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Average Canadian richer than average american


shalab
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That's the output. What's the input?

 

For example, assume Canada has a population of 10.

There is 1 billionaire.

I then go and steal from him his 1 billion and give it to the other 9 (to be fair I also give him his 'fair share')

The average net worth of the 10 go from $0 to $100 million each!

Wow, real wealthy..but it was due to theft and socialism.

 

So I think you have to look at the inputs. You can redistribute wealth in such a way everyone looks wealthier, but theft is still theft. If you are the one who had below average before you're happy.

If are the guy who had way above average, you want to get the heck out of Canada as early and as fast as possible :)

 

 

 

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So what?

 

Is this a "Canada is better because..." type thing? You have a very nice country, beautiful scenery, very nice people, clean cities, vast natural resources, no enemies.  I've never lived there, but the quality of life seems great.

 

I only know of a handful of Americans who've moved to Canada.  I looked at it, and according to immigration I don't quality in any capacity to be there.  Even if I go through the questionnaire and say I'd relocate my company and employed 50+ people I wouldn't qualify.  So I'm not sure what it takes to get into Canada.  I messed with the little thing for a while and couldn't trigger any conditions where it would work outside being a student or married to a Canadian.

 

At the same time I know a ton of Canadians who have moved south and don't intend on going back.  I've never tried to get into the US (since I was born here), but it must be easier.

 

Is part of the allure of Canada that it's like Switzerland?  It's exclusive to a selected group?  Is that why the average is higher?

 

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Always regard wealth statistics with a grain of salt because they are usually generated through surveys.  So the questions are, "What do you figure your house is worth, what do you figure you've got in the bank, what are your stocks worth, do you have any debt and how much?"  People answer to their best ability, but most people are woefully incapable of accurately estimating their net worth because they don't understand the value of their pension, or the survey might not even ask about their pension.  We, on this site, know that pensions (both public and private) are a very large asset for almost everybody in North America.

 

So, assume that there is zero value assigned to pensions in those statistics.  Do the mental arithmetic about what a basic public pension is worth:

 

Canada:

Canada Pension Plan maximum monthly benefit (age 65): CAD$1,134.17

Old Age Security maximum monthly benefit (age 65): CAD$586.66

Total maximum monthly public pension:      CAD$1,722.83

 

 

US

Social security maximum monthly benefit (age 65): US$2,589

 

 

So, for somebody with a decent income, the annual public pension is about US$14k higher in the United States.  Do your mental discounted cashflow thing, informed by life expectancy, and you might conclude that the maximum US public pension is worth US$100k+ more than the maximum Canadian public pension.  And it's likely that a value of zero has been provided by survey respondents in both countries.  Your wealth gap suddenly disappears and it even pivots in favour of the United States.

 

Anyway, all of these reports are interesting, but we need to be pretty cautious about the interpretation.

 

 

SJ

 

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Canada is a giant landmass filled with natural resources located directly beside the largest economy in the world, and it only has ~30 million residents. No surprise the average resident will be "wealthier" than the USA, but it is also amazing how poor it is compared to other small resource rich nations.

 

 

 

 

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That's the output. What's the input?

 

For example, assume Canada has a population of 10.

There is 1 billionaire.

I then go and steal from him his 1 billion and give it to the other 9 (to be fair I also give him his 'fair share')

The average net worth of the 10 go from $0 to $100 million each!

Wow, real wealthy..but it was due to theft and socialism.

 

So I think you have to look at the inputs. You can redistribute wealth in such a way everyone looks wealthier, but theft is still theft. If you are the one who had below average before you're happy.

If are the guy who had way above average, you want to get the heck out of Canada as early and as fast as possible :)

 

I don't want to be an a-hole, but the average wealth does not change when you have one guy with a billion dollars and 9 others with zero.  This still averages out to be $100 million each. 

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So what?

 

Is this a "Canada is better because..." type thing? You have a very nice country, beautiful scenery, very nice people, clean cities, vast natural resources, no enemies.  I've never lived there, but the quality of life seems great.

 

I only know of a handful of Americans who've moved to Canada.  I looked at it, and according to immigration I don't quality in any capacity to be there.  Even if I go through the questionnaire and say I'd relocate my company and employed 50+ people I wouldn't qualify.  So I'm not sure what it takes to get into Canada.  I messed with the little thing for a while and couldn't trigger any conditions where it would work outside being a student or married to a Canadian.

