October 18, 2021

Empty-nest syndrome may be a thing of the past

Once that last child is gone, parents often struggle with a profound sense of loss, not just because they miss the kids, but because their very identities have been significantly impacted, suggests psychologist Guy Winch.

But, rather than haunting their children's now uninhabited rooms, empty nesters are enjoying better social lives, traveling more frequently and have more financial freedom, a recent survey suggests.

As a whole, nine out of 10 empty nesters — defined as those whose children have permanently moved out of the home — indicated they're happy and look forward to more social and personal time now that the kids are gone. 

So much for the proverbial empty-nest syndrome. Other recent research indicates that, once that early sense of loneliness passes, parents tend to adjust quite nicely to a child-free household.

Rather than pining for soccer practice, empty nesters said they enjoy having more personal time (95%); lower grocery bills (91%); spending more time with their significant other or dating (85%); socializing with friends (80%); and no longer attending school-related functions (68%).

And they'd like this to be a permanent arrangement, it seems.

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October 03, 2021

Federal government may move ahead with fitness tax credit for adults

Forget all those chunky kids, the federal government is moving towards paying adults to get off the couch and into the gym.

After months of preparation, the Parliamentary Budget Office has finally come up with an estimate of what would likely cost to create the adult fitness tax credit it promised in its election campaign. The credit would be similar to the children’s fitness tax credit the government introduced a few years ago. 

If adopted, the rule change would allow taxpayers “to claim a non-refundable tax credit of up to $500 in eligible physical activity programming costs against their taxable income each year at a rate of 15% (i.e. the maximum annual amount to be offset against an individual’s taxes payable would be $75),” the PBO estimates.

The credit wouldn’t be transferable, so only those actually burning calories would be able to claim it.

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August 26, 2021

Canadians worry that aging boomers will overload health system

As the wave of baby boomers begin to retire, the strains of funding Canada’s health-care system will only grow over the next decade.

Combined with rising costs for most things in general, economists say health care spending, left unchecked, will become unsustainable.

So is it an wonder that so many Canadians worry about whether the country’s health system is ill-prepared to handle the needs of an aging population. 

Six in 10 Canadians lack confidence in the health system’s ability to care for Canada’s rapidly greying population, particularly those who already have experience with its approach to looking after seniors,  according to a recent study from the Canadian Medical Association.

Women, particularly those already caring for an elderly person, are among those least confident that hospitals and long-term care facilities can handle the demands of a population that's living longer than ever before.

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July 09, 2021

88-year-old McDonald's worker lovin' it

A Welsh employee may be the fast-food chain's oldest. It beats staying at home bored senseless, he says.

When you envision your 88th birthday, where do you see yourself?

If the answer is "behind the counter at McDonald's," you're either an economic cynic that people regularly come up with excuses not to talk to at parties, or you're Welsh World War II veteran Bill Dudley, who may be the oldest McDonald's (MCD.TSX) employee in the world.

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June 25, 2021

Diabetics face discrimination, suffer emotional distress

Diabetes suppliesA new study reports that 15 per cent of people living with diabetes have felt discriminated against due to their disease.

And one in four Canadians with diabetes experiences great emotional distress.

As a mother of two children with Type 1 diabetes (also referred to as insulin dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes) I have to admit it isn't an easy haul for them.

As a matter of fact, it is a tough world out there not only for people living with diabetes, but also for those who are living with other diseases and disabilities.

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May 23, 2021

Building a nest egg not a top priority for many Canadians

983477_77408376It seems that stashing cash in a cache isn't a top priority for many Canadians.

Growing up, our grandparents and parents always stressed the importance of building that all-important nest egg to have a little something for a rainy day.

However, that doesn't seem to be the case today.

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May 21, 2021

Criminal record can come back to haunt

Thinking of volunteering or seeking new employment?

Well, if you have a previous criminal record you may want to double check that record before your prospective employer does.

According to Pardon Applications of Canada, those Canadians who received an absolute or conditional discharge prior to July 24, 2021 may find they still have a criminal record attached to their name.

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Worries over aging investors being abused likely overstated: report

Regardless of gender or education level, most people become considerably less literate when it comes to handling money issues after age 60, according to a recent study.

The result is that retirees with significant cognitive deficits will have problems making sound financial decisions. They may make investment mistakes that cause losses in their retirement accounts that will reduce their retirement incomes and standards of living.

Or, even worse, unscrupulous advisors might take advantage of them by selling them inappropriate investments, or one with excessive commissions -- something that's more more easily done when decision-making abilities and the grasp of financial concepts are diminished.

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May 16, 2021

Canadians losing sleep over finances

1034045_56715244Life happens.

And with it, so do unforeseen hardships.

That's why it is always good to be proactive and have a plan.

A new report by BMO Wealth Institute reveals that while many Canadians have a financial plan in place, very few have considered what would happen if unexpected life events arose that could cause financial hardships.

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March 27, 2021

Coin counters: rolling with the times

CoinsI remember my father with his neat stacks of coins lined up on the kitchen table, ready to roll up into coin wrappers of every denomination.

Quarters, nickels, dimes and, of course --- lots and lots of pennies!

He had a lot of patience sorting and counting the change and I admired how he managed to stuff those neat stacks of coins into the little paper wrappers with expert precision.

Now, many banks across the country are rolling out coin counting machines to offer convenience for all that spare change laying around the house.

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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...