April 12, 2021

Save or buy a lottery ticket?

What are the odds?

No, really. What are the odds of actually winning the biggest Lotto 6/49 jackpot in Canadian history?

Well, I wouldn't quit your day job.

According to statistics, chances are one in almost 14 million -- well, one in 13,983,816 to be exact.

Up for grabs is an estimated $55 million jackpot which is continuing to grow.

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January 08, 2022

Are older people more likely to become problem gamblers?

For millions of Canadians, buying lottery tickets, betting on the horses or feeding the slots is nothing more than a fool’s tax that raises billions for provincial treasuries. For many others, however, gambling is a serious soul-shattering addiction that's tough to be beat.

And the older you get, the bigger the potential problem, research suggests. Some 68% of Canadian seniors gamble, and around 2.1% have moderate to severe gambling-related problems, according to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.

Seniors gamble for the same reasons — to have fun, make money, curiosity — that drive most casino visitors.

However, with much more time on their hands, some older people use gambling as a way to escape their everyday problems: loneliness, the loss of a spouse, or the stressful demands of distant family.

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October 03, 2021

Would a casino be good for your city?

Concerned citizens packed Ottawa city council chambers yesterday to hear the pros and cons of locating a full-fledged casino in the capital. Many are concerned about increased crime and gambling addiction, despite the attraction of more revenues for municipal coffers.

"Gambling is an addiction with extreme consequences," local addiction counsellor Dallas Smith told council members, arguing that casinos contribute to family breakdown, domestic violence and bankruptcy.

"Gambling also has the highest rate of suicide of any type of addiction,” he said. He may be right, but it's not likely to make much difference.

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September 21, 2021

More older and educated people declaring bankruptcy

Times sure are tough across the border.

The number of Americans with advanced degrees filing for bankruptcy jumped 20 per cent over the last five years, the Institute for Financial Literacy reports. And the Canadian numbers show a strikingly similar trend.

More and more people over age 55 are finding themselves having to file for bankruptcy as a way to get out of financial holes and to help rebuild their lives. 

Older debtors, particularly those on a fixed income, run into financial problems, largely because their cost of living keeps increasing.

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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...