Sunday, March 6, 2016

Lucky Lucky Ducky Duck!


I am a lucky ducky. I realize that. I have spent the morning being lazy  reading the Personal Finance section of The National Post's new E-Magazine (and it's free)!  The Donald can keep his billions, I neither want nor need them.  Not that I'm wealthy....I'm not!! To make it into the top 1% (in Canada) I would have to be earning $191,100 - even in my last years of teaching I wasn't making even half of that and now that I am on a pension I earn less than 30% of my former gross income. If I look at net income I make about 50% as I no longer have most deductions that made my teacher's paycheque look like it got hit by a land mine!

With that said I am still such a lucky duck with my employee pension for life! In Canada 47% of people between the ages of 55  and 64 do NOT have an employee's pension and of that 47% only 15% have enough money saved to live on in their senior years and the rest will live in poverty. Lower income folks, those earning between $20,000 and $50,000 have an average of $250 saved for retirement! Those of us with kids in their 20's know how hard it is these days to even get a job with health benefits let alone full-time hours and/or a pension.  It's a huge crisis!!

Now...I'm not saying I don't deserve my defined benefits pension or that I didn't work for it. I do and I did. And I contributed an average of 13% of every paycheque for the privilege. I lived on way less when I was working so that I would be comfortable when I retired. I don't have a huge pension but it's enough for one person. The poverty line in Ontario for a single person is just under $20,000. I'm in the $30,000 range now and would find living on $10,000 less possible, but probably not comfortable!

What is the answer? I don't know. The gov't of Ontario is creating a mandatory employee pension plan for those without one starting in 2017 with equal contributions from employees and employers. This has caused a lot of dissent as people will have to learn to live on less and many don't want to do that. Also companies aren't excited about it as that will be less profit for them. It's hard to look ahead to retirement when you don't have enough to live on NOW!

Conclusions:
1) I sure wish Kazi had gone into teaching instead of her current minimum wage jobs.
2) I'm thinking I'll open up an RRSP for her and make small contributions. Eventually I hope she'll be able to take over the contributions. People need to start saving for retirement as soon as they get a job!
3) I'm a very lucky ducky! And I'm in the minority, not the majority so I need to do my part. Part of that is being an activist in the $15.00/hour minimum wage battle currently being waged in Canada and the U.S. In Ontario the minimum wage is a whopping $11.25 per hour. A livable wage is considered to be $16.60 per hour. We're not even close.

Thoughts?


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