(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 – financialfairnessforsingles.ca).

While it is wonderful that there is some recognition of the changing face of family and the grave financial struggles singles face, actions speak louder than words.

A single person 2019 $50,000 Alberta annual income ($25/hr. and 2,000 worked hours) with $11,000 tax, CPP (Canada Pension Plan) and EI (Employment Insurance) deductions results in only a bare bones net living wage income of $39,000 ($19.50/hr.).  It is impossible to maximize $9,000 RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan – 18% of earned income) and $6,000 annual TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account) contributions (35% of $39,000 with tax reductions for RRSP) even though many politicians, families, and financially illiterate believe $50,000 is a good income for unattached individuals and single parents.  As seniors they will likely be living only on CPP and OAS (Old Age Security) benefits and maybe without GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement). There is no median income family that spends 35% of their income on savings and 10% for emergencies leaving only 55% for daily living expenses.

During child rearing years single parents will receive CCB (Canada Child Benefits), but after child rearing years they are ‘back to square one’ where it will likely be impossible to save for retirement on $50,000.

Example of approximate average cost of living for a single person household (easily obtained from Living Wage research) excluding child expenses:  Rent for bachelor apartment (including utilities, tenant insurance) $1,000, food $400, vehicle (gas, repair and insurance) $200, phone/internet $300, clothing/footwear $100, dental/eyecare $100, house tax and insurance if a homeowner $250, contingency saving for emergencies and replacement of vehicle $300 (10% of income).  Total equals $2,650 or $31,800 per year ($16 per hour based on 2,000 work hours). Totals do not include other expenses like bank fees, personal care expenses, household operation and maintenance, pets, license/registration and membership fees, vacations, entertainment, computer purchases and expenses, gifts, condo fees, professional association and union fees, etc.  Note: there is no ability for retirement saving beyond CPP contributions. The 2017 living wage for Alberta is about $18 per hour based on 35 hour work week or 1,820 hrs per annum. Unattached never married no children single person households receive very little income from government transfers (municipal, provincial and federal).

Right wing Stephen Harper introduced tax free TFSA investments benefiting wealthy the most (tax-free-savings-account-tfsa-designed-to-make-married-and-wealthy-even-richer.

In the left wing Liberal financial world, tax free CCB benefit clawback for $30,450 to $65,976 net income portion and two children is 13.5%, but only 5.7% for net income portion over $65,976.  This is just more upside down politics where clawback percentage is greater for the $30,450 to $65,976 income portion.  Shouldn’t it be the other way around where the clawback for the wealthy is 13.5%? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is so proud that nine out of ten families are receiving CCB benefits including wealthy families with never married no children single persons completely invisible in the family definition.  Why are families with $250,000 incomes receiving CCB benefits?

In 2018, Ontario couple with a child under six years of age would stop receiving CCB payments with a net income reaching $188,437.50 without other deductions such as RRSP (“CCB is a win for most families” article – child-benefit-is-a-win).

Using turbotax calculator for Alberta family with children and $250,000 gross income or approx. $160,000 net income ($80/hr.) they can max out 2019 $45,000 RRSP and $12,000 TFSA for couples.  Through compounding effect of benefits, including marital, they will pay approx.$21,000 less taxes, get larger CCB payment, increase their RRSP and TFSA wealth, own their home, and have approx. $181,000 minus TFSA $12,000 contribution or $169,000 ($84.5/hr.) spending capability annually. (This example may not include other possible deductions).

For every dollar that is given in benefits and tax reduction for the wealthy and the married is equal to dollars lost (lost-dollar-value-list) to singles.


Some of these financial discrimination issues for singles have been submitted to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.  They said they couldn’t help. If they can’t help, who can and who will?

To counterbalance the net income, tax avoidance and tax free socialism for the rich and the married mentioned many times in the above, it is crucial that lifetime federal and provincial income tax be exclusively and completely eliminated for singles and single parents with incomes under $50,000 so they also can save for their retirements. This should absolutely not be tied into refundable tax credits.

