CPP Deferral debate - Fred Vettese article discussion

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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by ghariton » 21 Mar 2017 23:51

AltaRed wrote:
21 Mar 2017 20:43
Then I've seen old people in an independent living facility having great interactions with staff and fellow 'inmates' with social teas and coffees, board and card games, etc.
I would hate that. Who would I argue with?

Give me my books and a high-speed Internet connection any day. And if I ever lose mobility, I'll get a motorized stroller, or hire someone to push me around. Never fear, I'll be out every day, unless I'm confined to bed, and in that case, I'd rather be confined to my own bed. And if ever I lose my cognitive powers, I don't want to stick around.

FWIW, my late mother lived in the same co-op apartment for fifty-three years. In her mid eighties she was still helping to run the place. She was the one hiring contractors such as electricians, snow removal, and so on. This, even though she was almost crippled with arthritis.

Yes, there are cases where you do have to go into a home, for a very serious condition or for palliative care while you wait for the end. But it is usually for a short while only.

Anyway, as AltaRed says, YMMV.

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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by gaspr » 22 Mar 2017 00:04

I think it all depends where you find yourself on the introvert/extrovert spectrum...I suspect I am with George in this regard. Happy with books and internet. Some folks thrive on social interaction...it charges their batteries. True introverts like me, can find it exhausting to be "on" all the time.

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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by Koogie » 22 Mar 2017 09:49

gaspr wrote:
22 Mar 2017 00:04
I think it all depends where you find yourself on the introvert/extrovert spectrum...I suspect I am with George in this regard. Happy with books and internet. Some folks thrive on social interaction...it charges their batteries. True introverts like me, can find it exhausting to be "on" all the time.
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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by Arby » 22 Mar 2017 10:35

My mother lived on her own in a large apartment until she was age 90. But it became increasingly difficult for her to manage the daily activities of cooking and shopping. She was losing weight due to not eating properly. The children convinced her it was time to move to a 1 bedroom apartment in an assisted living facility in a different city where the children were located. She hated the assisted living facility at first - having to follow the daily regimen; loss of autonomy; much downsized apartment; loss of friends due to moving to a new city. But eventually she made new friends and came to tolerate the new environment. The facility has lots of social and cultural activities that keep her active. She's now over 100, and still doing well in the assisted living facility (although lately we hired a part time caregiver to provide daily assistance). I'm convinced she would never have lived this long if she had stayed in her own apartment.

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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by AltaRed » 22 Mar 2017 12:44

With the exception of a true hermit/recluse, the human species is a social animal....and social interaction at some level is essential to one's wellbeing. The amount obviously varies from person to person.

FWIW, the independent apartment facilities I have seen typically have one (evening) meal included in the montly rate along with housekeeping. One can then opt to buy additional services such as lunch and/or medicine/pill supervision, laundry, etc. IOW, you buy only what you need, or want to buy and keep as much of your independence as you like. That is the scenario I'd want to have.

That is different than the conventional retirement home which essentially just consists of a bedroom and bathroom, 3 meals a day and a fairly rigid schedule.

People forget what variety of options are available.

FWIW, in my mother's case, she had a 2 bed, 2 bath apartment with her own furnishings and initially bought only her evening meal and housekeeping, leaving breakfast and lunch to her own devices (range, fridge, microwave). Although the facility was called a 55+ facility, I'd say the average age was closer to 80-85 and don't think anyone younger than 70 lived there. As my mother's capacities diminished, we upped her services to include daily pill supervision and eventually home care visits from Alberta Health Services once a week for additional grooming services. She continued to get her own breakfast and lunch, and do her own laundry right to the very end.

