CANADIAN SNOWBIRDS LIKELY RICH CANADIAN FAMILIES FINANCIALLY DISADVANTAGING SINGLES AND THE POOR

CANADIAN SNOWBIRDS LIKELY RICH CANADIAN FAMILIES FINANCIALLY DISADVANTAGING SINGLES AND THE POOR

These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice.

Who are the Canadian Snowbirds (Canadians who spend winter outside of Canada)? They are Canadians who spend up to approximately 182 days or six months out of Canada and in the United States each year usually during the winter season.

A new system is being implemented whereby Canadian snowbirds will be able to be tracked more easily for financial fraud during their snowbird stays.  Some snowbirds think they should be able to stay longer than six months in the USA.

According to MoneySense, ‘Follow the Flock South, October 8, 2013 moneysense more than one million Canadians age 55 and up lead lifestyle of snowbirds.

Avoiding the Snowbirds’ Trap’ thestar article states:

  • ‘that the study by the University of Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research revealed that Florida’s five-million population over 55 swelled by more than a million people every winter, and 82 per cent of these snowbirds came from Canada.  The study stated that not only are the number of snowbirds continuing to increase, encouraged by the dollar and cheaper real estate, they are getting younger as baby-boomers retire.
  • There are trade-offs that have to be made.  The winter snowbirds have a large impact on life in Florida.  One of the complicating issues is that those people are only in the state for part of the year.
  • State and county governments responsible for roads and transportation are often caught in a quandary of whether or not to improve infrastructure to cope with the winter traffic jams, or plan around the six summer months when the snowbirds have left and roads, public transit, even retail malls are relatively deserted.  One key finding of the study was that 81 per cent or 500,000 snowbirds spending their winters in Florida actually own their secondary home in the sunshine state.
  • Canadians are the biggest foreign purchasers of U.S. residential real estate and own an estimated $50 billion worth in Florida alone.
  • There also has been talk about proposed USA legislation creating a Retirees Visa, increasing the current six-month limit on a winter stay for snowbirds to eight months.’

Canadians snowbirds make their presence felt:  spending $5 billion in 2012, just in the big-four sunshine states of Florida, Arizona, Texas and California alone according to the Canadian Snowbird Association. snowbirds

The following article give some interesting facts of Canadian real estate purchases in the USA:  ‘2015 Profile of Home Buying – Activity of International Clients (Residential) in USA-April/14 to Mar/15′ realtor.org

  • In April, 2014 to March, 2015 homes estimated to be sold to foreign buyers were approximately 209,000 with total sales estimated to be $104 billion.
  • Fourteen per cent were from Canada (29,260 sales) with sales of $11.2 billion ($382,775 per sale).  About 47% of Canadian buyers bought for vacation properties and 12% for vacation and rental.  Types of housing purchased include 46% detached homes, 35% condos, and 12% townhomes.  Remaining 7% were commercial, land and other purchases.  On average Canadian buyers purchased properties valued at $380,000 and about 73% were purchased on an all-cash basis.
  • Dollar value of Canadian sales for 2009 $8.9 billion, 2010 $17.1 billion, 2011 $13.0 billion, 2012 $15.9 billion, 2013 $11.8 billion, 2014 $13.8 billion.
  • Fifty per cent of sales were in the four states of Florida, California, Texas and Arizona.
  • Foreign buyers tended to be upscale buyers (all buyers, not just Canadian) who paid overall USA average house price of $499,600 compared to average USA house price of about $255,600.
  • An average of 8% of USA residents were interested in buying in Canada in 2015.

SO WHO CAN AFFORD TO BUY SECOND PROPERTIES OUTSIDE OF CANADA AND RESIDE THERE FOR SIX MONTHS OF THE YEAR?

According to Statistics Canada there were approximately 5 million seniors age 65 and over in 2011.  About 47% are in family unit of two or more persons, the rest are singles and widowers.

One could probably estimate that most of the Canadian snowbirds are families as singles are less likely to be able to purchase a second home and stay in the USA for six months of the year. (See MoneySense All-Canadian Wealth Test below).   Forty-seven per cent of the 5 million Canadian seniors equals about 2,350,000 family units.  If 80% or 500,000 Canadians own second homes in Florida alone, that is a lot of money flowing out of Canada to the USA (another 20% of Floridian snowbirds do not own second homes in Florida).

WHERE IS ALL THE WEALTH GOING?

While wealthy Canadians are able to buy second homes and spend six month of the year outside the country, singles, poor families and the poor are left behind to support the country with money they don’t have.

One could say that if Canadian governments placed financial values for the country as one of their priorities, they would certainly not give future approval for outside the country stays over six months and they would maybe even shorten the stay to three or four months (added Arpil 26, 2016).

Yes, snowbirds still pay annual income taxes and property taxes, but  their houses are likely sitting empty for half the year.  Yes, they are not taking jobs away from USA citizens, but they also are taking their money away from Canada and spending it in the USA. Comments listed at the end of this post shows how entitled these rich snowbirds feel with no regard to what is happening financially to the country of which they are citizens.  (The last comment is one of better ones).

‘Money Sense “All Canadian Wealth Test’ 2009’ moneysense – Quote:  While incomes are far from equal, wealth is even more unbalanced. The richest 20% of Canadian households control about 69% of the wealth in Canada. The next quintile down possesses a further 20% of the net worth. Not much is left over for other people. The bottom 60% of households control only 11% of Canada’s wealth. In fact, the bottom fifth of the population possess no wealth and actually owe a few thousand dollars more than they own.

Families of Two or more Income 2015 MoneySense All Canadian Wealth Test (based on 2011 data) moneysense.2015

Upper-middle 20% quintile      $88,075 to $125,009

Highest 20% quintile                $125,010 and up

Families of Two or More Wealth 2015 MoneySense All Canadian Wealth Test (based on 2011 data)

Upper-middle 20% quintile       $589,687 to $1,139,488

Highest 20% quintile                 $1,139,489 and up

Above amounts are misleading as they include single parents with children.  If these persons are removed from the totals, net worth is probably much higher.

The Upper-middle 20% quintile of unattached individuals had a net worth of $128,068 to $455,876 and the Highest 20% quintile $455,877 and over.  (Does this include widowers? If it does, they are more likely to have greater net worth than ‘ever’-never married, no kids singles or early in life divorced/separated singles.)

The number of census families in Canada—married couples, common-law couples and lone-parent families equalled about 9.4 million families in 2011.

According to Statistics Canada there were approximately 4,945,055 seniors aged 65 and over in Canada in 2011.

