Geezers unite!

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normaM
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Re: Geezers unite !

Post by normaM »

grammafreddy wrote:
Logitack wrote:
grammafreddy wrote:
The CPP, OAS and GIS amounts are an insult and don't even begin to cover the basics of shelter, food, home care and extra costs for Rx and medical.

Are they intended to cover the basics? I dont think so. it is assume that over your working life you will have saved money for your retirement years and that money would be suffient to cover the "basic" costs during your "senior" years.

I am a little surprised at that comment, gram, considering all the other comments you have made about people being self sufficient and not look to government for the handouts.


Well, Logi, then you haven't been paying attention. Mostly my comments have been directed at younger people who earn enough to live on but who amass debt for stupid, wasteful things or who spend money they don't have on trying to keep up with the Joneses (who are probably also living in debt, too).

There are many seniors who try to survive on about $1000 to $1200 a month. Can you honestly say that anybody can do that? But these people do because they have no other choices, however their quality of life is reduced drastically and they tend to not eat properly, not take all their medicines properly or heat their homes adequately, which, of course, increases the costs associated with health care for them.

A number of these seniors are women - who have never worked outside the home, they stayed home with their kids and relied on the traditional concept of "family" where Dad brings home the bacon and Mom cooks it ... then their husbands die and they are suddenly faced with trying to manage on their own. Kids move to other places or become too busy to bother with their parents and their issues. These are not women who can just go out and find a job - they have no skills, are too old or are rejected at every turn just based on age alone. They may have had some training or even a profession when they were younger but after staying home with their kids, their skill sets are out of date. Nobody wants them and nobody will hire them - even if they are healthy enough to work on into their 70s.

And yes, you are correct in that I always advocate responsibility and try to educate today's young people to be fiscally responsible and to save money from their paycheques - because I know all too well what happens when they don't. Young people should be working with an aim to save, not spend and not go into debt. The concept of saving for something as opposed to buying on credit needs to be drilled into them as they tend to be wasters of money and then expect governments to pick up the slack for them. I don't think you can lump most seniors into that class.

Many seniors? Like how many exactly? I'd like to see that data.
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grammafreddy
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Re: Geezers unite!

Post by grammafreddy »

http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection/H88-5-3-2005E.pdf

Start there, okay? I don't have time right now to find you more - gotta go show my elderly friend how to work his microwave so he can have hot supper tonight. Sorry to dash off on ya, Norma :D
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Re: Geezers unite!

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In reading through that report Gramma, I am reminded how the previous Chretien/Martin Liberals cruised to power on their "promises", among them promises to seniors in terms of enhancements to OAS and GIS, much the way the Ignatieff Liberals are peddling similar "Red Book" promises today. Yes, they in fact delivered on those"promises" after being elected to govern, then very quietly started re-jigging the "formulas" behind the scenes during the 1990's to claw back what they had "given", in some instances more than they had "given". That report demonstrates some of the ways (but not all) they did that. In particular, It doesn't mention what they did to CPP in terms of manipulating to their own advantage what happened to many working people's CPP benefits in the event they died before reaching an age where they were able to collect on it.

The Harper Government has to a small degree corrected that disgraceful, and largely hidden, Liberal act, ...but it was too late to have much of an impact in terms of helping the surviving spouse. The runaway cost of living since the early 2000's made any corrections insignificant, so there is still much to do. Don't expect a Liberal Government to do it however. If anything, they are likely to do the same thing again. As one of my favourite sayings goes related to Liberal campaign promises, with those guys "What the big print giveth, the fine print taketh away", and probably more.

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grammafreddy
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Re: Geezers unite!

Post by grammafreddy »

Am not finding current data on elder (or any) poverty. The most recent figures I find are 2002 with some from 2004 but nothing since then. I would not consider anything prior to 2008 even remotely relevant any more and certainly not anything where there's sufficient data to base low income cut-off (LICO) figures on.

The Market Basket Measure (MBM) of poverty was developed to complement existing measures such as the LICOs. The MBM is based on average household expenditures and is calculated by costing a basket of goods and services - including food, shelter, clothing and transportation - in several communities. Thresholds are then determined to represent the level of income needed by households to cover the costs of these basic goods and services. Both the MBM and the LICO are the tools used for assessing low income, and used in combination, they are supposed to provide a detailed portrait of low income in Canada. With no new data and considering certain items have been removed for the "basket", the MBM and the LICO cannot provide adequate and realistic information now.
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flamingfingers
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Re: Geezers unite!

