Is reality biting Gen-X when it comes to retirement savings?

Press Release:

According to a recent TD survey, more than two-thirds of Canadians between the ages of 35 and 54 say they’re not saving enough for retirement, and one in four say not being ready for retirement is keeping them up at night. As a result, the majority of Gen-X Canadians (60 per cent) who aren’t saving enough do not expect to be able to retire on time and half as many (29 per cent) expect to still be working in some capacity during retirement.

“There are different reasons why people struggle to save for retirement, but it’s never too late to get started,” said Jenny Diplock, Associate Vice President, Personal Savings and Investing, TD Canada Trust. “Having a plan in place can definitely help – whether it’s getting started or modifying your existing strategy to help achieve your goals, there are a number of things you can do now to help put your mind at ease and help prepare for the next phase of life.”

The top barrier preventing Gen-Xers from retiring on time is everyday financial demands like living expenses, mortgage or rent, and childcare costs (61 per cent), followed by existing debt (42 per cent) and major unexpected life events such as divorce or death of a spouse (19 per cent). Given these challenges, it’s not surprising that more than half (54 per cent) of Gen-X Canadians surveyed say they need help meeting their financial goals, with a majority feeling guilty about not saving enough for retirement and wishing they had started earlier.

As more than three-quarters of Gen-Xers advise the next generation to start saving earlier, TD offers some additional advice to help Canadians get on track to achieving their savings goals and become retirement-ready.

Track your spending
More than three in five (61 per cent) Gen-Xers attribute everyday financial demands as the reason they don’t expect to retire on time. Keeping a record of your spending is a simple way to see where your money goes each month and look for ways to cut back on expenses to free up funds and help boost your savings.

Once you’ve identified some monthly savings, consider arranging for those funds to be transferred automatically into a Retirement Savings Plan (RSP) or Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). As you identify even more savings over time, you can increase the amount transferred automatically each month. Remember to also factor in any additional money you receive throughout the year such as annual raises or bonuses. And take advantage of digital tools, such as the real-time money management app, TD My-Spend – the app takes the hard work out of tracking your spending and savings and does it all for you, with instant notifications about whether your spending is on track and features that make it easy to see how much of your money you spend in specific categories.

Tackle your debt while also saving
Four in ten (42 per cent) Gen-Xers attribute existing debt as a top reason that prevents them from retiring on time. While everyone’s financial picture is different, there are a few key steps you can take immediately to help pay down debt while building up savings:

  • As you start tracking your spending and becoming more in control of your finances, take a look at where your money is going and determine where you can free up cash flow to go towards paying down debt.
  • Seek out groups and communities – either online or in your neighbourhood – where you can sell stuff you no longer use or need, and use those funds to pay down your debt. One person’s junk is another person’s treasure.
  • Look for tips and tools online, like the TD Debt Repayment Calculator, to help you become organized by determining how much you owe and prioritizing what to tackle first. You can stay on top of your debt easier when you have a repayment plan in place.

Put the right tools in your (financial) toolbox
Diplock says the best place to start, no matter what someone’s retirement savings may be, is to speak with an advisor who can help find the best options for each individual’s specific goals and circumstances. An advisor can also help people review their current expenses, look for opportunities to free up cash flow to help build their retirement funds and determine what products are best for your specific goals.

According to the survey, of Gen-Xers who are already saving for the future, the majority (64 per cent) rely on RSPs to help fund their retirement. And RSP season is the perfect time to refresh your portfolio and ensure it’s on track to become retirement-ready. For example, the TD Retirement Conservative Portfolio and TD U.S. Retirement Portfolio are specifically designed to help address the needs of pre-retiree and retirees and to consider the new realities of the retirement investment landscape. For more information on these and other TD products, please visit tdcanadatrust.com.

About the TD RSP Survey
A survey of 623 non-retired Canadians between the aged of 35 and 54 (Generation X) was completed online between October 21 and November 3, 2016 using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-3.9%, 19 times out of 20.

