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Pension reform strikes in France shed new light on retirement reality: Canadian experts – National


Protests broke out in France this week against the plan to increase Retired Agewith experts saying people don’t want to delay retirement any longer.

Although the nationwide strikes are unique to France, some experts say the events underline the fact that the general concept of retirement is changing, with people in Canada and elsewhere have to rely on themselves more than ever.

“A lot of times a country will push those ages forward because they feel they don’t have the resources to pay for it. pension obligations with which they have established the system. Millie Gormely, a certified financial planner (CFP) says the idea that your country can’t afford you is something that makes people very nervous, and it’s understandable.

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Gormely says it’s “wonderful” that Canada and many other countries around the world have a social safety net, but “it can be taken away and things will change” — and they already have.

“I think the concept of retirement in general is changing a lot. The idea of ​​dropping out of school when you’re 19 or 20 years old, you go to work in a factory, you stay there for 30 years, they give you a gold watch and a pension, and you sit on the porch sharpening a knife for a Coins. years until you die. That’s not the norm,” Gormely told Global News.

There are two types of pensions, according to the federal government’s website. one is Canada Pension Plan (CPP)it is “a taxable monthly benefit that replaces part of their income when a person retires and receives it for the rest of his life.”

the other is Old age security (OAS)it is “the monthly amount a Canadian can receive if they are 65 or older.”

“In some cases, Service Canada will be able to automatically enroll them in an OAS pension. In other cases, a Canadian would have to apply for Old Age Security benefits.”


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What’s happening now, Gormely explains, is that a lot of her clients have to think about switching to part-time work for a few years, picking up another project, starting a business, and combining ideas. that into their retirement plans because simply relying on government pensions is not enough.

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“It’s not a lot of money. And if that’s the only money you have, then you’re going to have a hard time, so, if it does, it underscores how important it is for people to prepare for retirement beyond what they can expect. from the government,” Gormely said.

She points out that a lot of companies don’t even offer pension plans anymore.

“Saving your own money to take care of yourself in the future will be important for those of us who don’t have a corporate pension. And especially for young people, the earlier you start, the better off you are,” she said.

Jason Heath, a consulting-only financial planner, says more people are stressed out in retirement than previous generations.

“Retirement time for a 35-year-old today will be much longer than it was for their parents or grandparents. So they may need to plan to retire longer or save more for retirement. But hopefully they’ll also have a long and healthy retirement, just because of improvements in health and possibly longer life expectancy,” Heath said.

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Amid a deteriorating global economy, he said people are not very optimistic about their financial future, so any talk of retirement proposals would be upsetting.

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inflationary high in many parts of the world, including Canada. Property prices have fallen in many parts of the world, including Canada. The stock market didn’t do well. People talk about a Canadian or even global recession in 2023. So it’s a tough time to talk about taking something away from people,” Heath said.

According to Heath, there are also many people working past the Canadian retirement age of 65, because many are not covered by pension plans.

“Those days are long gone. People used to save themselves,” Heath said.


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Gormely says the fact that workplaces are offering flexible working arrangements like letting employees work from home or just come to the office for a few days is also making it much easier for people to access the workforce. .

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“I think more people have the ability to adapt to different working conditions and get them to work for them, that will keep them in the workforce longer than they could otherwise,” she said. speak.

With workplace changes underway, she hopes that when and how people will retire will continue to change.

“We don’t know exactly what will happen in the future. But the trends that we’re seeing now, like being able to work from home, and today there are more industries that didn’t exist 15 years ago, someone should be able to pick and run with it.” Gormely said.

– with files from the Associated Press

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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