why does every proposal to fix OAS start with raising the age (like Harper). Not wanting to anger voting seniors I guess. But wouldn’t adjusting the clawback amounts make a lot more sense, and be a lot more fair for lower income earners, people with more physical jobs, etc.

#11 Duffy on 02.11.20 at 4:42 pm

The wisdom in that dogs eyes says so much, I’ve never looked into the PM’s eyes but I know there would be a endless void.

#12 Scott Dickson on 02.11.20 at 4:43 pm

Kurt, better citizens needs better government. Just like I was told in school with my work, garbage in, garbage out.

You can’t get good quality citizens if they are all from garbage. It is harsh but true.

#13 Pension expert on 02.11.20 at 4:51 pm

Since 90% of Canadians make under $29,000 a year as you pointed out recently many will see no change in retirement.$7200 in OAS and $10990 in GIS(tax exempt)and any small CPP will pretty much keep their income at present levels—some poor may actually see a bump up in pay when they retire.Sad but so true.

#14 The Wet One on 02.11.20 at 4:55 pm

First, thanks for your efforts.

You rang the alarm, but no one listened. Their bad.

As for your question:

Should all employers, by law, provide a pension plan or a forced-savings scheme to their employees?

Nah. Why burden employers with this. Up the CPP to something that would work. It does a decent job of investing funds. Just do it more for everyone. Everyone pays 10% up front on every dollar made upto some amount (50K? 65K?). There. The future is taken care of. The future that the average Canuck can’t do for themselves due to lack of discipline or know how.

Should employees be allowed to opt out of such a plan?

Nope. You’re gonna get old. Deal with it.

Should the retirement age be raised, as Stephen Harper did (to 67) or was Trudeau right to drop it (to 65)?

Yes. Trudeau did a dum dum there.

Should government be responsible for financial literacy and financial wellness among Canadians?

A futile endeavour. The people don’t want to learn. Why waste government time trying to teach pigs to sing? It’s just dumb. And annoys the pigs. Leave the pigs be.

Should people be encouraged to work well past the traditional retirement age?

Yes.

How do we increase the savings rate for low or middle-income earners?

Pay them more. Take more of their money in forced savings (see above re: CPP).

Boomers will croak soon anyway, so why not just take all their stuff? (Don’t answer that one.)

Drastic, but it just might work. They own most of the stuff after all, right? So yeah. It just might do the trick. Not my first choice, but y’know desperate times. It’s not like Millennials have anything to take.

#15 @careeraftschool on 02.11.20 at 4:57 pm

I read all your books in the late 90’s when I was in university. Powerful stuff and it stuck with me. I think what made things worse since then has been unchecked materialism and no real increases in wages. People want everything right now but can’t afford it.

So much free information available online (your blog) on saving and investments but people still spend most of their time on Instagram and Pinterest.

#16 The Wet One on 02.11.20 at 4:58 pm

“The wisdom in that dogs eyes says so much, I’ve never looked into the PM’s eyes but I know there would be a endless void.”

Just like every other politico in Ottawa.

How on earth do these people get elected? Oh right, we’re the idiots that elect them.

Sigh.

Somehow or another, the finger of responsibility always points back at us.

Representative democracy is hard.

:-/

#17 The Wet One on 02.11.20 at 5:00 pm

“Australia has a ‘forced savings’ called superannuation. 9.5% of your pre-tax income goes into a plan each paycheck for your entire working career. ”

Huh.

How about them apples. A country full of only half idiots unlike us full on idiots here.

Fascinating.

I spend way too much time looking at the U.S. and Canada so I find it hard to believe that it’s possible to have a country with anything but full on idiots.

It truly is amazing what is possible out there. Like, utterly amazing!!!

#18 Camille on 02.11.20 at 5:01 pm

The book I bought was After the Crash. Enjoyed it at the time, generally good advice. Unfortunately I also read another book Enough Bull. What can I say. Cardinal Leger of Montral said “there will always be poverty”. I remember poverty in my home town, and I do not romanticize it a La Boheme. It creates victims, like children and wives, and leads to an early demise. I think there is much less today, due to very enhanced social programs and healthcare.
Is a guaranteed income, the only solution?

#19 Big Bucks on 02.11.20 at 5:01 pm

meant to say average $29,000.00 a year

#20 BlogDog123 on 02.11.20 at 5:02 pm

Just do what T2 does:

– Say what a feminist PM he is, that we must respect old people, distraction, change the channel, blackface, sorry, only I can get away with it, don’t I look cute, KokaneeGrope, pivot, on to something else, pile more deficit/debt pile, ignore, tax the rich talk, obfuscate, non-answer, walk away, eco-babble, get re-elected, give all boring and difficult work to deputy PM Miss Freeland, …

It’s worked well for him so far…

#21 Dogman01 on 02.11.20 at 5:05 pm

Work for a paycheck often just sucks, and it gets worse as you age and become smarter and slower with a bit less energy. The BS becomes more obvious and you are less motivated to smile and engage in it. Don’t get me started on the energy level you will see decline as you enter your fifties…… work becomes a tiresome, routine, soul destroying grind.

You need way more vacation, a four- day week perhaps, a one year time off slot where you can get your job back and fulfill a little dream.

Only then will we see a bunch of people choose to stay in the workforce.

The plan will be to continue to reduce the standard of living (wages via inflation) for most so that the financial constraints will force the masses to keep working until they can’t, – nice society we have eh?

Get out of the farm if you can….it’s your money or your life.

#22 Shawn Allen on 02.11.20 at 5:05 pm

Enhanced CPP is a start and I support it.

Boomers with pensions pay enough tax to cover their own Old Age Pension and more.

30 and 35 years ago I was all over books like Garth’s. Some of us did listen and have pensions plus investments.

Life is tough when people make poor choices. It has ever been so and will ever be so at least relative to those that make better choices.

For a lot of people a decent amount of forced savings via CPP is totally needed.

#23 Andrew Ng on 02.11.20 at 5:06 pm

Can anyone provide a link to the Ryerson study, I’d like to read it.

In the article. – Garth

#24 Linda on 02.11.20 at 5:07 pm

Where to begin? First, with the age range quoted for Boomers. In Canada the ‘official’ year range for Baby Boomers is quoted as 1946-1965. Babies born between 1965-1971 are referred to as ‘Baby Busters’ since the annualized birth rate dropped dramatically from previous years. Regardless of which, if one uses 1965 as an end date to qualify as a baby boomer, the youngest Boomers will turn 55 sometime this year.

Apparently Canada’s baby boom produced some 9.6 million babies. It is estimated that some 9 million of those babies are still alive today. So yes, the number of Canadians aged 65+ are indeed going to increase over the next decade.

As for today’s discussion points. First, employers shouldn’t be forced to provide an additional work related pension plan, That is just offloading the responsibility for this mess from the government (who had ample opportunity to address it) onto the backs of business owners. Instead, CPP contributions should be increased to match (for example) the DB pension plan contribution limits of government employees. That would likely average about 12% of earnings & no, employees should not be permitted to ‘opt out’. Let’s be honest: if the vast majority of people had the ability to save for their future they would have done so long since. Since government pensions are apparently yearned for by all, past time to put the money where the envy is so that everyone gets the same slice of pie. The savers can continue to up their standard of living above the rest via RRSP/TFSA contributions & building balanced portfolios. That would in one fell swoop take care of the savings issues for low/middle class income earners & also take care of the financial literacy issue insofar as saving for the future is concerned. OAS would eventually be phased out as the vastly improved CPP was implemented. Even GIS might become a thing of the past if the CPP provided sufficient income in retirement.

I’m not sure about increasing the retirement age. It might be better to simply cease permitting CPP to be taken prior to age 65 as a way of ensuring that retirees will have an unreduced pension & also ensure that the much touted longer life expectancy is accounted for. The incentive of higher CPP payments if one works past age 65 could remain to assist in smoothing out longer life expectancy issues.

Does doing the above put the onus on the government to solve the financial issues of Canadians? Indeed it does, but since the vast majority of Canadians already rely on government intervention via CPP/OAS/GIS I don’t see any reason why people would object to more of the same, other than the obvious fact that their net pay would drop substantially once the increased CPP deductions were implemented.

#25 Kurt on 02.11.20 at 5:08 pm

#12 Scott Dickson on 02.11.20 at 4:43 pm
Chicken and egg; it starts with you, me, Garth etc. People complain that taxes are too high, and the government should do something about it. People complain about inadequate services, everything from roads to criminal justice to care for the aged and say the government should do something about it. They speak as though the government is some kind of thing separate from themselves. Unlike our neighbours to the south, we live in a functional democracy. And all those things people don’t like about the government? It’s your neighbors, the guy across from you at work, the other parents at the little league game – all of them, narrow-minded, selfish and stupid – regardless of their IQ – *they* are the ones voting for it, and nothing is going to change until we convince them that *they* and the people around them are the government, and they need to start talking and listening to other people if anything is going to get better.
(By the way, calling people narrow-minded, selfish and stupid to their faces isn’t a good idea, but when I work on problems, I start by describing them clearly, if only to myself.)

#26 Niagara Region on 02.11.20 at 5:09 pm

Speaking of being pooched, “375 Canadians a day went insolvent last year, the most since the financial crisis.” Of all provinces, Ontario’s rate of personal bankruptcy and debt restructuring applications saw the sharpest increase (15.4%) over the previous year.

https://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/debt/375-canadians-a-day-went-insolvent-last-year-the-most-since-the-financial-crisis?

#27 Adrian on 02.11.20 at 5:09 pm

GARTH I’M IN LUNENBURG, CAN I COME BY AND SAY HELLO?

Well technically i’m staying in bridgewater, but i’m here to look at properties (inspired by you!!). I’m moving from BC out to the east coast. My real estate agent knows you apparently had dinner with you recently?!?

Let me know,
Adrian

In fact I plan to be holding court in my little stone palace tomorrow. Bring donuts. – Garth

#28 But the sad fact is ... on 02.11.20 at 5:12 pm

we will just keep kicking the can down the road. Someday though …

#29 wallflower on 02.11.20 at 5:16 pm

One thing drives me crazy… Rob Carrick are you reading this?
are all the financial guru writers who indicate that older people need to consider part- or full-time work after age 55…
whatsupp with that?
which of these writer people have tried getting a job, ANY job, between the ages of 55 and 75?

and how do they square this ridonculous notion with disappearing cashier positions? about the only jobs I can see where anyone beyond age 55 is employed … even THOSE won’t be around in 2 years

#30 Phylis on 02.11.20 at 5:19 pm

NP, the oldies will gladly vote goodie care paid by more mil taxes. Mils won’t notice since they will be preoccupied with gadget gazing and obsessing about unobtainable realestate.

#31 We'tsuwet'en Real Estate Broker on 02.11.20 at 5:21 pm

As someone whose parents immigrated to Canada from Europe in the 1940s, I believe that the land at We’tsuwet’en should be used to develop condos and office towers for our Canadian folk.

I am having a paid dinner with Doug Ford and Donald Trump into discussing how we can fund campaigns to vilify the protesters and secure a future for Canadians of European heritage.

As a Canadian, those who live on We’tsuwet’en deserve to be arrested for making Canadians feel unsafe, and I say this sarcastically because I’m not a bigot.

#32 wheretonow on 02.11.20 at 5:23 pm

I have the book, read it many times and used it to set myself in the right direction. Thanks Garth !!

#33 Wayne Brandshaw on 02.11.20 at 5:24 pm

First!

#34 Lee on 02.11.20 at 5:25 pm

The GIS of $10,000 is not over and above the OAS of $7000, it is instead of it. The GIS only buys you $250 a month more than OAS.