Senior families of two or more persons comprise about 44% of the population, singles 13% and widowers 43%.

Opinion comments submitted by readers in response to the articles

From “Crooked Canadian Snowbirds risk losing their benefits under new security program” bnn.ca/News

-’Crooked Canadian Snowbirds??? Gimme a break.. The snowbirds you are talking about worked hard, saved and now are just wanting to enjoy some winters away from the cold and wet before the rising cost of health insurance keeps them hostage in Canada.  They are not taking any jobs from Americans and are not impairing the Canadian economy in anyway; cut them slack and stop making them out as criminals.

 

-By leaving the country for more than six months, you are spending your money elsewhere and not on the Canadian economy.  You will also lose health benefits such as the provincial health care that is free to Canadian citizens.  If you leave the country for more than six months, you should not be able to retain these benefits.  These are all costly benefits paid into and by taxpayers that should not be taken advantage of by anyone…Winter is only for six months.  I am one of those who runs away from winters, and that is more than enough time!!!’

From “Canadian Snowbirds Risk Losing Benefits under New Exit-Tracking System” snowbirds

-Snowbirds that spend six months in warmer countries pay for all year health care fees (British Columbia), income tax, property tax, but only use it for six months.  The government should be happy with it.  Nobody is exploiting the system.  Seniors have worked all their lives to pay for what the younger generation has now, so now it is time for the younger generation to pay for the next one and leave seniors alone.  They did their jobs and paid their dues.

 

-I used to work for (government) investigations and at that time we were uncovering $10 of fraud for every $1 spent on detecting it.  So you would have expected that the Government would hire more investigators until the ratio became 1-1.  However, it is difficult to convince voters that the government can save money by hiring more public servants.

 

-Provided they also go after rich tax cheats and their offshore tax havens, I’m fine with this.  It’s a myth that if you pay into a program, you’re automatically entitled to a benefit.  You’re only entitled to the benefit if you meet the criteria…in this case, the criteria is that you physically be in Canada for a certain portion of every year.  The programs are most often income supplements…not ‘retire in the sun’ strategies.  To think otherwise is the ultimate ‘entitlement mentality’.

 

-I will be judged for smamming my parents here, but this fits them to a tee.  Many years ago retired…early.  Moved from northern community to a border community.  Shop over the border every single day for everything.  They go to Florida 6 months a year.  Then come home and complain about Canada for the other 6 months.  We discussed (if one could call it) this once.  My parents were once proud Canadians.  Started with little, had children, used all the services available to them, for us.  As soon as they got what they needed.  BOOM.  Repubs overnight.  ‘Why should I pay for health care taxes for someone else?  We are never here’. Reminding them that they were part of the systems they used, while they were a young family fell on deaf ears. Children are not born selfish and greedy.  They are taught these terrible qualities.  I do agree we should be going offshore hunting for tax evaders, but this is a serious issue as well.  I remember suggesting to them ‘Why don’t you just move down there full time’?  Verbatim – ‘We will lose all our pension and health’.  Fools!’

End of comments.

This blog is of a general nature about financial discrimination of individuals/singles.  It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice.

CONTINUED FINANCIAL ILLITERACY OF FINANCIAL GURUS EQUALS FINANCIAL DISCRIMINATION OF SENIOR SINGLES (Part 2 of 2)

CONTINUED FINANCIAL ILLITERACY OF FINANCIAL GURUS EQUALS FINANCIAL DISCRIMINATION OF SENIOR SINGLES (Part 2 of 2)

(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice.)

This blog post is a comment on the Broadbent Institute Report on the economic circumstances of Canadian seniors.  The Broadbent Institute is a left-leaning social democratic think tank founded by Ed Broadbent who was a past leader of the New Democratic Party .  It describes itself as an independent, non-partisan organization championing progressive change through the promotion of democracy, equality, and sustainability and the training of a new generation of leaders.  Its mission is to “Support, develop, and promote social democratic principles for the 21st century”, “Propose new solutions for a more equal society”, and “Equip a new generation of progressive campaigners & thinkers with the tools they need to build a social democratic society through training and education”.

This post addresses excerpts from the report first (Part 1), and then is followed by comments on the report (Part 2).

COMMENTS ON  REPORT – PART 2 OF 2

In February, 2016 the Broadbent Institute in Canada and Richard Shillington of Tristat Resources published the report:  “An Analysis of the Economic Circumstances of Canadian Seniors”.       (analysis_of_the_economic_circumstances_of_canadian_seniors)

The report information is mainly directed towards poverty of seniors without an employer pension plan (roughly 47 per cent) and therefore, many of these seniors have wholly inadequate retirement savings.

(It should be noted in the report that single seniors does not refer to marital status, but the fact that they live alone.  Therefore, single seniors includes ‘ever’-never married, no kids-singles, divorced/separated, and widowed seniors living alone).

Review of the report reveals some points that are very disconcerting.

  • The true facts of what it costs singles to live is under-reported.  Married/coupled persons and, indeed, the author of the Broadbent report do not seem to realize that the widowed (married/coupled persons whose spouses are deceased) are a part of the singles population.  It is a well known fact that it costs singles approximately 70 per cent of what it costs married/coupled persons to live as a single unit.  This fact is never addressed in the report. (Using LIM 11.1 percent of seniors live in poverty–719,000 seniors:  419,000 singles and 250,000 living in an economic family.  The poverty is astonishingly high at almost 30 per cent for senior singles without employer pension plans).  (Widowed persons and the extra benefits they get are discussed later in this post).
  • All the extra benefits that have been given to married/coupled persons are never addressed.  Governments continue to create financial silos where more and more benefits are given to married/coupled persons even though they are able to live with less because of economies of scale, but not to singles resulting in financial inequality.  (Following table was updated on March 8, 2016 with additional information).

financial silos6

  • It is ludicrous that this report does not treat home equity as a retirement asset.  Those who have to rent are at a much greater financial disadvantage than those who own their own home.  Quote from report : “ …..Many of those who argue that there is no looming pension crisis have included home equity as a liquid asset.  This analysis has not treated home equity as a retirement asset because the replacement rate analysis has as its objective an income that allows one to enjoy a lifestyle comparable to that which existed pre-retirement.  We do not include home equity here because we accept that the pre-retirement lifestyle for many middle- and moderate-income Canadians include continued homeownership”, (Page 19).

