The C.D. Howe Institute posted a report saying that too many Canadians have inadequate savings and pension plans for an adequate retirement. About 3.5 million workers have no workplace pension plans and 5.5 million households (i.e. 1-2 workers in each household) have retirement investments that will yield insufficient retirement incomes. The goal is 50 to 70 percent replacement of your pre-retirement income.

Compounding the problem are the very high management fees associated with retail investment products which come off the top of your returns.

According to the report, the solution is a supplementary pension plan for Canada.

In “The New Retirement” by Sherry Cooper (2008), she states that lower income workers will get a decent replacement ratio from CPP/OAS alone. The rich are… well rich so they don’t really even need a pension plan. So it’s the middle to high income earners who would presumably benefit the most from such a plan.

I don’t see it happening. The government already has CPP and OAS. Looking south of the border at the underfunded liability of Social Security and Medicare, I don’t think too many Canadian politicians will be keen to open this up.

The concept of a paid retirement for the masses is relatively new in human history. Also new is the huge amount of debt that is being carried by people living well beyond their means. The math is simple and real, if you constantly spend more than you make, you will eventually run out of money.

On many levels, I’m proud of my grandmother. She worked hard and was a saver. She never expected anyone else to take care of her.

Personally, I plan on taking care of my own financial future. Maybe I’ll even make it to the coveted ranks of the financially secure. The world is uncertain at best and if I mess up I have no one to blame but me.