August 11, 2021

Time to think outside the hammock, author says.

Just think: every eight seconds, one more boomer turns sixty.

Ad And, while that may signal trouble for some, most believe they’re just getting started at this age. So instead of retiring, it's more like graduating. And that means moving away from home.

Moving touches every part of your life, however, and not all aspects are necessarily for the better.

That’s why, if you're thinking about picking up the stakes and relocating in your retirement years, it's never too early to start planning, says author Barbara Corcoran in her book NEXTVILLE: Amazing Places to Live the Rest of Your Life.

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August 08, 2021

Are health costs in retirement different for men and women?

When you or your partner retires, does it affect your health?

Pill That depends on whether you're the husband or the wife, says Angela Curl, a professor of social work at the University of Missouri.

According to her research, husbands report that while they feel their health declined after retirement it improved once when their wives retired. And that may mean less spending on health care, a major expense in retirement.

Wives, on the other hand, didn't share that sentiment. They maintained that their health remained pretty much the same after their husbands left work.

And when these women retired themselves and were asked about their own health, they generally rated it as worse during the first few years after they left their jobs, but then said it improved as time went on.

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July 12, 2021

The changing shape of retirement around the world

A new era in retirement is dawning as the West’s golden age of pensions comes to an end and the first generation of ‘prosperous pensioners’ appears in the world’s emerging economies, according to a new report from HSBC.

Re In both Europe and North America, people have enjoyed generous state and company pensions, job stability and rising stock and property markets for many years.

But with people living longer and governments and companies unable to support the costs of expensive pension schemes, individuals are being forced to take much greater personal responsibility for their retirement planning.

And while Canadians as a group seem a bit better prepared for all this than those across the border, they’re still worried. 39% of us associate retirement with financial hardship, and this concern is highest amongst 50-59 year olds (45%), women (42%) and divorcees (53%).

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May 31, 2021

Two important keys to retirement security

Are you worried what retirement is going to look like? Wondering if you'll be better off than your parents?

Ratio If you’re over age 50 and concerned about the future, consider making two changes that could significantly improve your odds of retiring, says Charles Farrell, author of Your Money Ratios: 8 Simple Tools for Financial Security.

If you combine working a little longer with some modest reductions in your retirement lifestyle, you can vastly improve your retirement picture, he suggests. 

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May 17, 2021

Disgruntled teachers fight for increased pensions

Compared to most Canadians, Ontario’s teachers enjoy one of the richest pension plans in the country. Longtime teachers, who now contribute an average of 11% of salary towards their pension, can expect to receive about two thirds of what they were making over their last few years of work once they leave the classroom.

Teach But, according to a group of disgruntled retired teachers, along with their widows and widowers, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan isn’t playing fair when it comes to determining how much of this money the spouses of dead plan members should receive.

At issue is OTPP's practice of denying full survivor pensions to those who marry after they retire. Under the current rules, spouses who come along after the plan member retires are entitled to only 10 years of benefits.

If pensioners who marry after retirement want to provide a longer-lasting benefit, they must take a pension cut to obtain a survivors pension for their spouse. The reduced pension is permanent, even if the pensioner outlives their late-in-life spouse. 

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April 27, 2021

Why women need to save more than men for retirement

It's no secret that women have more trouble than men in successfully securing their retirement, largely due to smaller salaries, less time in the workforce, lower lifetime earnings and inconsistent retirement savings.

Generally speaking, the woman in the family is usually younger than her partner and is more likely to have more gaps in her employment history since women's careers are frequently interrupted to raise children.

So it may not be that great a surprise to hear that one area where men seem to be winning out is retirement confidence, the Employee Benefit Research Institute reports.

According to EBRI’s research, men are more likely than women to say they’re very confident that they will have saved enough to live comfortably throughout retirement and are equally sure about having enough money to take care of basic expenses and medical costs.

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April 13, 2021

Retirees worry whether they'll be able to pay their medical bills

According to recent research from Fidelity Investments, almost seven in 10 (68%) of those approaching retirement said rising health care costs is one of their three biggest financial concerns (outliving savings and inflation being the other worries).

Ret Good news. For the first time in 10 years, the outlook is improving for older workers wondering whether they'll be able to pay their medical bills throughout their retirements.

Fidelity Investments recently released its annual estimate of the lifetime, out-of-pocket costs for medical bills for a couple, both age 65, retiring in 2011. This year’s number — $230,000 — is down $20,000 from 2010’s estimate of $250,000.

Fidelity's estimate is a projection of what an average couple would need. Actual costs will vary widely, of course, depending on a couple's medical needs and how long they live. The study assumes no employer-provided insurance in retirement, and a life expectancy of 85 for women and 82 for men.

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April 11, 2021

DB pension plans soon a thing of the past: report

A continuing shift in pension plan funding is driving more employers to rethink their pension plan structures, forcing employees to shoulder more risk in the process.

Pen Contract work, career changes and a longer, more active retirement have changed what Canadians need from a pension. And, increasingly, they’re on their own when it comes to funding their days after work.

Faced with having to pump more money into plans or decrease the benefits, companies of all sizes are increasingly moving workers away from guaranteed defined benefit (DB) pension plans into open-ended defined contribution (DC) plans.

51 per cent of Canadian companies have already converted to DC plans for current employees or new hires, up from 42 per cent in 2008, according to a recent review by Towers Watson. And a further 9 per cent plan to convert this year.

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March 14, 2022

British public sector workers face smaller pensions

And you thought Wisconsin's governor Scott Walker was determied to gut public service unions.

If Sir John Hutton gets his way, British public sector workers could pay more for their pensions, receive lower payouts and have to work much longer before retirement.

Hutton’s main recommendation, carried over from an interim report last summer, is that the final salary link for public sector pensions should be replaced with new schemes which calculate pensions on a "career average" – the norm in many Canadian pension plans which generally take an average of your last five years on the job.

Although accrued pension benefits in the existing schemes would be fully protected, this would still mean lower pensions for the majority of workers and could mean cuts of up to 40% for higher earners.

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March 08, 2022

Canadian retirement age pushed back to 68: study

Canadians know they have a ways to go when it comes to retirement planning.

Istockphoto_10040870-elderly-couple-discussing-budget After all, the just-passed RRSP deadline also doubles as a brutal reminder of our savings inadequacies. Only 39 per cent had even planned to contribute this year, meaning, unfortunately, Canucks aren’t exactly Warren Buffett on ice.

But while we’re not planning for retirement on time, we still plan on retiring  on time, right? Right?

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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...