(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.)

This blog post is in response to a local newspaper opinion letter submitted by a reader who believes “singles only need small spaces and one tank of gas per month”.  This post was published in a local newspaper in shortened format as only so many words can be submitted for newspaper publication.


Shocking statistics show that in one of the richest provinces (Alberta) there were in early 2014, 33,000 Alberta Income Support program (excluding AISH) recipients of all ages.  Alberta Income Support program in January, 2017, had 54,374 recipients and in January, 2018, 57,003 recipients.  Makeup of claimants in 2017 and 2018 include individuals 69%, lone-parent families 24%, couples with children 5%, and couples alone 3% (social-assistance-rates-continue-to-soar-despite-albertas-recovering-economy).  Totals do not say how many are turned away and do not include those who on verge of poverty.


Reader comments on Alberta support program statistics gaslight by blaming NDP government and immigrants.  Local newspaper opinion letter submitted by a family gaslights as part of the family majority by using bias and financial illiteracy re singles finances to tell singles they only need small spaces and one tank of gas per month.   The letter implies families have to pay so much more than single retirees.  Sorry, singles and lone parents retirees are forced by married majority to pay more taxes because they can’t pension split and don’t have marital benefits privileging married and coupled persons with and without children.

So, apparently, while your children have their own bedrooms, it is okay for singles to live in spaces as small as 150 sq. ft. with only a microwave, bar fridge, bar sink, and no stove, bathtub, laundry or storage space.  And, apparently, as evidenced in Whistler, BC housing crisis it is okay for singles to earn a decent living, but have no place to live.  One person earning $2,800 after taxes has lived in a camper van for four years.  Styrofoam cutouts are wedged into the windows to keep out the cold. Or, in shared house a single bedroom was advertised for two female tenants at $780 per person.  Illegal short term rental greed has replaced housing designated for staff.

Singles have become invisible in DIY, real estate and housing TV programs.  Probably this is because singles are increasingly being charged more and more per square foot for their small spaces and are less able to afford home purchases.

One tank of gas per month doesn’t even deserve a response.

J-u-s-t  s-p-e-a-k  t-h-e  d-a-m-n  t-r-u-t-h!  Over 90% of Alberta Income Support recipients as minorities are singles and poor lone parent families!  Families gaslight by saying it is expensive to raise children covering only twenty to twenty five years.  Housing covering sixty to eighty years, especially rental, is biggest lifetime expense regardless of marital status or children.  House ownership is separating Canadians into ‘haves’ versus ‘have nots’.


Conservatives, financially illiterate, gaslighters and married never talk about low income, equivalence-scales-in-relation-to-cost-of-living or cost of living scales like Market Basket Measure (MBM) (statcan).  Example:  if single person household has value of 1.0, lone parent, one child or two adult household has value of 1.4, one adult, two children 1.7 and two adult, two children 2.0.  It costs more for singles to live than couples without children.

Just one example of MBM not applied was the 2015 Federal Conservatives proposed targeted federal tax relief benefit for single senior to $20,360 ($1,697 per month) and senior couple $40,720 ($3,393 per month).  Using simple math, $1,000 rent and $400 food and white goods per month is barely covered for singles, but $1,000 rent and $800 food and white goods is amply covered for senior couples.   Application of MBM of 1.4 for couples would equal $28,504 ($2,375 per month), not $40,720.  Cost of living for couples is not twice that of singles. Trump has also given double tax relief for couples.

For 2018, net income limit is $75,910 for singles and $151,820 for couples. Applying MBM of 1.4 or $106,274 net income limit for couples ensures tax fairness.

Singles are told by married persons that they can always reduce costs by moving in with someone else.  However, this does not solve the problem of financial discrimination of singles being forced to pay more taxes.


