(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author about financial fairness and discrimination and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice –

Preface:  The basis for this blog post is from the following article which shows that the increased poverty of unattached singles is due to changes over the last two decades on social assistance policies.  This blog post expands on this by showing how the definition of family and wealth has changed resulting in unattached singles increasingly becoming unable to achieve the same financial success of families.

“Improving our Knowledge of and Responses to Singles on Ontario Works in Toronto”  report by Toronto Employment and Social Services (Singles-Study-) states ‘Over the past two decades, significant changes have taken place in the composition of social assistance caseloads in Canada, with unattached individuals (singles) replacing lone parents as the “new face of social assistance….. Rather than a public policy priority, low income singles more often represent the “forgotten poor… have limited options for support and are often outside or on the margins of policy discussions.’  This same report was cited by the Institute for Research on Public Policy in a segment on BNN Bloomberg re study on ‘Canada’s Forgotten Poor?  Putting singles living in deep poverty on the policy radar’ (forgotten-poor).


Unless workers have very high wages, it has become near impossible for singles and poor families to save for emergencies and retirement.  Today, the wealthy and wealthy married are achieving their wealth through wealth enablers other than wages such as paid for housing which has become a commodity and is exploding in terms of increasing value, tax free and tax avoidance schemes, a rising stocks and bonds market and benefits given primarily to the married (with and without children) and those with children.

It is impossible for a single person with a $50,000 income to pay for the three major life expenses at the same time, these being purchasing a used vehicle, saving for down payment for a cheap condo and saving for retirement.  They have to pick and choose which one or two of these purchases they can afford.  They certainly can’t save for many of these if they have student loans to pay.

The above wealth enablers include the top wealthy group of about 30 to 40% of all Canadians most of which was married.  This  does not even include the top 1% who are able to use other offshore and tax evasion and avoidance schemes to achieve their extreme wealth.

The top 30 to 40 per cent of Canadians who are mostly married and have wealth above $1 million consider themselves to  be middle class.  Yet they often have multiple properties, recreational cottages, RVs and recreational toys.  What does that mean for the rest of Canadians?  It means that unattached singles and low income families are exactly that – in the lower financial class.


The ‘leave it to  beaver’ early marriage and one income 50s family allowed mothers to stay at home to raise their children while perhaps earning extra income through baking, sewing, etc.

Now the family life cycle has been altered so that young adults are remaining single longer (can’t afford to date or get married?), possibly marrying in the mid thirties year of age, raising children during parents’ ages late 30s to 60s, and if they have accumulated wealth possibly retiring somewhere between ages 55 and 65.

The financial reality of this changed family cycle is that singles are often forced to struggle financially if they never get married (or are early in life divorced persons).  If they have children they will receive Canada Child benefits, but when children are grown they may still face a difficult financial lifestyle and even as seniors.

For the upper middle class married from ages 35 to 60 with double incomes, they have a 20-30 year mortgage after which their houses are paid for, they receive multiple child and marital government benefits and often are able to maximize their RRSP and TFSA accounts times two.  Many married couples are able to have one spouse retire early with both retiring early often before the age of 65.  (In some cases one spouse retiring early might mean that net income will be lower and will therefore trigger higher Canada Child Benefit payments if they have children under the age of 18).

One has to ask  the question, how is this possible?  Raising a child is not the biggest expense especially when housing is not included in the child expense equation and parents are receiving Canada Child Benefits.   Everyone has to have housing regardless of whether they have children.  Housing is the most expensive item of any Canadian during his/her lifetime unless he/she is lucky enough to have inherited a fortune or a house.

The article: “Couple with big age gap forced to contemplate impact of early death” (couple-with-big-age-gap-worry-prosperity-is-fragile) is an example of family life cycle being turned upside down.  It states that couple, aged 64 and 55, with grown children have managed to accumulate financial assets of $1,741,500 including $650,000 house, TFSAs, RRSPs, non registered, GICs and cash.  At husband’s age 65 couple’s estimated income is $72,000 net income after eligible income splits, tax free TFSA distributions and reduced income tax to average 15 per cent.  They spend $17,000 annually on travel and entertainment (repeat $17,000 or almost 25% of their total net salary!).

This couple would have been able to accumulate much of their wealth even while raising children born presumably on or before his age 45 and on or before her age 35 if children are at present at least twenty years of age.

Review of other Andrew Allentuck financial planner articles within the last year reveal that above premise of parents raising child at a later age to be true – 1) parent 1, age 45, raising three children in their teens; 2) parent 1, age 59, raising two children age 12 and 13; 3) parent 1, age 57, and parent 2, age 47, raising two children ages 13 and 17; 4) parent 1, age 47, and parent 2, age 51 raising one child age 14; 5) parent 1, age 46 raising one child age 10; 6) parent, age 56, raising one child age 17; 7) parent 1, age 37, and parent 2, age 40 raising two children ages 4 and 1.

Re wealth differences between the married and singles, an IMF Report highlights ‘marriage gap’ between rich and poor Canadians (marriage-gap-between-rich-and-poor-canadians) – In what it bills as the first-ever analysis of marriage and income done in this country, the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada (Canadian_Marriage_Gap) found that marriage rates among the wealthiest Canadians, or the top 25 per cent of income earners, “remained remarkably stable” over the 30 years that were studied: 1976 to 2011. In contrast, the number of married and common law couples among middle- and low-income earners declined.

In the last year of data included in the study, 2011, 86 per cent of the top quartile (or top 20%) of income earners reported being married or in a common law relationship. Only 12 per cent in the bottom quartile said they were married or living common law.  About half of middle-class families include a married or common-law couple, the report found. The study also found that the marriage gap widened after 1976 as marriage rates remained high among high-income earners, but declined among middle- and low-income earners in the 1980s and 1990s. Since then, marriage rates have increased among middle- and low-income earners, but only slightly…..’the “marriage gap” matters because research has found that marriage offers a variety of economic and social benefits.’

It is the opinion of this author that it could also be implied that with the increased social justice and acceptance of gay/lesbian couples (a good thing) this will also contribute to increased wealth of married/coupled families.


Families and politicians live in tunnel vision bubbles and cannot articulate that children are not the biggest lifetime expense.  Housing is the most expensive lifetime expense, especially rental, since it spans an entire adult life. Rent of $1000 per month will total $720,000 over sixty years from age 20 to 80 adult lifespan, $840,000 over seventy years from age 20 to age 90, and $960,000 over eighty years from age 20 to 100 years.  Renters are not able to accumulate wealth from housing.  Those who are fortunate enough to be able to purchase homes are also accumulating wealth through home purchase.


Canada provides a very generous social program for seniors through the Old Age Security (OAS) program. Employment history is not a factor in determining eligibility.  Any Canadian can receive the OAS pension even if he/she has never worked or is still working.