According to Statistics Canada 2011 articles “Living Arrangements of Seniors” and “Homeownership and Shelter Costs in Canada”:      (statcan.gc.ca) and (statcan)

  • The average household total income for couple-family households was about twice that of non-family households (which were primarily one-person households) and lone-parent households ($101,000 per year versus $43,000 per year and $55,000 per year respectively).  Thus, while lone-parent households and non-family households had a lower cost than couple-family households, the lower household total income results in a higher proportion exceeding the affordability threshold”.
  • Approximately 69 per cent of Canadians own their own home.  About  four out of five (82.4%) married/coupled people own their own home, while less than half (48.5%) of non-family households (singles) own their dwellings.  Just over half (55.6%) of lone-parent households own their dwelling.  (It stands to reason that more senior married/coupled and widowed persons will own their own homes, while senior singles–‘ever’ single and early divorced)–are more likely to have to rent placing them in greater income inequality and a lower standard of living and quality of life). Regardless of housing tenure, the proportion of non-family households and lone-parent households that paid 30% or more of total income towards shelter costs was about twice the proportion of the couple-family households.
  • Quote “approximately 56.4 per cent of the senior population (5 million total seniors in 2011) live as part of a couple and about 24.6 per cent of the senior population live alone (excludes those living with someone else, in senior citizen facilities and collective housing).

Singles are constantly told to ‘go live with someone’ when they have difficulties paying for housing; meanwhile married/coupled and widowed persons may be living in their big houses (enjoying the same lifestyle they had before pre-retirement) and seeking help with paying their taxes while refusing to move to a less expensive dwelling.  (senior-singles-pay-more-part-3-of-4)

  • It is ludicrous for this report to state that seventy per cent  income replacement should be a benchmark in the formulas.  Seventy per cent income replacement is entirely different for those who own their own home versus those who rent.  It is selfish to think that the rich and married/coupled persons should be able to live same lifestyle post-retirement as pre-retirement when singles and early divorced generally will have a poorer lifestyle throughout their entire lives.

An example is the Financial Post financial evaluation “Bright Future Despite Big Debt, Small Income” published in Calgary Herald on February 20, 2016 where Ontario young couple’s after tax income is $4,800 per month and their food budget is $800 and entertainment $160 per month for two people.  Just these two items are 20 per cent of their budget.  Either they live in an area with very high food costs or they are living the high life for one of the necessities of life in Maslow’s Hierarchy of need.  Seventy per cent replacement at retirement would give this couple an unreasonably high style of life for food in comparison to singles.   Reader letter mentioned above in ‘senior-singles-pay-more-part 3-of-4’ link suggested singles should be able to live on just $200 per month for food.

  • It is ludicrous to suggest that persons without employer pension plans cannot save, especially those with incomes over $100,000.

Quote from report:  “For those with incomes in $50,000-$100,000 range, the median value (savings) is only $21,000” (Page 3).

If those with pension plans have forced saving, it it is ridiculous to say that those without pension plans are not able to save.  For example, a $75,000 before-tax income may result in $600-$700 per month being deducted from pay cheque (employer deductions are excluded in this discussion).   It is also ridiculous to say that in this First World country persons with $100,000 plus incomes cannot save.  One of the principles of good finances is to save 10 per cent.  Whole report promotes greed of looking for more benefits and not planning for the future if there is no plan for saving during working years.

  • Reporting false information on marital status is a crime.  Quote from report states:  “Table 7 represents the results of increasing the single and married GIS amounts by the same percentage.  One should keep in mind that there is an incentive for seniors to appear as singles to governments even if they are living as a couple.  This is because the GIS for senior couples is less than twice the amount for singles.  An increase in the GIS for singles only (with no increase for couples) would increase this so-called ‘tax on marriage’ and associated incentives.  This would encourage couples to hide their cohabitation from the authorities for financial reasons”, (Page 21).

GIS for senior couples should, repeat, should be less than twice the amount for singles.  Singles (particularly ‘ever’ and early divorced singles including the author of this blog) have worked very hard to have financial formulas include singles at 70 per cent of married/coupled persons living as a single unit.  The GIS for senior singles is more than married/coupled persons because it costs more for singles (including widowed persons)  to live than it does for married/coupled persons living as a single unit.  Why can’t married/coupled persons understand this?  When married/widowed persons become widowed their living costs will go up.

The statement  “An increase in the GIS for singles only (with no increase for couples) would increase this so-called ‘tax on marriage’ and associated incentives. This would encourage couples to hide their cohabitation from the authorities for financial reasons” is absurd and selfish.  Tax on marriage, why can’t married/coupled persons realize all the extra benefits they receive as outlined in table above???  When is ‘enough’ ever going to be ‘enough’ for them???

The notation (# 28) at the bottom of page 21 states:  “While legislation treats those cohabiting the same regardless of their marital status, it is easier to deceive the government if you are not married”.  This statement is false and backwards.  If it is anyone being deceitful, it is the married/coupled persons.  Can someone explain why it would be easier to deceive the government if you are not married (‘ever’ single)?  The issue with false reporting lies with those who are married/coupled, divorced or separated.  They are trying to ‘milk’ the system by falsely reporting their marital status even though the Canada Revenue income tax rules clearly define the parameters of marital status.

False reporting is a crime.  It would be very easy to track deceit by following income tax declaration of marital status and address of residence over several years.  Deceit of married/coupled persons would incrementally increase the monetary value they would receive from the deceit as it costs them less to live as a couple than it does single persons.

It seems married/coupled persons want it all even if they have to lie about it.  So what will they do when their spouse goes to a nursing home or is deceased?  In order to collect the benefits they are entitled to as one spouse living at home and the the other in a nursing home and widowers, they will need to lie again and change their marital status from single to married/coupled or widowed when filing their income taxes.

‘Ever’ singles (never married, no kids) throughout their entire working lives pay same amount of taxes as each individual (with equal income to the single person) reporting income tax in a married/coupled relationship and have supported/subsidized families who use mom/baby hospital care, EI benefits for maternal/paternal leaves, etc.  They are never recognized for their tax support and for using less resources than families.  Since singles have paid supportive taxes throughout their entire working lives, they deserve to live with the same financial dignity and respect as seniors and as married/coupled persons.  As seniors, ‘ever’ singles deserve to have their own space and their own bathroom and not be forced to cohabitate with other persons.