About TD Canada Trust
TD Canada Trust offers personal and business banking to more than 11.5 million customers. We provide a wide range of products and services from chequing and savings accounts, to credit cards, mortgages and business banking, to credit protection and travel medical insurance, as well as advice on managing everyday finances. TD Canada Trust makes banking comfortable with award-winning service and convenience through 24/7 mobile, internet, telephone and ATM banking, as well as in over 1,100 branches, with convenient hours to serve customers better. For more information, please visit: tdcanadatrust.com. TD Canada Trust is the Canadian retail bank of TD Bank Group, the sixth largest bank in North America. Mutual Funds Representatives with TD Investment Services Inc. distribute mutual funds at TD Canada Trust.

SOURCE TD Canada Trust

Carbon tax takes from the poor, gives to the rich

Excerpted article was written by Pierre Polievre | The Toronto Sun

Liberals always claim they want to redistribute money from those with too much to those with too little.

Which raises two key questions about the new Liberal carbon tax: who will pay and who will get?

Let’s start with who will pay. The federal government has mandated a tax on carbon emissions, which will raise the price of anything that uses fossil fuels. Even carbon tax supporter professor Nicholas Rivers admits the tax will raise the prices of gasoline by 11 cents-a-litre, electricity by almost 10%, and natural gas by over 15%.

Because it will raise the price of fuel required to grow and transport our food, grocery bills will rise too.

Annually, it will cost $1028 per person, or $4112 for the average family of four, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Everyone will pay it. But because poor households spend a third more of their incomes on fuel, heat, and groceries than do rich households, those with the least will suffer the most.

For the same reason, a Statistics Canada official testified to the House of Commons Human Resources committee last month that increases in fuel and food prices lead to higher poverty rates.

The poorest families in Ontario have seen this movie before. Just look at the results of the so-called “Green Energy Act” in Ontario, which has thus far forced consumers to overpay by $37 billion to buy unneeded, unreliable, and overpriced electricity from well-connected wind and solar companies. Never has a government policy taken so much from so many to give to so few.

And the poor are suffering the most. Ron Dunn, the Executive Director of Windsor’s Downtown Mission has had people come to him to plead: “If you can help me with food, then I can pay for some of this hydro bill before it gets cut off.”

Skyrocketing prices are not an accident. They are a deliberate choice by the Liberal government, which pays wealthy solar power companies as much as 80 cents for a kilowatt-hour that is only worth 2.3 cents. The difference is passed onto consumers.

With the Ontario Auditor General predicting another $133 billion in these overpayments for electricity by 2032, the Ontario Liberal Green Energy Act likely represents Canada’s largest ever wealth transfer from the poor and middle class to the rich.

Soaring hydro rates are one of the reasons Ontario has the worst poverty record in Canada, since the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals took power. Between 2003 and 2014, the poverty rate dropped by one-third in British Columbia, the Prairies, Atlantic Canada and Quebec. It barely budged in Ontario, from 10.4% to 9.7%.

Over the same time period, Ontario had the largest increase of any province in the share of the population living on less than half the average income.

The national carbon tax will compound the suffering the Green Energy Act has already forced on the most vulnerable.

So who will get the money?

All revenues from the federally-mandated carbon tax will go to provincial governments, like Kathleen Wynne’s. She has announced she will not use it to reduce other taxes, but to fund more environmental programs, like the one the CBC reported “gave taxpayer-funded rebates to five millionaires to buy one of the most expensive cars ever manufactured, the Porsche 918 Spyder.”

Expect more of this, as lobbyists for the wealthiest prepare to feast on money carbon taxes will generate.

Will the Liberal carbon tax redistribute wealth? Count on it: from those who can least afford it to those who least deserve it.

US real estate franchise expands Canadian footprint

Excerpted article was written by Steve Randall – Canadian Real estate Wealth

Boston, MA based commercial real estate franchisor SVN International Corp. has expanded its Canadian footprint with a new office in Alberta.

The new franchise office SVN 360 Commercial provides full-service commercial real estate brokerage services throughout the Edmonton and northern Alberta markets and is led by president Dennis Aubin.

