On June 29, 2009, Bernard Lawrence 'Bernie' Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for perpetrating what has been called 'the largest investment fraud in Wall Street history.' Actual losses have been estimated at $64.8 billion by prosecutors. Apparently, Madoff admitted to his sons that his company, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, was nothing more than a giant Ponzi scheme.
Maureen, age 20, figures she can save $325 each month; or she can keep frittering it away at the mall. She lives with her parents and they think she should save it. Dad says, 'Put it into an RRSP and get a tax break as well.' Her friends think RRSPs are for old fogies and she doesn't need to start thinking about retirement savings until she's 30.
The last year or so has been a very rude awakening for many. Too many people today are so busy living a lifestyle, they forget that emergencies may need to be dealt with. It's all too easy to take one's cash flow for granted and get lulled into the belief that it will go on uninterrupted. Those who are best able to handle the financial rainy days that inevitably come along are in the habit of living well below their means and paying themselves first.
Uncertain economic times and rising rates of unemployment are creating a new breed of desperate people. Some are turning to frauds and scams as a way out of their troubles. Others are becoming more susceptible to schemes they had hoped would help but are being bilked out of their dwindling cash reserves instead. Hard times tend to bring more frauds and scams out of the woodwork.
Statistics show that about half of marriages end in divorce. Ed and Liz are ending theirs and are concerned about changes that will have to be made to their financial and estate plans. Some considerations, also in common-law relationships, are:
On May 25, 2009 Finance Canada announced some proposed changes to how Canada Pension Plan will work.
If approved, the changes will take effect over a period of time from
2011 to 2016, so they will affect anyone planning to retire after 2010.
Below is a brief summary of some of the most important changes:
Early retirement (before age 65) will result in a reduction in CPP benefits by 7.2% per year, which is up from the traditional 6%. This means that if you
begin to take your pension at age 60, your payments will be cut by 36%, not 30%.