The real financial lives of singles is revealed when a simple math calculation is used for the targeted tax relief where a single senior can now earn $20,360 and a senior couple $40,720 before paying federal income tax.  This so called tax relief for seniors allows federal tax relief for singles equal to $1,697 per month and for senior couples $3,393 per month.  The tax relief for senior singles hardly covers a rent or mortgage payment of $1,200 and $250 for food per month (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need), but amply covers this amount for a senior couple.  For a couple $1200 for rent or mortgage and $500 for food leaves $1693 (or 50% of $40,000) for other necessities and maybe even a nice little vacation all tax free.

CONCLUSION

It is incredible how in just a few paragraphs a think-tank can undo the hard work that singles have been trying to achieve in seeking financial equality.  Think-tanks and financial gurus continue to practice financial illiteracy on what it truly costs singles to live.   (false-assumptions-four-ways-seniors-singles-lose outand (financial-gurus-financially-illiterate-about-singles-finances)

Even though the final statement of the report states:  The GIS is the most effective federal mechanism in the short term for reducing the poverty rate and the impact of poverty on seniors, and it can be targeted at senior singles who need it the most”, there are many shortcomings to this report.

This report is encouraging irresponsible financial behavior.  It is morally, ethically and socially reprehensible in a First world country to say that one cannot save with an income over $100,000 and to promote financial inequality and discrimination of singles.

The Broadbent Institute is supposed to be about ‘a more equal society’, so where is the financial equality?

SOLUTIONS

In order to ensure financial equality between singles (including widowers) and married/coupled persons the following measures need to be taken:

    • change financial formulas so that senior singles receive 70 per cent of whatever is given to married/coupled senior persons as it costs more for singles to live than it does married/coupled persons because of economies of scale
    • financial formulas should be revised to include all senior persons regardless of marital status in one financial formula.  To eliminate financial silos that benefit married/coupled persons most, delete benefits already given to married/coupled persons such as pension splitting (benefits the rich most) so that there is a level financial playing field for all regardless of marital status. (It is understood that it is expensive to raise children and  benefits given for children should last for first twenty years of the life of the child.  However, beyond the twenty years of the children, any other benefits given to married/coupled persons should be deleted or should also be given equally to singles at rate of 70 per cent)
    • create a side-by-side list of all possible benefits under categories of married/coupled, widowed and single and analyze the total value of benefits in each category (see table above).  Financial formulas should be created equally for all categories, not just the married/coupled and widowed.
    • delete allowance benefit that has been ruled to be discriminatory by the courts
    • education, education and more education on financial literacy for singles.  Think tanks, financial gurus and married/coupled people need to educate themselves on what it really costs singles to live.

(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice.)

 

 

CONTINUED FINANCIAL ILLITERACY OF FINANCIAL GURUS EQUALS FINANCIAL DISCRIMINATION OF SENIOR SINGLES (Part 1 of 2)

CONTINUED FINANCIAL ILLITERACY OF FINANCIAL GURUS EQUALS FINANCIAL DISCRIMINATION OF SENIOR SINGLES (Part 1 of 2)

(This blog is of a general nature about financial discrimination of individuals/singles.  It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice.)

In February, 2016 the Broadbent Institute and Richard Shillington of Tristat Resources in Canada has published the report:  “An Analysis of the Economic Circumstances of Canadian Seniors” http://goo.gl/HNP2Ee

The report information is mainly directed towards poverty of seniors without an employer pension plan (roughly 47 per cent) and therefore, many of these seniors have wholly inadequate retirement savings.

Using LIM (low-income measure) senior poverty has increased from a low of 3.9 per cent in 1995 to 11.1 per, or one in nine, in 2013.  The poverty rates for single seniors, particularly women (at nearly 30 per cent), are very high and need to be addressed, (Page 2).   (LICO, or Low Income Cut Off, is not used here because it is not a true income poverty indicator as it was set in 1992 where families spend 20 per cent more of their income on necessities than was typical and has not been reset since.)

(It should be noted in the report that single seniors does not refer to marital status, but the fact that they live alone.  Therefore, single seniors includes ‘ever’ singles, divorced/separated, and widowed seniors living alone.)

In Canada, the income-tested OAS (Old Age Security) and GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement) benefits together provide a regular minimum economic guarantee and are used to supplement regular income (from CPP-Canadian Pension Plan, private pensions and private savings) to lift seniors out of poverty.

Some of  the key findings of the report include:

  • The proportion of the population receiving the GIS is higher for senior singles than couples, and higher for single women (between 44 per cent and 48 per cent) than for single men (between 31 percent and 37 per cent), (Page 3).
  • ‘Roughly half of those aged 55-64 with no employer pension  benefits….. have savings that represent less than one year’s worth of the resources they need to supplement OAS/GIS and CPP.  Fewer than 20 per cent have enough savings to support the supplemented resources required for at least five years, (Page 3)…..For those with incomes in $50,000-$100,000 range, the median value is only $21,000…..(Page 3).
  • The overall median value of retirement assets of those aged 55-64 with no accrued pension benefits is just over $3,000.  For those with annual incomes in the range of $25,000-$50,000. the median value is just over $250.  For those with incomes in the $50,000-$100,000 range, the median value is only $21,000, (Page 3).
  • Only a small minority (roughly 15-20 per cent) of middle-income Canadians retiring without an employee pension plan have saved….enough for retirement.  The vast majority of those families with annual incomes of $50,000 and more will be hard pressed to save enough in their remaining period to retirement (less than 10 years)…..(Page 3).
  • The seniors’ poverty gap is $2.5 billion in aggregate annually, due to the 719,000 poor seniors (469,000 singles and 250,000 living in an economic family.)  A 10 per cent benefit increase in the GIS to address this gap would cost $1,628 million, and would reduce the number of poor seniors (married/coupled and singles) by about 149,000, (Page 3).
  • In the recent election, the Federal Liberal Party promised to increase the GIS by 10 per cent for single seniors.  (NOTE:  this does not include coupled seniors).  A simulation using Statistics Canada’s Social Policy Simulation Database and Model (SPSD/M) suggests this would cost $700 million and remove about 85,000 single seniors from the poverty roles, with a reduction in the singles poverty rate of 5.7 percentage points, (Page 3).  (Singles poverty rate of 5.7 percentage points from approximately  28 per cent for senior single females, and 24 per cent for senior single males, that’s all???)

Factors Affecting Seniors Poverty

As of July 2015, the income-tested maximum annual OAS/GIS benefits for seniors aged 65 and over with no other source of income were $15,970 for singles and $25,746 for couples…..The GIS is phased out as income rises and is reduced to zero above an annual income (thus calculated) of $17,136 for single seniors and $22,068 for senior couples, (Page 9).