 

At the same time I know a ton of Canadians who have moved south and don't intend on going back.  I've never tried to get into the US (since I was born here), but it must be easier.

 

Is part of the allure of Canada that it's like Switzerland?  It's exclusive to a selected group?  Is that why the average is higher?

 

Doesn't seem like it should be that hard or exclusive when immigration levels approach 1% of the current population every year, of whom "the economic class" (followed by "the family class") is the biggest group according to this article:

 

https://globalnews.ca/news/3836805/340k-immigrants-per-year-by-2020-government-unveils-new-immigration-targets/

 

The figure I could find for the US was 1.49m immigrants (2016) which would equal 0.4% of the US population. So overall it seems markedly easier to move to Canada than to the US, but I guess that depends on who you are and where you come from.

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Canada is a giant landmass filled with natural resources located directly beside the largest economy in the world, and it only has ~30 million residents. No surprise the average resident will be "wealthier" than the USA, but it is also amazing how poor it is compared to other small resource rich nations.

 

Alpha, apart from Norway and perhaps Singapore (not a resource rich country, but a wealthy "per-capita" country), most of those countries use expats at obscenely low wages to extract the resources of their country, hence their perceived high per-capita wealth.

 

One simply has to look at what is happening in Saudi Arabia, as they ween off state-employment and now require S.A. citizens to have particular jobs as opposed to expats, to see how wealth has been distributed, and why high per-capita wealth looked so good. The same situation occurs in Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Brunei, etc.

 

Canada just looks wealthy because we haven't seen the housing correction that the US has, and the country is more urban than the US (so perceived wealth of that cube in the sky looks better than a hundred acres in the hinterland).

 

 

 

Just my two cents.

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I don't want to be an a-hole, but the average wealth does not change when you have one guy with a billion dollars and 9 others with zero.  This still averages out to be $100 million each.

 

Math status: successful!  ;D

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Agree, Canada is a nice country. It is far more expensive than USA though.

 

You are right that it is easier to immigrate from Canada to USA than the other way round. (for both legal and illegal). Canada has laxer rules for legal immigration from some countries. For illegal immigrants, it seems really hard to get in.

 

I also looked at the option of getting Canadian Greencard but it wasn't straight forward. I could go as a skilled person or an investor. In addition, one doesn't get social security automatically.

 

Why Canada is richer than US? I think there are several reasons:

 

      - real estate is more expensive, even in small towns, I found real estate more expensive than the US.

              e.g:, this city near Banff national park, https://www.royallepage.ca/en/bc/golden/properties/

                      nova scotia - https://www.point2homes.com/CA/Real-Estate-Listings/NS.html

      - very little spending on military

      - cheap education

      - almost treated like citizens in USA with similar benefits

      - special nafta visa for employment in USA that is very easy to get

      - many(most?) college grads end up in the USA for work

   

 

So what?

 

Is this a "Canada is better because..." type thing? You have a very nice country, beautiful scenery, very nice people, clean cities, vast natural resources, no enemies.  I've never lived there, but the quality of life seems great.

 

I only know of a handful of Americans who've moved to Canada.  I looked at it, and according to immigration I don't quality in any capacity to be there.  Even if I go through the questionnaire and say I'd relocate my company and employed 50+ people I wouldn't qualify.  So I'm not sure what it takes to get into Canada.  I messed with the little thing for a while and couldn't trigger any conditions where it would work outside being a student or married to a Canadian.

 

At the same time I know a ton of Canadians who have moved south and don't intend on going back.  I've never tried to get into the US (since I was born here), but it must be easier.

 

Is part of the allure of Canada that it's like Switzerland?  It's exclusive to a selected group?  Is that why the average is higher?

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You are right that it is easier to immigrate from Canada to USA than the other way round. (for both legal and illegal). Canada has laxer rules for legal immigration from some countries. For illegal immigrants, it seems really hard to get in.

 

I also looked at the option of getting Canadian Greencard but it wasn't straight forward. I could go as a skilled person or an investor. In addition, one doesn't get social security automatically.

 

Why Canada is richer than US? I think there are several reasons:

 

      - real estate is more expensive, even in small towns, I found real estate more expensive than the US.

              e.g:, this city near Banff national park, https://www.royallepage.ca/en/bc/golden/properties/

                      nova scotia - https://www.point2homes.com/CA/Real-Estate-Listings/NS.html

      - very little spending on military

      - cheap education

      - almost treated like citizens in USA with similar benefits

      - special nafta visa for employment in USA that is very easy to get

      - many(most?) college grads end up in the USA for work

From what you write it seems like you have no idea what you're talking about.

