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October 2011

October 13, 2021

Ryanair now to remove toilets from its planes

We’ll admit, we kind of have a fascination with Ryanair here at EverydayMoney.ca.

Why? Well, can’t say for sure. Not only does Ryanair not fly to Canada, it doesn’t even fly to North America, meaning only backpackers and Euro travellers have ever sat on one of the outfits Boeing 737-800’s.

But much in the way that Entourage  is considered “lifestyle porn,” Ryanair is a kind of airline porn, in that the headlines it makes are irresistible to anyone that’s ever flown on a plane.

Now, after a laundry list of budget saving initiatives we’ll discuss below, Ryanair is proposing its latest strategy to slash fares for budget travellers: removing  toilets from its planes.

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October 12, 2021

BlackBerry outage bad timing for weary RIM

In terms of “what RIM needs right now,” a massive, sweeping BlackBerry outage falls somewhere between its stock price falling below $20 and photos of Jim Balsillie in drag popping up online.

9900Bold_blk_BottomAngleIndeed, just when the world was beginning to forget about the ongoing PlayBook debacle, all that Research In Motion may have left – the sturdy BlackBerry and its reliable service – appears to be wavering, giving everyone the chance to reopen that age-old smartphone argument:

BlackBerry, iPhone or otherwise?

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Is your pension fund likely to come up short?

Just like everbody else, Canada’s biggest pension plans are struggling to cope after they took another beating over the past few months. And, when you look at future payouts, they continue to come up short, according to a recent Mercer study.

2011-Q3_img-1_eng The Mercer Pension Health Index now stands at 60% down from 71% at the end of the second quarter -- not to say that's anything unusual. The index, showing the ratio of assets to liabilities, has been on a steady downward trend for several years.

And things don't seem to improving.

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October 11, 2021

Mock turtleneck sales spike after Steve Jobs' passing

Steve Jobs. Visionary. Tech titan. Mock turtleneck.

Indeed, when playing word association with the late Apple chief, Jobs’ beltless-blue jeans-and-black-mock-turtleneck wardrobe is often the third or fourth thing that comes to mind.

It turns out, though, in the wake of the 56-year-old’s passing, the oft-ribbed look is now high in demand.

According to the Minnesota Business Journal, the company that famously sold the mock sweaters to Jobs by the dozen has seen a run on the turtlenecks since news of the Apple founder’s death.

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Should you bail out those spendthrift parents of yours?

Although you hear lots of stories about parents supporting their grown offspring, sometimes positions are reversed and it's the kids that have to carry the load. 

We're not talking here about parents who fallen on hard times because of disability or ill health.

No, this is more about dealing with those who've simply lived too high on the hog, leaving their grown children to pick up the tab for their irresponsibility -- whether through addiction or poor money skills. 

What do you do when your parents ask for money? Just say no, advises Dave Ramsay, a syndicated radio show host who's known for his black and white views.

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October 10, 2021

Do you expect to be debt free by the time you retire?

Coming off a spectacular long weekend, it's tempting to think about what life might be like if you didn't have to head back to work tomorrow.

But, for some boomers at least, taking more than a few days off is a very scary thought.

On average, Canadians plan to retire at about the age of 63, according to recent CIBC research. But only 21% of those who're getting close feel they'll have saved enough money to be able to retire on the date of their choosing.

What's worse, the older they get, the less certain they are that their savings can carry them through the retirement of their dreams. In fact, after the recent market gyrations, 31% are sure they're still going to be carrying some debt once they get there.

Does that surprise you? 

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October 06, 2021

Economic slowdown leading to fewer drunk drivers: report

I don’t recall the economy, back when it was strong even, having this kind of reach.

Stock-photo-1003155-drinking-driving For instance, as the world’s financial system plodded along in health pre-2008, we never heard stories of how great it was to own a home or how nice it was to make your car payments on time.

But ever since the economy tanked, it’s been remarkable how the recession’s tentacles have been able to wrap around everyone and everything, even two years since the downturn officially ceased.

To wit: according to a new report out of the U.S., the slowed-down economy may just be keeping more drunk drivers off the road.

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Just how miserable do you feel these days?

When it comes to North America’s economic outlook, things do look rather gloomy right now. If you have any doubts, have a look the Misery Index.

Ad Like the dreaded wind chill factor, the index takes unpleasant facts of life – unemployment and inflation – tries to gauge just how bad they make people feel. It’s a U.S. measure but the Canadian picture isn’t that much better.

Right, now the index is at a 28-year high, reflective of how weak the economic recovery has been and how bleak the future looks to many people.  

In fact, the index, first compiled during the runaway inflation days of the 1970s by economist Arthur Okun, is registering a nausea-inducing 12.7 — 9.1% for unemployment and 3.6% for annualized inflation.  

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October 05, 2021

iPhone 4S already blinged-out by U.K. super jeweller

There’s this guy, Stuart Hughes out of the U.K., and he tends to go a bit overboard.

Diamchess3 He’s one of these jeweller-to-the-stars types, and he pimps out everything from BlackBerries to iPads to fish tanks. No, really pimps them out. Like, slaps 149 grams of 22ct gold and a whack of diamonds onto an iPod Touch and turns it into a $226,000 gadget. That kind of stuff.

Remarkably, Hughes claims he actually sells his blinged-out creations. I spoke to him on the phone for an MSN feature a few months back, and he swears big money buyers flock to his gadgets, which act like status symbols for the super-rich.

If there was one thing you gained from speaking with the PR-savvy Hughes – his media people send out promo emails to reporters almost weekly – is that he’d never miss a headline. And, already, with the iPhone 4S debuting just yesterday, Hughes has turned the long-awaited smartphone into a gaudy jewel.

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Forget who gets the car, birth order may impact your career

If only the kids would get along, instead of blaming everything on their brothers or sisters.

But the reality is that all siblings aren't created equal and they don't get treated as such. Firstborns, for example, often get shafted because parents are stricter with them, while later-born kids often have fewer rules to cope with.

Now, however, it turns out that those first-born kids are the most likely to earn six figures and hold a top executive position among workers with siblings, according to findings from jobs website CareerBuilder.

Meanwhile, middle kids are the most likely to report holding an entry-level spot and earning less than $35,000.  

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...