Conservatives, who tout individual responsibility,  have implemented tax avoidance programs privileging upper middle class and wealthy married or coupled households with and without children (add link) like pension splitting, Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) with no limits, Old Age Security (OAS) clawback targeting only top two percent, and tax loophole programs. They financially and socially discriminate against minority singles and poor households who generally do not have the income to take full advantage of these programs.  Wealthy never pay their fair share of taxes. The Canada Child Benefit does not take into account net worth and assets, so it privileges wealthy parents who have low incomes, paid for houses, and high net worth and assets who then retire early. These same benefits have been perpetuated by the Liberal Party because of fear of losing votes if tax fairness changes are made.

Married and coupled persons do not realize the financial power and privileging that has been given to them when they are able to apply benefits on top of benefits times two persons (family-tax-credits).  For example, it is shameful when married and coupled persons can get OAS, which is supposed to be part of the Canadian poverty reduction pillar, then take that money and max out their TFSAs while paying less taxes because they can pension split and not pay taxes on TFSA proceeds (TFSAs do not need to be included in income).

The local newspaper opinion letter on same day as above opinion letter thankfully recognizes widowed person, now homeless ‘single’ (doesn’t say she is age 65), who is begging for money because she can’t get on small town local social support 600 person waiting list.

Singles, including poor lone parent households, are not stupid and deserve to feel righteously angered.  (After all, they also have math skills since they went to same schools as their married/coupled counterparts).  Singles know as minority populations they are not respected in financial formulas to the same level as married or coupled households with and without children.


Personal responsibility with social justice imbalance can lead to selfishness and greed.  Personal responsibility with balanced social justice and financial formulas changes “me” to “we”. Less gaslighting and more financial and public policy formulas based on MBM, and including net worth and assets, on all benefits and taxation without political bias would ensure financial fairness for all Canadians.

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



(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).

The August 2, 2016 post (decades) outlined almost all of the family tax credits that have been brought into play over the decades.  Many are financially discriminating because they leave  ever singles and early divorced singles out of the equations.  Single parents do receive some of these benefits for their children, but are not included in all the benefits afforded to having a spouse or partner.

family tax benefits over lifetime

The above table (updated Aug. 29/16) shows benefits available to a married or coupled family units with children from time they are able to use maternal and parental benefits to time of death of one spouse (yellow, blue and green fill in).  Single parents only have benefits related to their children (orange fill in).  Married or coupled family units without children have all the benefits related to having a spouse or partner (navy fill in).  Ever singles and early divorced singles, have none of the benefits available to married or coupled family units (fill in is blank because they have none of the benefits of spouse #2. In addition, they are often are unable to max out RRSP and TFSA contributions).  (While late in life divorced singles have none of the benefits for spouse #2, they may have been able to accumulate more net worth and assets while they had a spouse or partner).

Age categories of age 30 to 50 years are used to show suggested family unit of two children, one newborn and second child born two years later.  Life expectancy for Canadians is 80 for men and 84 for women so ages in table were calculated to age 85 assuming both spouses were still alive at age 85.

Estimation of the ADVANTAGES OF BENEFITS include the following:

Maternity and Parental Benefits

It is difficult to determine total number of Canadians who have receive EI benefits in a year as statistics seem to be based on month to month data.  However, there are studies that state annually about 25% of EI claimants receive maternity and parental benefits.  (Some parents may not receive these benefits if they did not contribute to EI or were not employed long enough receive any benefits).

StatsCan’s latest data on Employment Insurance recipients indicates Canada’s federal government (huffingtonpost) is growing stingier with EI benefits since Canada’s EI regime has been significantly toughened under Harper’s Conservative government. Changes that came into place include tougher, more complex rules for keeping EI benefits, and a new requirement that EI beneficiaries who have used EI frequently have to take any job available to them and accept as much as a 30-per-cent pay cut.