I think the Liberals are trying to bring in a younger population through immigration. I think the immigrants coming are much more likely to have more than 2.1 kids per woman. (By the way, the fertility rate of women in Canada born here is I believe closer to about 1.6 per woman).

Of course Milton Keynes, I mean John Maynard Keynes said we will eventually be working 15-hour weeks. That would imply we don’t need young people to pay into government pensions for old people. All of our needs will just be provided for – even if you don’t want to work. Sounds like paradise.

Now back to work.

Fertility was 2.1 in 1971. It’s now 1.61. We are not replacing ourselves. – Garth

#35 WUL on 02.11.20 at 5:35 pm

Garth,

With respect to the burgeoning numbers of Boomsters, and I’m one, the solution is simple really.

This cute Dominion of Canada has a surfeit of ice floes from Labrador north then west through the Beaufort to the Bering Sea.

Cast us adrift and rejoice all that remain. Follow me.

Each gets a fifth of Alberta sippin’ whiskey as an token of appreciation for their contributions to the nation, as pathetic as those were. And to ease the transition.

WUL

#36 Yukon Elvis on 02.11.20 at 5:37 pm

#2 Andrew on 02.11.20 at 4:26 pm
Bitcoin mining stock traded on the TSX. HUT.TO Based out of Alberta. Bitcoin mining will become part of Countries national security within a decade.

https://web.tmxmoney.com/quote.php?qm_symbol=HUT

As an aside, does anyone know of an article explaining why Canada sold all of its gold reserves? I’ve looked but haven’t come across anything. Thanks
……………………

We were broke and needed the money.

#37 Interstellar Old Yeller on 02.11.20 at 5:45 pm

Please make a note to return here at that time, and I will update the stats.

Glad you plan to still be blogging then. Clearly, we continue to need you.

#38 OK, Doomer? on 02.11.20 at 5:49 pm

I think one mistake that we as Boomers made was allowing the eco-movement to go off the rails as badly as it has. Canada has massive natural resources, more than enough to provide infinite sustainability for all Canadians. But by empowering and tolerating the worst tendencies of the eco-movement we’ve created a weed garden of fear that may yet choke out everyone.

Sorry Doomers.. you’re right. But not in the way you thought. We created your prejudices and fears and now you’ll have to live with them or rise above them.

If we did a better job you would have been smart enough to just say to Al and Greta and Bernie.

BTW, did you see that another UN backed research group just dropped the expected worst case scenario for Global Warming? It started off at 7 or 8 degrees by 2100 a few years ag and now the researchers say it’s more likely that it’s around a degree or so.

One degree in 100 years. Hard fail Boomers. Hard fail.

#39 Retired in Kelowna on 02.11.20 at 5:50 pm

I read 2015 After the Boom in about 1995, along with other Books by Garth and I listened and took action. Now at 63 and retired my wife and I are financially independent. Not wealthy but we don’t have to worry. No Pension. Made my own with regular RRSP, TFSA contributions and a Non Registered Account. Paid off our house a fast as possible. Very few extravagances but we are not in need of anything. It can be done. We are living examples that Garth’s Theories work over time if you maintain the discipline. Thank you Garth.
I just worry now that the Leftie Governments will come to take more than is fair to us for living such a financially disciplined life.

#40 Yukon Elvis on 02.11.20 at 5:50 pm

#27 Adrian on 02.11.20 at 5:09 pm
GARTH I’M IN LUNENBURG, CAN I COME BY AND SAY HELLO?

Well technically i’m staying in bridgewater, but i’m here to look at properties (inspired by you!!). I’m moving from BC out to the east coast. My real estate agent knows you apparently had dinner with you recently?!?

Let me know,
Adrian
…………….

What a coincidence. I am moving to Lunenburg too. Just bought a place next door to Garth. I have this honkin’ big kareoke machine. Drop by, bring some beer. I gots some BC skunk bud #3. We’ll have a blast.

#41 the Jaguar on 02.11.20 at 5:52 pm

I’ll just tackle the first bullet point of:
“Should all employers, by law, provide a pension plan or a forced-savings scheme to their employees?”

When hell freezes over. It would kill small business which is the life blood of our economy and sanity in this country. Why do we always look to government intervention to solve problems which are a result due to the failure of personal responsibility by some? Like everything else these days personal financial responsibility provokes an outcry of moral outrage from progressive wokesterism and its champions. It’s just another manifestation of the current environment that blames the successful for the problems of the unsuccessful instead of doing a solid root cause analysis followed up by practical and realistic solutions. Can’t schools incorporate and utilize real life financial outcomes into their math curriculums to provide savings incentives at an early age? I’d like to teach that course which would be a badass bootcamp glimpse into reality – Jaguar style.
Folks, it’s about values. Good old fashioned values. These lessons come from our parents and grand parents. For those who value immediate gratification over sensible long term choices I can only wonder if it will ever be realistic to presume we can save everyone from themselves. I do like the idea of work camps though. And people should work as long as they feel they would like to do so……Mr. Market can call the shots on that one.
Sermon over. Amen.

#42 WUL on 02.11.20 at 5:53 pm

#3 Francesca Puppatello on 02.11.20 at 4:30 pm

Isn’t sad that Canada once a great leader and country is now a big welfare state and entitlement place to live.

agreed…agreed…agreed…

True Canadians all pine for and shed tears for over the loss of R.B. Bennett.

The Constitution should be amended mui pronto to limit the inhabitant of that august office to Calgary lawyers.

WU.

#43 bellend on 02.11.20 at 5:57 pm

OAS that can’t be paid won’t be paid…now there’s a horror story!

#44 Pension expert on 02.11.20 at 5:58 pm

#34

Check your facts they are 100% wrong–OAS and GIS are totally separate and total $18300.00 a year whether you worked a day in your life or not.

#45 WUL on 02.11.20 at 6:01 pm

All will be grateful that this is my last comment for a while. I have housekeeping to attend to.

Many folks say we get the government we deserve. That’s not true.

We get governments that reflect us.

WUL

#46 Smartalox on 02.11.20 at 6:02 pm

How to fix retirement?

1) Raise the retirement age. The current value (65) dates from a time when the workforce was dominated by manual labour. Workers would retire at 65, and be dead by 70, due to illness, disease, or just having been worn out, working in mines and foundries. You won’t find many 65 to 70 year olds in assisted living facilities these days – unless obligated by health requirements.

2) When it comes to saving for retirement, there are some critical scenarios:

a) people wait too long start saving for retirement. Either they feel that they don’t make enough to justify starting an RRSP, and so put it off for years, or they change jobs so frequently that tracking and rolling over employer -arranged RRSP and deferred profit sharing plans becomes too much of a hassle. These people end up with little in retirement primarily because they miss out on the benefits of compounding interest over time. People who pour all their money into a mortgage and THEN save only when the mortgage is paid off, fall into this category as well.

b) people are ignorant of savings vehicles and how to use them, or they fear that their precious savings will be taken by shady companies or their returns will be consumed by high investment fees and the rigged games – so in retirement, they live off savings directly, quickly depleting things like lump sums, inheritances, pension conversions, etc., until they approach the ends of their lives with nothing.

Allowing people to opt into a scheme where they can make enhanced CPP contributions instead of private or self-directed RRSP contributions. Basically, a government-sponsored RRSP program managed by the CPPIB.

This will give a lot more long-term stability for people who change jobs frequently, or who may be self-employed. Easier for workers in the ‘gig’ economy, or those working in businesses that do not / cannot organize employee RRSP plans.

The CPPIB has a decent track record at investing, and enough heft that it doesn’t need to nibble away at investors’ returns with padded ‘fees’, which over time, diminish the returns of small investors – and cause a lot of people to avoid starting investing.

Payouts would be surplus to basic CPP, depending on what you pay in (amounts over time); maybe have a feature where larger, irregular payments – or a lump sum payment – can provide an equivalent income supplement in retirement as a series of smaller contributions over a longer time, for late starters, or new Canadians, for example.

Of course, people could opt out and chase higher returns with private sector retirement-savings providers, and pay private sector fees, limitations, etc.

TFSAs would remain available (rules unchanged) for those willing to fork over enough after-tax dollars to fill them too.

Regular savers who start early and save diligently would have the opportunity to do better than they are now.

Those that come into a larger sum later in life (i.e.: widows and widowers, sold out property owners) would have a lower risk (freer from financial predators) option to provide a stable income in retirement.

Those that contribute the minimum, get the minimum. Those who make the effort to contribute a little more, can do a lot better than that – especially if they are organized enough to start early.

Deductions can be made at source, so spending could be adjusted accordingly.

#47 Debtslavecreator on 02.11.20 at 6:04 pm

Eliminate OAS for all public sector pensioners
All Canadians over 18 pay a health care wealth tax of 10-15 % on ALL assets including life insurance proceeds
Do major tax reform – eliminate most tax expenditures and lower income taxes for all on the first 50-60k. Income defined as ALL sources of income including realized capital gains
Raise HST 3% or so after cutting income taxes on the first 50-60 k

Either way this major reform is NOT going to happen which is why they will print and borrow until the inevitable loss of confidence happens

Just the “re-set” cycle

Aka collapse

No other way Amigos

System is out of control and only collapse will set JT straight

#48 Sold Out on 02.11.20 at 6:05 pm

As long as idiots enslave themselves to gargantuan mortgages, employers are under no pressure to raise wages.

I would have continued working, even though it wasn’t strictly required, but once the mortgage was gone I couldn’t find a job that paid me what my time is now worth. Being FI makes one selective; being in deep, deep debt causes one to exude “eau de desperation”, an aroma employers find intoxicating.

#49 Treasure Island CEO - 168,453,464.88 Offshore on 02.11.20 at 6:08 pm

If the boomer house is paid off and the operating costs including all taxes are 7,000 per year, why isn’t 11k per year enough to live on? That can all be spent on organic food. You can do it if you are frugal.

What more does someone need in life if you have a nice place that is paid off and a guaranteed income to stuff the place to the gills with organic plant based foods?

If the boomer has kids and they are in an urban area – jackpot. The kids go to work and bring home even more bacon while the fixed income babysitter watches guard over the house. Wealth transfer. Millenials with smart parents will be in the driver’s seat living the dream. Those parents who cashed out and moved to Merritt, BC made a mistake and sold out their kids. The good careers and money is in the urban centers. The smart ones stay put and find ways to make it.

#50 Nothing Surprises on 02.11.20 at 6:08 pm

So here we are. Junior boomers are 56. Senior boomers are 76. – Garth.
………………………………………………………………………………

The Baby Boom period is generally recognized as 1946 to 1966, making the oldest Boomer 74 the Junior 54 in 2020.
I’m 75 this year and have never been a Boomer!

#51 Nonplused on 02.11.20 at 6:12 pm

– Should all employers, by law, provide a pension plan or a forced-savings scheme to their employees?

It’s already pretty hard to employ people, this will just make it worse.

– Should employees be allowed to opt out of such a plan?

Why have a mandatory plan people can opt out of?

– Should the retirement age be raised, as Stephen Harper did (to 67) or was Trudeau right to drop it (to 65)?

Does this question refer to when CPP and OAS kick in? There really isn’t such a thing as “retirement age”. There may be no choice but to push back the date at which these benefits kick in. When these plans were established life expectancy and “retirement age” were about the same. The plans never envisioned that the average person was going to be receiving benefits for 20 years! Hence the pickle we are in.

-Should government be responsible for financial literacy and financial wellness among Canadians?

Fat lot of good that will do.

– Should people be encouraged to work well past the traditional retirement age?