For persons living in Canada to receive OAS, they must: be 65 years old or older, be a Canadian citizen or a legal resident at the time their OAS pension application is approved, and have resided in Canada for at least 10 years since the age of 18.

For 2020 the maximum monthly OAS benefit per eligible senior is $613.53 ($7362.36 annual).  It is indexed to inflation. 

OAS Clawback – OAS benefit may be reduced by a clawback if an individual’s net income for the previous calendar year exceeds $79,054 for 2020 (also indexed to inflation). If the net income exceeds this amount, 15% on the excess income must be paid back up to a maximum of the total OAS benefit received. This deduction is like an additional 15% tax on top of the current tax rate.

In the above article ‘Couple with big age’ If husband dies early, financial advisor estimates wife could lose $17,008 gross annual income and potentially pay higher taxes.  Partial loss of the reduced income could result from loss of husband’s OAS.  Some financial planners gaslight by stating this will be a great financial loss, but fail to acknowledge that senior unattached singles live on one OAS every single day of their senior lives and, above all, this is a very generous pension program which married and financial planners now want to grift by lobbying politicians to give more OAS to wealthy widowers.


Occasionally, there are topics that give one pause resulting in questioning as to the efficacy of the  formulation behind the topic of financial equality.  The OAS Clawback (proper name is OAS Recovery tax as per Canada Revenue Agency) and the financial discriminatory properties behind the program is one such topic.  One way to resolve the questioning is to look at the topic in detail.

OAS is a federal social program designed to provide a very modest pension to low- and middle-income retirees.  It is part of the Universal government benefits for seniors (pillar 1) to ensure income security for senior Canadians.  In 2020 the annual OAS is $7,362 for a single person and $13,760 for a couple. OAS clawback which began around 2011 does very little to clawback the income of upper middle class persons, particularly married or coupled family units.  The clawback of OAS benefits in 2020 starts with a net income per person (and not  including TFSA income) of $79,054 (couple $158,108) and completely eliminates OAS with income of $128,137.  The repayment calculation is based on the difference between personal income and the threshold amount for the year. The repayment of OAS is 15 percent of that amount.  All OAS is clawed back if personal income is over $128,137.

According to Human Resource Development Canada, only about five percent of seniors receive reduced OAS pensions, and only two percent lose the entire amount.  This program benefits wealthy couples and widowers the most.  There are not many ever single seniors, early divorced in life seniors and single parent seniors who could ever hope to achieve a net income of $79,054; however, for wealthy widowers this may be easier to achieve and they are the ones who complain about clawback.

Many financial advisors will give strategies on how to avoid the clawback while benefiting married or coupled family units the most.  This is just another example of financial marital manna benefits and manipulation of assets that within the legal limits of Canada Revenue Agency’s laws allows married or coupled person to increase their wealth (Six Reasons Why Married People Able To Achieve More Power (Wealth) Than Singles – six-reasons).  This also is just another example of the upside finances perpetuated in this country by politicians, government and businesses that benefit married or coupled persons the most (regressive-tax-expenditures-financially-discriminate-against-singles-and-poor-families/).

From a financial advisor comes this statement (claw-back):  “I also want to put the impact of the claw back into perspective. Although no one likes to give up $6,600 in free money, it’s not like you were going to get to keep it all anyway. As the OAS is taxable, most people in the claw back zone would have paid back over 30% of it in taxes.

Secondly, some clients look at paying claw back as the cost of doing business; while they may not love it, they look at it as a price of their own financial success and as money they really don’t need anyway. Moreover, they might correctly see that in some cases combatting the claw back isn’t worth the effort. For example, although the rest of the article will focus on how dividends are often bad news for retirees trying to avoid the claw back, these same people might also be reluctant to modify their investments to produce other types of investment returns, especially if that means unnecessarily courting more investment risk or triggering a big capital gain in order to rebalance their portfolios”.

From another financial planner (minimizing-clawback):  “At the end of the day, more people’s concern over OAS clawback will not be such a big deal simply because there are not a lot of people over the age of 65 making more than $72,809 of income. The people that do may have significant pensions or continue to work and earn an income over the age of 65. There will also be a group of people that trigger significant capital gains from the sale of second property or investments but the good news is they will only lose part or all of their OAS in the one year that the capital gains is realized and reported on the tax return. But if you happen to be one of the few that will get affected, make sure you plan ahead accordingly”.

The OAS clawback (implemented by Conservative party) is just another example of how politicians and government have ensured that senior upper middle class married or coupled family units with incomes between 2020 $79,054 and $158,108 net income and not including TFSA income will benefit more from the OAS government program. These same politicians and government agencies have financially discriminated against ever single seniors, early divorced in life seniors and single parent seniors by ensuring only five percent of seniors will receive reduced OAS pensions, and only two percent lose the entire amount.  Note we have specifically stated upper middle class married or coupled family units because wealthy married/coupled and widowed family units have already been excluded from receiving OAS pension by virtue of the $158,108 net income limit.

To add further insult, politicians and government have ensured that the upper middle class will receive benefit upon benefit upon benefit to reduce the effects of the OAS recovery tax program.  The Liberal party (now ruling federal party) implemented a 1.5% reduction in income tax for incomes between $45,282 and $90,563.  These are upper middle class incomes, not incomes of the poor. Pension splitting is another program that reduces the possibility of OAS clawback.  As stated above, past governments have also ensured that marital manna benefits and the ability to manipulate assets have been given primarily to married or coupled family units all within legal limits of financial laws.  All of these benefits perpetuate an upside-down financial system where the upper middle class and the wealthy are able to achieve greater wealth than ever single, early divorced in life and single parent seniors.  In other words, the OAS Recovery Tax program is a failed program which ensures greater wealth for the upper middle class and greater poverty for singles and the poor.


Most government programs are indexed for inflation, and are generally more advantageous for the married/coupled since indexing for them occurs times two, including paying less taxes with pension-splitting while getting more benefits, (and they still keep wanting more while married and as surviving spouses or widows).  Indexing ensures wealth spread between married and singles will continue to widen.

An egregious example of failure of government is Alberta Premier Jason Kenney eliminating indexing this year for social programs for persons living with disabilities.


Re TFSA – If $11,000 TFSA (average of $5,500 over eleven years since inception of TFSA time two per couple) is invested for one year at 3.5% annual interest, it will double in about twenty years to $22,000.  If $11,000 is invested every year for 30 years at a 3.5% return, it will be worth $568,893.

Re pension income splitting (P.I.S.) – first, married seniors, who have never had children, using P.I.S. pay less taxes just because they are married even though it costs singles more to live (Market Basket Measure – MBM).  Second, married seniors with equal incomes cannot use P.I.S. and, therefore, pay more taxes.  Third, poor married seniors benefit less as they have less income to split.  Fourth, senior singles and lone parents cannot use P.I.S., ever.