There is no such restrictions for maternal and parental benefits.  Although the benefits have a defined time limit (usually up to a year), there is no exhaustion of time limits for benefits for maternity and parental benefits as there is for regular unemployed persons (also can have benefits for multiple pregnancies).  While it is acknowledged that mothers go through stress of caring for a new infant, it should also be acknowledged that unemployed persons receiving EI go through stress of applying for EI and then constantly have to be looking for a job while EI benefits are running out and they have no money to pay for expenses.  Employees in EI offices are often not the most pleasant people to deal with.

Question:  do beneficiaries of EI (i.e. two or more children) use more benefits than other beneficiaries during working life of 35 years?  Present maximum EI contributions equal about $1,000 per year.  Over a 35 year period of working, contributions by a married or coupled family if both spouses are working is approximately $70,000 (this only holds true if each spouse is employed for 35 years each, many wealthier couples retire at age 60, not 65).  If a married or coupled family unit have two children with a maximum allowed $50,800 EI yearly insurable earnings at 55%, they will basically have used a large portion of the monies they contributed to the plan (with three children they will definitely likely have used all monies contributed).

Study ‘Benefitting from Extended Parental Leave’, March 2003, Katherine Marshall (statcan):  “Significantly more mothers who returned within eight months reported annual earnings below $20,000 in their previous or current job (49%) compared with those who returned after almost a year (29%) … this suggests that women with lower earnings (and possibly lower savings) may not be financially able to stay at home for an entire year on 55% of their earnings….Also, more likely to be a household where total income was under $40,000 (46%) compared with those who returned between nine and twelve months (38%)”.  Many families and family organizations are lobbying for the lengthening of maternal and parental leaves to two years.  It has to be stated once again that upside down financing ensures that more wealthy parents get to use full EI benefits than poor parents. Dollar value assigned for maximum maternity and parental EI benefits for two children equals approximately $55,880 ($50,800 X 55% X two children).

Canada Child Benefits – the outrageous discrimination of this program where net worth and assets has not been taken into consideration has already been discussed (poverty). Maximum annual Canada Child Benefits for 2016 are set at $6,400 per child ages one and up to six years and $5,500 for children ages 6 to 17.  Dollar value calculation using ‘middle of the road’ value (maximum values divided by 2) of $6,400 and $5.400 annually ($3,200 times five years times two children ages 1 and up to six equals approximately $32,000, $2,700 times 12 years times 2 children ages 6 to 17 equals approximately $64,800) equals a total of approximately $96,800.

Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) based on the amount of the RESP contributions and income level, the government may additionally contribute up to $7,200 per child as well as other grants. Dollar value for two children may total at least $14,400 of government benefits not counting other grants such as provincial grants.

Spousal Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) allows a higher earner, called a spousal contributor, to contribute to an RRSP in their spouse’s name (it is the spouse who is the account holder).  A spousal  RRSP is a means of splitting income while working and during retirement and, therefore, possibly pay less tax. (It is not possible to calculate how much income tax might be saved).

Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) – implemented in year 2009 with maximum contribution allowed per person of $5,500.  For years 2009 to 2016, the approximate maximum allowable amounts for spouse #2 is a total $42,000 (all tax free and not including monies generated from investments).  The Canadian Parliamentary Budget Office states “the TFSA program is regressive, overall, it offers no additional benefit to low- or middle-wealth households” (global) .  TFSAs for the wealthy are used as tax shelters.  It has been suggested that one half of Canadians have a TFSA account, but only half of those with the account have contributed to the account on a regular basis.  It is a well known fact that mostly wealthy Canadians have been able to contribute the maximum amounts to their accounts even in their senior years (another upside financial scheme to allow wealthier Canadians to gain even more wealth).  Many singles and poor families do not have the financial ability to max out their TFSA contributions.  Dollar value used for spouse #2-lifespan from age 30 to 85 years equals $5,500 time 55 years for a total of $302,500.