They don’t have to be encouraged if they are broke.

– How do we increase the savings rate for low or middle-income earners?

Stop taxing everyone to death.

– Boomers will croak soon anyway, so why not just take all their stuff? (Don’t answer that one.)

How will that help? They pay tax on their estate upon death in the form of income and capital gains taxes and their heirs then take their inheritance and spend it wildly creating many other tax points as the money trickles through the economy, so this will not raise a lot of money but it will create a bunch more broke boomers.

#52 Nonplused on 02.11.20 at 6:18 pm

“Fertility was 2.1 in 1971. It’s now 1.61. We are not replacing ourselves. – Garth”

This is true but I am not sure it is important. Productivity has been going up the whole time and we still have unemployment. So it may be that people are naturally adjusting to market conditions and we don’t need as many people as we once did. Other than to fund CPP & OAS of course, those models are dependent on certain growth assumptions. But just shoveling more people into the system either through birth rates or immigration doesn’t necessarily mean there will be jobs. The computers and robots are going to continue to take over as they have for the last 50 years. So the proper population trend for the future is down, not up, despite the fact that many of our existing systems are not designed for that reality.

#53 MF on 02.11.20 at 6:22 pm

After reading that I’m so proud of my parents.

MF

#54 Eco Capitalist on 02.11.20 at 6:36 pm

1. Should all employers, by law, provide a pension plan or a forced-savings scheme to their employees?

No. Needless red tape. Increase the CPP, as others have said/detailed.

2. Should employees be allowed to opt out of such a plan?

No. Defeats the purpose of forcing plans on employers if everyone can opt out.

3. Should the retirement age be raised, as Stephen Harper did (to 67) or was Trudeau right to drop it (to 65)?

No. Who wants to live in a society where you are expected to work until you drop? Such a fate should be a choice.

4. Should government be responsible for financial literacy and financial wellness among Canadians?

Yes. The education system needs to prepare people for life first and work second.

5. Should people be encouraged to work well past the traditional retirement age?

No. People should be encouraged to take responsibility for their own fate and make an informed decision as to their future.

6. How do we increase the savings rate for low or middle-income earners?

Forced savings is the only guaranteed method (see increased CPP comments).

7. Boomers will croak soon anyway, so why not just take all their stuff? (Don’t answer that one.)

I’m surprised we don’t have an inheritance tax yet. This would be an easy way for the Liberals to buy some NDP support when needed.

#55 Mike in Airdrie on 02.11.20 at 6:43 pm

Definitely don’t dump this problem on small business employers for starters.

Schools should teach financial literacy and if its too late for that CPA Canada offers courses.

A fair amount of the blame also has to go to the Central banks with low interest rates that encourage gorging on debt and not saving.

#56 Ronaldo on 02.11.20 at 6:48 pm

#2 Andrew

From a CBC news article Feb. 2016:

“The decision to sell the gold was not tied to a specific gold price, and sales are being conducted over a long period and in a controlled manner,” Finance Department spokesman David Barnabe wrote in an email to CBC News.

“The government has a long-standing policy of diversifying its portfolio by selling physical commodities (such as gold) and instead investing in financial assets that are easily tradable and that have deep markets of buyers and sellers,” he said.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/gold-canada-reserves-1.3443700

#57 604Sam on 02.11.20 at 6:50 pm

The “forced savings” Australian model is interesting. But 9% is pretty outrageous. It would quite a shock to implement this. The only way I see it not facing massive backlash would be to make it only apply to those turning 18. Once you hit 18 you’re forced to open an RRSP and put 1 or 2% of your income into it. Everyone else is too far gone.

#58 Bob Dog on 02.11.20 at 6:51 pm

Makes you wonder why family reunification is a part of our governments current mass migration program. When I moved to the USA there was no possible way to bring my mother and grandmother along. I would never have expected such a ludicrous policy to exist.

If I couldn’t live without my parents and grandparents, I would have stayed in Canada.

Canada has the most efficient and prolific migration system the world has ever seen. I don’t see why the system can’t be scaled up in the future. Just have the decency to wait will Im dead before you replace me.

#59 Mean Gene on 02.11.20 at 6:59 pm

CPP generally replaces %25 of our working years annual income up to certain amount, it is too bad not many people realize that.

Also, the CPP & OAS are SUPPLEMENTS to our retirement savings and/or workplace pension plans.

The qualifying age for OAS should have been kept on track to increase to 67 as a lot of other countries have done. Personally I am in my early 50’s so that opinion effects me.

#60 Yanniel on 02.11.20 at 7:04 pm

“Now you know why I wrote that book a quarter century ago. Fat lot of good it did. But I’m apparently too naive to stop trying.” –> Maybe you saved the 100k that read your book.

“Should government be responsible for financial literacy” –> Yes. Some gov are starting to pay attention: https://www.finanssiala.fi/en/financial-services/financial-literacy

#61 short horses on 02.11.20 at 7:07 pm

This suggestion might seem extreme, but desperate times…

The government could follow a Singapore model, but just for seniors: expropriate all residential property (at fair value) when property owners turn 65, put the proceeds into an RRIF, and then help them realize their ‘right’ to housing in new government high rises (like the HDB flats).

It’ll be expensive, but this government prints money, so it’s really only an expense for future generations — who can be warehoused in HDB flats when it’s their turn to enjoy an indigent twilight.

#62 NoOneOfConsequence on 02.11.20 at 7:09 pm

I don’t believe your suggestions go deep enough. Our financial troubles are more than the sum of our financial illiteracy.

1. Forced Savings/Pension Plan – I disagree with ‘forced’. Not all businesses can afford to do this. We need less regulation, not more. However, tax incentive for employers to offer this(it doesn’t need much) would be a very good thing.
2. Opt Out – n/a see number 1.
3. Raise retirement age – this only makes sense as our health care improves and life span gets longer. Agree.
4. Encourage People to work longer – If encouragement means punishment for retiring early – then NO. If encouragement means teaching and supporting alternatives to ‘traditional’ work (ex: working remotely via telecommuting) then yes.
5. How to increase savings / investing rate: EDUCATION! Earlier the better. Comprehensive financial literacy MUST become a mandatory part of our education system.

MISSING

1. A healthy body and mind means less strain on an over-burdened health care system. More education here is needed. Also, Why do we pay to go to our community centres for gym, swim, and fitness? I mean really? We should make it free to those who attend. Reverse payment – pay up front, then get refund for each session you attend. The amount saved in health care would easily pay for all the rec centers we need.

2. Expanded TFSA!!! In coordination with education, we need to beef these things up! However, I do think after a certain level, other government payments should be clawed back. If you are making 80K a year from your TFSA, there’s no way you should be able to collect government OAS / GIS.

3. RESIDENTIAL ZONING – there needs to be more flexibility here. I have 6 kids (extended family) and we have been researching ‘tiny housing’ (500-800 square feet) – in the hopes of launching a project here in the Fraser Valley. The availability of well-planned and designed communities, offering a small plot of land, comfortable but minimalist living, coupled with shared resources is something sorely lacking in our current mode of thinking.

#63 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.11.20 at 7:12 pm

@#13 Pension “expert”
“Since 90% of Canadians make under $29,000 a year ….”
++++

ahahahahahahaha
I find that very hard to believe.

“As of January 2019, the average wage for Canadian employees across the nation was $1,011.62 per week – which works out to just over $52,600 per year. The overall trend is positive, with the majority of Canadians making more money than in the previous year….”

That took two seconds to find.

Time to quit your day job “expert”.

#64 akashic record on 02.11.20 at 7:18 pm

Great achievement of the globalist Capitalism.

#65 Franky on 02.11.20 at 7:18 pm

Thanks to the gig economy no need for retirement savings, boomer Uber drivers, boomer amazon delivery drivers, skip the dishes …. the possibilities are endless.

#66 Sask to AB on 02.11.20 at 7:19 pm

1. Financial Literacy in schools for sure.
Should be tied in to the math curriculum.
2. As many have said, take more in for CPP for the future.

#67 Graeme on 02.11.20 at 7:22 pm

GenX+Millennials don’t have the cash to pay for Boomers’ assets/entitlements at current, ridiculous prices. I really wonder, when we are going to stop pretending this is even a thing? I am squirrelling some wealth far, far away from financial markets in private deals & real stuff so it survives whatever “”solutions”” are going to be foisted on us.. probably sooner than later relative to my own retirement timeline. I know you’re all about hodling and riding through storms but the one coming to reconcile this is going to be absolutely epic. Be fearful when others are greedy??

#68 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.11.20 at 7:23 pm

@#57 604sam
“The “forced savings” Australian model is interesting. But 9% is pretty outrageous. …”
++++

Why?
If its “forced” you get used to it pretty damn quick.
I think its a great idea because even with available tax refunds with the RRSP option….people are too stupid, too lazy or lack fiscal discipline….
Hence Australia’s “forced” savings.
If they didnt do it. They would be in the same financial shit hole as most Canadian retirees.

I have maxxed out my RRSP’s and TFSA’s since day one. Which is a hell of a lot more than 10% of my salary.
Difficult some years but do-able.
Either way.
Coupla more years and I’m done….comfortably retired….as I watch my boomer coworkers squander their pay cheques after pay cheques on frivolous toys, holidays, what ever.
One guy is 66 and his union pension , plus CPP and OAS is utter crap. He must work to pay bills. Zero savings. Nothing.
Another is 65, pay cheque to pay cheque. no savings, no pension other than CPP and OAS.
Financially doomed.
Stop making excuses and start preparing for retirement.
Its coming faster than you think…

#69 Chris on 02.11.20 at 7:23 pm

I live in Australia and joined the workforce in 1995, shortly after superannuation became compulsory. So I’ve never really earned a wage that didn’t have enforced savings coming out of it.

44yo now, and my enforced savings are worth $570k. By the time I can access it, at age 60, I’m expecting it will closer to $2m. With no effort on my part.

How can this be a bad idea?

#70 Steve on 02.11.20 at 7:30 pm

Simply start the claw back OAS such that you get nothing over the average income of Canadians. There is something wrong in having income tax on people barely making a living and giving that money to old people because they are old.

#71 Australia on 02.11.20 at 7:33 pm

To explain further the Australian model. When a employee approaches a potential employer, the salary negotiation does not take into account the required 9.5% that the employer has to pay. I.e If you bargain for $80K position, you get 80k + super (9.5%). When they introduced it, they passed it in and employers had to pickup the entire cost. Think BC large employer health tax, same idea but for every employer.

When you withdraw in retirement, you only pay 15% tax if you withdraw less than 250k per year. More than 250k, it’s 25%.

This way the government is off the hook for retirement, and still gets tax $$$. Naturally some people slip through the cracks (minimal lifetime income etc…) But they are the exception not the rule.

Oh and those super companies are worth mega $$$. A great investment!

#72 What should we do! on 02.11.20 at 7:36 pm

All working Canadians should be forced to contribute 10 percent of income to a pension plan, CPP is a good vehicle. Employers should be encourage to top up the benefits with some form of tax credit into an RRSP for those who want to contribute more than 10 percent. Or a TFSA whichever works best.

The current clawback on OAS starts at $78,000 it should be reduced over time to $50,000. And then reduced with inflation over time to Zero or when the CPP forced contributions come into effect.

CPP age limits should be raised gradually to 70. Especially if we are living longer. And then raised every year based on increased life expectancy.

Canadians should not be allowed to borrow. Except mortgages. My parents did not own a brand new car until well into 1970s and always paid cash.

All Canadians should have free university education
Starting next year. With an 20 year phase in. Or roughly 5 percent reduction per year till tuition reaches zero.