TFSA income from investments will never be taxed and will never affect OAS payment because TFSA income is never declared as income under present CRA rules.  Pension splitting allows wealthy married to avoid the possibility of OAS clawbacks.


When discussing financial matters, surviving spouses and widowed persons need to stop calling themselves ‘single’.  According to Canada Revenue Guidelines surviving spouses and widowed persons are classified as ‘widow’, not ‘single’.  The ‘single’ classification is for those persons who have never been married or lived common-law.  Widows and surviving spouses receive more benefits than singles.


Some  singles don’t marry because of severe sexual/physical and other abuse at the hands of parents and/or other public at large, or because of poor parenting skills by their parents.  Some singles don’t marry because they feel they don’t have what is required to be good marriage partners and/or parents.  Some never marry because it just never happened.  In a worldwide obsession with marriage and children, why should singles be faced with the financial injustice that is placed upon them by the same people who are obsessed with everyone needing to be married and/or have children?

Singles are not clairvoyant-they can’t predict whether they will get married, not any more than the married can predict they will be divorced (even though they may receive some inkling of this in premarital counselling sessions).  Unattached singles deserve the same social justice and financial equality throughout their lifetimes while single and regardless of age as has been afforded to the married without and without children and single parents.


The above article “Improving our Knowledge of and Responses to Singles on Ontario Works in Toronto” outlines how unattached singles being affected by extreme poverty includes all ages, genders and education levels of singles.

It is very apparent from that dramatic changes in the life cycle of married/coupled persons and altered family life cycles over the last several decades requires a dramatic change in social programs for and inclusion of unattached singles in the family definition.

If social Conservative Erin O’toole’s suggested family platforms can provide thousands of dollars in Child Care, CCB, and refundable tax credits and (Liberals in their throne speech) then politicians can for damn sure give equal housing benefits to unattached singles.

Band-aid solutions by politicians, think-tanks, and opinion writers will not work.  Canada’s financial system is broken and needs to be reworked in its entirety as occurred in the Carter Commission.  But poor unattached singles cannot wait for the many years it took for commission to be completed.  They need solutions now!

(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author about financial fairness and discrimination and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice –



(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author about financial fairness and discrimination and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice.) Post updated June 28, 2017.

Garry Marr’s Financial Post May 8, 2017 article “Spectre of empty houses haunts Canada’s two most expensive housing markets” (expensive) states that in Toronto ‘some believe vacant homes exist on a widespread basis, bought up by a stream of investors so consumed by speculation – or just a safe place to park their money – that they can’t even bother to rent out their properties in markets where the going rate can easily top $3 per square foot… seems to indicate there were as ‘many as 66,000 vacant units in Toronto in 2016 equivalent to 5.6 per cent of the city’s total stock of 1.2 million private dwelling units’.  If one calculates this based on a family of four one could guess that about 16,500 families are missing out on Toronto housing.  But wait, the article goes on to say that of the empty homes, 90 per cent are condos or apartments. If condos and apartments are more likely to be bought/rented by singles and poor families, then this would mean singles and poor families are more likely to be hurt by the empty units and Toronto housing crises.

Matt Levin’s Los Angeles Daily News May 13, 2017  ‘Amid state housing crisis, why 2 out of 5 millennials still live at home’ (millennials) article states ‘State lawmakers have introduced more than 130 bills this legislative session to try to solve California’s housing affordability crisis, proposing everything from 150 square-foot apartments to a $3 billion affordable housing bond’.  ‘Nearly a decade removed from the depths of the Great Recession, a staggering 38 percent of California’s 18 to 34-year-olds still live with their parents, according to U.S. Census data. That’s roughly 3.6 million people stuck at home.  If “unlaunched” California millennials formed their own state, they would be entitled to more electoral votes than Connecticut, Iowa or Utah.  If they formed their own city, it would be the third largest in the country’.  California’s population is slightly larger than Canada’s population.

‘Huge demand for tiny rental units in Vancouver’, by Bruce Constatineau in 2014 (rental) talks about  a 100-square-foot unit for $570 a month and there’s a waiting list of people wanting to rent other units when they become available.  In another development there are units as small as 90 square feet where each unit contains a tiny sink and fridge (no cooking facilities and windows?).. Renters in the 50 units share 11 bathrooms, and there are laundry facilities on each of the four floors.  Apparently  the mini-sized apartments attract a wide range of renters — from ages 19 to 56 — who want to live on their own with a downtown Vancouver address.  Budget-minded renters…..can find similar-sized or even smaller cubbyholes downtown for anywhere between $400 and $600 a month.  It is further stated than In order to make them affordable, they need to be very small, condensed units with shared washrooms. That’s just a fact of life.  Really?  The pictures of these units speak a thousand words.

Edmonton, Alberta is also considering construction of 100 square foot units.

Empty house speculator syndrome is equivalent to unethical investing and theft since the empty units have been taken off the market and are not available for occupancy.  Ethical investing excludes chocolate companies that use child labor. Children are taught it is wrong to ‘take candy from babies’, shoplifters are jailed for minor thefts and yet it appears to be okay for speculators to ‘steal’ housing all within legal limits of the law.  The present housing market is based on greed.  Greed begets greed and greed trumps family values.  In housing singles are worth less than other members of the family unit.  The bar has now been reset to a new low where it is okay for them to live in spaces equivalent in size to two jail cells (average jail cell is 45 square feet and provides ‘free’ accommodation and meals, but you can’t leave).

The complete disregard of the housing crisis is heightened by Dr. Ben Carson, head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development USA, who states poverty is a “state of mind” and Trumpian politics which rob the poor to pay the rich.  Liberals and Conservatives in Canada are no different.  The housing crisis is not a “state of mind”, but rather has been brought on by inadequate rules and regulations on housing, failure to increase the minimum wage to a living wage and the upper middle classes and wealthy paying less and getting more for housing and tax loopholes.

Housing is a basic human right as determined internationally in the “Universal International Declaration of Human Rights” and “International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” and is one of the principles of Maslow’s Hierarchy of need. In Canada there appears to be no shame in robbing singles, poor families and indigenous people of their housing.  Housing investors, politicians and families need to take a look in the mirror and reset their moral and ethical compasses to ‘true North’ re housing crisis.


Where are the parents of millennials?  How can they allow the housing crisis and their children to be housed in 90 square foot units and smaller?  Where are the family values for housing?

Where are the governments, politicians and city counsels that have allowed the housing crisis to take over and last so long?  Where are the rules and regulations to prevent the building of ridiculously small units with price gouging rents?