Income tax (federal) decreased by 1.5% for those earning between $45,282 and $90,563 – each spouse receives benefit of reduced income tax.  Using 2015 Canada Income Tax form, the calculated income tax for approximate income between $45,282 and $90,563 is $16,539.  A 1.5% tax reduction equals $248 annually.  The majority of ever singles and early divorced persons do not have incomes over $45,282, especially seniors. While middle class families with children get less of the Canada Child Benefit, this is offset by the reduced income tax. This is one benefit piled on top of another benefit.  Dollar value used for spouse #2 (assuming 55 working years) is $248 time 55 working years for a total of $13,640.

Pension Splittingallows splitting of the pension income between spouses to reduce tax paid.  This strategy allows the spouse who has the highest income to lower his/her tax payable by sharing up to 50% of his/her pension income with his/her spouse.  Apparently 2.2 million Canadian seniors benefit from pension income splitting.   This may also allow the higher earner to receive the full OAS benefit without clawbacks.  Review of online data (Splitting) shows:  “of the $1.2 billion federal cost for pension splitting in 2015, $250 million of that cost is due to increases in OAS payments that wouldn’t have otherwise occurred. Hole. Wealthiest 10% of families get 31% of this benefit while bottom 50% of families get 2% of the benefits.  Single-parent families and Canadians living alone would gain no benefit from the creation of this tax loophole.   The gains from the pension income splitting loophole go disproportionately to the richest four deciles—the richest 40% of the Canadian senior population. In fact, the richer the senior family, the more it receives from this loophole. The poorer the senior family, the less support it receives. The poorest 10% of seniors receive an average of 10 cents in terms of a tax break from this loophole, whereas the richest 10% receive an average of $820 in perks. The richest 10% of senior families receive more benefit from this loophole than the bottom 70%. Looking at it from another vantage point, one out of five of the richest 10% of Canada’s senior families receive a cheque for over $1,000 from this program while three out of five make some gain from it. Of the poorest half of all senior families, only one out of every 1,000 seniors gets more than $1,000 from pension income splitting. Seven out of 10 seniors enjoy no benefit at all from this tax loophole. The poorest half of all senior families—they’re making less than $36,000 a year—receive only $2 out of ever $100 paid out by this loophole. In contrast, the richest 10% of senior families making over $85,000 receive $30 out of every $100 paid out. Most of the seniors in the bottom 40% of the income distribution are single women. As such, there is no one to split with and therefore no benefit from this loophole. The cost of this tax loophole is large and gets larger every year. While most of this program’s payouts are going to Canada’s richest seniors who don’t need extra support, there remain seniors who live below the poverty line.  In fact, to lift all Canadian seniors above the After-Tax Low Income Measure (AT-LIM) poverty line in Canada, it would cost approximately $1.5 billion a year—slightly less than Canadian governments are currently spending to support Canada’s richest seniors.  As with many government decisions, budgets are all about policy choices: in the case of pension income splitting, the political choice is to support rich senior families instead of lifting all seniors out of poverty – even though they both cost approximately the same.  While income splitting is often touted as a loophole for middle class Canadians, this study illustrates how in reality, it is actually a loophole for Canada’s richest families…..The richer the family, the more it stands to gain; the poorer the family, the more it stands to lose. Under any income splitting scenario, the bottom six deciles of Canadian families wouldn’t even get an equal share of the benefits”.  Dollar Value:  If the richest 10% receive an average of $820 in these perks annually, then $800 at 20 years from age 65 to 85 equals $16,000 in income tax savings not including the benefits received from OAS not being clawbacked.

OAS Clawbackthe clawback of OAS benefits in 2016 starts with a net income per person $72,809 (couple $145,618)  and completely eliminates OAS with income of $118,055 (couple $236,110).  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. Essentially, there is virtually no clawback for the wealthy so no dollar value is calculated. No dollar value attached, but it is apparent that upside down financing prevails and wealthy families lose nothing-they get to retain their wealth.  The OAS Clawback benefit is basically a useless benefit.

