Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

More Canadian workers postpone retirement

Goodbye, "Freedom 55." More cash-strapped Canadians are being forced to work longer before retiring.

Freedom 55 was a Canadian financial corporation's advertising slogan, referring to being able to retire at age 55 — before recessionary and taxation impacts of recent years.

Now, more than two-thirds of Canadians say they have set back their retirement plans because they can't save enough to quit working, according to a survey by the Canadian Payroll Association.

The survey said 57 percent of Canadians live from paycheck to paycheck, and about half save less than 5 percent of their annual net pay for retirement, not the 10 percent recommended by planners.

It is "particularly troubling" that 74 percent of workers say they have been able to save less than a quarter of their retirement savings goal, said Dianne Winsor, association chairwoman.

Even with Canada's socialized, "free" medical care, financial planners recommend keeping at least three months of expenses available as an emergency fund.

Despite strong dollar, price gap lingers

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said he is as "irritated" as shoppers over the price gap that continues to exist across the Canada-U.S. border.

With the Canadian dollar strengthening for five years and worth more than the U.S. currency, consumers "deserve to pay a price that reflects the strength of the Canadian economy," he said.

Flaherty wants to know what's behind higher prices in Canada and asked the Senate finance committee to investigate.

He asked the committee to look into how prices are impacted by the size of the smaller Canadian retail market, transportation and freight costs, tariffs on consumer goods, real estate costs and other factors.

The Bank of Montreal said Canadians now pay, on average, 20 percent more for many items.

News in brief

• In a tight battle for customers with Tim Hortons, McDonald's is spending $1 billion to renovate its Canadian locations for a "cozier" look. The fast-food giant will tear out the old plastic interiors at the 1,400 restaurants and install leather furniture, plasma televisions and even fireplaces.

Facts and figures

Canada's unemployment rate rose in August to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent in July with the loss of 5,500 jobs — the first setback in five months.

Concerns over a struggling economy at home and abroad helped pull the dollar lower Friday to $1.0033 U.S. The U.S. greenback returned 99.67 cents Canadian, before bank exchange fees.

The Bank of Canada has again kept its key interest rate unchanged at 1 percent, while the prime lending rate is 3 percent.

Stock markets were lower Friday, with the Toronto Stock Exchange at 12,391 points and the TSX Venture Exchange at 1,781 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Wednesday) 10, 15, 29, 32, 34 and 40; bonus 6. (Sept. 3) 14, 15, 25, 32, 41 and 42; bonus 49. Lotto Max: (Sept. 2) 2, 3, 8, 13, 18, 20 and 23; bonus 10.

Regional briefs

• The Liberals seeking re-election on Oct. 6 in Ontario want to give a tax credit of $10,000 to employers who hire professionals who have immigrated to Canada. Calling it a "bizarre scheme," Conservative leader Tim Hudak said it is merely an "affirmative action program to hire foreign workers" when 500,000 people in the province can't find work.

• Vancouver police want an end to massive outdoor parties that led to violence and $2 million in damage after last June's final Stanley Cup playoff hockey game. A review said festival-style public gatherings need to keep the size of crowds manageable and ban alcohol. A government review found the police were not prepared to handle the 150,000 people who were in the streets that night.

Jim Fox can be reached at

More Canadian workers postpone retirement 09/10/11 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 5:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Team begins work to exhume Salvador Dali's body for paternity test


    FIGUERES, Spain — A forensic team on Thursday entered the Salvador Dali museum in northeastern Spain where the surrealist artist's remains are due to be exhumed to settle a paternity claim brought by a 61- year-old woman.

    Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali, presents his first Chrono-Hologram in Paris, France, in 1973. Work has begun to exhume his body for a parternity test. Dali, considered one of the fathers of surrealism in art, died in 1989 and is buried in his museum in the northeastern town of Figueres. [Associated Press]
  2. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip


    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.
  3. Spring Hill couple arrested on drug charges after months-long investigation


    SPRING HILL — A Spring Hill couple was arrested Wednesday on several drug charges after a months-long investigation by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

    Hernando County Sheriff's Office detectives stand behind 24 pounds of marijuana seized by the agency during a drug bust this week. [Photo by Megan Reeves]
  4. New Pinellas Trail stretch draws raves at opening

    Human Interest

    EAST LAKE — Mike Siebel bikes the Pinellas Trail four days a week and loops up and down the Suncoast Trail at least a couple times every year. A 68-year-old cycling diehard, he was so eager for the opening of the 5-mile segment extending the Pinellas Trail to the Pasco border that he would often drive across …

    Cyclists wait for the official opening of the Pinellas Trail's newest segment. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  5. Authorities recover body of missing boater in Lake Thonotosassa


    THONOTOSASSA — Authorities on Thursday recovered the body of a 44-year-old Plantation man who went missing while boating on Lake Thonotosassa.