RETIREMENT'S HARSH NEW REALITIES
PROTECTING YOUR MONEY IN A CHANGING WORLD
Nine harsh realities and nine practical solutions from Gordon Pape, Canada’s trusted and widely read financial expert
In this hard-hitting new book, personal finance expert Gordon Pape zeroes in on the realities of retirement that confront Canadians, including collapsing pension plans, a tax system that works against us, pitiful savings rates, and the fact that there are no “safe” investments. What lies ahead is a series of wrenching changes to our retirement system as governments and corporations struggle to cope with a tidal wave of harsh economic, demographic, and social realities. But it is not all doom and gloom if you take control of your money now!
With his trademark take-action advice, Pape helps you to understand the realities of retirement and offers practical solutions for protecting your family’s future in a rapidly changing world. If you want to ensure that you have enough money for retirement, Pape’s approach to finance will teach you how to create a financial plan that works, pay off debt (and stay debt free), invest wisely, understand your pension plan, minimize taxes, and more.
In these lean times, Retirement’s Harsh New Realities is a must-read for all Canadians. Take control and learn how to protect your future.
During the summer and fall of 2010, millions of protesters poured into the streets of France in a series of demonstrations and strikes that almost paralyzed the country and made headlines around the world. Schools were closed by student sit-ins and teacher walkouts. Most of the country’s oil refineries were shut down by strikes, leaving motorists with empty tanks. Mail went undelivered. Public transportation was disrupted. To the dismay of tourists, even the iconic Eiffel Tower was closed to visitors when staff walked off the job.
In cities across the country, marchers chanted slogans and waved placards denouncing the nefarious policies of the government of Nicolas Sarkozy. Truckers, ambulance operators, and armoured car drivers used their vehicles to set up blockades, snarling traffic in the process. There were clashes with police.
Officials watched nervously. Street demonstrations had brought down French governments before. Was it about to happen again? A huge rally in the Place de la Bastille, where the French Revolution began, sent shivers down the spines of government ministers and their supporters. They became even more nervous when polls revealed that two-thirds of their countrymen supported the marchers.
What cause was great enough to bring the French people into the streets six times in less than two months? Starvation? Human rights violations? Wide-scale government corruption? War?
No, none of these traditional flashpoints was the cause. In a historic first, the French were protesting over retirement! It had never happened before, or at least not on such a huge scale. But be assured, it will happen again—soon and often.
People in North America could scarcely believe what they were seeing on television and reading in the newspapers. France was in revolt over a government plan to raise the minimum retirement age from sixty to sixty-two! For Canadians and Americans, that was still three years short of their traditional retirement age. But the French had different expectations. They had become accustomed to stopping work early and living their retirement years in comfort, thanks to generous pensions. In some cases, they actually ended up collecting more money in retirement than they had when they were employed. French workers saw it as a birthright. The government saw it as a fiscal liability—one that was about to become uncontrollable as the baby boom generation reached the age of retirement. In the end, Sarkozy and his ministers hung tough and the measure was passed into law. However...
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Gordon Pape is one of Canada’s leading personal finance experts and the author of several books, including the bestseller Retirement’s Harsh New Realities. He lives in Toronto.