The business operates under a model of ‘compensated cooperation’ which its website says guarantees that “equitable co-brokerage fees are paid on all properties, and not only to brokers within the same company, but to any and all outside brokers involved.”

“I think this new brokerage model will be a welcome addition to commercial markets in Edmonton, Alberta and across Canada,” Aubin commented.

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage.

Canada’s tech sector expected to get boost from fears about Trump election

Nervousness in Silicon Valley about Donald Trump’s election could give Canada’s technology sector a competitive edge if new labour restrictions ratchet up the war for high-skilled talent, say industry experts.

In an open letter sent during the campaign, senior executives at some of America’s top tech companies called Trump “a disaster for innovation.”

They expressed concerns about the president-elect’s trade proposals and anti-immigration stance which some fear could result in visa restrictions that would make it harder and costlier for them to hire foreign IT workers.

Each year, tens of thousands of foreigners with specialized skills, such as coders, are granted temporary H-1B visas to work in the United States. While the industry has sought increased numbers of visas, Trump has offered mixed signals as he seeks to protect domestic employment.

Meanwhile, the Trudeau government is changing its immigration-selection system as of Saturday to make it easier for international students and some high-skilled foreign workers to become permanent residents.

Together, these changes could increase Canada’s drawing power for those no longer able or willing to enter the U.S., said Patrick Hopf, president of Montreal-based SourceKnowledge, a firm that builds technology to track the success of advertising works for digital videos.

“You might see a seismic shift in technology in Canada,” he said.

Trump’s unexpected victory has prompted some disenchanted U.S. technology sector workers to consider heading north.

Hopf said he received a few such applications in the days since the election.

Hootsuite founder Ryan Holmes said he’s fielded calls from five people in the U.S. looking to move to Vancouver.

“Is this the reversal of the talent diaspora that Canada has historically seen and beginning of the U.S. brain drain?” he posted on Twitter.

Tightened U.S. border controls and visa requirements would provide Canada a short-term benefit in attracting more skilled immigrants, said Larry Smith, adjunct associate economics professor at the University of Waterloo’s Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre.

“We’ve always had a reasonably good draw but America is a powerful magnet for people around the world and now the magnet will be dimmed,” he said.

However, Smith said a far bigger threat to the global tech sector are Trump fiscal policies and expected reduction of regulations that could destabilize financial markets and hurt venture capital which is the lifeblood of both startup and growth tech companies.

Not everyone thinks Trump will make dramatic changes to visas. Ian Lee, assistant professor at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, believes Trump will focus on curtailing illegal immigration without restricting professional workers.

Sean Mullin, executive director of the Brookfield Institute, said the next president can’t afford to alienate the tech sector, one of the strongest areas of the U.S. economy that is headed by some of the world’s most valuable firms.

Mullin doesn’t foresee a mass exodus from the U.S. by Canadians returning home, but said U.S. policy changes could prompt Canadian startups to think twice about chasing their dreams down south.

And more U.S. companies, helped by a low loonie, may expand their Canadian research and development operations to circumvent immigration restrictions, he said.

Even before the election, General Motors and Thomson Reuters vowed to hire hundreds of software engineers and other skilled workers at innovation centres they plan to set up around Toronto.

“At the very least that trend won’t stop and it may accelerate for Canada given that we’re one of the few countries in the world where you can bring talent and openness and inclusivity and diversity,” he said.

 

Report: Canadians cool to shopping for groceries online, only 15% have tried it

By Lois Abraham

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO _ Canadians are happy buying their books and music on the web but aren’t yet embracing online grocery shopping, suggests a recently released report.

According to the results of an online survey of 1,000 Canadians in August, 92 per cent of respondents said they shopped online but only 15 per cent said they had bought groceries on the web.ipad

While almost 40 per cent of online-shopping spending was linked to entertainment purchases, just four per cent was tied to food and groceries.

“With online shopping in general, even in the past with other categories, there had to be an incentive for customers to try it out, to get away from their usual habits, give it a try. And then if there was some benefit they would try it again,” said Suthamie Poologasingham of J.C. Williams Group Ltd., which looked at the online grocery market in its Canadian E-tail Report.