Reliance on the GIS is greater for single seniors than it is for senior couples across all age ranges…..  For example, 41 per cent of all seniors over 85 receive the GIS, while only 30 per cent of seniors aged 66-69 receive it. (Page 9).

Pension Coverage (Page 12)

The difference in incomes at retirement between those seniors with and without a pension income is stark…..The difference is not all due simply to the presence or absence of an employer pension plan.  Those who have had an employer pension plan are more likely to have had better paying jobs, and jobs with health and other benefits.  As well, it is possible for those who seek out jobs with a pension are more likely to be those motivated to save for retirement.  But certainly, participating in a pension offers advantages that make it easier to have a higher income at retirement, (Page 12).

For couples, those without pension income have significantly lower total incomes ($52,000) to compared to those with pension income ($68,000).  This is despite their higher income from earnings ($19,100 for those without pension income, compared to $7,200 for those with pension income).

For individuals, the story is very different:  They are more likely than couples to be over the age of 70, and much less likely to be employed.  For single women, the median incomes are $18,000 for those without a pension and $30,400 for those with a pension  For men, the medians are $19,000 and $37,300, respectively.  These gaps are significant, (Page 12).

LIM (Low Income Measure) is used in this report and is based on after-tax income to assess poverty of seniors.  This measure shows what proportion of persons have after-tax incomes that are less than half of the median or midpoint to comparable families.

Two criterion to assess adequacy of income at retirement are:  1)  poverty criterion, and 2) replacement rate concept, (Page 13).

Generally,  the median incomes for those without pension income is just over half for those with pension income, (Page 13).

The report goes on “to suggest that a significant proportion of those without an employer pension plan will not have saved adequately for retirement and will suffer a major loss of income”.

Retirement savings without employer pension (Page 14-16)

Report states that from Survey of Financial Security for 2012 about half of families (what is the definition of family here?) aged 55-64 without an employer pension have virtually no savings; indeed 78 per of them have less than $100,000 in retirement savings.  Lower-income families eligible for OAS/GIS along with CPP may still have little or no drop in income, however inadequate that income might be, (Page 14).

….Vast majority of these families with annual incomes of $50,000 and more will be hard pressed to save enough in their remaining period of retirement (less than 10 years) to avoid a significant fall in income.  It appears that at least 25 per cent have very limited retirement assets despite incomes of $50,000-$200,000, (Page 15).

The report does state that ‘analysis presented in tables is somewhat simplistic because it ignores the impact of public benefits (OAS/GIS and CPP) on the amount that future seniors need to save.  It is also accepted that many seniors need less income in retirement in order to maintain the standard of living that they had pre-retirement.  The actual replacement rate required-the ratio of post-retirement to pre-retirement income-varies by how it is measured (pre- or post-tax).  Seventy per cent is commonly used, although it varies by individual circumstances and tastes; higher values are more appropriate for the poor, and lower values are more appropriate for the very wealthy’, (Page 15-16).

Retirement savings compared to income (Page 16-20)

Tables show widespread under-saving using calculations of 70 per cent pre-tax replacement rate…

Some do not need to save for retirement to get 70 per cent replacement because their income is quite low (below $21,429 for singles and $35,714 for couples).  These individuals and couples were deleted from table 5…..,(Page 16).

To illustrate, a family with an income of $100,000 (pre-tax) is assumed to need $70,000 (70 per cent of $100,000), and will get roughly $25,000 in public support.  Thus, they will need to make up $45,000 per year from their private savings, (Page 16).

Even those with an income of more than $100,000 are unlikely to have more than five years worth of the required supplemental income in their retirement savings; only 21 per cent meet this criterion……(Page 17).

In summary, regardless of income, few of these families have enough savings to supplement their income for even one year.  Only 15-20 per cent have enough for five or more years. (Page 17).

…..Many of those who argue that there is no looming pension crisis have included home equity as a liquid asset.  This analysis has not treated home equity as a retirement asset because the replacement rate analysis has as its objective an income that allows one to enjoy a lifestyle comparable to that which existed pre-retirement.  We do not include home equity here because we accept that the pre-retirement lifestyle for many middle- and moderate-income Canadians include continued homeownership, (Page 19).

One Option:  Reducing seniors poverty with GIS

The report then makes suggestions for decreasing poverty rate. One option is reducing seniors poverty with short term changes to GIS.  One of the paragraphs is as follows:

Table 6 presents estimates of the poverty gap using Statistics Canada’s SPSD/M microsimulation model. The poverty gap is the total amount of money that would be needed to raise the incomes of all poor seniors to the LIM poverty line-ignoring any  behavioral impacts of the transfer programs used to achieve that goal…..The poverty gap is $2.5 billion in aggregate, which is due to the 719,000 seniors:  419,000 singles and 250,000 living in an economic family.  The average gap is $2,400 for singles and $5,500 for seniors in a family, (Page 20-21).

Table 7 represents the results of increasing the single and married GIS amounts by the same percentage.  One should keep in mind that there is an incentive for seniors to appear as singles to governments even if they are living as a couple.  This is because the GIS for senior couples is less than twice the amount for singles.  An increase in the GIS for singles only (with no increase for couples) would increase this so-called ‘tax on marriage’ and associated incentives.  This would encourage couples to hide their cohabitation from the authorities for financial reasons, (Page 21).

The notation (# 28) at the bottom of page 21 states:  While legislation treats those cohabiting the same regardless of their marital status, it is easier to deceive the government if you are not married.  (Really???  How is this so when single status needs to reported on income tax returns; lying about marital status is a felony?).

Taking one example (from Table 7) of the tabulated results, a 10.0 increase is estimated to increase the cost of the GIS by $1,628 million to yield a poverty rate of 10.5 per cent and to reduce the number of poor seniors by about 149,000, (Page 22).

The (Federal) Liberal Party’s proposal in the recent election was to increase the GIS by 10 per cent for single seniors.  The SPSD/M simulation suggests that this would cost $700 million and remove about 85,000 single seniors from poverty, with a reduction in the singles poverty rate of 5.7 percentage points.  While a reasonable starting point, clearly much more can be done to reduce the poverty rate, (Page 22).

Conclusions

Poverty rates for seniors have been trending up since 1995.  Rates remain unacceptably high for single seniors-particularly women-and the worsening trends in pension coverage point to further increases in poverty in the future.  The GIS is the most effective federal mechanism in the short term for reducing the poverty rate and the impact of poverty on seniors, and it can be targeted at senior singles who need it the most, (Page 23).