Why do singles, who are more likely to live in small spaces, always have to pay more per square foot, sometimes outrageously so ($570 for 100 square foot unit)?  The upside-down pricing of housing (affordable-housing) where the smaller the space, the higher the price is per square foot needs to stop.  Doubling the price on rent equals pure greed and unethical investing.  Why do the upper middle class and wealthy pay so much less per square foot for their housing?  The estimate for the amount of house taxes, etc. that is collected by not making the wealthy pay their fair share per square foot must be astounding.

How do occupants of these small spaces learn life lessons, such as cooking for themselves, buying food and managing finances?

The minimum wage needs to be raised to an indexed living wage (cause-and-effect-of-financial-policies).  Building affordable housing will not solve the problem if the minimum wage is not raised.

Humane principles-there are many humane associations and principles related to animals, so where are the humane principles for humans re housing – 100 sq. ft. at $570 rent is not humane.

Where are the rules and regulations on how small a space can be developed, such as a minimum of 350 square feet, so at least there can be a bathroom and cooking facilities within the unit?  Surely, there must be point where it is is not financially feasible for developers to develop small units with minimum square footage in relation to the cost of building the unit and also provides dignity to occupants of these units.

Alberta Health Minimum Housing and Health Standards (Housing-Minimum) – the following condensed excerpt provides information on some Alberta standards for housing.

Space for Sleeping purposes (overcrowding): The owner of a housing premises shall not permit it to become or remain overcrowded. (a) A housing premises shall be deemed to be overcrowded if: (i) a bedroom in it has less than 3m2 (32ft2)of total floor area and 5.6m3 (197ft3) of air space for each adult sleeping in the bedroom, (ii) in the case of a dormitory, the sleeping area in the dormitory has less than 4.6m2 (49.5ft2) of floor space and 8.5 m3 (300ft3) of air space for each adult sleeping in the sleeping area, or (iii) a habitable room in it that is not a bedroom but is used for sleeping purposes in combination with any other use has less than 9.5m2 (102ft2) of floor space and 21.4m3 (756ft3) of air space for each adult sleeping in the habitable room. (b) For the purposes of calculating this section, a person who is more than 1 year of age but not more than 10 years of age shall be considered as a July 20, 1999 9 Revised June 30, 2012 Alberta Health Minimum Housing and Health Standards © 1999–2012 Government of Alberta 1/2(one half) adult and a person who is more than 10 years of age shall be considered as 1 adult; (c) This section does not apply to a hotel/motel.

Food Preparation Facilities:  (a) Every housing premises shall be provided with a food preparation area, which includes: (i) a kitchen sink that is supplied with potable hot and cold water and suitably sized to allow preparation of food, washing utensils and any other cleaning operation; and (ii) cupboards or other facilities suitable for the storage of food; and (iii) a counter or table used for food preparation which shall be of sound construction and furnished with surfaces that are easily cleaned; and (iv) a stove and a refrigerator that are maintained in a safe and proper operating condition. The refrigerator shall be capable of maintaining a temperature of 4 degrees C. (400F). (b) Shared Kitchen Facilities Occupants of a housing premises with more than one dwelling may share food preparation facilities provided that: (i) the food preparation facilities are located in a common kitchen room, (ii) the occupants have access to the common kitchen room from a public corridor without going outside the building, (iii) the common kitchen room is located on the same floor as, or on the next storey up or down from the floor on which the dwelling unit is located, July 20, 1999 10 Revised June 30, 2012 Alberta Health Minimum Housing and Health Standards © 1999–2012 Government of Alberta (iv) the food preparation facilities shall not serve more than eight persons, and (v) the refrigerator shall provide a minimum volume of two cubic feet of storage for each intended occupant.

Washroom Facilities:  Except where exempt by regulation, every housing premises shall be provided with plumbing fixtures of an approved type consisting of at least a flush toilet, a wash basin, and a bathtub or shower. (a) The washbasins and bathtub or shower shall be supplied with potable hot and cold running water. (b) The wash basin should be in the same room as the flush toilet or in close proximity to the door leading directly into the room containing the flush toilet. (c) All rooms containing a flush toilet and/or bathtub or shower shall be provided with natural or mechanical ventilation. Shared Washrooms (d) Occupants of a housing premises with more than one dwelling unit may share a flush toilet, wash basin and bathtub or shower provided that: (i) the occupants have access to the washroom facility without going through another dwelling or outside of the building; and (ii) the facility is located on the same floor as, or on the next storey up or down from the floor on which the suite is located; and (iii) each group of plumbing fixtures (toilet, washbasin, bathtub or shower) shall not serve more than eight persons.

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



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

Tomorrow, February 20, is designated Family Day in Canada and was originally created to give people time to spend with their families, but also provides a day off between New Year’s Day and Good Friday as they are approximately three months apart.

It is no surprise that singles still have a hard time being recognized as part of the family. Wouldn’t it be nice if families on Family Day took the time to thank and recognize singles for their contributions to the family unit?  The following blog article was recently published in a local newspaper earlier in the month.  It was in response to the town council seeking approval for a wage increase for its councillors.


In article ‘Council wages to increase’ one councillor apparently stated another councillor’s perspective on not raising council wages was “perhaps influenced by being a single individual and not yet having to divide his time between a day job, part-time councillor’s job and family”.

Stress is no respecter of marital status and hits singles equally to married and coupled persons.   Singles today have great difficulty living on just one salary and no government benefits while constantly having to pay more than families.  One example is today’s upside down housing equivalent to “loan shark and pay day loan” status where family values are replaced by greed of business.  In  one Calgary housing complex smallest 552 sq. ft. micro-condos with starting price of $299,900 equals $543 per sq. ft. while largest 1830 sq. ft. ultra deluxe models priced from $649,900 to $749,900 equals $355 to $409 per sq. ft.  Ripple effects are owners of biggest lifetime expense (singles and poor families) proportionately pay more house and education taxes, mortgage interest and real estate fees on less house and less take home pay.  Price per square foot of detached family and multi-millionaire housing is usually less than micro-condos.  Same premise can be applied to renting.

Singles are not liabilities to family units, they are assets.  They  help support families by paying education taxes even though they have no children and their EI contributions, even when they have never used EI, help support maternal/paternal leaves of families with children.

Families continually state their hearts are forever changed when they bear their children, yet these hearts appear to become stone when these same children become adult singles.  Singles bashing that reduces singles to lowest part of family unit is discrimination based on marital status and is no different than any other kind of discrimination.  Single adults are still the children of someone and deserve to be treated with same dignity and respect as any other child of family unit.

Financial, social and emotional intelligence is not defined by marital status, but rather by each person’s belief systems and what he/she was taught and grew up with.  Ideal would be less reliance on marital status in family unit equations, but that will never happen as long as married or coupled persons fail to realize singles also have many stresses, just different kinds of stresses to that of families.