“I think we’re at that stage with grocery and online.”

Canada lags behind the U.S. and U.K. when it comes to online grocery shopping, added Poologasingham.

“Once they understand there is some convenience behind it _ if retailers are able to provide those conveniences and the same products they would provide in store I think we will see more Canadians getting on board.”

Some companies without physical grocery stores like Grocery Gateway, which partners with Longo’s in the Toronto area deliver boxes of groceries, including fresh produce, to the doorsteps of their customers, while IGA, Thrifty Foods and Costco offer some delivery services as well.

Summerhill Market in Toronto teamed up with the delivery service InstaBuggy about six months ago and has seen 30 per cent to 40 per cent growth each month in its online service, said co-owner Christy McMullen.

“I don’t know if everyone will do all of their shopping online. I think they still like the experience of coming in the store, but when you have these big bulky items and you’re in a rush or you don’t have time, then I think online is a really great alternative,” McMullen said.

 

Employers increasingly more flexible when it comes to employee time off

Today’s workforce is made up of a diverse group of Canadians from multiple generations and life stages. With this in mind, employers are offering a range of paid and unpaid leaves to acknowledge the varied priorities of today’s workers. Many organizations are choosing to top-up parental leaves with additional time off or provide additional vacation and flex time in order to attract talent, according to a new Conference Board of Canada report.

“More than ever before, Canadians are focusing on competitive benefits and work-life balance when choosing an employer,” saidAllison Cowan, Director, Leadership and Human Resources Research, The Conference Board of Canada.

“While the desire for work-life balance has traditionally been attributed to Generation X, Millennials are also prioritizing a well-rounded total rewards package, which includes a competitive salary, benefits and vacation packages, and flexible work hours to allow for time with friends and family. Employers who tailor their paid and unpaid leaves to employees’ needs will have a significant competitive advantage.”

Highlights

  • Average base vacation entitlements range from 2.7 weeks to 4 weeks, and vary by employee group.
  • Public sector employees tend to have higher average vacation entitlements overall than private sector employees.
  • Floater or flex days are the most frequently offered paid leave that is not legally required in Canada.
  • Although maternity, parental, and adoption leaves are legislated in all jurisdictions, many organizations choose to top up the government’s requirements. Just over one-quarter of organizations (26 per cent) offer paid top-up for the duration of a mother’s maternity leave.

Based on a survey of 370 organizations, the report, Out of Office: Paid and Unpaid Leaves in Canadian Organizations, examines the importance of employer leaves in attracting and retaining top talent. The majority of organizations surveyed (62 per cent) said they provide employees with floater or flex days. This is almost a two-fold increase since 2009, indicating a move toward more flexible scheduling in Canadian workplaces. Many organizations also offer family days, eldercare leave, scheduled holiday office closures, and volunteer or community service days.

Another strategy used by employers to drive employment retention is additional time off or pay beyond what is provided by Employment Insurance benefits for maternity, parental, and adoption leaves. While this represents an added cost for employers, employees with these types of added benefits tend to return to work for the same employer in a higher proportion than their counterparts who do not have such benefits.

In addition, more than two-thirds of organizations recognize past service when determining vacation entitlements for incoming employees—whether on a formal or case-by-case basis. When determining vacation allotments for mid-career hires, organizations use a variety of different practices and policies to acknowledge past service. The most common practice involves providing the same vacation entitlement that a current employee at the same level of experience or service would receive.

The report, Out of Office: Paid and Unpaid Leaves in Canadian Organizations, is available from the Conference Board’s e–Library.

A companion report released in June, Addressing Employee Absences: A Look at Absence Management in Canadian Organizations, examines illness and injury related leaves including sick leave, short-term disability, and long term disability leave.

Follow The Conference Board of Canada on Twitter.

For those interested in broadcast-quality interviews for your station, network, or online site, The Conference Board of Canada has a studio capable of double-ender interviews (line fees apply), or we can send you pre-taped clips upon request.

 

SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

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