I recently posted a quote on a bulletin board that said “We all want to grow old; we just don’t want to admit it when we get there”. In this vein, I was surprised to find that a belief I had held for so many years was completely incorrect! I always thought that Baby Boomers were the generation just a bit older than me. As a youngest child (far enough behind siblings that I was probably an oops) I always thought it was my older siblings that were Baby Boomers. They were born in the few years after the war, while I was not born until 1954! By 1954, the war was history, a hard to understand set of memories that my father only retold after a few drinks. Or so I believed. Turns out I am right smack dab in the middle of the Baby Boom, which makes that “bulge” a pretty big one! Wikipedia states “In Canada, the baby boom is usually defined as occurring from 1945 to 1965, with over 400,000 babies born yearly.”
As this bulge is now qualifying for Old Age Security and expecting to collect on the Canada Pension Plan they have contributed to so faithfully since about 1966, the federal government is just waking up to the fact that the demand on these two institutions is going to be noticeable. It is now that they are scrambling to rewrite the book on services that are pretty much an institution in Canada, and institutions that our tax dollars and payroll deductions have supported for over 45 years!!
They seem to think that by moving the goal posts slowly and one at a time, we’ll take the news lying down. I agree that the current government should not wear the misfires of previous regimes, but no one in the last 25-47 has apparently sounded a warning bell about this. They are changing the qualifications for CPP immediately, which takes a bit of gall as every working Canadian has paid into this program directly and without choice since 1966. They have decided to wait to implement changes to OAS until 2023 so a different generation of Baby Boomer wears those consequences.
If this generation – the Baby Boomers – is 10 million strong and will now hit the Pension Plans in ever-increasing numbers….. well, where the bleep is the surprise in that? They closed the qualification for Baby Boomerdom in 1965 – 47 years ago! Did no one see that maybe all systems should prepare for the aging of this generation? Did no one anywhere along the way think to plan and invest appropriately to account for the increased demand? Many individuals are guilty of living in the moment, not planning for the proverbial rainy day, but to find out our government is in the same boat…. These changes are being implemented almost 10 years apart. It is my opinion that the government is assuming we will have forgotten the first set of changes and continue their mandate. I wonder if anyone is thinking about hospital services and long term care facilities?
If you are upper middle income, healthy, and have been preparing for your own retirement smartly, then you may not notice the implementation of these new legislations. If, however, meeting the expenses of life has always been a struggle, if your body has suffered from the blows life has thrown at it, or if you lived for the moment, spending what you earned, like we thought was the norm, then you might be hit hard by these changes. And with the economy in the shape it’s in, it will be pretty difficult to play catch-up now!
One of my soap boxes is our duty to vote. I’ll reiterate that now. This subject is only one of the topics you should keep track of when choosing a government but keep track of this one for sure…. These two decisions will affect a number of generations as well as us Baby Boomers.