Hello there front-end baby boomers. The question before the house is “What shall we do with our windfall of $8.30 a month” ? That’s the total of the increase I received when I added together my Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security cheques in January. Once a year Ottawa adjusts the payments for inflation.
Let’s see … $8.30 would buy one senior’s ticket at the movies, plus a small popcorn if you go on Cheap Tuesday. It would buy a hotdog at a Jets game or a Roughrider game, but not a beer to wash it down.
Luckily in my case, there’s more money coming in than OAS and CPP, but thousands of Canadians are not so lucky. Roughly a third of the people who responded to a survey conducted by the Bank of Montreal said they will be heavily dependent on government pensions once they stop working.
Close to 60% said they would likely go out and find a part-time job. 40% are counting on an inheritance, and 34% said their financial plan for the future includes winning the lottery !
How about the younger generations who are coming up behind us? Most of the 20-somethings and 30-somethings that I talk to are not expecting anything when it comes to publicly-funded retirement pensions. They regard the CPP as nothing more than a payroll tax.
When Lester Pearson’s government created the CPP back in the 1960’s, we didn’t give it a great deal of thought. Some of us had student loans to pay off, but nothing like the mountain of debt that today’s graduates face.
As they roll out the advertising for RRSP’s, we’ll be reminded once again that we need a nest-egg of at least half a million dollars to generate enough income to replace what we lose when we retire. I’m thinking we might just as well put that eight bucks into lottery tickets, and dream the impossible dream.
I’m Roger Currie