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So what?

 

Is this a "Canada is better because..." type thing? You have a very nice country, beautiful scenery, very nice people, clean cities, vast natural resources, no enemies.  I've never lived there, but the quality of life seems great.

 

I only know of a handful of Americans who've moved to Canada.  I looked at it, and according to immigration I don't quality in any capacity to be there.  Even if I go through the questionnaire and say I'd relocate my company and employed 50+ people I wouldn't qualify.  So I'm not sure what it takes to get into Canada.  I messed with the little thing for a while and couldn't trigger any conditions where it would work outside being a student or married to a Canadian.

 

At the same time I know a ton of Canadians who have moved south and don't intend on going back.  I've never tried to get into the US (since I was born here), but it must be easier.

 

Is part of the allure of Canada that it's like Switzerland?  It's exclusive to a selected group?  Is that why the average is higher?

No, Canada is not an exclusive club like Switzerland. Though exclusive types types do get let in. They mostly go to Vancouver.

 

I'd say that you probably didn't understand the requirements for immigration. The system is actually quite straight forward and from what I've picked up here I'd say that someone like you (though not you personally) would qualify easily. You have a usable post secondary education, you have work experience, you don't have a criminal record, you speak English fluently, and have money to support yourself and your family for a while. You're in. Easily!

 

The process will be really smooth and once you're approved you would have 1 year to present yourself at a point of entry and then you and your family become permanent Canadian residents. After you've been a resident for 3 years you're eligible to apply for citizenship.

 

The reason why I say you personally would not qualify is that I remember you mentioning that you've had a stroke a while back. That would cause you to fail the medical requirements for immigration. However, this is an unfortunate fact that is particular to you as a person. A generic candidate with your background would be quite welcome here.

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      - many(most?) college grads end up in the USA for work

 

According to StatsCan an average of 30000 people moved to the U.S. per year from 2000 to 2010, less than 1% of the population. (there were no stats on how many were college graduates that moved)

 

StatsCan also shows about 450000 people get a post secondary diploma or degree each year.

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      - many(most?) college grads end up in the USA for work

 

According to StatsCan an average of 30000 people moved to the U.S. per year from 2000 to 2010, less than 1% of the population. (there were no stats on how many were college graduates that moved)

 

StatsCan also shows about 450000 people get a post secondary diploma or degree each year.

 

Just to add to this:

 

Per StatsCan Canada has 37M people, with the bulk of population growth coming from immigration.

As College/University facilities are centralized, graduates are expected to move to find work. No different to the US.

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/12-581-x/2018000/pop-eng.htm

 

There is a very big difference between students simply using the opportunity to travel/work abroad immediately after graduation, and people moving for a better life. Graduates are also shoppiing for their significant others - so if you play hockey, and like blue-eyed blonds?, you move to Scandanavia and find one to help you learn the language. Ultimately, life events will determine where you end up. 

 

SD

 

 

 

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Always regard wealth statistics with a grain of salt because they are usually generated through surveys.  So the questions are, "What do you figure your house is worth, what do you figure you've got in the bank, what are your stocks worth, do you have any debt and how much?"  People answer to their best ability, but most people are woefully incapable of accurately estimating their net worth because they don't understand the value of their pension, or the survey might not even ask about their pension.  We, on this site, know that pensions (both public and private) are a very large asset for almost everybody in North America.

 

So, assume that there is zero value assigned to pensions in those statistics.  Do the mental arithmetic about what a basic public pension is worth:

 

Canada:

Canada Pension Plan maximum monthly benefit (age 65): CAD$1,134.17

Old Age Security maximum monthly benefit (age 65): CAD$586.66

Total maximum monthly public pension:      CAD$1,722.83

 

 

US

Social security maximum monthly benefit (age 65): US$2,589

 

 

So, for somebody with a decent income, the annual public pension is about US$14k higher in the United States.  Do your mental discounted cashflow thing, informed by life expectancy, and you might conclude that the maximum US public pension is worth US$100k+ more than the maximum Canadian public pension.  And it's likely that a value of zero has been provided by survey respondents in both countries.  Your wealth gap suddenly disappears and it even pivots in favour of the United States.

 

Anyway, all of these reports are interesting, but we need to be pretty cautious about the interpretation.

