Retirement Blog February 2007

Feb 27, 2007, Volunteer Service -- A Living Library

Learn about a unique volunteer service for senior experts: becoming part of a living library. Douglas College loans human experts as well as books.

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Feb 26, 2007, Blogs for Retirees

If you are retired and want to post your thoughts on the Internet, you can have a free blog set up for you by Wendy.

Yes, it's true that you can set up a blog on your own. But you can gain an built-in readership by having your blog on Wendy's site.

You could also submit your current blog to Wendy's site for inclusion.

And if you want to read what other retirees are writing about, you can link to the blogs from her site.

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Feb 25, 2007, Learn Your Retirement IQ

Now here's a great little online tool to help us get a handle on retirement issues. Unlike financial calculators, this survey backs us up and plunks us in front of a mirror.

I completed the survey at (see link below). Answering the questions gave me insight into my own personality and values and how they impact my retirement planning.

I did not follow through and click on all the resource links that follow the readout. I had other errands to run today.

But on the basis of what I did investigate, this item is a keeper.

For one thing, you can get the results without having to give anyone your personal information. Of course, if you want to have an adviser contact you, you have to leave contact information.

The other reason I like this survey is that it asks important questions that reveal what a person could consider in planning. So many other online instruments give a false sense of being scientific because they yield hard numbers. But they do not take the "softer" issues into consideration.

If you are wondering about your retirement finances, this little tool might help you know which direction to take.

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Feb 23, 2007, Who Plans Retirement?

According to a Wall Street Journal online poll, educational level and income affect retirement planning.

Only 35% of those with a High School education have a plan for retirement, while 70% of college graduates have such a plan.

Seventy percent of those who earn over $75,000 have begun planning. About thirty percent of those earning under $35,000 have no plan for retirement. In fact, many do not plan to retire.

The message is not that you should go back to school or ask for a raise, although those might good ideas. The message is to think about your retirement and start a plan.

If you do not have enough money to retire, consider ways of earning money that will serve you well when your current job becomes physically too demanding.

Feb 23, 2007, South African Retirees Now Richer

A change in tax laws leaves South Africans who have been saving for retirement richer. In what appears to be welcome news to all sectors of society, a tax on retirement income has been lifted, leaving more in the kitty for retirees and making life easier for those who distribute retirement savings withdrawals.

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Feb 23, 2007, U Of Toronto Retiress Still Publishing

Three cheers for the Retired Academics and Librarians of the University of Toronto (RALUT) whose work allows retired academics to continue contributing research at a high level.

Their work is only one example of how baby boomer retirees are redefining the whole idea of retirement.

The academics who presented at a symposium featuring retirees were only a few of those who have benefited from the initiative of the librarians.

In the past, academics who wanted to continue with their research were more or less restricted to retiring to a college town. Now, they have additional options and the expanded opportunity to continue to contribute significantly to the intellectual discussions in their areas of expertise.

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Feb 21, 2007, Baby Boomer Women

What is ahead for baby boomer women? You may be surprised by the changes in this demographic.

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Feb 17, 2007, European Seniors Suffer Legal Blow

Jan Mazak, an Advocate-General of the European Court of Justice announced a ruling that reinforces the right of a country to pass mandatory retirement legislation.

Baby boomers are poised to join the ranks of senior citizens world-wide in unprecedented numbers. Fearful that the buying power of their pensions will not last as long as they do, many want to capitalize on their relative good health and continue working past the traditional date of retirement.

Those plans will be put on hold for any in Europe with the ruling in the case of Feliz Palacios de la Villa, a 65 year-old Spanish man forced to retire from retailer Cortefiel. De la Villa retired and then challenged the law that forced him out of his job.

His loss means that the outcomes of other cases pending, particularly that of Heyday, a British group that grew out of Age Concern, look less promising.

Those who are forced to retire do not have to spend their senior years in poverty.

This Web site is one of my personal businesses designed to supplement my retirement income.

Feb 11, 2007, Claude Shares His Passions On The Internet

Each time I watch Claude's video, he charms me all over again. I'm guessing he'll charm you, too.

He has a successful Internet business.

Feb 11, 2007, Money Maker For Retirees

Click on the screen below to watch a 30 minute explanation of how you can build a solid business online.

Retirees make money. Watch the video.This is a solid gold product that I recommend heartily. My face even shows up on the screen briefly because I'm a very satisfied client.

You may not have the time to watch this right now, so I suggest you bookmark the page until you can come back to it.

If you have any questions after watching, please use the contact button at the left of this Web page and fill in the form asking your question. It will be my pleasure to answer.

Feb 11, 2007, Come On Down. . .
To Texas!

When the economy slows, leadership with an eye to the future offers up its southern hospitality to the fastest growing demographic -- the baby boomer reirees.

East Texas, with real estate to spare, is inviting retirees to move to Athens, Lufkin and Nacogdoches County, the state's first Texas Certified Retirement Communities.

The doors will open officially later this year.

Feb 9, 2007, An Answer To The No-Money Dilemma

Passion Saving offers a way out for those with trouble saving for retirement.

Basically, the author suggests that you reduce your current spending and take a different attitude toward saving.

I certainly found parts of the book helpful, especially those dealing with attitude.

There is a debate raging online about whether some of the numbers in the book will work when it comes to predicting how much is enough. Honestly, no one knows for sure how much you will have when you retire unless you put it in a sock or mattress -- and then you still won't know how much it will be worth. Even a fully indexed pension can't guarantee your financial security because you can't predict your future costs.

I decided not to fuss too much about the debate about this book. I still recommend the book because I think the basic advice is sound.