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



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

(This opinion letter was published in a local newspaper on April 13, 2016)

The Calgary Herald April 9, 2016 article “Thinking inside the box” is an enlightening article on the financial plight of singles in regards to affordable housing.

This article describes how a San Francisco man has created a private sleeping space in the living room of an apartment he shares with other roommates.  He sleeps in a wooden box that is eight feet long, four and a half feet tall and probably about five or six feet wide. Inside this box is a twin bed, a fold-up desk and some LED lights.  A fan and built-in ventilation help air travel  through.  He has spent $1300 for materials.  He is also working on fully soundproofing its walls.  One wonders what the owner of apartment thinks of this ‘renovation’.

This man apparently is gainfully employed as a freelance illustrator whose work has appeared in the New Yorker.  To his credit and frugality, he has a positive attitude and readily admits he is not in dire financial straits, but has developed the box as a creative solution so that he can have a ‘private’ bedroom rather than sleeping on the couch.

In San Francisco where affordable housing is futile, one-bedroom apartments rent for median of $3,670 per month.  The article states that his roommates live in conventional bedrooms paying about $1,000 per month.  He pays $400 and has full access to the amenities of the apartment.  He calls his bedroom space a ‘pod’.   Total number of bedrooms in this apartment are not stated.

The housing situation for singles in Canada is no better.   High-rise condos in Toronto average about $455,000.  Going rental price for one-bedroom condos in local town appears to be $1,300.

It appears that desired results have been achieved for what married/coupled persons and families think are appropriate for singles.  Singles can now sleep in spaces that are less than one hundred square feet in size.  It seems these same people no longer consider singles to be their children or part of the family.  Instead, the state of business has overtaken the value of family to the point of unadulterated greed.

Singles deserve better in affordable housing solutions.  When they talk to government, decision makers and families about lack of affordable housing, they are met with anger, shunning and deaf ears.  They are given the response that it is ‘what the market can bear’.

Every adult with marital status of being single deserves a living wage and a dignified place to live that is equal to adults in families.  Every adult with marital status of being single deserves to be included in financial formulas that are equal in benefits to adults in families. Every adult with marital status of being single and and part of a family unit deserves to be treated with same financial dignity and respect as married/coupled children of the family unit.


Singles are continually told by married/coupled persons and families that they can move in with someone else if they have financial constraints.

What is most ironic with the publication of this opinion letter is that another opinion letter was published on this same date in this same newspaper by the owner of a condo villa (which is much larger in square footage) discussing how owners need to be careful about reviewing contract details when purchasing.  Examples are sodding versus ‘naturescaping’, mulch or rocks and liabilities of people falling or using skateboards on sidewalks which are the private property of the condo.

While these are valid concerns, the juxtaposition of singles deserving affordable housing versus owners of expensive large condo villas is striking.

Postscript added May 25, 2016 – There can be no doubt that there is a housing crises for Canadian singles and the poor when information such as the following is published in local media and newspapers:  ‘A shortage of affordable housing is partially to blame for a number of ads offering discounted or free rent in exchange for sex, an advocate says’. (affordable-housing-behind-some-sex-for-rent-schemes)

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



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

On January 18, 2016, an opinion letter entitled “Culture Clash” was published in the Calgary Herald by a couple profiling single migrant men.  The letter has been reproduced here in its entirety. The response by the author of this blog published in the Calgary Herald has also been reproduced here.  The name of the opinion letter was changed by the Calgary Herald editors to “Nothing wrong with being single”.

Today on the program “The Social” (a Canadian social commentary program) a statement was made in one of their commentaries that single white men are the cause of many terrorist activities, for example, Timothy McVeigh.

This post is not of a financial nature, but is entered here over deep concern for negative profiling of singles.


Re:  Angela Merkel says Germany has lost control of the refugee crisis and public anger over Cologne sex attacks

My wife is from Germany and keeps in contact with family there who live in a small village near Stuttgart, where the German government has housed some 60 single migrant men, all under the age of 40, in an unused grocery store.

These folks have daughters in their early 20s who no longer feel safe going out at night or using the trains due to these men’s constant leering and gesturing.  Recently, a teenage niece was confronted in her grandmother’s backyard by three men who tried to prevent her from getting back into the house, first asking for money and then: ‘ Do you like Hitler?’ Not up on current events, apparently.

So far, our federal government deserves full credit for allowing in only vetted immigrant families, but my concern is with their overly ambitious quotas and deadlines, they may open it to single men as Germany and other European countries did.  In that case, it’s not inconceivable that what happened in Cologne and other cities in Cologne and other cities on New Year’s Eve could one day come to a big public event here, as soon as July perhaps.  (Authored by couple from Calgary).


January 18, 2016 letter “Culture Clash” by the (name not published here) is disturbing. This letter is profiling all migrant single men as disgusting human beings.

How did these single men get this way except to be taught this by men including fathers and a society that has no respect for human dignity?

To change behavior, how about talking to them about respect, first of all, for themselves and then respect for women?

Singles are fed up with being negatively profiled and told they are worth less than married people.  They are told they are spendthrifts, don’t behave properly, but when they marry they suddenly become decent human beings.

Marital status and being male does not define social intelligence.  Rather what you have been taught and your moral values define who you are.  Married people, parents and fathers should look to themselves when they profile single men as being societal failures.


So, in just two instances single migrant men and single white men have been negatively profiled as being bad people.  This is a pretty big number of the total single men population. Such profiling also has a negative effect on the psychological well-being of singles.

When are married/coupled persons and families (including race) going to ‘get over themselves’ in thinking that they are the only ones who are able to have cultural and social intelligence?

Marital status does not mean married/coupled persons and families are going to behave any better than singles.  Look to examples where Canadian immigrant parents have killed their daughters because of clashing religious ideals, the atrocities committed by men in India, both single and married, against multiple raping of females, and family members killing each other or committing crimes against each other.

To  stop negative profiling and financial discrimination of singles, marital status needs to be eliminated in the equal treatment of all human beings regardless of race and sex.

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



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

Today, February 15, is designated Family Day in Canada and was originally created to give people time to spend with their families, but also provides a day off between New Year’s Day and Good Friday as they are approximately three months apart.

The word ‘family’  can have many different meanings.  One definition is “a fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children.” While this definition is a traditional definition, there are other family units excluded by this definition, such as couples without children or other variations on the family unit. Another definition is “two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another and reside usually in the same dwelling.”  In addition to a more universal family definition, there are many who consider a group of friends to be family, and adults who consider pets also to be members of the family unit.

The Statistics Canada definition of ‘family’ indicates there must be two persons legally living together to be defined as a family.  When census information is collated, the population is called:  “Census families and persons not in census families”.  Singles are included in the “persons not in census family” category.

For Canada Revenue Agency income tax purposes, singles are persons who have never married or whose marriage has been legally annulled.  (Those who  live with a common-law partner are not included in this category).