All Canadians turning 18 should serve two years in the military. Again a ten year phase in.

All Canadians should pay taxes

Do away with personal income tax and only have a GST based tax system, the more you spend the more you pay in tax, no loopholes. Everyone pays I think that’s fair.
So if you buy a $10,000 car or $100,000 car the tax system is fair to everyone.

No welfare system everyone should work, no excuses, everyone can contribute to as much as they are able.

Save the health care, move all old people out of hospitals into facilities designed for old people. Hard to explain but old people are chocking our hospitals.

Get every homeless person off the street, either build large facilities which I will not mention which federal government forced the provinces to close all the mental health facilities to balance the budget, Or build large institutions to house them, it’s a disgrace. Denmark has no homeless.
And they look after the old better then we do oh did I mention their goal is zero carbon emissions?

Anyway I truly hope at least one suggestion gets a buy in,

Oh yes all Canadians should be forced to vote
And all members of parliament should vote based on what their voters tell them I think 66 percent majority rules and it’s all electronic and major issues.
none of this 10,000 signature BS

Cheers and thanks for reading
Even though my address says Mexico I am on holidays I am a boomer true and true and want to see change.
We need to save Canada.

#73 just say no on 02.11.20 at 7:42 pm

millionaires everyweek in lotto land? When do these numbers play into this mess? There really is no problem…I know old people with mega cash and young with none? If youth have to live/share the high cost to house 5 room mates to one shelter and an 80 year old sits alone in his 3000 square foot paid for home alone? Why do we care.

#74 Shawn Allen on 02.11.20 at 7:53 pm

So much envy…

#47 Debtslavecreator on 02.11.20 at 6:04 pm

Eliminate OAS for all public sector pensioners

******************
Why so? We had or have huge deductions to pay into those pensions and got very little RRSP room. The government paid or pays half of our pension contributions but that was the deal offered. Do you suggest the government renege on its deal?

But not to worry, most of us government pension people have or will have a good chunk or even all of our old age pension clawed back due to our gold plated pensions. Feel better?

#75 NoOneOfConsequence on 02.11.20 at 7:54 pm

We could force all Canadians to do lots of things to make it all “better”….

Let’s start with mandatory retirement contribution.
Then…we can follow up with;

Mandatory exercise.
Mandatory volunteer service.

Finally, we should institute appropriate conduct laws:

No violent video games.
No porn.
No smoking.
No drinking.
No drugs.
No gambling.
No spending money on stupid sh*t.
No dangerous activities.
No speeding.
No sugar.
No fast food.
No divorce.

oh wait…and no complaining.

There we go! All “better”!

#76 Flanneur on 02.11.20 at 7:55 pm

I would suggest a good and proper estate tax. You’re already dead, have 5mill start.

#77 Pension expert on 02.11.20 at 7:57 pm

#63

I at first found it hard to believe too but it is true–ask Garth he posted it in one of his columns.

The bottom 90% of Canadians average $29,000.00 a year–seems low but 100% true.

#78 Long-Time Lurker on 02.11.20 at 8:01 pm

>My nickel. (Previously, two cents.)

-Financial literacy as part of the education curriculum.

-No age limits to work.

-Flexible retirement age.

-Kids, help your parents.

-Governments buy up residential buildings in the low-cost part of town and use them for subsidized seniors’ residences for the needy. Mandated suitable service businesses on the ground level. Put a police box in the center (see Koban note below).

-Maybe, inexpensive near-ghost towns can be converted mostly into seniors’ towns with a suitable cohort of younger folks living there inexpensively to help run things.

-Be creative, people. I don’t have all day.

Kōban
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Koban (police box))

A kōban is a small neighborhood police station found in Japan. The term is also used to refer to the smallest organizational unit in a modern Japanese Prefectural police department. Small kōban buildings, staffed by uniformed officers at around 6,000 locations all over the country, are the bases for community policing activities which complement the work of larger, central police stations….

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C5%8Dban

#79 akashic record on 02.11.20 at 8:02 pm

Combine this with the realistically never repayable public debt and with the rise of billionaires…

It is obvious that decades of globalist Capitalism not only destroyed the middle-class, the backbone of modern democratic societies, but it is re-creating the “eat the rich” environment, that gave us Communism and Fascism in the past. Thank you great architects of the splendid future.

#80 akashic record on 02.11.20 at 8:10 pm

#73 just say no

If youth have to live/share the high cost to house 5 room mates to one shelter and an 80 year old sits alone in his 3000 square foot paid for home alone?

If the same youth was born 80 years ago, they would live in the big paid off house, if the 80 year old was born 25 year ago, he would be living with room mates.

It is a clear indication of a systematic change, instead of the fault of the 80 year old or the youth.

#81 Condo Pauper on 02.11.20 at 8:11 pm

Startling statistics for the avacado toast generation. You really are toast.

#82 Pension expert on 02.11.20 at 8:12 pm

#63

Article from December 8 but also on official government documentation if you look it up

Never question the expert or Garth lol

#83 BlorgDorg on 02.11.20 at 8:14 pm

Answers, in order:

• Yes, employers should help employees.
• Yes, employees should be able to go it their own.
• No. Without mandatory retirement, “retirement age” is irrelevant anyway.
• Yes, financial literacy should be mandatory high school education. Financial wellness, no.
• No. People should retire when they’re no longer able (or willing) to work.
• Raise wages. Index minimum wage to, say, provincial or federal median.
• Just tax the crap out of their estates. Especially their houses.

#84 IHCTD9 on 02.11.20 at 8:15 pm

Let’s get real here, even if we had plan that might work, and a government chomping at the bit to implement it – Canadian voters would boot those worried for the future Politicians out the very next election.

We just put Mr. “the budget will balance itself” back in for 4 more! That’s after the Lubes grew the deficits “from the heart out” to the tune of 97 billion in new debt.

Canucks don’t currently give a rip about future finances, that much is obvious.

IMHO, we’re going to need a SHTF event before enough of us smarten up sufficiently to demand some repair, and start voting for it.

#85 Katherine on 02.11.20 at 8:19 pm

#74 Shawn Allen
But not to worry, most of us government pension people have or will have a good chunk or even all of our old age pension clawed back due to our gold plated pensions. Feel better?

Love this!!!! As a retired teacher, totally relate. Thanks for the laugh.

#86 Cewgr1 on 02.11.20 at 8:19 pm

All you need to do is look at the governments that have been elected federally and provincially to realize that most Canadians will rely on other people’s money to retire. Socialism is great, until you run out of other people’s money. Minister of middle class properity, I think I’m going to puke

#87 Sean on 02.11.20 at 8:31 pm

1. Reduce the OAS clawback level over time.
2. Asset test OAS and GIS (particularly given the effect TFSAs will have).
3. Introduce an Australian style superannuation system of higher forced retirement savings. The fees used to be high, but have declined significantly and self-management is now possible without too much difficulty. Alternatively, significantly increase the level of CPP contributions and alter to risk tolerance of the CPP board to increase returns (within reason).

#88 A Dollar is a Dollar is a Dollar on 02.11.20 at 8:46 pm

Tax all dollars equally.

Remove the burgeoning wealth gap since the 1% have grown incredibly wealthy over the last 40 years while ordinary wages have fallen so far behind.

A dollar is a dollar is a dollar.

Whether from ‘investment’ or inheritance or real estate or salary.

Our tax system needs to stop privileging the elites.

#89 naga on 02.11.20 at 8:54 pm

Garth – all employees should be allowed to put their RRSP and TFSA into the CCPP – take a look at their performance and it’s better than any of ur recommended balanced portfolios. Imagine if all emplyeers sponsored retirement plans could acces CCPP!

Just saying retirement age does not exist. Harper changed rules for OAS. May matter for some but if ur relying on OAS and GIS then different rules apply to retirement + shit out of luck is one of them – should have been planning for retirement while working – too late but no change in life style.

These think tanks are creating issues to study and get goats funds to do their research. Reality is that most people will get by and not to ur or my standard of living. Ur demographic assessment was right on on paper/theory but not in real life. Figure out the fudge factor of life reality!

Been a while that I commented – but been an astute reader I I miss dole Vita and a few others.

#90 Maxima on 02.11.20 at 8:54 pm

Hello: I read your book right when I had tiny babies . I prepared for my future with a more serious focus. Conservatives took away my baby cheques because I was a professional earning woman. Then Harper, reduced my CPP substantially when he was in office when I was set to retire. Harper was totally wrong to increase the retirement age to 67. Glad T2 reduced it back to 65 for OAS. Working women should never vote for the Conservatives. They are mostly uneducated, stupid, men who are not on your side at all ladies! I prepared for my retirement seriously starting at age 24.

#91 Kaleycat on 02.11.20 at 9:05 pm

The answer isn’t in taxing more – it’s about helping people help themselves. Consuming vs. Saving is a mental game. Why not take on the big corps and hire marketing people to fight theirs. Insist that all ads that show monthly payments (ie car payments) should now show annual costs. Show an ad with the old couple with the shopping cart going down the alleyway slogan saying this is what CPP provides – is that your retirement plan? Talk about “buying” investment vehicles instead of “saving” in investment vehicles. Houses should come with an asking price and an estimated annual cost. Anywhere a short term loan or a Visa card can be used for payment should have a sign showing expected annual carrying cost. The opportunities are endless.

#92 Reality is stark on 02.11.20 at 9:24 pm

The real reason boomers have no money is divorce.
Family law courts have no jury to keep them honest so the lawyers and judges are incentivized to find out the total assets of the couple and abscond with as much money as possible.
These so called courts of “equity” have no value whatsoever other than to mete out vindictiveness which is encouraged by the attorneys. Although I believe the hospital sector would better serve the people with both public and private institutions family law courts should be dissolved and a Scandinavian approach (where family law courts do not exist) would preserve wealth and allow for a more prosperous retirement.
The top 20% (professional marrying other professionals) are fine. Even in divorce they fare reasonably. Everyone else gets slaughtered. This is why the marriage rate is plummeting, no one wants to sign a contract akin to a death warrant.
From the government’s perspective it’s all good. The bottom 80% not getting married and having children allows them to bring in brighter and healthier prospects to propel the economy at a faster pace.
However the obvious way to improve the financial position of future retirees is to eliminate family courts which resemble the kangaroo courts of the Spanish Inquisition.

#93 IHCTD9 on 02.11.20 at 9:28 pm

Another thing that’s pretty obvious is that we depend 100% on immigration for our population replacement.

For how long will they show up if they get taxed, fee’d, and deduced to death while at the same time being asked to pay 1 million for a GTA/GVRD (where most of them live) shack or half a mill for a glass bird house with a 500/mo. strata fee?

We are in for a demographic and financial napalming pretty much guaranteed.

#94 DON on 02.11.20 at 9:31 pm

#76 Damifino on 02.11.20 at 10:19 am

#58 DON

I wonder what, if not fossil fuels, will feed the necessary backup systems as the world attempts a switch to highly unreliable wind and solar? I vote for nuclear. In fact, why not just go straight there and be done with it?
+++++++++++

I went straight to nuclear also.. But my hope is that humanity can come up with a better solution. It is amazing what people can do when faced with crisis. No doubt it will take a crisis to get people really motivated.

Maybe Smoking Man can chat with the Netonites and get the specs to cold fusion or harness static electricity or dark matter/energy.

I just hope the study/report is bunk, you know what I mean.

#95 Medic on 02.11.20 at 9:32 pm

I bought that book at Pearson Airport bookstore and read a big chunk of it on a flight to Edmonton. Very enjoyable flight. The book is still sitting on my bookshelf to this day.

