Extra Reading: Halloween, Zombies, and Election Trick and Treats

Happy Halloween!  Do you get lots of trick or treaters at your door?  We used to hand out candy to 200 – 300 costumed kids every year, but it’s now dwindled down to only a handful.  So, unfortunately, my husband and I end up having to eat most of the mega 270-piece box of tiny chocolate bars ourselves. 😉

What’s spookier than a Canadian federal election?  The media tried to make a feast out of the meager crumbs of “black-face,” “dual citizenship,” and the turban “confrontation,” but no one cared.  There was no international political intrigue from Russia, Ukraine or China here, just a lot of personal attacks, promises, and money being thrown about.

Campaign promises

Now, the campaign is over, and the Liberals have won a minority, let’s review their promises on matters that affect us seniors:

  • The basic personal amount, which is what you can earn without paying any tax, will be raised to $15,000 over the next four years.
  • Old Age Security payments for people over the age of 75 will by increased by 10 per cent or up to $729 a year.
  • There’s a proposal to improve survivor benefits paid under the Canada Pension Plan by up to $2,080 a year.   This could be meaningful to many widows or widowers.  However, the maximum CPP amount still remains the same.

We know a minority government may have to grovel to reach agreements with other members of parliament in order to stay in power – likely with the New Democrats who have their own agendas. 

Here are some NDP propositions that could be put on the bargaining table:

  • The NDP have proposed a national pharmacare. (Do you remember that this was a Liberal campaign promise last election?)
  • In the wake of the Sears bankruptcy, the NDPs want to introduce stronger protections for pensioners and their benefits by moving pensioners to the top of the hierarchy with creditors when a company goes bankrupt.  They have an interesting proposal to create an industry-financed insurance pool to deal with funding shortfalls and stop companies from paying out dividends when pensions are underfunded. 
  • The New Democrats want to raise the taxable capital gains rate from 50% to 75% which would make it one of the highest in the world – not exactly a plan favoured by retirees who are now drawing income from their retirement portfolios.
  • They would also like to make the caregiver tax credit refundable.  This tax break would help those who care for a disabled family member.

We could expect to see some of these ideas implemented as part of the 2020 federal budget next spring.  But, given how long it takes for any government policies to be implemented, especially those that also need provincial approval, I won’t be adjusting my retirement plan anytime soon.

What do you think?

Extra reading

But, enough from me.  Here are some articles I found interesting this week.

  • Do you see zombies?  They are all around us.
  • Everyone likes to think their retirement will be all sunshine and drinking margaritas on the beach, but there can also be a dark side.  Mike Drak shares some things to consider.
  • This post challenges the traditional concept of retirement.
  • As new technology is introduced, we barely have to get up off our couch or even talk to anyone anymore (Alexa and Siri don’t count).  But is it coming at the cost of growing social isolation in the long run?
  • I dislike it when people just go through the motions (all talk, protesting and pointing fingers) to look like they care about an issue.  I am more inspired by those who actually get off their butts and do something about a problem like this woman who is doing her part to combat our plastics crisis. 

Related:

Extra Reading: Canada, the Best Country in the World

Extra Reading: Downsizing, Retiring Together, Retirement Income

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