Tackling the Big Unknowns

Given the existing situation and emerging trends, we are gaining a clearer picture of how retirees in Canada will do over the next couple of decades. Adjustments will have to be made to our current thinking about retirement, but that's hardly a surprise. The universe will continue to unfold, sometimes in surprising and unexpected ways. The key is to anticipate as many changes as are reasonably predictable and to adjust our expectations and strategies accordingly.

First the Good News: You're in the Right Place

Canada has been accused of being smug about its comparatively sound financial situation vis-à-vis the rest of the world. While smugness is not our intent in these difficult times, it is comforting to know Canadians can face the future starting from a position of financial and political stability. We can only expect to maintain a strong social safety net, however, if we have the means to pay for it.

The financial crisis of 2008–2009 was seriously disturbing to many people around the world, but most decisively to citizens of the European countries. The nations which literally banked on the Euro as a means of providing financial stability were shocked to discover that sharing a common currency strained the union to the breaking point when the various nations involved did not all treat their fiscal responsibilities with equal seriousness. The union worked as long as economic growth could paper over the cracks, but not when a real crisis surfaced. ...

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