Budget 2012: Older boomers dodge OAS bullet

While the pre-budget hype was that Canadian baby boomers were going to have to delay their retirement after Thursday’s federal budget was unveiled, their Findependence Day has not been severely postponed for anyone who is now 54 years old or older as of March 31, 2012.

As expected, the Old Age Security eligibility age will rise gradually from the current 65 to 67 but this doesn’t start to happen until 2023, according to the just-released budget.  When you add the 11-year notification of this change to the six-year phase-in between 2023 and 2029, I’d agree with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty that Canadians [or their financial planners] have “ample time to make adjustments to their retirement plans.”

For younger people born on or after Feb. 1, 1962, OAS eligibility will be age 67. Technically, boomers were born between 1946 and 1964 but in my view, if you were born between 1962 and 1964, you likely didn’t grieve over the JFK assassination and can hardly be considered a true baby boomer.

Delaying retirement: OAS takes a leaf from deferred CPP benefits

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“A welcome read both north and south of the 49th parallel.” — review in Richmond News

Certified financial planner Richard Vetter has reviewed Findependence Day in the (BC-based) Richmond News, judging it to be a “welcome read” both for citizens of Canada and the United States. The review, found here, points out that the common sense advice of two “very unorthodox financial planners” in the novel is often “contrary to what the financial industry is trying to sell them.”

Here’s an excerpt from the review:

The book is a great response to these challenging times and helps us to understand that there are few challenges that we cannot logically plan our way through …. The book necessarily spends a lot of time teaching some important financial lessons, but it ends up giving us a vision of what a life well-planned can look like.

Vetter is a CFP and Chartered Life Underwriter with WealthSmart Financial Group.

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My Last Wealthy Boomer blog — for now

Friday was my last day at the Financial Post. Two final columns ran in the paper on the weekend, then that will be it.

One of them was highlighted today as the last installment of The Wealthy Boomer blog, here.

The other is here.  It’s not yet clear what the fate of the blog will be. It won’t continue as presently constituted as a micro site at the FinancialPost.com [at least not written by me] but it may be reincarnated at some point on another platform.

Some readers have asked whether the column in the paper will continue. Not with any frequency: it was a full-time job producing those columns and blogs and I’ve now taken on a new full-time job, effective April 9th: as the editor of MoneySense magazine.

It’s possible that I’ll do an occasional (perhaps monthly) column for the Post once I make the transition but for now we’ll just have to see.

Oh … about the photo in the farewell blog. It was taken earlier this month at the National Post. If it seems a bit “leaner and meaner” than previous head-shots, that’s because last Halloween my wife and I embarked on a two-pronged regime of The 17-Day Diet and regular exercise. The result is The Wealthy Boomer is also the Lighter Boomer, by about 25 pounds.

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A personal career change: I join MoneySense in April

On Friday, I announced I am leaving the Financial Post after 19 years to become the editor of MoneySense magazine, effective April 9. I’ll remain at the Post until March 23. You can read the announcement at the MoneySense web site here.

At this stage, it’s not clear how or whether the Wealthy Boomer blog will continue. If it does, it probably won’t be in the current form but in the meantime I may blog a little more on my own site here, which of course exists chiefly to market the book, Findependence Day, and to discuss the philosophy surrounding it.

It’s my belief the financial sections of most newspapers, financial blogs, financial TV shows and personal finance magazines are all talking about basically the same thing: some may term it retirement but I prefer to view it as financial independence. Those who have read the book know the distinction that is made between the two terms throughout the book.

In short, as discussed on the Youngandthrifty review flagged here in the previous blog, it’s all about building wealth to the point you are working because you WANT to, not because you perceive you HAVE to.

Such a late-career change happening while I’m on the cusp of reaching my own personal Findependence Day [I’ll be 59 by the time I start the new job] raises some interesting nuances on the whole philosophy,  which I’m exploring in an essay I’m composing and which ultimately will be the basis for another book. If it’s ready later this weekend, I may post it here.

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Youngandthrifty review of Findependence Day

The book has received a good indepth review from the Youngandthrifty blog, which had previously likened Findependence Day to “The Wealthy Barber” on speed.

Click here for the review and a chance to win a copy.

Note that I’ve raised my age for my own personal “Findependence Day” up three years to age 64. Details to follow on the weekend.

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Video: Pay down debt or save for retirement?

Here’s the second of three installments of a video interview I did with BrighterLife.ca’s Kevin Press. It’s about three minutes and focuses on the theme of “guerrilla frugality” from the book, Findependence Day.

Click here to view.

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