(This blog is of a general nature about financial discrimination of individuals/singles.  It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice.)

 

FALSE ASSUMPTIONS- ‘FOUR WAYS SINGLE SENIORS LOSE OUT’

FALSE ASSUMPTIONS OF ARTICLE ‘FOUR WAYS SINGLE SENIORS LOSE OUT’

These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author and are not intended to be used as personal or financial advice.

(On searching internet a few days ago this article was found – ‘Four ways single seniors lose out’ by Ted Rechtshaffen, Financial Post October 13, 2012. While the intentions of the article are great, the assumptions and categorization of singles is false.)

In his October 13, 2012 article Ted Rechtshaffen (four-ways-single-seniors-lose-out) talks about four ways that single seniors financially lose out. Portions of the article are outlined in part here (full article is available online):

Rechtshaffen states:

“Being part of a couple in old age has so many tax advantages that losing a spouse through divorce or death can be very costly. Given the fact that so many more single seniors are female, this unfairness is almost an added tax on women. Becoming single in old age could cost you tens of thousands of dollars through no fault of your own. The current tax and pension system in Canada is significantly tilted to benefit couples over singles once you are age 65 or more….

Here are four ways that single seniors lose out:

1. There is no one to split income with. Since the rules changed to allow for income splitting of almost all income for those aged 65 or older, it has meaningfully lowered tax rates for some…If you are single, you are stuck with the higher tax bill.

2. CPP (Canadian Pension Plan) haircut… If one passes away, the government doesn’t pay out more than the maximum for CPP to the surviving spouse. They will top up someone’s CPP if it is below the maximum, but in this case, they simply lose out almost $12,000 a year.

3. RSP/RIF (Retirement Savings Plan/Retirement Income Fund) gets folded into one account. This becomes important as you get older and a larger amount of money is withdrawn by a single person each year — and taxed on income…her tax bill will be much larger… than the combined tax bill the year before, even though they have essentially the same assets, and roughly the same income is withdrawn.

4. Old Age Security (OAS). The married couple with $50,000 of income each, both qualify for full Old Age Security —… If the husband passes away, you lose his OAS, about $6,500. On top of that, in the example in #3, the wife now has a minimum RIF income…and combined with CPP and any other income, she is now getting OAS clawed back.

The clawback starts at $69,562, and the OAS declines by 15¢ for every $1 of income beyond $69,562. If we assume that the widow now has an income of $80,000, her OAS will be cut to $414.50 a month or another $1,500 annual hit simply because she is now single. In total, almost $8,000 of Old Age Security has now disappeared. As you can see, a couple’s net after-tax income can drop as much as $25,000 after one becomes single.

On the other side, there is no question that expenses will decline being one person instead of two, but the expenses don’t drop in half. We usually see a decline of about 15% to 30%, because items like housing and utilities usually don’t change much, and many other expenses only see small declines.

In one analysis our company did comparing the ultimate estate size of a couple who both pass away at age 90, as compared to one where one of them passes away at age 70 and the other lives to 90, the estate size was over $500,000 larger when both lived to age 90 – even with higher expenses.

So the question becomes, what can you do about this?

I have three suggestions:

1. Write a letter to your MP along with this article, and demand that the tax system be made more fair for single seniors. You may also want to send a letter to Status of Women Minister…as this issue clearly affects women more than men.

2. Look at having permanent life insurance on both members of a couple to compensate for the gaps. Many people have life insurance that they drop after a certain age. The life insurance option certainly isn’t a necessity, but can be a solution that provides a better return on investment than many alternatives and covers off this gap well. If you have sufficient wealth that you will be leaving a meaningful estate anyway, this usually will grow the overall estate value as compared to not having the insurance — and not hurt your standard of living in any way.

3. Consider a common law relationship for tax purposes. I am only half joking. If two single seniors get together and write a pre-nuptial agreement to protect assets in the case of a separation or death, you can both benefit from the tax savings.

Ultimately, the status quo is simply unfair to single seniors, and that needs to change.”

Ted Rechtshaffen is president and wealth advisor at TriDelta Financial, a boutique wealth management and planning firm. www.tridelta.ca

The first thing that is so wrong with this article is the definition of single versus married/partnered in marital status. The senior persons mentioned in this article are not single. According to Statistics Canada definitions, they are widowed or divorced/separated (after age 65). Persons who are true and ever singles have none of the financial benefits/losses mentioned in this article. And if persons are divorced/separated, especially at an early stage of their marriage, they also do not have many of the benefits/losses mentioned here. (The earlier the divorce/separation in life, the greater is the loss of benefits that married/coupled persons enjoy).

  1. Being part of a couple in old age has so many tax advantages…How true!
  2. The current tax and pension system in Canada is significantly tilted to benefit couples over singles once you are age 65 or more….This statement is not completely true. The system is even more unfair for singles who are true (‘ever’) singles, not widows. Singles who are true singles have been excluded from the discussion.
  3. Benefits – Article correctly states that pension splitting, CPP, RSP/RIF and OAS are benefits to married people because the couple receives these benefits times two and is able to pension split, but widowed persons have less of these benefits. To this, true singles and early divorced/separated persons ask the question, “so what”? If widowed persons are now so called ‘single’ they should have to live same standard of living, not better than, true singles and early divorced/separated persons.
  4. Losses – Losses are correctly stated, however, true (‘ever’) singles and early divorced/separated persons have a hard time understanding why this is a hardship. Widowers are now ‘single’ so why can’t they live the same lifestyle as true singles and early divorced/separated persons?
  5. Higher tax bill – Why is this a problem? Widowed persons are now on more equal playing field to true single and early divorced/separated persons.
  6. Clawback – Again why is this a problem? True singles and early divorced/separated persons enjoy none of these benefits. Also, many true (ever) singles and early divorced/separated Canadian persons do not have the luxury of a $70,000 income.

Estate size $500,000 less
Just more proof that married/coupled persons want it all and want more, more and more from the time of marriage until the death of their spouse/partner and even after the death of their spouse/partner.  In article ‘The Added Price of Single Life?’ by Bella Depaulo (belladepaulo) talks about a A British study that showed  true singles lose equivalent of $380,000 USA over a lifetime to married persons, so what is the problem with losing $500,000? Another good article is ‘The high price of being single in America’ theatlantic.com.

The article then goes on to make these enlightening points:

“There is no question that expenses will decline being one person instead of two, but the expenses don’t drop in half. We usually see a decline of about 15% to 30%, because items like housing and utilities usually don’t change much, and many other expenses only see small declines“.

