Magazine article Herizons

Balancing Act: A Canadian Woman's Financial Survival Guide

Magazine article Herizons

Balancing Act: A Canadian Woman's Financial Survival Guide

Article excerpt

BALANCING ACT: A CANADIAN WOMAN'S FINANCIAL SURVIVAL GUIDE BY JOANNE. THOMAS YACCATO PRENTICE-HALL 1994

For me, Balancing Act was a very depressing read. A strong message in this book is that financial security and comfort in later years requires at least 30 years' active preparation, planning and saving. I'm almost 50; I made a trembling start on MY balancing act only four years ago. YIKES!

Yaccato cites many oppressive statistics: Women's average annual income is $18,360 (compared to $30, 000 for men). Forty-eight percent of women between the ages of 60 and 65 live on $10,000a year or loss. The steadily decreasing Government of Canada Old Age Security pension is now at $4,616, Guaranteed Income Supplement is $3,573 if you're married, and $5,486 if you're single.

Furthermore, the glut of baby boomers who will be retiring over the next five to 15 years are expected to exhaust Canada pension Plan funds, so the returns for our years and years of contributions will decrease steadily down to nothing left for those born 1950 or later. (Recently, there has been a rumour reported that, in order to ease this escalating burden, the government is considering extending the age at which you can begin collecting CPP benefits to 70!)

Another issue is the so-called "gender tax," wherein women are commonly charged more than men for such things as haircuts and other personal services, dry cleaning, car repairs, and most extremely, large ticket items such as cars and furniture. In order to avoid these discrepancies in her own life, Yaccato says, "now I work out at home, and I lost weight by good, old diet and exercise. …

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