Getting  a refund for services not received

Getting a refund for services not received

I haven’t been posting much lately because I’ve been really busy with client projects and writing more at the end of a long day seems too much like more work. But recently  Kerry K. Taylor aka Squawkfox inspired me to contest a credit card billing where the services I paid for were not received and I got $79.03 back with very little effort on my part. So I figured the least I could do is share my good fortune and encourage readers to take action if they find themselves in similar circumstances. Here’s what happened: For several years I have used a transcription service for audio interviews that I record through my telephone. I simply upload the mp3 files to the vendor’s website via my computer, put in my credit card information and within 24 hours I get an email tel... »

Seniors’ Election Agenda

Seniors’ Election Agenda

Sign that encourages voters to vote strategically is set up on Campeau drive in Kanata . James Park / Ottawa Citizen   I’ve been off the grid for several weeks due to a vacation and a family tragedy, But even in Europe we downloaded the replica versions of the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and closely followed election polls. In fact we voted in the advance polls because walking the dogs on a lovely Thanksgiving Monday to a local community seemed like the right thing to do and made me feel I was doing something to facilitate a change in government sooner rather than later. But if you haven’t voted yet, you might been interested in the issues CARP is lobbying for on behalf of seniors and their summary of each of the major party’s position on the issue. Party pro... »

When you know medical marijuana is mainstream

When you know medical marijuana is mainstream

I’ve read lots of articles about medical marijuana lately, including the series of articles referred to below (some may require a login). But I knew for sure that medical marijuana has become mainstream when I got an email blast from CARP Promotions called “Medical cannabis – when conventional medicine isn’t enough.” The sponsor is Cannimed Ltd., a self-styled leading supplier of medical cannabis. Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t smoked a joint yet, but if my severe spinal stenosis kicks up its heels again, I’d certainly be willing to sample a pot brownie or three if it helps to control the pain. But somehow, I never expected that one of the benefits of belonging to the national lobby group CARP would be a $50 credit  upon registration as a new ... »

More adventures in ODB-land

More adventures in ODB-land

  Last week I called in my regular prescriptions for the first time since I became eligible for the Ontario Drug Plan in June. I have been taking all four drugs for years and the combination of my retiree plan from Towers Watson and my husband’s plan at BlackBerry meant that before my husband retired there was never a charge to us when we cashed out at the drugstore. One of these drugs is 200 mg capsules of Celebrex which I take once a day for osteoarthritis. The ODB refused to pay for this medication unless the doctor provided a code that confirms I had stomach bleeds on other NSAID drugs like Advil or Ibuprofen, Since this was not the case, in order for my retiree medical plan to pay for the drug, the pharmacist had to verify that the ODB (the first payor) refused coverage. The pres... »

Guest Post: Redefining Retirement

Guest Post: Redefining Retirement

Susan Hodkinson, BA Crowe Soberman LLP   In generations past, retirement was a definable event in someone’s life – a milestone, fixed in time. There would be a presentation at the office, a family celebration and some joyfully-arranged tee times for the following week. “Work” was a thing of the past. While this scenario may still play out in some households, for many baby boomers approaching the traditional “retirement age” of 65, the idea of such a drastic cessation of such a major part of their lives can be disconcerting, frightening, or simply unimaginable. Fixing the age of 65 as the optimal age at which one should retire happened a few generations ago. Life expectancy, and the youthfulness with which people approach life, has changed materially... »

Carol Fishman Cohen: Author of “The 40-year Old Intern”

Carol Fishman Cohen: Author of “The 40-year Old Intern”

This week I’m doing interviews for a feature in a U.S. benefits publication called In Praise of Older Workers. I had an opportunity to talk to Carol Fishman Cohen, the CEO of iRelaunch and author of the acclaimed Harvard Business Review “40-Year-Old Intern” article series. Her company iRelaunch has evolved to become a comprehensive U.S.resource for career re-entry information and services for individuals, employers, professional associations, and universities. The iRelaunch Return to Work Conference for individuals looking to return to the workforce has been the company’s flagship event since 2008. In many cases her clients and conference attendees include women who have taken a career break to raise a family. However, Fishman Cohen says, “We also have older workers in their 50s who are on... »

Will Public Plans Pay for the Drugs You Need?

Will Public Plans Pay for the Drugs You Need?

My husband just turned 65, so when he went to the drug store to renew a prescription this week he fully expected that the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan (ODB) would be first in line to cover the cost of his medications. Then 80% of the balance would be covered by my former employer’s retiree health care plan. In fact, what the pharmacist told him is that Uloric, a drug that reduces uric acid causing gout, is not on the ODB formulary. It costs $205.34 for 100 tablets (1x day). Fortunately our private corporate drug plan kicked in and picked up most of the tab. But that got me thinking about how many other newer medications might not be covered by provincial public drug plans in Canada, and how seniors not covered by a private plan may not be able to afford them. In fact, the 2014 edition o... »

More random thoughts on retirement…

More random thoughts on retirement…

After an exhausting and exhilarating weekend in which my kids, my sister and my husband’s sister made us a spectacular party to celebrate my 65th birthday and my husband’s retirement (both in June) and Joel’s 65th birthday this week, here are a few more random thoughts on retirement…. Timing: Although 43% of retirees who responded to the 2015 RBC Retirement Myths and Realities Poll said they didn’t get to choose their retirement date, Joel put a lot of thought, planning and a few sleepless nights  into his decision. He has no regrets so far. He may look for contract work in the fall. I am still working two or three days a week and will probably do so until at least the end of 2016. I must confess I find it much more difficult to work from home on a reduced sch... »

Book Review: Wealthing Like Rabbits

Book Review: Wealthing Like Rabbits

I don’t often review personal finance books because it seems to take an inordinate amount of time to wade through yet another statement of the obvious just to glean enough cogent information to give readers a taste of what the book is all about. But when I read accolades from the likes of Gail Vaz-Oxlade, Preet Bannerjee, Roma Luciw, Dan Bortolotti plus a whole bunch of my other favourite personal finance bloggers in the introductory pages of the book, I thought I’d better keep on going to find out what all of the fuss is about. Author Robert R. Brown says Wealthing Like Rabbits is written to be a fun and unique introduction to personal finance and suggests that any book that includes sex, zombies and a reference to Captain Picard is “an absolute must read,” regardless of genre. Brown star... »

Orthotics store, 2 TTC employees bilk Manulife out of $4M+

Orthotics store, 2 TTC employees bilk Manulife out of $4M+

I have had knee and back problems for years. If I didn’t have orthotics at $500+ a pop my shoe wardrobe would be limited to Birkenstocks. I wouldn’t be able to walk very far or exercise. So as you can imagine, I’m thrilled that retiree benefits from the company where I spent most of my career includes reimbursement every two years for 80% of the cost of one pair. But that’s also why I’m also absolutely furious for a whole bunch of reasons that two TTC employees and an orthotics store (Healthy Fit) have bilked Manulife out of over $4M. That works out to 8,000 pairs of orthotics, more or less. Or cash fares for 2 million seniors at $2 each! According to a letter issued by TTC CEO Andy Byford to TTC employees, it is alleged that receipts were provided to individuals by Healthy Fit for claim r... »

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