It would be exceedingly wonderful if government, businesses, society and families (married/partnered) would recognize this fact for true singles and early divorced/separated persons instead of telling them “it must be their lifestyle” that is making them poor. Fifteen to 30 percent decline? Wow, singles would love these percentages to also be used for them especially since 60 to 70% income of married or partnered persons is often used (i.e. MoneySense articles). If only true singles and early divorced persons could say they should have the same benefits as widowed persons, that is, 70 to 85% income of married or partnered persons.

Unfair to single seniors?  The  most unfairness is to true singles and divorced/separated persons, not widows.

Regarding the suggestions that are made:

  1. “Write your MP and demand that tax system be made more fair for single seniors”. The article refers only to married/coupled and divorced/separated seniors after the age of 65. It dis criminates by exclusion against true singles and early divorced/separated persons.
  • “Look at having permanent life insurance on both members of a couple to compensate for the gaps”. This is a great idea. The author of this blog has long thought this would be a solution to providing benefits to survivors once spouses have died and they would actually be paying for those benefits through premiums. At the present time, survivors are getting marital manna benefits, but then are asking for more as this article suggests. They are also getting survivors benefits from pension plans and paying very little for these benefits. An example is a pension plan where only $100 is deducted each month from living spouse for pension benefits in the thousand dollar range. Deduction of $100 per month or $1200 per year does not pay for survivor pension that is two-thirds of full pension of the spouse. Life insurance plans at present time do not extend to 90 years of age without excessive premiums. To stop all the marital manna benefits that survivors get, life insurance plans need to be extended to 90 years of age, and spouses need to pay premiums for entire life. Another critical thinking, outside the box idea is to eliminate marital manna benefits and make permanent term life insurance plans compulsory, just like house and car insurance, so that married/coupled persons would actually pay for the benefits they receive. This methodology would allow true singles and early divorced/separated persons to be on more level financial playing field to married/coupled persons since generally true singles do not need life insurance. A longer term for collecting premiums should help to offset the costs of the premiums that will be paid out. Permanent life insurance would ease burden that married/partnered benefits place on government programs. There also would then be more monies to bring government programs for true singles and early divorced/separated persons to have same standard of living as married/coupled and widowed persons.
  • Consider a common law relationship for tax purposes. He says he is only half kidding. Really? According to Canada Revenue Agency rules this is not legal. Ever singles and divorced/separated persons cannot just shack up with someone for tax purposes. More true singles and early divorced/separated persons would be doing this if they could.

Lessons learned

  1. Writers who wish to write about the financial affairs of singles should use correct definitions for singles. The persons in this article were not true singles. In other words, correctly identify who your audience is.
  2. Writers of financial institutions who wish to write about the financial affair of singles should include all singles in their discussions. To do anything less is discriminatory and disrespectful to singles who truly are single.
  3. By all means vote and contact your Members of Parliament, but insist that true singles and early divorced/separated persons (senior and otherwise) be included in financial discussions and formulas equal to and at the same level as widows and middle class families. (Seventy to 85% income of married/coupled persons would be wonderful).

The blog posted here is of a general nature about financial discrimination of individuals/singles. It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice.

Visitor questions regarding blog.  This is a WordPress blog designed by a hired individual.

SIX REASONS WHY MARRIED/COUPLED PEOPLE ABLE TO ACHIEVE MORE FINANCIAL POWER (WEALTH) THAN SINGLES

SIX REASONS WHY MARRIED/COUPLED PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO ACHIEVE MORE FINANCIAL POWER (WEALTH) THAN SINGLES (Revised December 1, 2017)

These thoughts are purely the blunt, personal opinions of the author and are not intended to be used as personal or financial advice.

There are many examples of financial discrimination of singles throughout the world.  Canada is no exception.  Six possible reasons as to why married/coupled people have so much more financial power and are able to achieve more wealth than singles are as follows:

(NOTE:  Most of following reasons can be applied to income and tax rules of any country.  Canada Revenue Agency is equivalent to IRS in the USA and RRSP/TFSA are equivalent to Roth IRAs, 401(k) and other savings plans in the USA.)

  1. Marital Manna Benefits and Marital Privileging – From beginning of marriage/cohabitation until death of spouse/partner, married/coupled people are able to use benefits to their advantage. (One example is Canadian pension splitting (cra), a method for reducing the taxable income of one spouse by allocating pension income on the tax return to the other spouse.  One spouse can give up to 50% of their eligible pension income to their spouse so that they can reduce their combined payable income taxes.  Another example is income sprinkling (added October 30, 2017).  For example, dividends that would have been received by the primary owner of the private corporation, would instead be paid to the spouse, partner or kids of the primary shareholder, who are often in lower tax brackets, therefore, the family’s total tax bill would be reduced.  Since singles in their financial circle are basically financially responsible to themselves,‘Income sprinkling’ is of no benefit to single marital status entrepreneurs so they will pay more tax.)  Singles get nothing that is comparable.

 

  1. Married/coupled people have possibility of multiplying their wealth times 2, all things being equal for both parties. (Examples:  Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) times two for the spouses; RRSP/TFSA times one for the single person.  (RRSPs are savings plans using before tax income – interest/investment revenue earned is taxable on withdrawal from the account.  TFSAs are savings plans using post tax income – interest/investment revenue earned is completely tax free).  TFSAs, because they are tax free, are never counted as part of total income; therefore, it is possible to have huge TFSA accounts and still receive full Old Age Security (OAS) supplements and without OAS clawbacks.  OAS is supposed to support those with low incomes, not the wealthy (added Dec. 15/17).  Singles can never catch up to married/coupled contribution amounts.

TFSA table1

(December 1, 2017-more graphs showing TFSA potential have been added at the end of this post).

  1. ‘Rule of 72’ (compound interest) times 2-In finance, the ‘Rule of 72’ (Rule_of_72)is a method for estimating an investment’s doubling time. For example, assets invested at a certain percentage should double/triple over a period of time, thus increasing wealth for the total income asset.

Since married/coupled people are potentially able to contribute more to factor times two without single people ever being able to catch up, married/coupled people are also potentially able to exponentially multiply their wealth (i.e. interest from investments) by rule of 72 to a greater advantage than single people.  (If money is invested at 7% for 10 years, it should double in ten years, or inversely if it is invested at 10%, it should double in seven years).