The word ‘family’ can be inclusionary or exclusionary depending on the closeness (or distance) of the relationship of the persons in the family unit.

It is interesting to note that present political discussions both in Canada and the USA talk about the financial decline of the ‘middle class family”.  Singles and low income are left out the discussion.  Many benefits have been given to the married/coupled persons and family units with children, but singles are generally left out of the benefits or receive less in benefits.

An example of financial discrimination in Canada is the targeted tax relief for seniors where senior singles pay no tax on $20,000 and married/coupled seniors pay no tax on $40,000.  For single seniors this amounts to only $1,700 per month, but for married/coupled seniors this amounts to approximately $3,400 per month.  Living costs are inadequately covered for singles, but are more adequately covered for married/coupled seniors.  It is a well known fact that singles require approximately 70% of living costs for married/coupled persons living together as a family unit.

The mentality of government, decision makers, businesses and families in this country is to serve only the rich and middle class families while generally ignoring singles, low income and no income individuals and families.   Families will often talk about how important the family unit is for them in regards to maintaining close ties to friends and families.  They talk about about how their ‘hearts are eternally and inexplicably changed’ when bearing their children, but same hearts appear to become ‘hearts of stone’ when these same children become adult singles, low income or no income persons and families.  These disadvantaged persons are tossed out or are less important in financial  formulas and decision-making processes.


The definition of family as to whether it is inclusionary or exclusionary is in ‘the eye of the beholder’ and depends on which ‘side of the fence’ is beholder is on.   An exclusionary example is the one given above on targeted tax relief.  The financial ‘family’ by devaluing singles and low income takes on a ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ persona, or also could be said to take on an ‘about-face’ persona or doing the exact opposite where the greed of business and personal gain takes on more importance than treasured family values.

Financial fairness of singles, low income and disadvantaged would be better served if they were financially treated as equal family members instead of being financially categorized as ‘worth less’ or ‘worthless’ to the rich and married/coupled persons in financial formulas. This would give more truth to why Family Day is celebrated on this day of February 15.

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





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

March, 2015 study has revealed that approximately 2,250 veterans are homeless.or about 2.7 per cent of the total homeless population (homeless-veterans).  There is shock that there are homeless veterans and it took five years to track the data.  Average age of homeless veterans is 52 years of age compared to 37 years of age for general homeless population.  Review of online information reveals that many veterans joined armed forces because of lack of jobs as in Atlantic Canada, and then come back to again no jobs.  Age in fifties also makes it more difficult to integrate back into civilian life. Many of these homeless are single or if married/ partnered suffer broken marriages/partnerships because of the mental stresses of service.

Why should this be shocking when 300,000 Canadian persons or families are waiting for affordable housing ?  In addition immigrants are brought into country, given temporary free housing and jobs adding further insult to injury.  (In recent news immigrant family,while travelling to Jamaica, found their Canadian-born child is on a ‘no fly’ list – so what is this, immigrant family wealthy enough to have a nice little vacation while Canadian-born persons are homeless or waiting affordable housing?)

The mentality of government, decision makers, businesses and families in this country is to serve only the rich and middle class families while ignoring singles, low income and no income individuals and families.   When reading or listening to articles on housing for families, families will always talk about how important their housing is for them in regards to entertaining and maintaining close ties to friends and families.  They talk about how their ‘hearts are eternally and inexplicably changed’ when bearing their children, but same hearts appear to become ‘hearts of stone’ when these same children become adult singles, low income or no income persons and families.  The greed of business decisions takes over from family values and these disadvantaged persons are tossed out or are considered less important or non-existant in financial  formulas and decision-making processes.

Housing is just one example.  Those with the money and decision making powers continue the NIMBY mentality where they do not want to see tiny houses or condos in their precious spaces.  When tiny condos are built, for example 200 square feet, the purchasers of these spaces are often forced to pay more on less square foot living space and less take-home income than families paying for houses (thus violating Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs).  One example is a complex in Calgary where the 532 square foot condo is $299,900 or $543 per square foot, and the 1830 square foot condo begins at $649,900 or $355 per square foot.  The higher cost per square foot means that tiny space purchasers also will pay proportionately more real estate fees, education fees, house taxes and mortgage interest payments because all these fees are based on the cost of the housing, not square footage.  (See November 13,2015 post “Upside Down Finances re Housing for Singles and Low Income” – how is this any different than loan sharking or payday loans?)

Calgary Herald December 16, 2015 article “Nothing New from housing collective” (housing-affordability) (a study going on for 14 months) states:

’Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he’s unhappy with the city’s Community Housing Affordability Collective strategy, but hopeful  it’s members now understand the ‘time for talk is over.’

Talk, talk, talk, and study after study without action is just meaningless rhetoric.  In this so called democratic, civilized country all persons, whether they are immigrants or Canadian-born, single or married, male or female, low income or no income deserve the same financial dignity and respect such as being included in financial formulas.  All individuals deserve a living wage job and a place to  live in just like the rich and middle class families.

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




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.

(The next four posts will consist of four parts. Parts 1 and 2 will be two published Opinion letters, Part 3 will be two Opinion letters published by readers in response to letter in Part 2. Part 4 will be author’s response to the two reader letters in Part 3.)

(This Opinion letter was published in a local newspaper on June 24, 2015. The Conservative party was ousted by the Liberal party in the October, 2015 election. Proper names have been removed. Since published letters are restricted to number of words that can be published, some additional information is added in italics to this article.)

In the June 17, 2015 edition of a local newspaper, a Conservative Member of Parliament states that the Conservatives remain committed to seniors through various measures they have implemented since 2006. This includes targeted tax relief where a single senior can now earn $20,360 and a senior couple $40,720 before paying federal income tax. He states that approximately 400,000 seniors (or 7 to 8% of total Canadian seniors) have been removed from the tax rolls altogether, (he neglects to state federal tax rolls only). This year, he says there is more good news for seniors by reducing the minimum withdrawal for RRIFs (Registered Retirement Income Funds) and introducing a new Home Accessibility Tax Credit (this neglects to recognize that not all seniors own homes).

The above so called tax relief benefit for seniors allows federal tax relief for senior 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.

The BMO Retirement Institute Report-Retirement for One-By Chance or Design 2009 and states the following:

‘the present tax system is set up to give a huge advantage to married/coupled people with singles who were never married or were divorced at some point throughout their entire working career usually subsidizing married/coupled people’. (It is interesting to note that this statement in the original article appears to have been removed and is no longer present in URL shown above).

From Russell Investments ‘Spending Patterns in Retirement’, February 2010 it is stated that:

‘government transfers, such as CPP and OAS are generally not sufficient to cover the Essentials of Retirement-less than 70% coverage for the average retiree, and as a little as 30% for higher-income retirees. This problem is magnified for single retirees. For example, in the $35,000-$60,000 income category, couples spend only about 12% more than singles on essentials (i.e. food, housing, and clothing), yet receive about 80% more in government transfers’.