Post by flamingfingers »

Can we not do our own assessment of the 'poverty level'? Can we not compare what a senior, living on CPP and OAS would pay here in Kelowna for an apartment and what they receive in OAS and CPP and calculate 'what is left for them to live on'?

So, if we calculate that OAS and CPP amounts to, say, $1300 a month, can we calculate a median rent for that senior; then estimate heat(gas, hydro), basic phone, basic TV, food, transportation, and come to what the 'poverty line' is for our community? I did up a basic Exel spreadsheet that I will include here, based on some research: lemme know what you think about it:

Senior's Budget
OAS $516.96
CPP $775.96
Total income $1,292.92
Rent $800.00 $492.92
Food $160.00 $332.92
Gas $100.00 $232.92
Electricity $50.00 $182.92
Phone $20.95 $161.97
Transportarion $36.00 $125.97
TV basic $33.95 $92.02
Pharmacy $20.00 $72.02
Clothing $20.00 $52.02
Personal $30.00 $22.02
Non-food $30.00 -$7.98

Bear in mind that it does NOT include drug costs which can be a major part of monthly expense. Where do you see that a single senior can live comfortably on this?

You have to realize that the right hand column calculates the decreasing amount that the senior has as disposable income.
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grammafreddy
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Re: Geezers unite!

Post by grammafreddy »

It's a good start, FF, but the "personal" needs to be at least double what you've got. 4X is probably closer to the truth for a lot of them. Adult incontinent products are horrendously expensive. Plus, as you say, the cost of medications needs to be included as well. I know mine cost me about $160 a month and that's without any BP, heart or blood thinners which a lot of seniors take.
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Captain Awesome
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Re: Geezers unite!

Post by Captain Awesome »

I think Logitak was trying to say that one shouldn't be relying completely on OAS and CPP - after all we all know they won't cover anyone's standards of living (unless you live with your kids and have shelter and food provided to you at no cost). And right now there's a real concern that CPP or OAS will be there to begin with.

Somewhat like min. wage - everybody knows you won't survive on it, and that's why one should be encouraged to raise his/her income by advancing in the workplace. And if one doesn't want to eat cat food when retired one should save and invest money during the money-making years.

Of course, it might be a bit too late for a lot of seniors.
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Re: Geezers unite!

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Don't forget a lot of seniors own their own home mortgage free flaming.., so the rent item is a major variable. But property taxes and maintenance can add up to at least a few hundred a month even if mortgage or rent free.

On average, I would be inclined to put the roof over ones head at $400.00, not 800.

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grammafreddy
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Re: Geezers unite!

Post by grammafreddy »

NAB wrote:Don't forget a lot of seniors own their own home mortgage free flaming.., so the rent item is a major variable. But property taxes and maintenance can add up to at least a few hundred a month even if mortgage or rent free.

On average, I would be inclined to put the roof over ones head at $400.00.

Nab


And that's the trouble with averages .......... the ones are the high end of average will be fine. The ones at the low end will not. $400 is not even remotely realistic for the low end ones who have rent to pay, plus utilities on top of that.
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grammafreddy
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Re: Geezers unite!

Post by grammafreddy »

Captain Awesome wrote:I think Logitak was trying to say that one shouldn't be relying completely on OAS and CPP - after all we all know they won't cover anyone's standards of living (unless you live with your kids and have shelter and food provided to you at no cost). And right now there's a real concern that CPP or OAS will be there to begin with.

Somewhat like min. wage - everybody knows you won't survive on it, and that's why one should be encouraged to raise his/her income by advancing in the workplace. And if one doesn't want to eat cat food when retired one should save and invest money during the money-making years.

Of course, it might be a bit too late for a lot of seniors.


It is. And while I agree that one should perhaps not be relying on OAS, CPP and GIS to pay their basic living expenses, there are many who have no choice but to rely on that. What do you do with them? How are they supposed to survive? By always looking at the high side of the equation and what we think they should have done, we leave a lot out in the cold - and just like ANY poverty number, none in Canada should be in a world of hurt.

If we think we should be covering the tushes of working families' daycare and other things like that, then we certainly shouldn't be negating the most vulnerable of our society. Everyone screams about child poverty but who is concerned about elder poverty? Not nearly as many.
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Re: Geezers unite!