  1. Manipulation of finances-married-coupled people are able to manipulate finances (all within legal limits of the financial laws of Canada Revenue Agency). Wealth generated from the manipulations can be likened to a gourmet ice cream cone.  Ability to put monies into RRSP/TFSA are equivalent to ice cream cone for married/coupled persons and singles.  The ability to gift money to spouse or to have only a 1% rate for loan of monies to spouse/partner can be likened to chocolate dip, maybe even two or three dips, on ice cream cone for married/partnered persons, but not for singles.  The interest/investment monies earned from the manipulation can be likened to the gourmet sprinkles on the top of the ice cream cone for married/coupled persons, but not for singles.  (Who in world gets a 1% loan rate except married/coupled persons?)

 

 

Examples: manipulation for tax purposes:

Spousal RRSPs Gift – If a spouse’s income from part time work will be low for a certain year (withholding amount is equal to amount tax owed for the year), the entire balance of the spouse’s regular Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) can be cashed out in increments of less than $15,000 per day.  The net amount can be contributed to a new spousal RRSP via a gift of money to the other spouse, who then contributes to the spousal plan for the spouse cashing in the original RRSP.    If this isn’t double dipping/triple dipping all within legal limits of the law, then what is?(income-splitting-strategies) Singles get nothing that is comparable.

Another example is Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) 1% lending rate benefit -Financial Post “How to gain from CRA’s 1% lending rate” (how-to-take-advantage-of-the-cras-1-prescribed-interest-rate).  The strategy involves lending money to a spouse/partner to split investment income and to get around the attribution rules, which are designed to prevent most attempts at income splitting among family members.  Basically, the rules say if you give your spouse or partner money to invest, any income, dividends or capital gains earned from the money so invested are attributed back to you and taxed in your hands.  Who in world gets a 1% loan rate except married/coupled persons?

USA example is Social Security (high-price) that privileges married/coupled persons in many ways.  Married woman can receive up to 50 percent of husband’s benefits while husband is alive. Spouses can also receive 100 percent of their dead spouse’s benefits, if the deceased’s benefits are higher than the recipient’s would have been.  Also, when married women reach retirement age, they can claim Social Security as a spouse and then later as a worker. For example, they can sign up for spousal benefits at age 66 and then wait four years before claiming their own benefits, because by delaying they accrue credits which increase their benefits by a certain percentage (depending on their date of birth).

  1. In many circumstances, because of economies of scale, married/coupled people are able to live more cheaply than single people. Equivalence scales are one way of proving this (equivalence-scales) – added October 3, 2016.
  1. Married/coupled people will most likely receive two inheritances to singles’ one inheritance all things being equal.  (Outside the box the box thinking, because singles are at a financial disadvantage –cannot multiply wealth same as married/coupled siblings, cannot live as cheaply as married/coupled persons, do  not receive same benefits as married/coupled persons, sibling family units receive more benefits from parents than single person for things like gifts, RESP for grandchildren, etc., –parents should consider adding an additional 20 per cent to  their single children’s inheritances than or married/coupled siblings.  Added January 14, 2016).

 

 

 

FROM DECEMBER 9, 2011-FINANCIAL POST ALL-STAR PLAN (finance/all-star-plan)

This is a great example of how married/coupled people have benefited from the 2011 tax revisions for pension splitting at the expense of singles who have not been given the same tax advantages.

Analysis of the information shows:

  • both are age 60
  • both are already working part time at age 60 (singles generally cannot work part time at any time throughout their employment lifetime)
  • they have been able to acquire multiple properties
  • they are in the position of having as much as 60% more spendable income in retirement than while they were working
  • he is already getting income from a defined benefit pension after having only worked for 25 years
  • both want to retire at age 63 (how fortunate that they can do that)
  • in retirement, they can split pensions to keep each partner’s taxable income in the lowest tax bracket.  He can split pension income with his wife and keep more of their wealth for themselves.  By pension splitting he can distribute $19,500 a year to her and save 7% on taxes.  Seven per cent amounts to a lot of money.  (Singles are never able to achieve this amount of financial benefit).
  • if pension income, including RRIF distributions, is carefully split the couple is not affected by the OAS clawback (how nice, they even get to keep all of the OAS)

FROM INFORMATION RELATING TO DISCRIMINATION FROM MONEYSENSE MAGAZINE- September/October 2010, ‘Single and Secure’, it states:

‘Singles of all ages face discrimination in housing, taxes…..and even travel and entertainment.  All of these things can result in disproportionately higher costs per capita for singles than married couples.  For instance, a couple with two incomes generally has an easier time qualifying for a mortgage….Coupled with those higher expenses is the fact that the median income for households headed by a single person is substantially lower than for couples.  According to Statistics Canada, the median family income for a household headed by a couple in 2007 was $73,000 annually, more than double that of a household headed by a single person with at least one child, at $34,500 annually.  Singles on their own fare even worse.  The annual median income for their households is only $22,800…

When you also take into account the fact that singles devote a larger percentage of their income to basics such as food…and utilities…it’s easy to see how singles often find they have little money at the end of the month…We hate to say it, but the sad truth is that most singles have to save a higher percentage of their income than couples (sic for retirement) to ensure a happy retirement.  There are three main reasons for this.  First, singles lack the economies of scale that couples have…The second reason is because singles lose out in a big way when it comes to taxes.  In Canada taxes are applied to individuals, not families.  That means a single person earning $100,000 a year pays far more income tax than a couple earning the same amount between them…In retirement , singles can’t take advantage of pension splitting, so they could end up paying more tax on their RRSP savings when they withdraw them as well…

’When it comes down to strictly financial and tax matters, the numbers show that everyone could benefit from being married’…The final strike against singles is that  they are much less likely to own their own home…a single person with a paid-off home will need to replace about 60% of his or her working income (sic for retirement).  If you don’t own your own home, that jumps closer to 75%…(sic for retirement investments, things to watch out for)…The first is that because of the higher per capita taxes for single households, plus the lower net incomes, most single households will have smaller investment portfolios that an equivalent couple.  This unfortunately means that investing expenses will take a proportionately larger bite out of your portfolio….’

CONCLUSION

Careful consideration of the above should leave no doubt that married/coupled persons have a distinct advantage of achieving financial wealth over single persons.

Singles need to lobby government, decision making bodies and families about financial discrimination of singles.  To affect change, it is important for singles to educate others about this discrimination and the importance of including singles equally to married/coupled persons in all financial formulas.

See next page for more graphs on TFSA potentials.

The blog posted here is of a general nature regarding financial discrimination of individuals/singles.  It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice.

Visitor questions:  This is a WordPress blog designed by a hired individual.

TFSA potential1