Staying Healthy

Why we are budgeting for retiree medical costs

Why we are budgeting for retiree medical costs

In a Globe and Mail article last year Anna Sharrat reported that according to a 2014 BMO Wealth Institute Report, without private coverage, Canadians can expect to spend an average of $5,391 a year on out-of-pocket medical costs after 65. And these numbers will rise. My husband and I have excellent retiree health benefits that were part of the retirement package from my former corporate employer. ... »

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... »

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... »

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 b... »

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 caus... »

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 absol... »

Premiums Rising for Existing Long Term Care Policies

Premiums Rising for Existing Long Term Care Policies

If you are planning for retirement, you may be considering the purchase of long-term care insurance long term care (LTC) insurance to help pay for health-related expenses in your later years. However, you should examine the policy terms carefully because policy premiums are typically not guaranteed for more than five years. In fact, financial planner Rona Birenbaum recently brought to my attention... »

Retiree health care: Are you one of the 6%

Retiree health care: Are you one of the 6%

The 2015 edition of The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey (CNW Group/Sanofi Canada) I attended the rollout of the 2015 Sanofi Canada healthcare survey yesterday. I am a retiree with employer-paid health care benefits, but according to the survey, only 6% of current employees can expect to leave work with the same deal. The latest report in an annual series of studies by Sanofi is an incredibly rich ... »

How to hire a caregiver

How to hire a caregiver

My Mom is 87 and lives in a two-bedroom condominium. Over the last few months it has become increasingly difficult for her to manage on her own, particularly since she gave up her driver’s license late last year. It is her wish to stay in her own apartment for as long as possible, so initially we hired a lady through an agency a couple of times a week primarily to drive her to appointments and tak... »

Planning your time: The other retirement imperative

Planning your time: The other retirement imperative

This week I did three very interesting interviews for a story on “life after retirement,” and the discussion I had with each of these people really resonated with me. When I asked Mark Singer, a Certified Financial Planner in Lynn, Massachusetts and co-author of “The Six Secrets of a Happy Retirement” if he agreed that the one advantage of retirement is that we have the freedom to make choices abo... »

Provinces chip away at seniors’ health benefits

Provinces chip away at seniors’ health benefits

If you are budgeting for retirement and you haven’t included a line item for escalating medical costs and long term care you could be in for a shock. Recent budgets in Alberta and Saskatchewan and a trial balloon floated by the New Brunswick government suggest that the writing is on the wall. Sooner or later seniors could be paying more for health and end of life care. And there will continue to b... »

Letting go: The next stop on my retirement journey

Letting go: The next stop on my retirement journey

This month marks the 10th year of my “unretirement.” With my husband planning to leave his current position in late June, I’ve been putting a lot of thought into what retirement will mean for me. I love writing about retirement and workplace issues and I plan to continue writing for my terrific clients as long as they want me to. But the real question I keep coming back to is how I want to spend t... »

Random thoughts on retirement

Random thoughts on retirement

I seem to have writer’s block this week. Or it could be that my brain is fried because we are doing a kitchen reno and the smell of glue and the sound of drills is making it very difficult to think. So instead of writing a well-thought out piece with a beginning and an end, I decided to simply share some random thoughts on retirement. On mortality… …I interviewed Jonathan Chevreau last week for sa... »

How the medical tax deduction can save you money

How the medical tax deduction can save you money

  Medical expenses for you, your spouse or common-law partner, and dependent children under 18 are claimed on line 330 of the federal tax return. I don’t know anybody who wants to pay more taxes than they have to, but medical expenses are one area where many Canadians of all ages may be leaving money on the table. There are several reasons why this may occur. First of all, only expenses in ex... »

A Tale of Two Retirees

A Tale of Two Retirees

If you regularly read blogs like Canadian Dream: Free at 45, Early Retirement Extreme, Mr. Money Mustache or Freedom 35 you may think that everybody but you has managed to sock away enough money to retire very early and spend the rest of their life checking off items on their bucket list. But the recently released 2015 Canadian Unretirement Index Report tells a very different story. This year, for... »

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