Post by oneh2obabe »

Spending habits vary depending on a number of things like owing your home outright and paying property taxes versus
property taxes versus renting, setting money aside for vet visits and emergency visits, medications if needed, cooking habits (from scratch is cheaper and healthier), etc.
Last edited by oneh2obabe on Apr 4th, 2011, 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Geezers unite!

Post by NAB »

grammafreddy wrote:
NAB wrote:Don't forget a lot of seniors own their own home mortgage free flaming.., so the rent item is a major variable. But property taxes and maintenance can add up to at least a few hundred a month even if mortgage or rent free.

On average, I would be inclined to put the roof over ones head at $400.00.

Nab


And that's the trouble with averages .......... the ones are the high end of average will be fine. The ones at the low end will not. $400 is not even remotely realistic for the low end ones who have rent to pay, plus utilities on top of that.



I know a number of senior singles who have a nice private, modern one bedroom home/apartment (rental) for well under 400 a month gramma, and that includes heat, light, (all electric) water, and cable TV. It is doable. Perhaps not in Kelowna though.

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Re: Geezers unite!

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grammafreddy wrote:If we think we should be covering the tushes of working families' daycare and other things like that, then we certainly shouldn't be negating the most vulnerable of our society. Everyone screams about child poverty but who is concerned about elder poverty? Not nearly as many.


So, you have no problems with our govt helping and spending money instead of people being self-reliant and thinking for themselves, it's just the order in which people are being helped you have a problem with?

Somewhat goes against everything you preach about.
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grammafreddy
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Re: Geezers unite!

Post by grammafreddy »

NAB wrote:
grammafreddy wrote:
NAB wrote:Don't forget a lot of seniors own their own home mortgage free flaming.., so the rent item is a major variable. But property taxes and maintenance can add up to at least a few hundred a month even if mortgage or rent free.

On average, I would be inclined to put the roof over ones head at $400.00.

Nab


And that's the trouble with averages .......... the ones are the high end of average will be fine. The ones at the low end will not. $400 is not even remotely realistic for the low end ones who have rent to pay, plus utilities on top of that.



I know a number of senior singles who have a nice private, modern one bedroom home/apartment (rental) for well under 400 a month gramma, and that includes heat, light, (all electric) water, and cable TV. It is doable. Perhaps not in Kelowna though.

Nab


No, not in Kelowna. I never said it wasn't "doable" but I did say something to the effect of one shoe doesn't fit all and that the low end of average will get screwed. One also can't base numbers on one location and expect them to provide a basic living amount to someone else in a much different location and economic region. For example, Ottawa's pension numbers will be higher because there are so many civil servant pensions being paid out to retired workers there but those numbers can't be applied to a place like Greenwood or Likely where there are no government jobs and pensions and most of the people are resource-based workers who probably didn't even belong to unions to bump up their pension bucks for a higher CPP.
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grammafreddy
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Re: Geezers unite!

Post by grammafreddy »

Captain Awesome wrote:
grammafreddy wrote:If we think we should be covering the tushes of working families' daycare and other things like that, then we certainly shouldn't be negating the most vulnerable of our society. Everyone screams about child poverty but who is concerned about elder poverty? Not nearly as many.


So, you have no problems with our govt helping and spending money instead of people being self-reliant and thinking for themselves, it's just the order in which people are being helped you have a problem with?

Somewhat goes against everything you preach about.


CA, I know you create additional laundry for your long-suffering wife every time I post, but seriously, if you can't tell the difference between the wanna-haves who are earning the bucks but blowing it all on wishy-washies and Timmies and toys and expecting government to cover their arses because they find their cash flow a tad hampered by their stupidity and a senior citizen who has no other options but to live in poverty through no fault of their own and really is a victim of time and circumstance and may have lived a totally thrifty life ... well, all I can say is I'll bet you're going to become the Sandwich Generation and then maybe you'll feel differently and might be wishing you'd paid a bit more attention ahead of time. However, if you don't have kids and never have kids, and never have to pick up the slack or provide care for an aging parent, then I guess you won't ever see behind the scenes at what some seniors are faced with every day of their lives.

Why do you think I go to great lengths to try to tell the younger people to watch their money, live within their means, quit charging on credit and get their financial houses in order - and save their freaking money instead of squandering it?
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