Anyways, like said a few times above, each to their own. YMMV
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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by kcowan » 23 Mar 2017 16:30

Koogie wrote:
22 Mar 2017 09:49
+1 "Hell is other people" :lol:
Yes that was my brother. He preferred to live alone than be in a care facility. I am convinced he died early but happier because of it.
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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by kcowan » 23 Mar 2017 16:43

AltaRed wrote:
22 Mar 2017 12:44
FWIW, the independent apartment facilities I have seen typically have one (evening) meal included in the montly rate along with housekeeping. One can then opt to buy additional services such as lunch and/or medicine/pill supervision, laundry, etc. IOW, you buy only what you need, or want to buy and keep as much of your independence as you like. That is the scenario I'd want to have.
The place I sourced for my Brother had a workshop, a billiard room, an exercise room and a dining room and meeting room. Common rooms as well. He would have had a spacious room with bathroom/shower and a shared kitchen with another. All meals were pay-as-you-go with 24 hours notice. Or could be included in a monthly rate.

What they did not have was in room meal service which is what he wanted. (7 day frozen meals-on-wheels delivered once a week was what he had at home). So my conclusion is that they are great for those wanting social interactions but for those that don't, staying at home was it.
For the fun of it...Keith

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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by longinvest » 24 Mar 2017 15:52

Continuing his series of articles about when to take CPP (previously discussed in this thread, see viewtopic.php?f=31&t=119841&p=593653#p592829), Fred Vettese writes:

http://business.financialpost.com/perso ... n-your-80s
The CPP deferral debate: Spend your risky dollars first because they may not be there in your 80s
by Fred Vettese
...
Spend your risky dollars first because they may not be there for you in your 80s, depending on how your investments do. A bigger CPP cheque, however, will definitely be there for you. On this, I have no doubt. But I will concede you need to have a couple of hundred thousand dollars in savings somewhere if you are going to defer your CPP until 70. If you don’t, I’m afraid I can’t help you.
...
The government is ready to send you a CPP cheque at 60 and you’re going to say no? That is hard to do. It is also hard not to be cynical about what the government will do with CPP. It is easier to see them take benefits away rather than increase them. But consider this: the government-appointed Advisory Council on Economic Growth has advised the government to find ways to increase the workforce participation rate of Canadians over age 55. Is it likely they will take away an incentive to retire later? That is what the current CPP rules are.
He's asking a very good question (underlined above).
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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by gaspr » 25 Mar 2017 11:14

It is great to finally see the CPP deferral discussion in the main stream media. However, reading the comments leads me to believe that not many are buying Vettese's arguments. I happen to agree with Vettese that incentives to retire later are unlikely to go away. Incentives might even increase somewhat given the 1% acceptance rate to date...

However, when looking at retirement planning from a married couple's point of view, the issue of the rather dismal survivor benefit for CPP and no survivor benefit for OAS is cause for concern. Vettese's answer to this seems to be to count on the surviving spouse being able to live on 30% less. Is this realistic?

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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by AltaRed » 25 Mar 2017 11:40

Single retirees seem to survive, so why not the surviving spouse of a couple? Is it primarily because a couple has become complacent (addicted?) to expected support from the nanny state?

At the very minimum, I believe all senior benefits (except earned CPP) need to change to 'family income' basis and there is no reason why a surviving spouse should not be able to live on 70% of a couple's 'family income' or perhaps less. It is perverse to even think there should be a 'surviving' OAS benefit which is social welfare to begin with.

DB pensioners can opt for varying degrees of surviving spousal benefits, 60% by legislative default I believe unless expressly agreed to otherwise, so why should CPP surviving benefit not be of a simliar theme? But we've had this discussion exhautively before.
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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by gaspr » 25 Mar 2017 12:01

I guess I should have said dismal survivor benefits compared to our neighbors to the south...but they have their own problems with affordability. I was thinking more in terms of a couple who spend down most of their savings while deferring benefits as recommended by Vettese. If the husband was collecting full CPP while the wife was collecting perhaps half of that, then his untimely passing could cause her income to drop a lot more than 30%...

