Ending on an Optimistic Note

The world is a changeable place, and aren't we glad it is? Or we should be. Change keeps us intrigued with our lives and the lives of others. It also admittedly forces us to deal with changes, many of them unexpected and not always welcome.

In our years of maturity, with careers and family established, we learn to accept change and prepare ourselves for it. The preparation benefits from insight, education, experience, and guidance, which is what this book has been all about, where retirement planning is concerned.

As we write this, the world is undergoing its latest round of changes. While no country and its citizens are immune to the effects of change, we Canadians have something of a spectator seat where various crises and developments, some unfolding and some waiting in the wings, are concerned. They include:

  • The situation in Europe, where governments, having over-promised on benefits that they cannot now deliver, are attempting to persuade their citizens to pay the price. But after a few decades of expecting to retire at age 60 or earlier with fully indexed pensions, among other benefits, people are unwilling to relinquish the largesse, let alone settle the debt incurred already.
  • The developing crisis in the U.S., which insists on spending about 10 per cent more each year than it recovers in taxes and finds itself with a political system so polarized and conflicted that it cannot effectively tackle the situation through legislation.
  • The unresolved ...

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