#96 Go Nordic on 02.11.20 at 9:34 pm

Why reinvent the wheel? The Nordic countries of Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark have figured all this stuff out. Their citizens worry very little about money and they enjoy decent healthcare, education, daycare, maternity and paternity leaves, holiday time and pension benefits as well as a decent standard of living. The focus of those governments is to free their citizens from needless worry so that they can evolve their own individual autonomy and wellbeing, and become contributing members of society. The British Labour Party leader, Ed Miliband, in 2012 said; “If you want the American dream, go to Finland” The Nordic model is the model of the future. We need to get with it.

#97 Kevinhole Eerie on 02.11.20 at 9:46 pm

I bought that crappy book as well. Thought from the title it was gonna be some juicy, interesting porn.

Very disappointing,Turner.

#98 DON on 02.11.20 at 10:02 pm

#35 WUL on 02.11.20 at 5:35 pm

Garth,

With respect to the burgeoning numbers of Boomsters, and I’m one, the solution is simple really.

This cute Dominion of Canada has a surfeit of ice floes from Labrador north then west through the Beaufort to the Bering Sea.

Cast us adrift and rejoice all that remain. Follow me.

Each gets a fifth of Alberta sippin’ whiskey as an token of appreciation for their contributions to the nation, as pathetic as those were. And to ease the transition.

WUL
*****************

Too messy! And there might be an endless amount of shoes and feet washing up on our coast lines.

I think Logan’s Run is the best bet. Walk into the Zapper. Less of a carbon foot print, for those who care.

#99 Smoking Man on 02.11.20 at 10:07 pm

Fighting it all the way….

Love all you wild dogs…

#100 Robert Ash on 02.11.20 at 10:08 pm

One of the major problems for Boomers, today is the Low Interest rates, that are distorted, in any Financial Marketplace… Charging High Interest on Credit Cards for example, but offering no significant interest on retail deposits, is the biggest challenging trend not mentioned in most comments..
When interest rates, were normal, a low income couple, would save for a Rainy Day fund. This fund, might have been $ 100K or 200K, but with a small 4% return in a Savings account, the couple had a buffer and an additional source of income of $4K, to $8K each year… these extra, funds, provided a lot of financial room, for helping Children, a Fun Getaway, or Unexpected costs…. I had my first Pocket amortization pocket notebook, and the lowest interest rate was 4.0%, then 4.1% etc…. This Artificial and dangerous imbalance in the Income function that credit offers, is one of the main problems, for all society today, and will be the Straw… the causes the next serious problem… It is an imbalance, that is not being addressed. It is affecting all current and future, Retirement Plans, and acutely, those all ready retired.

#101 Dr V on 02.11.20 at 10:08 pm

13 Expert

“Since 90% of Canadians make under $29,000 a year ”

77 expert

“The bottom 90% of Canadians average $29,000.00 a year–seems low but 100% true.”

2 different things. You are no expert. Move along

#102 Parsonage on 02.11.20 at 10:15 pm

@ 62 NoOneofConsequence

3. RESIDENTIAL ZONING – there needs to be more flexibility here. I have 6 kids (extended family) and we have been researching ‘tiny housing’ (500-800 square feet) – in the hopes of launching a project here in the Fraser Valley. The availability of well-planned and designed communities, offering a small plot of land, comfortable but minimalist living, coupled with shared resources is something sorely lacking in our current mode of thinking.

YES! Cohousing! You’ve checked out the community in Yarrow? Keep us posted. We, in the Kootenays are also very interested in this life style.

#103 Dr V on 02.11.20 at 10:16 pm

47 Debtslavecreator

“All Canadians over 18 pay a health care wealth tax of
10-15 % on ALL assets including life insurance
proceeds”

My income is less than 10% of my wealth. How would I pay this?

#104 IHCTD9 on 02.11.20 at 10:23 pm

#90 Maxima on 02.11.20 at 8:54 pm
Hello: I read your book right when I had tiny babies . I prepared for my future with a more serious focus. Conservatives took away my baby cheques because I was a professional earning woman. Then Harper, reduced my CPP substantially when he was in office when I was set to retire. Harper was totally wrong to increase the retirement age to 67. Glad T2 reduced it back to 65 for OAS. Working women should never vote for the Conservatives. They are mostly uneducated, stupid, men who are not on your side at all ladies! I prepared for my retirement seriously starting at age 24.
—-

Let me be the first to offer my heartfelt thanks.

I’m really glad we have all these smart educated ladies who are not voting Conservative.

Man I hear ya. I too, found life under Harper real tough, I mean, whenever I went to the YAMAHA dealership, I could never afford to buy any of those sweet off road machines. :(

But those days are gone now!

Now, under Trudeau; I am getting THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS every year in CCB (that I don’t need in the slightest) from the Federal Liberals.

In fact, between myself, and a bro of mine; T2’s policies and tax cuts have put almost TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS back in our hands since he got voted in (actually true, not joking, we really did get that much back since 2015).

Now when I go to the local YAMAHA dealership, the sales guys trip over themselves trying to get to me first. Especially in the spring when they know I’m loaded down with fresh tax dollars Trudeau gave back to me.

We make a great 6 figure household income, and will retire with a sweet 7 figure portfolio that we don’t even need since my wife has a high paid government job, and gets a fat bacon clad Defined Benefit Pension. But even though we’re rolling in all kinds of cash, Trudeau policy has allowed us to pay jack squat for income taxes. Like sweet ****-all! I don’t know where he’s getting his revenues from, but it sure as hell ain’t from us.

Anyway, things have worked out great, and I appreciate folks like you realizing that us well off households should not be denied a free ride on the gravy train along with everyone else.

#105 Ronaldo on 02.11.20 at 10:29 pm

#90 Maxima

Working women should never vote for the Conservatives. They are mostly uneducated, stupid, men who are not on your side at all ladies! I prepared for my retirement seriously starting at age 24.
—————————————————————
Please, can you offer some actual examples of these uneducated stupid men that you speak of? Would that include Garth?

#106 Fortune500 on 02.11.20 at 10:31 pm

An inheritance tax that also applies to personal residences that are transferred to children/family

OAS needs to be clawed back earlier and based on assets as well as income

Capital gains tax on gains on primary residences

Let’s start there

#107 Axehead on 02.11.20 at 10:36 pm

A partial solution: prevent abortion and increase Canadian youthful population by over 100,000 per year.

#108 Slowly Boiling Frogs on 02.11.20 at 10:39 pm

Should people be encouraged to work well past the traditional retirement age?

That would be great, but are you not aware of how much AGE BIGOTRY there is out there right now? Especially in the tech and I.T. industries.

Google just gave a $2.5 million donation to some charity to teach 20 somethings to code in Python. Why? There are tens of thousands of laid off Canadian I.T. folks who know Python or could pick it up easily, but would never get past the first interview due to their grey hair and abundance of experience.

The same employers who complain of there currently being a terrible worker shortage in Canada will simply not employ anyone over 50 due to their own short sightedness.

#109 Leo on 02.11.20 at 10:40 pm

When it comes to healthcare and education, I am all for the socialist side of our democracy… But I also believe in freedom, even if it isn’t in style these days.
So it’s wonderful that we are provided tools to help us support ourselves in retirement, but everyone deserves the freedom to choose to use them, or not.

If only there was a program to help those unfortunate souls who make poor choices to quietly accept accountably for their choices.

#110 Tony on 02.11.20 at 10:45 pm

25 years ago virtually no one foresaw the rise of communism and the fall of capitalism. Soon capitalism will be dead.

#111 Matt on 02.11.20 at 10:48 pm

employers should all be obligated to pay an hourly rate, that gets deposited bi weekly into a wealth simple account. I used to work for a union that did that accept the money went into a lame sunlife mutual fund and I noticed the returns were pathetic after a few years. the contributions were good though, it was over 6$ an hour and it always went into an rrsp so I got a nice kick back at tax time. the problem with those funds before was employers didn’t care where the money went so they ended up in crap mutual funds with high fees. but now theres really good engines for investment and employers should be held liable just like advisors when it comes to choosing these engines. no way am I affiliated with wealth simple, none the less I’m pretty impressed with mine. and when people save up enough money they have the choice to go to a real advisor as apposed to a robo.

#112 Slowly Boiling Frogs on 02.11.20 at 10:49 pm

#75 NoOneOfConsequence on 02.11.20 at 7:54 pm

Mandatory volunteer service.

——————————————————–

Uh what? NoOneOfConsequence, please re-read that.

#113 Tony on 02.11.20 at 10:51 pm

Re: #97 Kevinhole Eerie on 02.11.20 at 9:46 pm

I speed read the book in Coles but unfortunately never bought the book. I read mostly books on economics out of America. I read a lot of books written by Lester C. Thurow. My own views on capitalism today proved correct back in ’96.

#114 DON on 02.11.20 at 11:12 pm

#84 IHCTD9 on 02.11.20 at 8:15 pm

Let’s get real here, even if we had plan that might work, and a government chomping at the bit to implement it – Canadian voters would boot those worried for the future Politicians out the very next election. ************

We could force (via democracy of course he he) all politicians to answer all questions and perform all speeches/activities while hooked up to lie detector devices. The expense for the devices should stop some of the senseless or self interested sh$t.

#115 Parlance of our times on 02.11.20 at 11:14 pm

Should all employers, by law, provide a pension plan or a forced-savings scheme to their employees?

We already do, it’s called CPP. And yes, the contribution rates should be jacked considerably in the short term. Even though this is a drag for employers (note that this is effectively a forced salary increase for employees, even though they are oblivious to it).

Should employees be allowed to opt out of such a plan?

Of course not.

Should the retirement age be raised, as Stephen Harper did (to 67) or was Trudeau right to drop it (to 65)?

Raise it. Average life expectancy at 65 is about 20 years, too much state-subsidized lollygagging.

Should government be responsible for financial literacy and financial wellness among Canadians?

Lost cause. Just put in place policies that will protect everyone insofar as possible.

Should people be encouraged to work well past the traditional retirement age?

Sure, why not. Increases productivity and keeps them off the streets.

How do we increase the savings rate for low or middle-income earners?

Deal with the policies that have incentivized a massive misallocation of capital to residential real estate. And build a lot more housing to drive rents down.

Boomers will croak soon anyway, so why not just take all their stuff? (Don’t answer that one.)

Take all their stuff when they die, via a confiscatory inheritance tax. Their offspring doesn’t need it anyway – it will just make them weak.

#116 rookie57 on 02.11.20 at 11:17 pm

The top end of the baby boom is probably the most financially able to survive retirement. Best jobs etc. It would be interesting to see the statistical breakdown of the boomers. Anyways, this bug looking for a windshield is something that cannot be avoided. Avoidance will be attempted by taking from the “rich” and giving to the poor. Perhaps, a beefed up CPP or something like it is needed where the employee is forced to contribute more, rather than the employer, is the best.

#117 Phylis on 02.11.20 at 11:25 pm

NO Should all employers, by law, provide a pension plan or a forced-savings scheme to their employees?
YES Should employees be allowed to opt out of such a plan?
NO Should the retirement age be raised, as Stephen Harper did (to 67) or was Trudeau right to drop it (to 65)?
NO Should government be responsible for financial literacy and financial wellness among Canadians?
NO Should people be encouraged to work well past the traditional retirement age?
LESS DOPE SMOKING. How do we increase the savings rate for low or middle-income earners?
OK, ha ha. Boomers will croak soon anyway, so why not just take all their stuff? (Don’t answer that one.)

Love your children, teach them responsibility. The government will never figure that one out in a one size fits all law. Done.