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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by longinvest » 25 Mar 2017 12:10

gaspr wrote:
25 Mar 2017 11:14
However, when looking at retirement planning from a married couple's point of view, the issue of the rather dismal survivor benefit for CPP and no survivor benefit for OAS is cause for concern. Vettese's answer to this seems to be to count on the surviving spouse being able to live on 30% less. Is this realistic?
That's a difficult question to answer. Assuming that the couple owned a house, the surviving spouse could sell the house and rent a small place, lowering housing expenses appropriately so that other expenses are not affected. Or, the surviving spouse could find a new spouse, filling the 30% gap. Or, the surviving spouse could stay put and effectively suffer a 30% budget hole as it's not obvious for the survivor'es expenses to be lower because a third party might need to be paid for tasks that the deceased did for free when alive.

Here's my current plan to mitigate this.

To avoid exposing the surviving spouse to such a difficult set of choices, an alternative is for the couple to only budget/spend as if they were receiving a single CPP payment and a single OAS payment every month, adding the second CPP and OAS payments to their investments. (This might lead to slowly increasing budget/spending while both are alive). When one dies, the drop in available after-tax money for spending will be limited to the higher tax due to the loss of additional money to taxes, as all income will be taxed in the hands of a single person, instead of two. This should soften the blow of loss of OAS payment and capping of CPP survivor pension.
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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by longinvest » 25 Mar 2017 12:23

gaspr wrote:
25 Mar 2017 12:01
I guess I should have said dismal survivor benefits compared to our neighbors to the south...but they have their own problems with affordability. I was thinking more in terms of a couple who spend down most of their savings while deferring benefits as recommended by Vettese. If the husband was collecting full CPP while the wife was collecting perhaps half of that, then his untimely passing could cause her income to drop a lot more than 30%...
Still, the advantage for her to delay her CPP to 70 is that she gets a higher pension after the passing of her spouse. I think that the question of when to take CPP is mostly independent from the problem of loss of the deceased OAS pension and the capping of CPP survivor pension.

From a peace of mind point of view, I would certainly prefer for my my wife to receive as high OAS and CPP payments after my death by delaying her payments until age 70. Who knows if, despite all the time I've spent getting her to manage her part of the portfolio, she wouldn't decide when getting older to seek the help of a financial adviser who might end up excelling at extracting as much as possible in direct and indirect fees for himself.

As for myself, if I survive her, again I would rather get higher CPP and OAS pensions by delaying them to age 70 to provide a robust inflation-indexed lifelong base income.
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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by AltaRed » 25 Mar 2017 12:27

gaspr wrote:
25 Mar 2017 12:01
I guess I should have said dismal survivor benefits compared to our neighbors to the south...but they have their own problems with affordability. I was thinking more in terms of a couple who spend down most of their savings while deferring benefits as recommended by Vettese. If the husband was collecting full CPP while the wife was collecting perhaps half of that, then his untimely passing could cause her income to drop a lot more than 30%...
Life does not usually unfold according to a convenient spreadsheet designed for optimum results. Hence folk like Vettese do folks a disservice. Ultimately, no one should be so irresponsible as to spend down the bulk of their savings assuming they will have 2 CPPs and 2 OASs to the end of their days, and whlie some likely prefer not to take personal responsibility for themselves, I suspect the majority have had that discussion of 'what to do if one of us dies'.
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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by longinvest » 25 Mar 2017 12:35

AltaRed wrote:
25 Mar 2017 12:27
Life does not usually unfold according to a convenient spreadsheet designed for optimum results. Hence folk like Vettese do folks a disservice. Ultimately, no one should be so irresponsible as to spend down the bulk of their savings assuming they will have 2 CPPs and 2 OASs to the end of their days, and whlie some likely prefer not to take personal responsibility for themselves, I suspect the majority have had that discussion of 'what to do if one of us dies'.
AltaRed,

I disagree with your opinion.