Involuntary Separation Benefit –  in Involuntary Separation (spouse in nursing home), certain benefits may help pay for energy costs, and provides relief for sales and property tax and may also allow a portion of the Long-Term Care Home accommodation cost to remain with the spouse in the community. Qualifying under “Involuntary Separation” would allow both spouses to receive their pensions as single individuals (usually applies to low income seniors).  Not possible to calculate dollar value.

Survivor Benefits – benefits can apply to pensions including public pensions.  Details will not be discussed here and no dollar value has been assigned.

LOST DOLLAR VALUE TO SINGLES or looking at it in another way – Estimated Positive Dollar Value for married or coupled family units with two children

  • Maternal and Parental Benefits $55,880
  • Canada Child Benefits $96,800
  • RESP $14,400
  • Spousal RRSP (not possible to estimate dollar value)
  • TFSA $302,500
  • Income tax Reduction $13,640
  • Pension splitting $16,000
  • OAS Clawback (useless benefit as only richest 5% of Canadians get clawbacked-most married or coupled Canadians get to keep their OAS even with wealth)
  • Total $490,220

Estimated Positive Dollar Value for married or coupled family units without children

  • Spousal RRSP (not possible to estimate dollar value)
  • TFSA $302,500
  • Income tax Reduction $13,640
  • Pension splitting $16,000
  • Total $332,140

Estimated Positive Dollar Value for Single Parent with two children                    (added Aug. 24/16)

  • Maternal and Parental Benefits $55,880
  • Canada Child Benefits $96,800
  • RESP $14,400
  • Total $167,080

Estimated Positive Dollar Value for Ever Single and Early Divorced Singles  – Total $0 due to fact of no children and no spouse or partner (added Aug. 24/16)


New Canada Child Benefits if they continue in perpetuity for next twenty years implies that many middle class and wealthy married and coupled family units with children will receive benefits that equal the costs of raising children (estimated $250,000 per child) while growing their wealth.  Benefits on top of benefits and overlapping of benefits are most advantageous for married or coupled persons with children and without children.  Some benefits carry through all the way from age 30 to age 85.

While it is recognized that this exercise has only a gestimate of dollar values, there can be no doubt that many of the benefits (most initiated by the Conservative and perpetuated by the Liberal Party) continue to increase wealth for middle class and higher income married and coupled family units with and without children.  Singles parents only receive the child benefits.  Singles, single parents and poor families can never financially achieve same kind of wealth as married or coupled family units because they have been left out of financial formulas due to financial discrimination.  The political will is to support rich families instead of lifting singles and poor families out of poverty.

(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).

Several past posts have shown how families, politicians and governments discriminate against singles in financial formulas.

In discussion of these posts, it is amazing how married or coupled persons and those in power of managing financial formulas manage to twist the definition of the status of singles.  For example, when discussing the post showing how family tax credits are pushing singles into poverty (singles), several rebuttals were made that singles do receive financial benefits.

It has taken several instances of these rebuttals to bring the author of this blog to an ‘ah ha’ moment.  Families, politicians and governments will lump singles in one marital status category, that is ‘single’, instead of stating it is single parents and widowed persons who receive the most benefits.

Readers will note this blog may refer to singles as ‘ever’ (never married, no kids) singles and ‘early in life divorced’ singles.  The reason for doing so is because ever singles and early in life divorced singles are more likely to be at the bottom of the financial totem pole.  (Late in life divorced persons are more likely to have been able to accumulate financial power and wealth because they were able to do so as two people while married or coupled).

So, in order to further clarify in future posts, this author may refer to singles as ever singles, early in life divorced singles or single parents where necessary.  The definition in the heading of this blog has been updated to reflect this change.

For those singles trying to articulate (articulate)how singles are financially discriminated against, they will need to add this level of distinction of ‘single’ status versus ‘single parent’ status to their arsenal of debating skills.  (Heaven help us, when will all of this stupidity end where singles will be recognized as needing to included in financial formulas, even when they are not single parents or widowed persons?)

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