Spend less and save more, but save with joy instead of dread.

One other issue. . .

You can buy this book only directly through the author. It's a shame because he's losing sales with this approach. The only people who will ever read this material are those who stumble upon his site.

For what it's worth, I own and enjoy reading Passion Saving.

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Feb 8, 2007, Tortoise or Hare Savings

TD Waterhouse Poll On Retirement Savings


With Canadian household debt increasing, the question of whether to pay down debt or invest for the future is on more people's minds. According to Statistics Canada, Canadians had debts estimated at $760 billion in 2005, nearly 1.5 times higher than in 1999. Between 1999 and 2005, the median debt load for families rose 38% from $32,300 to $44,500.

"Paying down debt is important, but many people pursue it single-mindedly to the detriment of other critical financial goals, such as saving for a secure retirement," says Patricia Lovett-Reid, Senior Vice President, TD Waterhouse Canada Inc. "This kind of linear thinking can be a dangerous trap for investors. In some cases, it may be better to take a balanced approach."

Mr. Tortoise vs. Ms. Hare

To illustrate how a more balanced approach to debt reduction andretirement savings can benefit the investor, TD Waterhouse looks at two fabled characters: Mr. Tortoise and Ms. Hare. Both are 30 years old, have identical incomes, mortgages and consumer loans of $12,000 at an interest rate of 12%.

In fact, they are the same in every respect except for their attitudes towards debt and investments.

Ms. Hare hates to be in debt. She has set a goal of paying off her loan in two years. Therefore her monthly payment will be $565.07 and her total borrowing cost will be $1,561.68. She won't contribute to her RSP until this goal is accomplished, and figures she will still have 33 years to save forretirement at age 65. At the end of the two-year term on her loan, she willbegin monthly RSP contributions of $298.05, which she will continue untilretirement at age 65.

Mr. Tortoise has decided to put off being debt-free longer in order tostart on his RSP immediately. He will take a five-year term on his loan. Hismonthly payment will be $267.02 and his total borrowing cost will be$4,021.20. Mr. Tortoise will invest $298.05 per month -- the difference between his loan payment and Ms. Hare's -- in his RSP until retirement at 65. He will have a two-year head-start on his monthly RSP contributions and will benefit from two additional years of tax benefits and refunds from his RSPcontribution compared with Ms. Hare.

Paying off her loan three years sooner than Mr. Tortoise saves Ms. Hare $2,459.52 in total borrowing costs, but what will be the size of her retirement nest-egg at age 65 compared to that of Mr. Tortoise? Assuming they both earn a steady 7% annually on their RSP portfolios for their entire investment period, Ms. Hare will have accumulated $425,377.29 in her RSP and Mr. Tortoise will have $494,418.02 -- a difference of $69,040.73.

"Ms. Hare may have $2,459.52 more in her pocket because of her aggressive loan repayment schedule, but she's clearly behind Mr. Tortoise at the finish line -- just like in the fable," continues Lovett-Reid. "In the long run, it simply doesn't pay to put off contributing to your RSP."

Feb 6, 2007, My Winter Cabo San Lucas Vacation

My first winter Cabo San Lucas Vacation had its ups and downs. As vacations go, the ups won, hands down. Find out why.

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Feb 6, 2007, Golden Retirement Takes On New Meaning

My father died in 1983, but this is one story he would have loved. He had a great faith in the value of gold.

Canadians now have a unique opportunity to tie retirement funds to the price of gold.

We can buy an RRSP in the form of bullion , which will be held in the vault at the Royal Canadian Mint.

Anyone who buys in before March 1 can have the RRSP tax deduction.

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Feb 6, 2007, Are You A Married Canadian About To Retire?

The recent plan to allow splitting pensions between spouses may be removing the need for spousal RRSPs.

If you are a married Canadian about to retire, you will want to read the article below. Then you will want to talk to your own financial planner about which alternative will be better for you.

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Feb 5, 2007, Older Workers Inspire Me

I read the following article because of the numbers in the news service I use --18.6% of American men and 10% of American women continue to work after age 65.

But the real gem in the article is the story of William Freeman who is doing a physically demanding job at 80.

No matter what age we are, we all need to do something meaningful. That something may be paid work, or it may be helping out family members or other people in our communities. But if we don't do something worthwhile, we'll just wither away.

I encourage you to read William's story. Then ask what you plan to do when you retire -- if you plan to retire.

The home page on this site can take you to some links with interesting alternatives. And if you know of something interesting or inspiring about retirement, please share.

NOTE: The link to the original article is no longer working.

Feb 3, 2007, Retirement Blog January 2007

Stay current on issues related to retirement. Put this blog into your RSS feed for instant notification.

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Feb 3, 2007, Volunteer Vacation With The Mobility Project

Maureen wasn't looking for a volunteer vacation, but she found a new direction with The Mobility Project in Mexico. Read her story.

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Feb 1, 2007, Try Saving Less Instead Of More For Your Retirement

Just when I thought I'd heard it all. . .

Here comes the New York Times with a report saying that Americans may be saving too much for their retirement.

I guess it's possible, but I think it highly unlikely.

The article mentions the "negative national savings rate." And that, dear reader, means in debt!

If you are in debt, you are not saving at all, so no matter how you cut it, Americans, on average are not saving too much.

The point, I believe, is that some advisers may be telling folk that they need more than they do need in retirement. But telling the public at large not to save "so much" for retirement could be dangerous to the fiscal health of the public at large.

I'll have a little more on this in Investigator Report coming out shortly. If you haven't signed up yet, you can do so at

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