Having paid into CPP/QPP and OAS (for others) all of my working life, I certainly aim to maximize the positive impact of these pensions on my retirement plans. Fred Vettese is doing a lot of good trying to get people to finally see the awesome value of delaying gratification and decrease income risk when it matters most: when one survives for a long time. As a side effect, one can actually spend more in younger age*.

* Delay OAS to 70, spend 8.8% more at 65!

Unfortunately, financial advisers are in a conflict of interest situation; it would harm their revenue stream to recommend that their clients deplete their managed funds faster while delaying CPP and OAS. That, actually, might be why we don't hear much about the advantage of delaying, other than the occasional article by Vettese and very few others.
Last edited by longinvest on 25 Mar 2017 12:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by AltaRed » 25 Mar 2017 12:37

We will continue to disagree for the rest of our natural lives. Most people do not live by spreadsheets.
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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by longinvest » 25 Mar 2017 12:39

AltaRed wrote:
25 Mar 2017 12:37
We will continue to disagree for the rest of our natural lives. Most people do not live by spreadsheets.
Are you saying that I live in a spreadsheet? Please explain.
Last edited by longinvest on 26 Mar 2017 08:31, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by gaspr » 25 Mar 2017 12:49

Life will never turn out as planned. However, that does not mean that planning is useless or unnecessary. Wade Pfau's first rule of retirement planning is to plan for both spouses to live a very long time because this is the most expensive scenario. It likely wont turn out this way but it is the most sensible way to approach it. Vettese gets it right in this regard IMHO.

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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by gaspr » 25 Mar 2017 12:57

longinvest wrote:
25 Mar 2017 12:23
gaspr wrote:
25 Mar 2017 12:01
I guess I should have said dismal survivor benefits compared to our neighbors to the south...but they have their own problems with affordability. I was thinking more in terms of a couple who spend down most of their savings while deferring benefits as recommended by Vettese. If the husband was collecting full CPP while the wife was collecting perhaps half of that, then his untimely passing could cause her income to drop a lot more than 30%...
Still, the advantage for her to delay her CPP to 70 is that she gets a higher pension after the passing of her spouse. I think that the question of when to take CPP is mostly independent from the problem of loss of the deceased OAS pension and the capping of CPP survivor pension.

From a peace of mind point of view, I would certainly prefer for my my wife to receive as high OAS and CPP payments after my death by delaying her payments until age 70. Who knows if, despite all the time I've spent getting her to manage her part of the portfolio, she wouldn't decide when getting older to seek the help of a financial adviser who might end up excelling at extracting as much as possible in direct and indirect fees for himself.

As for myself, if I survive her, again I would rather get higher CPP and OAS pensions by delaying them to age 70 to provide a robust inflation-indexed lifelong base income.
Sounds sensible. I suppose that life insurance is another option...

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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by longinvest » 25 Mar 2017 12:59

gaspr wrote:
25 Mar 2017 12:57
Sounds sensible. I suppose that life insurance is another option...
The problem, with life insurance, is that it gets more expensive with age, so it doesn't seem like a good fit for this situation.
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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by AltaRed » 25 Mar 2017 13:03

longinvest wrote:
25 Mar 2017 12:39
AltaRed wrote:
25 Mar 2017 12:37
We will continue to disagree for the rest of our natural lives. Most people do not live by spreadsheets.
Are you saying that I live in a spreadsheet? Please explain.
I am saying optimizations by spreadsheet rarely work out as planned....and most wouldn't be able to do/rely on/believe the math anyway. Once one gets past 2 significant digits, it is mere noise. I worked on plans from my early '50s. Life at 57 turned out to be significantly different by choice (mostly) and now into my 11th year of retirement, it is vastly different than I foresaw 10 years ago. You will come to the same realization once you get to my age.

