Let’s just say this — in all-out ground war between Canada and the U.S., Canada just can’t compete. After all, Canada’s defended by a few notoriously out-of-date military aircraft, and for some time, the country’s largest fleet of submarines was making a tour around a pirate ship in a shopping mall.
Of course, aside from a hard-fought game between the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks, there isn’t much animosity between the two countries. After all, we have a lot in common. We share an official language, we have access to the same media and, in many cases, we share a lot of the same values. And here’s another thing we have in common — in January 2012, LIMRA, an association of insurance companies, released a survey of pre-retirees in both countries and found that about half in each said they weren’t confident they could maintain their desired lifestyle during retirement. It’s an interesting statistic because planning for retirement is quite different in the U.S. as compared to Canada.
So, in the spirit of friendly cross border competition, I decided to put Canada and the U.S. head-to-head. Which country is best for retirees? Check out a few key factors in my new post on WiseBread.
You know you should exercise, eat more vegetables, and avoid the office candy jar. You mean to stop procrastinating – at some point. Starting tomorrow, you’ll try to get more sleep. And be more productive. And spend more time with your family. And carve out more time for yourself…
Oh. And save money. You know you’re supposed to be saving money, right? The problem is, while survey after survey catches us saying that saving is a priority, a 2012 report by CIBC found that 45 percent of us have no emergency savings, and only about half of people under of the age of 35 have any savings in an RRSP, according to a survey released by BMO in August.
The bottom line: When life gets overwhelming, we tend to let a lot of things slide.
What’s a girl to do? It turns out that getting on a savings plan involves a combination of strategy, money smarts and psychology. We talked to John Tracy, senior vice president at TD Canada Trust, and Dr. J. Bruce Morton, a psychology professor at Western University, to find out what may be holding you back. Check it out in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.com.
Flickr/The James Kendall
Are you planning for retirement? If you’re like many Canadians, you’re probably thinking about it…but you might not be getting much farther than that. After all, that’s something you’ll get to – eventually – right?
Maybe not. A new poll by TD Canada Trust found that 30 percent of Canadians don’t think they’ll get around to saving for retirement until it’s too late – if they get to it at all. According to the poll of 1,251 Canadians, 15 percent said they’d wait until five years before they retire to start saving, while another 9 percent say they’ll start even later. Six percent figure they probably won’t even bother!
Big mistake – and you don’t have to take our word for it. TD polled today’s retirees about what they’d do differently. Find out what they said in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.com: http://goldengirlfinance.com/inspiration/?post_id=1127
According to the 2011 Census, baby boomers make up nearly 30 percent of the Canadian population. With many boomers now entering the retirement phase, one aspect of financial planning that’s often overlooked among this group is downsizing. A survey of 1,500 Canadians released by eBay Canada in 2010 found that 39 percent of parents planned to downsize as soon as their kids flew the coop. (They’d better move quickly: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada reports that about 25 percent of kids come right on back!) For many seniors, however, trading in the lawn mower and snow shovel for condo life isn’t as easy as just picking up and moving – especially when it comes to leaving behind a well-loved family home.
With this in mind, even if you don’t have plans to move right now, if you’re in your retirement years, it’s a good idea to give downsizing some thought as part of your financial preparation and planning. Get some tips on how to ease the transition in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.ca: http://bit.ly/QaYJ7U
When the Bush tax cuts — formally known as the Economic Growth and Tax Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 — were implemented, Americans faced lower tax rates than any time since the 1970s. Now, they are set to expire at the end of 2012 — and it has everyone wondering what it will all mean for their finances.
Unfortunately, with the all the political debate (Did the cuts help the economy or hurt it? Will President Obama extend parts of them for another year? Who will be affected?) it’s hard to tell what the tax landscape will really look like in 2013. The possibility of change has one group especially worried: Retirees and those approaching retirement.
After the stock market crash and ongoing recession, this group has taken a major blow, and many of them can’t afford anything else that might put a drain on their savings. Check out some of the potential consequences for this group if the Bush tax cuts are repealed in my new post on GoBankingRates.com: http://bit.ly/S0FmIN
Hey, you there…are you retiring with debt on the books? We get it, you don’t want to talk about it. But statistics released by CIBC in July show that you’re not alone. A full 59 percent of Canadians are retiring with debt, 19 percent more than just over two years ago.
So, back to your debt. Sorry to bring it up again, but you simply can’t ignore it. Not forever, anyway. Because that old debt will only get bigger and badder over time, until it completely derails your retirement plans. Here we’ll take a look at what’s going wrong for retirees and what you can do to put yourself on the right track. Here’s a hint: It’s time for your debt to come out of the closet. Read more in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.ca: http://bit.ly/Nhylmt
Ladies, have you thought about your retirement plan? And no, a well-heeled man doesn’t count. If you haven’t put any effort into saving for retirement, it’s something worth considering — and soon.
That’s because while few Americans are superstar retirement savers, women in particular tend to fall short on retirement savings compared to men, saving less than 70 percent of what men typically save, according to a recent report by the ING Retirement Research Institute.
So why is saving such an uphill battle for women? Check out some of the key factors that are holding them back in my post on GoBankingRates.com: http://bit.ly/NNt0UA
If you’re looking forward to a day when you won’t have to get up and go to work in the morning, you might have something unexpected to look forward to as well: poor health. It turns out that retirement can be bad for your happiness — and even your physical well-being. According to statistics released in 2006 by the National Bureau of Economic Research, retirees were more likely to experience depression and health problems than those who were still working.
Can you really spend 30 years playing golf? Many baby boomers are doing just the opposite, and opting to stay in the workforce longer. As it turns out, it may also allow them to live longer, healthier lives – and provide a much needed boost to their savings and social security benefits. Check out the benefits of working longer, and how you can do it successfully, in my new post on GoBankingRates.com: http://bit.ly/JywBb8
Feeling squeezed? That’s the sentiment of many Canadians over the age of 45. This so-called “sandwich generation” is caught between caring for aging parents and supporting grown-up kids – and their high levels of debt and ultra-low retirement savings rates are only increasing the pressure. But while the media often laments about the plight of those approaching retirement, is this generation really stuck or are they just spinning their wheels? Read more in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.ca: http://bit.ly/L3NUBn
It’s an all too common question in personal finance: how much money do I need to retire? And there’s a frustratingly vague response: it depends. Exactly how much you need varies based on your lifestyle, where you live and the goals you have for your retirement years. But one thing is clear – that final number is bigger than most people think.
How big? Let’s just say that if you haven’t started saving yet, you’d better get on it. Take a look at some of the factors financial planners and advisors use to figure out how much you’ll need for those golden years ahead in my new article at GoldenGirlFinance.ca: http://bit.ly/JqVql8