#118 Democracy Is Mob Rule on 02.11.20 at 11:28 pm

#77 Pension expert on 02.11.20 at 7:57 pm
#63

I at first found it hard to believe too but it is true–ask Garth he posted it in one of his columns.

The bottom 90% of Canadians average $29,000.00 a year–seems low but 100% true.

————————————————–

https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/as-sa/99-014-x/99-014-x2011003_2-eng.cfm

“According to the 2011 NHS, 10% of Canadians had total incomes of more than $80,400 in 2010, almost triple the national median income of $27,800. To be in the top 5%, Canadians needed to have a total income of slightly above $102,300 and to be in the top 1% required just over $191,100, nearly seven times the national median income.”

“The top 10% of Canadians made an average income of $134,900, with the top 5% making one third more ($179,800) and the top 1% almost triple that amount ($381,300). Meanwhile, the bottom 90% had an average income of $28,000.”

#119 popeye the sailor man on 02.11.20 at 11:37 pm

Your book after The Boom and David Chilton’s The Wealthy Barber and books like Millionaire Next Door were the first start of my investing life.

I’ve weathered a Depreciationing condo in late 90s, a divorce, remarried and raising family on a single income.

Your team knows how I’m doing, the returns are on target, will be able to retire at 60, 8 years from now.

Though I don’t know what exactly is in that book anymore but I know it had influence on me. That and other books you wrote, even your RRSP guides.

I now have RRSPs, TFSAs, a LIRA (after a I commuted a DBP), a new DBP, SRRSP, RESP, RDSPs, non- registered accounts, and a house. I have tryed flow though mining shares, labour sponsered funds, mutual funds, and now live ETFs. I understand it all, and Im the goto guy on the ship when someone has questions about this stuff.

Thanks for your contribution to my financial education.

#120 Lead Paint on 02.11.20 at 11:39 pm

#88 A Dollar is a Dollar is a Dollar

I just made a large (for me) investment in a friend’s startup. He’s hiring Canadians and has the potential make a large high tech company with a global clientele. But it’s no sure thing, I might lose it all.

If you had your way, and if the company is successful, I/he have to give over 50% of the ‘dollars’ to the government.

So why would I bother? Why would he?

Taxation should incentivize work, personal and business growth, not property speculation and borrowing as it does now.

#121 Phylis on 02.11.20 at 11:43 pm

Ok, I responded by jumping to the bottom, after returning this evening. A quick tally shows only 5 others above actually responded to the blog request. Interesting how people respond to implied requests. Black white grey. Whatever.

#122 Woke To Sounds of Horking on 02.12.20 at 12:07 am

Garth wrote: “The book’s thesis was that my cohort was truly screwed if people didn’t start investing and stop believing their houses would save them.”

But Garth, their houses WILL save them. How do you keep ignoring this? It’s easy and it’s simple: Suicide loan today, cash out tomorrow when you need the bucks. Trend shows absolutely no sign of downward slide, not today, not tomorrow.

In 10 years the boomers still breathing will cash out big time. Loans will still be cheeeeeep.

That’s how we do retirement in Canada.

#123 Nonplused on 02.12.20 at 12:40 am

#54 Eco Capitalist

“I’m surprised we don’t have an inheritance tax yet. This would be an easy way for the Liberals to buy some NDP support when needed.”

We don’t have an inheritance tax per say but upon death all assets are deemed to be sold (capital gains) and all RRSP’s are deemed to be withdrawn (income tax) in the year of death. How much closer to an inheritance tax do you need to get? A well stuffed RRSP is going out at near 50%. Capital gains only (sic) 25% but it is still there. I just wish people would read up on the tax laws before they try and change them. No taxes get avoided as they are. An “inheritance tax” would be just another tax on a tax on a tax. Make the dead guy pay 50% from the grave and then tax the beneficiaries 50% of what is left. When will you people stop? What tax rate is high enough, or too high?

We’ll fix this when there are no capital gains inclusion rates (i.e. it is 100%), but everyone pays the same tax rate no deductions. We’ll see how the minimum wage folks like paying 50%.

#124 Nonplused on 02.12.20 at 12:47 am

#96 Go Nordic

Quit dreaming. Scandinavia for the most part relies on North sea oil sold to Europe (and eastern Canada). And they are for the most part capitalist countries. They are no different than us except they do not shut down pipeline projects or worry about oil spills.

#125 Al on 02.12.20 at 1:28 am

“Fat lot of good it did.”

I like fat. And well grilled bats.

#126 Not So New guy on 02.12.20 at 1:38 am

I think a simple way to fix this is every year, with our tax assessment statement, the government should put a line in stating:

“If you were to retire today, your total government pension plus other retirement benefits would equal XXXX

Ways to increase this on your own would be options like your RRSP, TFSA and personal savings and investments”

Once people see how much they would get at retirement then the wheels would start turning on their own. Either they would be content with what they have targeted and orient their lives to live and or survive on that, or they would start working towards saving and building their nest egg.

I think the biggest problem is most people are ignorant regarding how much they will get in retirement until that shock hits them when their first check shows up

#127 Slow Canada on 02.12.20 at 2:26 am

Garth, we need you as PM! Then you’ll get people’s attention.

#128 Caldonia on 02.12.20 at 3:25 am

Good news. WHO spends the first three weeks of the pandemic deciding on a name for the Wuhan Corona Chinese Bat Virus. It had to be politically correct, neither racial or geographic, no animals, flying things , religious references, or sexual preferances. It’s gender balanced for sure. After a thousand people in an unnamed country have died its safe to say the plague is running scared from the SJW crowd at WHO. Their first directive has been for taxpayers to cough up. Sounds like a climate conscious crowd to me. If we distribute More western wealth in the UN perhaps they’ll be no more bat bbq’s?

#129 Merovingian on 02.12.20 at 4:16 am

Told ya.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/12/coronavirus-effect-on-us-china-decoupling-versus-trade-war-milken.html

#130 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.12.20 at 5:13 am

@#90 Maxima Overdrive
“Working women should never vote for the Conservatives. They are mostly uneducated, stupid, men who are not on your side at all ladies! ”

++++
Justin Trudeau I presume…..

#131 Howard on 02.12.20 at 5:17 am

The way things are going, Millennial life expectancy will regress. There’s no way they can match the Boomers’ longevity given how much more stressful their lives are. This wil take its toll and medical advancements can only do much. This is why I believe life expectancy projections for the future are way too high, and the retirement crisis is overblown. You’re not going to have millions of Mills in their 80s and 90s clogging up the health care service since most will croak well before then – probably die on the job just like their great-great-grandparents.

#132 Stan Brooks on 02.12.20 at 5:43 am

And why don’t we have universal government managed pension plan that actually allows for decent retirement and not just for ‘gas money’? 12-15 % of income mandatory contributed and invested in the plan should more than suffice.

Plus people will have less money to spent so inflation will be lower.

Instead the owners opted for ‘super indebted sheeple’ policies where people are loaned more than they can pay back (thanks to government ‘guarantees’ and ‘insurance’), resulting in the current situation with no savings, no pensions and ultra high cost of living.

Makes you wonder why the owners hate the sheeple that much so they won’t allow it to reproduce an instead decided to import new sheeple.

In fact there is no hate, just business, just the herd management style of the HMQ bankers.

Cheers,

You have lost it. – Garth

#133 Howard on 02.12.20 at 7:28 am

#118 Democracy Is Mob Rule on 02.11.20 at 11:28 pm
#77 Pension expert on 02.11.20 at 7:57 pm
#63

I at first found it hard to believe too but it is true–ask Garth he posted it in one of his columns.

The bottom 90% of Canadians average $29,000.00 a year–seems low but 100% true.

————————————————–

https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/as-sa/99-014-x/99-014-x2011003_2-eng.cfm

“According to the 2011 NHS, 10% of Canadians had total incomes of more than $80,400 in 2010, almost triple the national median income of $27,800. To be in the top 5%, Canadians needed to have a total income of slightly above $102,300 and to be in the top 1% required just over $191,100, nearly seven times the national median income.”

“The top 10% of Canadians made an average income of $134,900, with the top 5% making one third more ($179,800) and the top 1% almost triple that amount ($381,300). Meanwhile, the bottom 90% had an average income of $28,000.”

—————————————–

But why would you measure the average income of the bottom 90%? Seems like a funny/strange distortion of statistics. Why not lop off the bottom 10% in that case and re-run the numbers? That would spike the average since you’d be removing virtually the entire underclass, people in poverty, etc.

#134 G on 02.12.20 at 7:52 am

COVID 2019
Dr. John Campbell Feb 11 evening 18min
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOOqSFZYwJk

Coronavirus whistleblowers disappear in China | DW News DW News Feb 12 5min
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltYIIXJTKEc

#135 Mr Happy on 02.12.20 at 7:55 am

53 years old..mortgage and debt

Listened to Garth

57 years old

2 million invested. Zero debt.

Thank you Garth. Nothing pathetic to those who listen.

#136 Dharma Bum on 02.12.20 at 8:11 am

Dogman01

Re: Working life –

“The BS becomes more obvious and you are less motivated to smile and engage in it.”
——————————————————————–

That is profound. You really nailed it.

I was just speaking to a friend, to whom I explained the number one reason I retired early: I just didn’t have the energy to go on pretending that I gave a damn about the company’s goals, strategies, targets, profitability, plans, culture, mission, or any of the other corporate fantasies that were endlessly propagated.

I simply grew weary of it.

The fact that things were getting perpetually worse while the ivory tower had their collective Pollyanna heads in the sand was besides the point. I decided that I was not going to play along anymore.

Buh bye.

As far as government policy with respect to retirement is concerned, here are a couple of thoughts:

Mandatory TFSAs for all. Mandatory employee deductions to fund them. Mandatory employer contributions to enhance them. Limit increased to $10K immediately.

No CPP until age 75 (75 is the new 65).

No OAS until age 85 (85 is the new 70).

RRSP limit raised to 30% of income, or $50K per year.

The federal government should run ongoing scary advertising campaigns to relentlessly frighten people that if they don’t save and invest religiously for decades, they’re gonna die cold, hungry, miserable, and poor, and the government ain’t gonna help ’em. In other words, yer on yer own gramps.

Lastly, the government should cut back on their frivolous spending on worthless programs to save their money for CPP bump ups, and OAS.

Worst part is, most people are going to be living past 100 years old by the late 2000’s.

Pooooched, fer sure.

Oh, and “After the Boom” is one of the 90% of Garth’s books that I read back in the day!

#137 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.12.20 at 8:32 am

@#104 IHCTD9
“I don’t know where he’s getting his revenues from, but it sure as hell ain’t from us….”
+++++

Off the backs of childless taxpayers….

Every time I hear another politician, teacher , whatever blather on about “childrens benefits” or “its about the kids” … I zone out. Means nothing to me. Irrelevant.

Unless , of course, I look at my pay cheque and realize the govt is stealing from me to hand out to the mewling masses….while they wrap themselves in socially “just” causes…..
I’m loving the Trudeau purchased pipeline causing the whiplash of protests that HE will have to eat. Not to mention the doubling of the cost from $6 billion to $12 billion ( “oops, sorry, I forgot BC had 3 mountain ranges between Alberta and the ocean”) laughable if it wasnt criminal.
Perhaps its why Trudeau is spending like a child in a video game store….running massive deficit budgets today to please any and all idiot voters that cant balance their bank accounts either and leaving massive budget cuts for the Conservatives tomorrow.

I can just see it. Mean Peter MacKay cancelling an order for 10 million pink T-shirts….the bully.

Politics.
Its about retaining power.
Not about whats good for the country.