For example, your link of 'delay OAS to 70, spend 8.8% more at 65' is a good exercise, and I get it, but it is an example of what is unlikely to play out for most, nor will most understand any of it. If life doesn't throw curveballs on a personal basis, I fully expect the OAS program to change significantly within the next 10 years anyway despite the Liberal rollback to 65. We can't afford it much longer given likely depressed GDP growth going forward and current public spending policy in most jurisdictions.
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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by longinvest » 25 Mar 2017 13:24

AltaRed,

The calculations are simple and don't require a spreadsheet.

It is easy to imagine doomsday scenarios and believe that the government will starve old retirees who unfortunately decided to delay their CPP and OAS pensions, and depleted a significant part of their portfolio in the meantime. But, I can also imagine the stock market deciding to play a Japan-like scenario on me the day I retire. So, which risk is higher? Why should I consider government decisions riskier than the stock market? Even if I had enough money in safe government bonds to handle the Japan-like scenario, the question remains: if the government is going to cut CPP and OAS payments on age 70+ people, why shouldn't the same government decide to punish the rich who hold government bonds by defaulting on them?

Anyway, I don't believe that there will ever be more than a handful of retirees who will delay CPP and OAS to age 70, because few people have the discipline to keep their hands off money they could grab earlier, even if they have to pay a steep penalty for it. So, it is likely to be a place where cutting will never lead to any significant savings for the government, and cutting might just backfire by encouraging more people to retire earlier (exactly what the government doesn't want), because most people (incorrectly) think that one must retire to get CPP and OAS.

As a result, I think that Vettese is doing a lot of good for those of us who are able to do a little math and have the discipline to build a plan, follow it, and change it when required.
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Re: Clippings 2017

Post by gaspr » 25 Mar 2017 13:27

Remember that behind every OAS payment received , is a motivated voter. :)

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Re: CPP Deferral debate - Fred Vettese article discussion

Post by longinvest » 26 Mar 2017 09:25

The user comments on this installment are a good indication that very few people are likely to start taking advantage of it for emotive reasons.

Here it goes:

http://business.financialpost.com/perso ... tage-of-it
This retirement decision could be worth $72,000, but few Canadians take advantage of it
by Lisa Bjornson and Fred Vettese

...
Few people appreciate how punitive it is to start CPP early, or how beneficial it can be to defer it beyond age 65.
...
In 2017, Jacques’ CPP pension at 60 would be $713 month. This is calculated as the maximum pension less a reduction of 36 per cent. With inflation at 2.2 per cent a year, the monthly payments will gradually climb to $886 by the time he hits 70. If he holds off on collecting CPP until 70, the monthly pension at 70 will be about $2,056! (This assumes wage inflation beats price inflation by 1 per cent a year.)
...
The actuarial present value of Jacques’ CPP benefit if he commenced it at age 60 is $205,000. The corresponding value if he starts CPP at 70 is $277,000. And no, we didn’t hand Warren Beatty the wrong card. Starting CPP at age 70 is the clear winner. By postponing his CPP to age 70 instead of 60, Jacques can increase the value of his benefit by 35 per cent.
...
I personally prefer the much simpler calculation that shows how to translate these complex actuarial results into additional money all retirement long, starting at age 60. I'll do just that in another post.

But, for now, I really invite people to go and read the comments section of the linked article. I don't think there will ever be many Canadians who will take advantage of the deferral bonus. It reminds me of the marshmallow experiment.

Note that all this applies to the new rules put in place in 2012. Before then, CPP rules were much less flexible, the early pension penalty was lower, and there was no provision to delay to age 70. I am not trying, in any way, to criticize past decisions. I am trying to help future retirees consider the possibility of taking advantage of the new rules to have more money in retirement, while also insuring a higher lifelong inflation-indexed base income. This should be of particular interest for those without a government-backed inflation-indexed DB pension.
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Re: CPP Deferral debate - Fred Vettese article discussion

Post by Jo Anne » 26 Mar 2017 09:53

My mother died when she was 72. I have had cancer.

I don't defer anything.

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