 

 

SJ

 

Our pension plans are all in way way way way better shape than pensions plans in the US. Your pension plans are basically large unfunded liabilities. I'm not one for beating up on the US but honestly this is one place where I think Canadians are far better off and where our leaders have mostly done the right thing in huge contrast to the US.

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Here is some more data,

 

usaid - the government agency that distributes aid, hires in Canada. A poorer country by average income and average net worth providing "aid" to a richer country. One of the goals of this agency is to expand "American values"

 

https://www.linkedin.com/company/usaid-canada

https://www.usaid.gov/careers

 

To make things more interesting, usaid was also distributing aid in Canada. In 2017, it gave 28 million dollars in "aid" to Canada.

 

https://explorer.usaid.gov/aid-dashboard.html#2017

 

Companies like MSFT hire from Canada as they would in the US.

 

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/cdndevs/2015/09/22/student-jobs-at-microsoft-faq/

 

And then there is the quora post:

 

https://www.quora.com/Why-do-Canadians-leave-Canada-and-move-to-the-US

 

You are right that it is easier to immigrate from Canada to USA than the other way round. (for both legal and illegal). Canada has laxer rules for legal immigration from some countries. For illegal immigrants, it seems really hard to get in.

 

I also looked at the option of getting Canadian Greencard but it wasn't straight forward. I could go as a skilled person or an investor. In addition, one doesn't get social security automatically.

 

Why Canada is richer than US? I think there are several reasons:

 

      - real estate is more expensive, even in small towns, I found real estate more expensive than the US.

              e.g:, this city near Banff national park, https://www.royallepage.ca/en/bc/golden/properties/

                      nova scotia - https://www.point2homes.com/CA/Real-Estate-Listings/NS.html

      - very little spending on military

      - cheap education

      - almost treated like citizens in USA with similar benefits

      - special nafta visa for employment in USA that is very easy to get

      - many(most?) college grads end up in the USA for work

From what you write it seems like you have no idea what you're talking about.

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Here is some more data,

 

usaid - the government agency that distributes aid, hires in Canada. A poorer country by average income and average net worth providing "aid" to a richer country. One of the goals of this agency is to expand "American values"

 

https://www.linkedin.com/company/usaid-canada

https://www.usaid.gov/careers

 

To make things more interesting, usaid was also distributing aid in Canada. In 2017, it gave 28 million dollars in "aid" to Canada.

 

https://explorer.usaid.gov/aid-dashboard.html#2017

 

Companies like MSFT hire from Canada as they would in the US.

 

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/cdndevs/2015/09/22/student-jobs-at-microsoft-faq/

 

And then there is the quora post:

 

https://www.quora.com/Why-do-Canadians-leave-Canada-and-move-to-the-US

 

You are right that it is easier to immigrate from Canada to USA than the other way round. (for both legal and illegal). Canada has laxer rules for legal immigration from some countries. For illegal immigrants, it seems really hard to get in.

 

I also looked at the option of getting Canadian Greencard but it wasn't straight forward. I could go as a skilled person or an investor. In addition, one doesn't get social security automatically.

 

Why Canada is richer than US? I think there are several reasons:

 

      - real estate is more expensive, even in small towns, I found real estate more expensive than the US.

              e.g:, this city near Banff national park, https://www.royallepage.ca/en/bc/golden/properties/

                      nova scotia - https://www.point2homes.com/CA/Real-Estate-Listings/NS.html

      - very little spending on military

      - cheap education

      - almost treated like citizens in USA with similar benefits

      - special nafta visa for employment in USA that is very easy to get

      - many(most?) college grads end up in the USA for work

From what you write it seems like you have no idea what you're talking about.

Is there point you're trying to arrive at?

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My points are:

 

Canada is wealthier than the US - on median income and median wealth.

  - the usa government (and companies) are full of hubris, Canada is in a position to provide "aid" to usa

Canada doesn't welcome illegal migrants.

Given its wealth, Canada and its citizens can do more for illegal migrants.

 

Here is some more data,

 

usaid - the government agency that distributes aid, hires in Canada. A poorer country by average income and average net worth providing "aid" to a richer country. One of the goals of this agency is to expand "American values"

 

https://www.linkedin.com/company/usaid-canada

https://www.usaid.gov/careers

 

To make things more interesting, usaid was also distributing aid in Canada. In 2017, it gave 28 million dollars in "aid" to Canada.

 

https://explorer.usaid.gov/aid-dashboard.html#2017

 

Companies like MSFT hire from Canada as they would in the US.

