- Posted November 19, 2012 by
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Key toTransitioning into Retirement !
One of the largest and most important generations in our history is the baby boomers. Although they have raised many crucial concerns in the past, in regards to their present an even bigger concern has arisen. As a group, the baby boomers have always had an advantage in regards to employment; however the time has come in their lives where they must transition into their retirement. The boomers have been accumulating savings, collecting private pensions and becoming eligible for benefits from government programs through out the past couple of years in order to provide for themselves as they transition from their workforce to retirement. However the forthcoming wave of retirement has become a great concern due to the fact that many boomers are missing the key to transitioning into retirment, which is preperation. They are not prepared well enough for retirement in terms of accumulating enough savings to live an adequate life after retirement. A boomers pension is not nearly as enough to live an adequate life. Despite their attempts at accumulating savings through programs such as Social Security, Medicare and private pensions many boomers will still be unprepared for what lies ahead of them.
The population of retirees of Canada is growing much faster than the tax paying work force and the means of Social Security and Medicare come from these tax paying work forces, therefore throughout time Social Security will only be able to pay a certain percentage of the benefits. There is a tremendous lack of preparation in regards of the baby boomers and their retirement. In order to ease the boomers transition into retirement the government has lifted the mandatory age at which a person must retire. However this does not necessarily guarantee a secure job for the baby boomers. Typically the boomers are out growing their working age and are in need of a secure and well prepared mean of retirement which is unavailable for this generation. In our community itself seniors are mistreated and discriminated against due to their age. We cannot begin to fathom the difficulties that will arise for the boomers if they are compelled to retire with the lack of preparation.
As the baby boom generation is growing older more and more elders are reaching the age where it is becoming harder for them to work. Some of these Canadians have a retirement plan while most of them don’t. 18% of the Scarborough community’s population is 55 years old and older, tasks become more difficult for them when they are that old. It is also difficult to acquire or keep a job so what do elders do when they don’t have a pension plan and they need to pay rent. The average rent is $856, for elders that don’t have a registered pension plan this is almost most of their income. This forces elders to choose between food and medication. Due to the increase of old age in the area, many social recreation centers are even made available by West Hill community services. For the high rates of low income families, housings are available within the area such as Scarborough Housing Help Centre and Second Base Youth Bureau/Shelter.
The government of Lester Pearson created the Guaranteed Income Supplement also known as GIS, a pension top-up for seniors whose income fell below the poverty line. It was indeed a very successful social program in the history of Canada. This plan has been reducing the poverty rate for the past three decades. This plan did indeed have some flaws; seniors had to apply for it annually. Some didn’t and some couldn’t. Majority of the elderly are unaware of this top up, which prevents them from the opportunity to fighting poverty. The population of Canadians over the age of 65 is expected to increase to more than one-fifth of the total population by 2030, if the government doesn't change its ways an increase in elderly poverty should be expected. There is a simple step Prime Minister Stephen Harper could take to reverse this trend: send the GIS automatically to every eligible senior. Instead of putting so much time into finding out which persons are eligible for this top up, Canada Revenue Agency could just flag seniors whose income tax returns indicate they qualify for the GIS. This will make sure that, every eligible senior would receive the pension supplement. I don't think this will completely eliminate elderly poverty, but I do think t will keep the rates from increasing. This would also be a step in the right path.
In order to help our seniors please go vote! Every vote counts. http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf15890