#138 Smoking Man on 02.12.20 at 8:34 am

RIP Christie Blatchford.

#139 Dharma Bum on 02.12.20 at 8:38 am

#75 NoOneOfConsequence

Finally, we should institute appropriate conduct laws:

No violent video games.
No porn.
No smoking.
No drinking.
No drugs.
No gambling.
No spending money on stupid sh*t.
No dangerous activities.
No speeding.
No sugar.
No fast food.
No divorce.
——————————————————————-

Save your typing energy.

Just write:

“Become a Mormon”

#140 IHCTD9 on 02.12.20 at 9:13 am

#137 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.12.20 at 8:32 am
@#104 IHCTD9
“I don’t know where he’s getting his revenues from, but it sure as hell ain’t from us….”
+++++

Off the backs of childless taxpayers….

Every time I hear another politician, teacher , whatever blather on about “childrens benefits” or “its about the kids” … I zone out. Means nothing to me. Irrelevant.

Unless , of course, I look at my pay cheque and realize the govt is stealing from me to hand out to the mewling masses….while they wrap themselves in socially “just” causes…..

Politics.
Its about retaining power.
Not about whats good for the country.
___

Yep, same with your property taxes (or via your rent) funding the education system where everyone makes 3-4X the average individual income in Canada – even the guy mopping the floor.

It’s pretty scary thinking about this irreversible tornado of spending taking place at the same time when revenue sources are dying (or being killed off), and debt is piling up like crazy thanks to Trudeau. Then the age of the population and the implications of that on top of it all.

All you can do is race for retirement Fartz. I think you and I will get a hell of a show in retirement watching governments trying to keep all these balls in the air. There is going to be a hell of a log-jam some day with revenues cash-flow and debt servicing costs. Maybe even with the availability of new debt.

#141 James on 02.12.20 at 9:16 am

#139 Dharma Bum on 02.12.20 at 8:38 am

#75 NoOneOfConsequence

Finally, we should institute appropriate conduct laws:

No violent video games.
No porn.
No smoking.
No drinking.
No drugs.
No gambling.
No spending money on stupid sh*t.
No dangerous activities.
No speeding.
No sugar.
No fast food.
No divorce.
——————————————————————-

Save your typing energy.

Just write:

“Become a Mormon”
__________________________________________
Sounds like a manifesto from Mike Pence for the new America!

#142 Not So New guy on 02.12.20 at 9:20 am

#138 Smoking Man on 02.12.20 at 8:34 am

RIP Christie Blatchford.

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

Yes, I just heard the news.

She was the type of writer that, even if you didn’t agree with what she wrote, you had to respect her. She was a rare type

Much like Garth except without those chiseled abs

I was sitting in the Managing Editor’s office the day her letter arrived looking for work as a columnist. He read it aloud to me. I knew then the woman was brilliant. – Garth

#143 James on 02.12.20 at 9:25 am

#138 Smoking Man on 02.12.20 at 8:34 am

RIP Christie Blatchford.
_________________________________________
My god your still out there Old Man! Now this is something that I just learned from Old Smoking Man. Very sad to hear about Christie Blatchford, always enjoyed her columns and read her book Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army. She had tenacity and was never a fence sitter.

#144 Soggy Bottom Boomer on 02.12.20 at 9:32 am

Interesting to note how many people are relocating to Nova Scotia as a result of reading this pathetic blog (myself amont them).
From the left coast to the right coast and no regrets.

#145 CHERRY BLOSSOM on 02.12.20 at 9:35 am

Who created the ’65’ as a retirement age anyway. I heard it was an army general who discovered that his men were usually dead by 65 so felt that was a good age to pick. Also we all know there is huge inflation, just depends on how you measure it and who measures it . I am told that it has been measured in eight cities for 3 years and the inflation rate was around 8%. If our government was to be honest about our inflation rate they would have to raise our OAP and CPP by the cost of living and that would bankrupt them. So they continue to lie to us as usual.

#146 IHCTD9 on 02.12.20 at 9:44 am

#136 Dharma Bum on 02.12.20 at 8:11 am
Dogman01

Re: Working life –

“The BS becomes more obvious and you are less motivated to smile and engage in it.”
——————————————————————–

That is profound. You really nailed it.

I was just speaking to a friend, to whom I explained the number one reason I retired early: I just didn’t have the energy to go on pretending that I gave a damn about the company’s goals, strategies, targets, profitability, plans, culture, mission, or any of the other corporate fantasies that were endlessly propagated.

I simply grew weary of it.
___

Pay attention kids ^

It don’t matter how cool your “career” is in your 20’s and 30’s, by the time you get past 40, you’re not going have stars in your eyes anymore. Eventually you won’t give a damn either. Your nose will start noticing the stink drifting towards you from afar.

If you pay attention, you’ll see this attitude proliferate to all facets of your life where BS tends to accumulate. Could be your job, your friends, your family, volunteer work, Church, School, Politics, even coming at you from strangers via your computer and phone. You’ll be chucking the turds in your life out the window one after another as you get older and wiser. In fact, it’s one of the best things about getting old IMHO.

It’s the generic life version of “walk-away wife syndrome” that can affect all people. You eventually take off the rose coloured glasses, see things for what they really are. It’s not so great after all. If you reach the point where you’ve seen and heard enough, an exit plan is hatched and executed with little chance of going back.

The sweet taste of freedom can be had, but not if you are a slave to the bank, and therefore to your employer also.

#147 NoName on 02.12.20 at 10:08 am

#139 Dharma Bum on 02.12.20 at 8:38 am
#75 NoOneOfConsequence

Finally, we should institute appropriate conduct laws:

No violent video games.
No porn.
No smoking.
No drinking.
No drugs.
No gambling.
No spending money on stupid sh*t.
No dangerous activities.
No speeding.
No sugar.
No fast food.
No divorce.
——————————————————————-

Save your typing energy.

Just write:

“Become a Mormon”

that was funny

Last year on our vacation friend from atlanta and his family joined us so we can vacation together, so one day we are waiting in line to have our table ready at kapetan george so we can dine friend of mine goes in to inquire why is taking so long.

While we were watin in a strait in front of the door, line was me, my son, my wife, my daughter, friends wife her 3 daughters and his sister in law with her daughter (kids age 16-3 yrs old).

So receptionist ( lady in her 40s) comes outside and sad: “ser, your table is ready”, My son and I moved to the side, and let girls go in first entering a restaurant one by one in age order. When they were in, lady candidly asked me are you guys from Utah by some chance. I sad of course we are.

No word of the lie here!

#148 Tim on 02.12.20 at 10:25 am

Very good questions and sorry not many people listened to the book (except your readers…by the way you at least helped me. Age 41, $1million net worth, debt zero.)

Should all employers, by law, provide a pension plan or a forced-savings scheme to their employees?

I’m leaning towards a yes with an exception for small business since the administration costs would be insane. People have abused their freedom to save so unless it comes off the top they won’t save it.

Should employees be allowed to opt out of such a plan?

I think the plan should be auto opt in. You start work and get signed up. Then you do allow an opt out but require three different forms to be filled out and a letter from your bank proving you already have saving equal or higher than your annual income. That way just about no one will opt out but you can do if you have already save a lot.

Should the retirement age be raised, as Stephen Harper did (to 67) or was Trudeau right to drop it (to 65)?

YES!!!!!!! Raise that up to 67 and increase the claw back. Seriously I don’t understand why the full claw back allows a couple so much income prior to being fully gone. Anything over $30K each should start be clawed back and fully gone by $45k each.

Should government be responsible for financial literacy and financial wellness among Canadians?

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. I think there should be some information available but ultimately people have to want to learn for themselves.

Should people be encouraged to work well past the traditional retirement age?

Given the saving of non-pension earners do they really have a choice (other than selling the house, which they should already have done)? Get to work grandpa, your kids can’t afford to pay your property tax.

How do we increase the savings rate for low or middle-income earners?

Put their tax refunds directly into a TFSA account which is automatically invested in index funds. Or just let the housing market finally correct downwards (after increasing mortgage rates) and let everyone get access to cheaper housing in the long run. Stop trying to ‘fix’ something that will sort it self out without government input.

Okay, rant over. Hopefully some of that helps.

#149 Eks dee Siple on 02.12.20 at 10:35 am

Just do your own laundry and everything will work itself out;) Alas, no mention of the banks and their complicity. We are not in debt to ourselves. We are not borrowing from ourselves or our future. We are in debt to the private banking cartel. Say the truth for once, somebody. Can I get an Amen.

The money you think belongs to you, in actual fact, belongs to them, we just use it to buy bread. No amount of saving or earning will ever change this fact until more competing currencies are allowed into circulation. Until then, the more you borrow, the more wealthy you become. It isn’t your money anyway, so borrow your brains out. Debt is wealth. It can never be paid back, so you would be foolish to try.

This above is the ultimate financial literacy of our age. Yeah, yeah, I know Garth, I’m losin’ it, right? Or am I?

#150 IHCTD9 on 02.12.20 at 10:45 am

#144 Soggy Bottom Boomer on 02.12.20 at 9:32 am

Interesting to note how many people are relocating to Nova Scotia as a result of reading this pathetic blog (myself amont them).
From the left coast to the right coast and no regrets.
__

The East Coast is sweet indeed. The reality though, is that retirees are exiting the big Metros and moving all over the country. The small towns and villages are swiftly filling up with blue hairs from the big cities where they buy a house with cash and probably have 7 figures in the bank still – and maybe pensions on top. Loaded with cash.

Got a bro living out in a small Ontario town of under 2000 pop. There are almost no jobs at all there, but such a beautiful picturesque little town. The property taxes are bonkers, totally out of line with incomes. Bro is buds with a retired ‘vette driving ex-Bay Street bigwig who lives in said town – dude says “you wouldn’t believe how much money there is living here”.

IMHO, Boomers with bags of money exiting the metros is turning out to be a great thing for smaller towns and villages.

#151 NoName on 02.12.20 at 10:46 am

interesting video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJL9MasBFvM

#152 Michael Bruce Chase on 02.12.20 at 10:52 am

I can’t remember if I read “After the boom” I am the proud owner of an autographed copy of “Money Road”. I have been a long time reader of the blog, hey I even watched Garth’s tv show ( I forget the name, I watched because the women were very hot). Anyway I have a thought on increasing the CPP. While some think this is the way to go I have a question. Isn’t all this money that the CPP extorts from the masses, simply a ‘debt’ that the Gov’t owes to those fortunate to live long enough. It seems that the boomer wave causes consternation in gov’t because they don’t really have the $$$ they extorted from the working class. So there is one big IOU and sooner or later it comes time to pay the piper so to speak. So increasing the rate of extortion for current and future workers seems to be the only way to keep paying the people. This reminds me of a giant Ponzi Scheme.
I count myself lucky that I managed to work 20 years for a crown corporation, and have a defined inflation protected pension to supplement the CPP and OAS. On top of that I have some income from my TFSA and RRIF. So I get by quite comfortably. Part of the reason I manage to do better than most is that I took some financial courses in high school. I also had parents who saved and invested in real estate as well as having gov’t jobs. SO they were a role model.
If millennials don’t scale back their expectations then they are screwed. Unfortunately the socialists will provide them with the answers in order to buy their votes and this country will continue to slide into financial ruin. What Canada needs is a leader with a backbone. Regrettably I don’t see one anywhere on the horizon.
That’s my rant for what pittance it is worth. Good luck to everyone as we slowly slide into the world of Agenda 21.
cheers.