 

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/cdndevs/2015/09/22/student-jobs-at-microsoft-faq/

 

And then there is the quora post:

 

https://www.quora.com/Why-do-Canadians-leave-Canada-and-move-to-the-US

 

You are right that it is easier to immigrate from Canada to USA than the other way round. (for both legal and illegal). Canada has laxer rules for legal immigration from some countries. For illegal immigrants, it seems really hard to get in.

 

I also looked at the option of getting Canadian Greencard but it wasn't straight forward. I could go as a skilled person or an investor. In addition, one doesn't get social security automatically.

 

Why Canada is richer than US? I think there are several reasons:

 

      - real estate is more expensive, even in small towns, I found real estate more expensive than the US.

              e.g:, this city near Banff national park, https://www.royallepage.ca/en/bc/golden/properties/

                      nova scotia - https://www.point2homes.com/CA/Real-Estate-Listings/NS.html

      - very little spending on military

      - cheap education

      - almost treated like citizens in USA with similar benefits

      - special nafta visa for employment in USA that is very easy to get

      - many(most?) college grads end up in the USA for work

From what you write it seems like you have no idea what you're talking about.

Is there point you're trying to arrive at?

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Our pension plans are all in way way way way better shape than pensions plans in the US. Your pension plans are basically large unfunded liabilities. I'm not one for beating up on the US but honestly this is one place where I think Canadians are far better off and where our leaders have mostly done the right thing in huge contrast to the US.

+1. CPP is an exceptional success story! Surprisingly it is a clone of some union's work. CPPIB is part of what I like to call professional government. Where you leave politics out of things and you run things professionally for the people. In Canada we have implemented this approach in several areas to great success and I would like to see more of it.

 

One thing in particular I like aside from the performance of the CPPIB team is the segregation fact where it's obvious how much money there is. Thus as CPPIB continues to perform and the coffers fill the government can't obfuscate behind a veil of bullshit. They'll have to lower payroll taxes or increase CPP payout. I favour increased payout btw.

 

One other particular area I'd like this to be applied is health insurance. I'd like health taxes to be segregated from general revenue and handled like CPP. When you think about it health insurance is not that different that life insurance (pensions).

 

Lastly, it's worth mentioning that our retirement system was a complete basket case similar to the US 2 decades ago when the government decided to reform it. Basically retirements are not a lost cause - mission impossible style. Your governments just have to get off their ass and do the right thing.

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My points are:

 

Canada is wealthier than the US - on median income and median wealth.

  - the usa government (and companies) are full of hubris, Canada is in a position to provide "aid" to usa

Canada doesn't welcome illegal migrants.

Given its wealth, Canada and its citizens can do more for illegal migrants.

Ok, well I don't see what Microsoft's recruiting practices have to do with any of that. But let's put that aside for now.

 

Firstly, your use of statistics is wrong. Canada is not a wealthier country than the US. The US is in aggregate wealthier than Canada. Median wealth and income are merely just one measure of the distribution of that wealth and income. What you're effectively saying is we have more money that you guys, but because you guys have less income inequality you should contribute more because we don't wanna bother our rich folks. In addition as others have pointed here wealth statistics are distorted by a bunch of things and should not be taken at face value.

 

Secondly, Canada doing something for illegal immigrants is an oxymoron. A government exists for the purpose of the enforcement of laws. No legitimate government will stand for or encourage the violation of its laws. So Canada cannot actually encourage illegal migration.

 

Thirdly, migrations do actually happen for reasons outside of a country's control. This is why we have asylum and refugee programs. In those areas Canada punches above its weight and above the US. This is despite the Unites States' larger income and wealth. If the US was to proportionally take in as many refugees and asylum seekers as Canada, the US should take in 300,000-450,000 per year. That number is greater than the US's refugee quota plus the illegal immigration into the US. So I'd say that Canada does enough.

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My points are:

 

Canada is wealthier than the US - on median income and median wealth.

  - the usa government (and companies) are full of hubris, Canada is in a position to provide "aid" to usa

Canada doesn't welcome illegal migrants.

Given its wealth, Canada and its citizens can do more for illegal migrants.

 

Firstly, ...

Secondly, ...

Thirdly, migrations do actually happen for reasons outside of a country's control. This is why we have asylum and refugee programs. In those areas Canada punches above its weight and above the US. This is despite the Unites States' larger income and wealth. If the US was to proportionally take in as many refugees and asylum seekers as Canada, the US should take in 300,000-450,000 per year. That number is greater than the US's refugee quota plus the illegal immigration into the US. So I'd say that Canada does enough.

