An old white man awakes to his privilege – and its power for good

I’ve become much more prone to analyze daily social situations on the grounds of age, ethnicity and gender

An old white man awakes to his privilege – and its power for goodBeing older (I’m 67 and increasingly told this is old), white and male is being pointed out more and more these days. In less than glowing terms. While Donald Trump is arguably the global archetype of the boomer personae I’m describing, the phrase “old white man” is getting more deliberate usage in different parts of…

Why we shouldn’t worry about wealth inequality in Canada

Age and accumulated wealth account for much of the discrepancy. And that's just normal life-cycle economics

Why we shouldn’t worry about wealth inequality in CanadaMuch ado about nothing. The title of the Shakespearean comedy comes to mind when I think about the attention devoted to wealth inequality in recent years. The left's (and much of the major media's) preoccupation with economic inequality is fundamentally misplaced and has diverted attention away from the real problems we face. For example, take…

CPP’s perpetual head start

Private pensions face regulatory burdens that the Canada Pension Plan does not

CPP’s perpetual head startBy Moin A. Yahya and Charles Lammam The Fraser Institute In 2016, in fulfillment of a campaign promise, the federal government reached an agreement with the provinces to expand the Canada Pension Plan. Consequently, mandatory CPP contributions from working Canadians will increase steadily between January 2019 and 2025. Expansion proponents have used many faulty claims…

The hard truth about CPP’s failures

Canadians receive meagre rates of return on CPP contributions and the program has other key shortcomings

The hard truth about CPP’s failuresBy Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute Misperceptions plague the public’s view of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), despite efforts to provide some clarity. Mark Machin, chief executive officer of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) – the organization tasked with investing CPP contributions – recently hit the road in a cross-country…

Any pension fund fiasco is one too many

The plight of Sears pensioners has once again ignited calls for change but the federal government seems content to sit on its hands

Any pension fund fiasco is one too manyThe demise of Sears Canada has seen 16,000 employees lose their jobs. It’s unfortunate, but inevitable, as online giants Amazon and Alibaba transform the retail universe. But what shouldn’t be inevitable is the loss of pension benefits for those employees and another 18,000 Sears retirees. If the 2009 bankruptcy of tech giant Nortel is a…

Lessons from a contemplative life

At 67, I'm focusing on the things that are most important: family, friends, and challenging physical and mental pursuits

Lessons from a contemplative lifeI turned 67 today. It's kind of an odd birthday. You’re not yet 70 and certifiably old (according to some of my 69-year-old pals), but you’re creeping up the ladder and are two rungs above 65. So what does it all mean? It seems kind of like a rest-stop. A space between retirement and more…

CPP reforms need a complete rethink

The 2016 CPP reforms were solutions in search of a problem – and don’t even solve the imagined problem

CPP reforms need a complete rethinkBy Jason Clemens and Charles Lammam The Fraser Institute The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) needs a comprehensive review, followed by real reform. The provincial and federal finance ministers said recently they will re-examine certain aspects of the CPP reforms agreed to in late 2016. But they will avoid a larger re-evaluation of the efficacy of an expanded CPP. Clearly,…

Double D forced to hang up the skates

Back issues force Kindersley product Derek Dorsett to leave the NHL after more than 500 games

Double D forced to hang up the skatesClarion staff Health problems are forcing Kindersley’s Derek Dorsett to hang up his skates. The National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks announced last week that due to the health risks associated with playing, the 30-year-old must retire. Dorsett has played 515 NHL games through 10 seasons (with 51 goals and 76 assists for 127 points) with…

Should you defer collecting CPP and OAS?

Can you afford to hold off and increase your payments later? Will you need more CPP and OAS later in life? And how long do you expect to live?

Should you defer collecting CPP and OAS?Most people know they can start collecting their Canada Pension Plan (CPP) at age 60, even though they’ll get smaller monthly payments than if they waited until 65. Many people just want the money now and don’t care about any added benefits to delaying CPP and Old Age Security (OAS). The standard CPP and OAS…

RRSP or TFSA? Sorting out an investor’s dilemma

TFSAs provide great options. If you build up the money in your TFSA while you’re working, you can draw from it tax-free any time

RRSP or TFSA? Sorting out an investor’s dilemmaK.M. wrote to ask if she should stop making registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) contributions and instead focus on her tax-free savings account (TFSA). With a little personal information from K.M., we decided it would be best for her to focus on her TFSA. Here’s why: K.M. works in a job she’s likely to leave…

Train the mind and grow happier

A new weekly column by Nicole Bernier explores how you can overcome negativity, particularly as you age

Train the mind and grow happierHaving retired, my favourite uncle certainly didn’t expect the mental burden that accompanied his privilege of no longer having a job. “Day after day,” he said, “I have lots of free time. My mind is in a state of chaos. I can’t stop thinking too much and my past mistakes are starting to haunt me.”…

Aging population upending current interest rate policy

With the number of seniors living off retirement income rising, increasing interest rates no longer a precursor to a cooling economy

Aging population upending current interest rate policyCanadians are constantly reminded that we’ve let ourselves get too deeply into debt and if the cost of that debt – interest rates – increases, we’ll be in deep yogurt. To the extent that such debt is mortgage-based and the average price of homes has been rising, this debt should be manageable. I don’t expect…

Who benefits from an expanded CPP?

The government? Likely. High earners? Definitely. Middle-income earners? Unlikely. Low-income workers may even see a reduction in overall benefits

Who benefits from an expanded CPP?As recently as June 2016, the federal and provincial finance ministers agreed to expand the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). It's so recent, in government terms, that many of the details of benefit entitlements, costs and investment criteria still aren’t known. But it’s been long enough for deep thinkers on matters of social security to delve…

Paying a high price for success, even after you die

There’s no hiding from the success tax, but several things can help legally reduce or even eliminate the amount your estate or your heirs pay

Paying a high price for success, even after you dieThere’s no official estate tax in Canada but we do have what I call the success tax. It's what we pay if we’ve been financially successful in a lifetime of investing and asset accumulation. The more successful you’ve been, the greater the tax could be. If you have assets that will be taxable when sold or when deemed to have been…