#153 Eks dee Siple on 02.12.20 at 10:54 am

So if there were optimum and widespread financial literacy, everyone would be making more equal income? What does that sound like to you? Capitalism rests on the shoulders of greed, and greed rests on the shoulders of lack of information, which rests on the shoulders of conspiracy. And you can quote me on that. -XD

—————————
“The top 10% of Canadians made an average income of $134,900, with the top 5% making one third more ($179,800) and the top 1% almost triple that amount ($381,300). Meanwhile, the bottom 90% had an average income of $28,000.”
https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/as-sa/99-014-x/99-014-x2011003_2-eng.cfm

#154 Toronto_CA on 02.12.20 at 10:59 am

Does the mandatory superannuation plan in Australia work? I think by law every working person has to have one set up and it transfers from job to job..contribution rate at 9.3%?

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

Not sure if such a system has been considered for Canada but the similarities in our size/economies/etc seem to think it could work.

#155 Yuus bin Haad on 02.12.20 at 11:00 am

Maxima, I share your pain. I’ve been preparing for my retirement since I WAS a tiny baby – seriously – and because of those damn Conservative, I’m still $800 a month short!

#156 Howard on 02.12.20 at 11:02 am

Devastated to hear the news about Christie Blatchford. Nothing but talent. One of a kind.

Who is left in the MSM to give us to give us the straight goods? Rosie DiManno is ok, but beyond her I can’t think of anyone. Andrew Coyne used to be more iconoclastic, not so much these days.

What a depressing state of Canadian media.

#157 Democracy Is Mob Rule on 02.12.20 at 11:06 am

#133 Howard on 02.12.20 at 7:28 am
#77 Pension expert on 02.11.20 at 7:57 pm
#63

I at first found it hard to believe too but it is true–ask Garth he posted it in one of his columns.

The bottom 90% of Canadians average $29,000.00 a year–seems low but 100% true.

————————————————–

But why would you measure the average income of the bottom 90%?

—————————————–

It highlights the gap between rich and poor. It shows the situation for most of the population.

#158 Howard on 02.12.20 at 11:10 am

Re: my previous comment – how on earth could I forget Rex Murphy? He will have to carry the torch for sanity alone from now on.

#159 Eks dee Siple on 02.12.20 at 11:12 am

Theme is Oldies…enjoy…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHQ_aTjXObs

“And be a simple kind of man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me, son, if you can”
“Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold
All that you need is in your soul
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied”

#160 Damifino on 02.12.20 at 11:22 am

#146 IHCTD9

Yep… that’s putting it bluntly. But it does coincide with my overall experience of ‘career’. I’m not bitter about it though. I’m rather a happy camper these days actually. Balanced and diversified.

#161 Calgary Rip Off on 02.12.20 at 12:50 pm

Alberta is doomed. Boomers will be lucky to get their pensions as tweedle dum Kenney is in charge with failing oil pipeline and no PST in sight to pay for everything. Then there are those in Alberta wanting to join the USA.

Ship of fools in Alberta.

#162 mike on 02.12.20 at 12:53 pm

Answers to your questions:
– yes
– yes
– yes
– somewhat
– yes, problem is what kind of jobs will they be able to get, only so many Walmart greeter gigs out there
– promote TFSA more?

#163 Piano_Man87 on 02.12.20 at 1:03 pm

“Should all employers, by law, provide a pension plan or a forced-savings scheme to their employees?” Yes. Even if it is just a crummy DC plan where your money goes to a bank, ready to be plugged into mutual funds. At least then people have to opt out rather than opt in to saving for retirement.

“Should employees be allowed to opt out of such a plan?” Yes. It’s their money, after all.

“Should the retirement age be raised, as Stephen Harper did (to 67) or was Trudeau right to drop it (to 65)?” Yes. 65 was picked when people didn’t live nearly as long as we do now. Makes perfect sense to extend it.

“Should government be responsible for financial literacy and financial wellness among Canadians?”

Yes – in the form of our public school system. Part of its purpose is to make sure everyone has some base knowledge about everything so they can function in society.

“Should people be encouraged to work well past the traditional retirement age?”

No. But they should not be discouraged, either.

“How do we increase the savings rate for low or middle-income earners?”

Increase their incomes through more and better job opportunities.

#164 leebow on 02.12.20 at 1:10 pm

Moral hazard became a strategy. An eternal game of chicken made possible by political rent seeking.

#165 IHCTD9 on 02.12.20 at 1:44 pm

#152 Michael Bruce Chase on 02.12.20 at 10:52 am

What Canada needs is a leader with a backbone.
__

Right now we have a half dozen Natives standing on the RR tracks in Shannonville, and we got the bloody leader of the Federal NDP calling for the Prime ******* Minister to fly home from another country immediately to deal with it.

No backbones whatsoever – all the way to the top.

#166 Dan Petolescu on 02.12.20 at 1:45 pm

“2065 […] Please make a note to return here at that time, and I will update the stats.” This is one of the things I really like about you – you are such an optimist! :-D

#167 War in Europe this spring-summer on 02.12.20 at 1:45 pm

You think that COVID-19 is bad?

Yesterday I have heard the interview of the political science professor from the Moscow State University on radio “Echo of Moscow”. In his opinion, based on his contacts in the internal Kremlin sources, Putin plans the major Geo-Political moves this spring-summer. Likely in Ukraine, or Poland or Baltic countries.
Russians changed their military doctrine recently adding the possibility of use tactical nuclear heads – which are as powerful as 1/3 of the bomb dropped on Japan in 1945. The goal is to scare and freeze NATO, preventing NATO from fighting back. But as we know, Trump will likely respond with more powerful nuclear counter-attack to bring Russians to their senses.

Should we invest in military industry or iodine pills ?

#168 oh bouy on 02.12.20 at 1:48 pm

@#96 Go Nordic on 02.11.20 at 9:34 pm
Why reinvent the wheel? The Nordic countries of Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark have figured all this stuff out. Their citizens worry very little about money and they enjoy decent healthcare, education, daycare, maternity and paternity leaves, holiday time and pension benefits as well as a decent standard of living. The focus of those governments is to free their citizens from needless worry so that they can evolve their own individual autonomy and wellbeing, and become contributing members of society. The British Labour Party leader, Ed Miliband, in 2012 said; “If you want the American dream, go to Finland” The Nordic model is the model of the future. We need to get with it.
_________________________

exactly this^

At least we’re closer to it than the americans.

#169 Jimbo on 02.12.20 at 1:49 pm

Garth, you sound a lot like a disconnected elitist in this one right here… Sorry! I quote:

“By the way, in case you didn’t know, current government pension support is not – repeat, not – enough to live on. It was never designed to be. OAS (paid to everyone at 65) is about $7,000 a year. The GIS of ten grand annually goes only to those in desperate need (under $18,000 income) and the CPP averages $800 a month. Recent changes will increase that to a maximum of about $20,400 a year – but not until 2065, when the average Millennial is 75. (Please make a note to return here at that time, and I will update the stats.)”

So OAS and CPP alone averages almost 1500$/month per person? a two person household with a paid off house doesnt need a very big fortune for fun money when you have almost 3k per month coming your way… This article actually makes me want to save less thinking of all this free money coming our way in the future!

Cut down on the cable, restaurants and what not, if you think 3k/month is small chump change!

Striving for an income of more than $3,000 a month is hardly being elitist. In Canadian cities, that is subsistence. – Garth

#170 Steve on 02.12.20 at 3:42 pm

Should all employers, by law, provide a pension plan or a forced-savings scheme to their employees?
Seems extremely socialist and most likely there would need to be an opt out, so the ‘worst’ would still escape… small employers will struggle, maybe collapse.
Should employees be allowed to opt out of such a plan?
Charter of Rights would likely require an opt out.
Should the retirement age be raised, as Stephen Harper did (to 67) or was Trudeau right to drop it (to 65)?
Raising it to 67 seemed wise in anticipation of the future costs, and dropping it back seemed without clear benefit, other than ticking a ‘done’ box. Admit the shortsightedness, and put it back to 67.
Should government be responsible for financial literacy and financial wellness among Canadians?
Not responsible, but Provinces could include appropriate elements in both Elementary and Secondary school.
Should people be encouraged to work well past the traditional retirement age?
Encouraged? Should certainly be an option, but would not want to spend tax dollars on ‘work til you die’ promotional campaigns.
How do we increase the savings rate for low or middle-income earners?
1) Cut off the ‘easy’ Housing purchase programs. Oh wait, someone did that, and now are going to undo that. Seesaw anyone? Stop changing the ‘rules’ constantly, and let housing settle…
2) Have a recession?

Many of these questions appear to be based on some strong socialist assumptions. Maybe we need to review those assumptions first, and sort them into the sensible and not so sensible, given the current and near term future state of Canada. Not everyone, not even all Millennials, think the government should ‘look after’ everyone. Sadly, time may get us to the point that the majority want to take us there…

#171 crazyfox on 02.12.20 at 4:26 pm

A subject like this, we should acquaint ourselves with the population pyramid. World population (feel free to flip through the rest):

https://www.populationpyramid.net/

Japan (note older population, less young people):

https://japanqi.jp/2017/08/24/population-pyramid/

The U.S.:

https://www.worldometers.info/demographics/us-demographics/

now Canada:

https://www.populationpyramid.net/canada/

A self sustaining population pyramid is one where the base is equal to, or greater than the rest of the age groups. We see an age imbalance setting itself up with age groups of 55 to 65 within the pyramid but more to the point, we are seeing a shrinkage in young ages 0 to 20. Canada’s aboriginals are growing at twice the national rate. The rest of Canada, not so much.

How does any government fix this… we can do it through immigration.

https://www.statista.com/topics/2917/immigration-in-canada/

Perhaps this is why Canada let in 313,580 people last year. When we look at their ages, 25 to 34 years of age had the most preference:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/443305/international-migrants-in-canada-2014/

41,000 were 0 to 10 years old. Looking at these numbers suggest that the federal government is trying to correct the problem somewhat, through immigration. Say what we will, immigration supports real estate development and GDP growth diluting debt to GDP ratios AND re-balance the population pyramid under the assumption that the 25 to 34 age group will be breeders.

The other thing federal governments might try to encourage more babies into the world is through the tax code. I’ll leave it up to the political partisans to decide which governments have done the best with that one and say only that if people think more affluence will generate more babies, this is not the case. The wealthier the nation becomes, the less babies are born into this world. We can see this feature in population pyramids in all affluent nations throughout the world. We also see that gender equality and birth control has major effects on population pyramids. Check out China’s population pyramid (pre-corona ;)

https://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/china-population-pyramid

Go through the years and lets remind ourselves of the changes in education, earnings, government policies, birth control, equality etc. and readers will see it. More equality and education means less babies. Lets look at the U.S. population pyramid again:

https://www.worldometers.info/demographics/us-demographics/

The wealthiest nation in the world, but still making babies. Why…? Higher levels of inequality (income, tax codes to a degree, education, race, gender etc).

Here’s a population pyramid of Singapore, similar to ours:

https://www.populationpyramid.net/singapore/

All of the nations that score highest in education have a population pyramid like ours (in contraction) and it’s not a coincidence:

http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/education-rankings-by-country/

Point is, the more educated we get, the more equal, more affluent, the less babies we bring into the world. Should it be this way? The planet is fairly crowded. How will we pay for it? The way we’ve always done, re-balance spending, tax codes, immigration. Thing is, we are not alone in this. Canada would do well to see how other nations are succeeding (and failing) with similar population pyramids to our own.

#172 charlie on 02.12.20 at 10:52 pm

we have a lot of people coming here for the health benefits , and the gift of OAS when they turn 65. I`ve seen this. Time to stop this . no sense to bring people here when they are already old and sick.