The senior population includes about 13% of ‘ever’ single seniors (never married, divorced or widowed) and divorced single seniors (the younger persons are when divorced, the more likely they are to be poor as seniors) and about 43% widowers, (who receive marital manna benefits like pension splitting while married and survivor pension benefits). It is a well-documented fact that singles require 60 to 70% income of married/coupled people depending on whether they rent or own a home with 70% likely being the more accurate figure (Moneysense, BMO Retirement Institute Report-Retirement for One-By Chance or Design, etc.).

So how does the Conservative tax relief program for seniors help ever-single seniors? It doesn’t. Instead, with the addition of marital manna benefits such as pension splitting and survivor benefits, individuals/singles are financially made to be not even 50% worthy of total married/coupled tax relief, but rather less than 50% of married/coupled tax relief. And immigrant families are also financially made to be more income worthy than Canadian-born and immigrant senior individuals/singles.

Governments, businesses and society all talk about ‘family, family, family’, but singles continue to be ‘kicked out’ or deemed ‘less worthy’ than married/coupled people in the ‘family’. The Conservative Prime Minister, Finance Minister, and Members of Parliament remain financially illiterate in individual/singles financial affairs.

The continued financial discrimination of singles must be eliminated by recognizing what it truly costs for ever-singles and divorced/separated senior singles to live in this country. If programs such as pension splitting for married/coupled seniors and survivor benefits for widows continue to be added, then at the same time, ever-single and divorced single seniors must be given equal financial status through enhanced programs such as GIS and 60-70% enhancement of singles’ income baselines over married/coupled person’s and widow baselines. Sixty per cent of couples’ tax relief $40,720 income equals $24,432 ($2,036 per month) and 70% of $40,720 equals $28,504 ($2,375 per month).

The Conservative Member of Parliament’s article is titled ‘Seniors play an increasingly important role in our society’. Unfortunately, married/coupled and widowed seniors are deemed to play a more financially important role than ever-singles or divorced/separated early in life singles even though singles have supported married/coupled and widowed persons throughout their lifetime through contributions by paying more taxes and getting less in benefits.

The senior population of Canada includes only about 13% of singles and divorced/separated persons, while widows comprise 43% of the senior population. If the marital manna benefits were taken away from the widowed persons (who by the way could now be considered to be living a ‘single’ lifestyle since they are now technically ‘single’) they would be on a more equal instead of a greater financial footing to ever singles and divorced/separated persons. Or, if looked at from another perspective since ever singles and divorced/separated persons comprise only 13% of the senior population, would it really cost that much more to give them the same financial benefits as widows? As citizens of this country senior ever singles and divorced/separated persons deserve and should be treated with same financial respect as widowed seniors.

To continue the common sense and critical thinking of this article, a simple rephrasing of the information is as follows:  Governments need to top up tax free amount for ‘ever’ singles and early divorced/separated senior persons to from $20,0000 to $28,000 (70% of $40,000) plus give to ‘ever’ singles and early divorced/separated persons 70% of whatever benefits are given to widowed persons.  To do nothing or less than this only continues the financial discrimination already been committed against ‘ever’ singles and divorced/separated persons.


Since it costs ‘ever’ single and divorced/separated seniors with rent or mortgage about 70% – 75% of married/couple seniors’ income, lost dollars of 70% for $20,000 extra that married/coupled seniors get tax free or $6,000 per year (age 65 to 90) will be added to the list.  Total value of dollars lost will be $150,000 ($6,000 times 25 for years age 65 to 90).


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.




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.

(In the Calgary Herald January 10, 2014 Kathleen Parker published an editorial letter called ‘Spouses are foot soldiers in war on poverty’. The following article was sent to the Calgary Herald as a response to this letter but was never published. Parker’s opinion can be viewed online at Kathleen Parker, Jewish World Review, January 15, 2014 ‘The War on Poverty’s secret weapon’. (kathleen/parker.archives.asp)

RE: Opinion by Kathleen Parker – Spouses are foot soldiers in war on poverty, Calgary Herald, January 10, 2014

It is mind bending and insulting on how governments, society and media continue to discriminate against singles and promote the marriage myth as an answer to poverty. This article is offensive to singles who are divorced, separated because of violent abusive marriages or widowed.

For the reporter who states that some fall into poverty simply because of luck and devaluation of the old idea that marriage is good for everyone, here is a completely new idea. Singles are poor because they are financially discriminated against every day of their lives.

The state of being unmarried as one of the highest single factors for poverty is only because government, society and media choose to keep singles in financial poverty while married people are given financial manna benefits from date of marriage until date of death.

One very good example among many is pension plans. Singles are told they don’t need the same financial amount to live as married people, but are forced to overpay at least three times for their pensions by paying more taxes than married people, forced to support survivor benefits because spouses have not paid extra for survivor benefits, and on pension withdrawal again pay more taxes, and cannot pension split. Survivors become ‘single’ when spouses decease, so why do they need survivor benefits?

Simple exercises taking financial information for singles versus married people (i.e. the Financial Post Personal Financial Evaluations in the Calgary Herald) further show the devastation of financial discrimination against Canadian singles. Information analysis supports the general rule that married people win every time because government and society have made it so.

‘Marrying for money pays off’  (researchnews.osu.) and ‘High Price of Being Single in America’ (high-price-of-being-single-in-america) further support the cornucopia of perks, privileges and benefits available exclusively to married people in Canada and the USA, countries that are supposedly more advanced and civilized in eliminating discrimination.

It is time to let singles as humans (and in their humanity equal to married people) rather than marital status be their qualification for basic dignities such as financial and social well-being. How about financial fairness for all regardless of marital status as a solution to poverty?

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.



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.

As stated in Part 1 and 2 of this series, one example of financial unfairness is condos presently being developed in Calgary by a developer including 1 bed, 1 bath, 1 patio micro-condo of 552 sq. ft. with starting price of $299,900. Two patio, 2 bed, 2 full bath, 2 story 1232 sq. ft. condos were already sold out so price not available. Then there are 2 patio, 3 bed, 2.5 bath, 2 and 3 story 1830 sq. ft. condos priced from $649,900 to $749,900. Apparently, ultra-deluxe model has master bedroom suite covering entire third 600 sq. ft. floor. The third floor bedroom is bigger than total square footage of $299,900 condo. When price per square foot is calculated, micro-condo is selling for $543 per sq. ft. while three bed condos are selling from $355 to $409 per sq. ft.