 

First, asking shalab to clarify the premises was useful.

 

I agree with most of what you say but would like to add the following.

 

The number of refugees coming in varies from year to year and the numbers you chose do not reflect the reality over the years. Also, even if felt to be more "compassionate", the process is long, complex and can end up with deportation.

 

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/03/01/canada-vastly-unprepared-to-process-migrants-and-refugees.html

 

Numbers are imprecise but estimates show that the number of illegal immigrants in Canada is about 1% that of the US. With hard-line policies being promoted south of the border, I can tell you how disruptive the process can become at the border and after. Illegal immigration is a tough problem but, in relative terms, Canada has been a spectator and I hope that the US can come up with some kind of constructive compromise as there must be room between a wall and open borders. Some problems have a tendency to persist when not dealt with.

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Our pension plans are all in way way way way better shape than pensions plans in the US. Your pension plans are basically large unfunded liabilities. I'm not one for beating up on the US but honestly this is one place where I think Canadians are far better off and where our leaders have mostly done the right thing in huge contrast to the US.

+1. CPP is an exceptional success story! Surprisingly it is a clone of some union's work. CPPIB is part of what I like to call professional government. Where you leave politics out of things and you run things professionally for the people. In Canada we have implemented this approach in several areas to great success and I would like to see more of it.

 

One thing in particular I like aside from the performance of the CPPIB team is the segregation fact where it's obvious how much money there is. Thus as CPPIB continues to perform and the coffers fill the government can't obfuscate behind a veil of bullshit. They'll have to lower payroll taxes or increase CPP payout. I favour increased payout btw.

 

One other particular area I'd like this to be applied is health insurance. I'd like health taxes to be segregated from general revenue and handled like CPP. When you think about it health insurance is not that different that life insurance (pensions).

 

Lastly, it's worth mentioning that our retirement system was a complete basket case similar to the US 2 decades ago when the government decided to reform it. Basically retirements are not a lost cause - mission impossible style. Your governments just have to get off their ass and do the right thing.

 

Short version:

 

For the CPP part, Canada is slightly ahead but in the grand scheme of the underfunded retirement liabilities, this will be a marathon and we've barely scratched the surface.

 

Long version:

 

It is true that the CPP program was improved, starting in the 1980's, through a collaborative effort. Interesting to remember that the concerted effort involved many steps including setting aside funds and incorporating an arm's length aim at improved returns but also included policies to increase immigration with a priority to young independent immigrants.

 

In many countries, retirement liabilities are significantly underfunded and the challenge is set to increase.

 

Reference:

http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_White_Paper_We_Will_Live_to_100.pdf

Figure 4 on page 7 summarizes well.

 

"Steady-state" funding for CPP or not, developing and developed countries will need a lot of "bipartisan" compromises to meet presently unrealistic objectives and to prevent funds set aside to be used for "general government purposes". And, proportionally, Canada is in the same kicking the can down the road scheme.

 

I think it is reasonable to expect: increasing retirement age, increasing contributions and decreasing benefits. And for the people participating on this Board, it is reasonable to expect zero retirement contribution fom public sources.

 

In this era of polarization, also interesting to see how global financial literacy may be lacking. From the reference (p.5):

"Levels of financial literacy are very low worldwide. This represents a threat to pension systems which are more selfdirected and which rely more on private savings in addition to employer- or government-provided savings. Research indicates that most people are not able to answer questions on basic financial concepts. This is increasingly important in pension systems that require individuals to make key decisions. The lack of awareness of the basics on how interest and returns will compound over time, how inflation will impact savings, and the benefits of holding a broad selection of assets to diversify risks means that many individuals are ill-equipped to manage their own pension savings."

 

More specifically on this literacy question, there was a report recently published dealing with many interesting aspects of household finances including literacy (relevant section pages 55-58):

https://www.scribd.com/document/381804906/2017-Report-Economic-Well-Being-Us-Households-201805#from_embed

 

If you remove the good answers provided by those who answered the five basic questions right, one has a better understanding as to how this growing problem has been ignored and how painful it will be when recognized (probably forcibly).

 

Not mission impossible but some headwinds expected. We may eventually find out that we were collectively poorer than we thought we were.

Definition of shortfall: a deficit of something required or expected.

 

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