Average square footage of Canadian house is 1950 sq. ft. (2010) so how can a developer socially, morally and ethically justify charging $150 to $200 more per square foot for two-thirds less space? “CREB now”, Aug. 28 to Sept. 3, 2015, page A5, talks about Calgary developer selling 440 sq. ft. condos in north inner city tower for $149,000 ($339 per sq. ft.) in 2012 and 440 sq. ft. condos in south inner city tower for $219,000 ($498 per sq. ft.) in 2015. Two and three hundred sq. ft. condos are now being sold in Vancouver and Toronto for around $250,000 ($1250 and $833 per sq. ft. respectively). Salaries for low income and singles has not risen to same level, nor has Canadian housing for the middle class and rich ($400,000 and up (except perhaps in Vancouver).

So who is more likely to buy micro-condos? Possibly low income couples, single parent with one child, or environmentally conscious, and probably an individual/single person. Who gets to pay $150 to $200 more per square foot for two-thirds less space? Ripple effects are owners of micro-condos have to proportionately pay more house taxes, education taxes, mortgage interest and real estate fees on less house and less take home pay for biggest lifetime expense. When it is sold, will seller recoup buying price?

To further magnify the issue, lottery in major northern Alberta city has first grand lottery prize of $2,092,000 for 6,490 sq. ft. house ($322 per sq. ft.), second grand prize of $1,636,000 for 5,103 sq. ft. house ($321 per sq. ft.), and third grand prize of $1,558,000 for 5,097 sq. ft. house ($306 per sq. ft.). First house has elevator, games/theatre area, kid’s lounge, gym, and music room. Second house has hockey arena with bleacher seating, lounge and bar. Third house has spa, gym, yoga studio, juice bar and media room. Need anything more be said about the rich? They always get more while paying less and acquiring choicest spots.

As stated in a recent real estate article, Watermark, a deluxe complex in Calgary is selling an ‘inspired’ (so stated in article) 8,644 sq. ft. estate home and its guest house for $3.45 million or $399 per square foot which is less per square feet than 600 square foot condo mentioned above. Article goes on to say that beyond homes, Watermark garners interest with both natural and man-made beauty. It has 17 cascading ponds and more than five kilometers of interconnected walking and bike trails. Then there’s the central plaza with its 1,000 sq. ft. pavilion, kitchen, barbecues, a sports field and NBA-sized basketball court. One family’s daughter is looking forward to booking the plaza and using the outdoor kitchen for her birthday party. The family goes on to state that space between homes and low density was also very important so they weren’t looking into someone’s back yard. This same complex has a show home with 17 sinks.

Another real estate article talks about another family with three children moving from 1900 sq. ft. house to a 2,837 sq. ft. house with price starting from $900,000s. They are moving because they need more room for the kids as they grow. Their new house will provide 567 sq. ft. per person at a starting price of approximately $317 per sq. ft. Yet again other articles state that owners are happy they don’t have condos in their back yard and their children can experience nature from their own bedrooms.

Further advice usually given by married people states singles can live with someone else if they can’t afford housing when they are already living in studio, one bedroom apartments, and basement suites. Senior singles who have lived productive lives while contributing to their country want and deserve their own privacy and bathroom. Many senior assisted living dwellings have in recent years built more spaces for singles who with one income pay more for that space than married/coupled persons. Just how long should shared arrangements go on for (entire lives?) instead of correcting underlying financial issues?

Following examples show dignity and respect for singles (and low income families). Attainable Housing, Calgary, allows maximum household income of $90,000 for single and dual/parent families with dependent children living in the home and maximum household income of $80,000 for singles and couples with no dependent children living in the home. Living Wage for Guelph and Wellington livingwagecanada allows singles dignity of one bedroom apartment and a living wage income that is 44% of a family of 4 income and 62% of a family of two (parent and child).

While singles are living in their small spaces (average size of new studio, one bed and one bed/den new condo combined being built in Toronto is 697 sq. feet), majority of Canadian married/coupled people and families are living in average 1950 sq. foot houses (2010) with large gourmet kitchens, multiple bathrooms, bedrooms for each child and guests, basement, garage, yard, and nice patio with barbecue, etc.


For a 700 square foot condo where price is $50 more per square foot than lowest price of largest condo in complex, it can be assumed that the purchaser will be paying $35,000 more than purchaser’s base price of largest condo, if the price per square foot is $100 more per square foot then purchaser will be paying be paying $70,000 more, if the price per square foot is $150 more per square foot then purchaser will be paying $105,000 more and so on. The amount of house and education taxes, real estate fees and mortgage interest will also incrementally increase.

Our Lost Dollar Value List is still a work in progress, but when lost dollar value for real estate is added to the list, $50 will be used as the example as well as gestimate loss for taxes and real estate fees, interest charges based on $50.00 per sq. ft.


There seems to be very little understanding of the psychological impact that decision makers and policy makers have on singles regarding housing.

Many families live in houses where their young children have separate bedrooms, and likewise, there is a trend towards ‘man caves’ and ‘she sheds’ so family members can have ‘alone’ time, but when children become single adults, singles are consistently told that they can live with someone if they have financial problems with housing while paying more.

And, of course, singles never have claustrophobia, so it is okay to stick them in small spaces for which they have to pay more. And singles never have problems with noise, so it is okay for them to live in small units in less desirable areas close to airports and railway tracks, etc. (As one single person moving from one unit to another stated in a real estate article “I was very impressed with the pricing and the fact that they’re doing concrete floors and walls “. Concrete is said to restrict noise. “I work on Saturday mornings and a lot of people like to stay up a little later on Friday and Saturday nights”. With thinner walls, he adds, it is easier to hear “people in the hallways coming and going. It is not the end of the end of the world, by any means, but I am looking forward to something quieter above and below”. But for this person, the decision was less about sound and more about getting something larger, with better specifications and closer to work-moving from 615 sq. ft. two bedroom condo to 715 sq. ft. two bedroom condo. “The bedrooms are a little bit bigger with an ensuite. I really liked that and I liked the fact that it has a washer and dryer so I don’t have to go to the laundromat.”

Singles deserve same standard of living as married/coupled persons, i.e. having washer and dryer in their own home instead of  having to go  down a dark hall or to basement to do laundry or paying  per load at a laundromat.

When reading or listening to articles on housing for families, families will always talk about how important their housing is for them in regards to creating memories for their children, entertaining and maintaining close ties to friends and families, but apparently adult singles don’t have friends and families, so it is okay for them to live in micro condos, some as small as 200 square feet, where it is pretty much impossible to entertain or have friends and families stay with them.


Singles and low income persons need to become more aware of financial unfairness by taking pricing down to the lowest common denominator, i.e. price per square foot and speak out about the financial atrocities being directed towards them. They need to start questioning why they are being targeted to pay more while getting less.  (While it is recognized that it is expensive to raise children, adult to adult it is also unfair to make one segment of the population like singles and the disadvantaged pay more than another segment).

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