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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
(aka "Moneygal's shameless self-promotion thread").

I participated in a debate for TVO's "The Agenda" on the topic of Private Pensions, Public Problems. It will air on April 5 at 8 p.m. in Ontario, should be posted on their web site shortly thereafter.

The other participants were:

Murray Gold, partner, Koskie Minsky LLP & Expert Advisor to the Ontario Expert Commission on Pensions

Ken Georgetti, president, Candian Labour Congress

Malcolm Hamilton, senior partner, Mercer Canada

Bill Kyle, Senior Vice-President, Group Retirement Services Great-West Life, & Ontario Government Advisory Council on Pensions and Retirement Income.

The impetus for the debate was this op-ed I co-wrote for The Toronto Star, which was based in turn on an article in this magazine, which is an excerpt from this (forthcoming) book.

I'm no media expert and for all I know, I came off like a total doofus. However, given the level of interest in pensions here, I thought this show might be of interest.
 

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Looking forward to watching it online next week!

I also look forward to the book, although I must say the term "Product Allocation" in the subtitle could be off-putting for a general reader...it's a simple enough concept but "product allocation" sounds technical and complicated to me, something that is likely to induce the MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over) effect.

Even just calling it "Pensionize Your Nest Egg: How to Create a Guaranteed Income for Life" would make it more compelling and less scary-sounding. But that's just me. :)
 

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Congrats! I think people are doing us all a service by sticking their neck out and sharing their ideas in public like this.
 

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I also look forward to watching the program. As a general comment, I wonder how we are going to satisfy the baby-boomers (of which I'm one) demands for health care, comfortable pensions and pension protection, along with ever increasing salary and benefit demands from public employees while at the same time we are running massive federal and provincial deficits, watching our manufacturing move to China and India and the largest percentage of the population in our history wants to retire.
 

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I wonder how we are going to satisfy the baby-boomers (of which I'm one) demands for health care, comfortable pensions and pension protection
The cynic in me says that the boomers are going to rob us blind by racking up a huge government debt to pay their pensions and health.
 

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Well Moneygal I just finished watching The Agenda and you did extremely well.

You did a great job of making your points. I thought the graphs were a nice touch. You were definitely the prettiest debater :D

In any case it is a real problem that most people don't understand their own pensions. One change I have thought should definitely be made as these companies go broke and people get ripped off for their pensions, is that the contributions should always belong to those who gave them including whatever the rate of return. Employer's part of the contribution should also have to go in to the fund right away and stay there.

No part of this fund should be used as a "credit card" for companies. If there are excessive returns in the fund this is not found money for the companies, lower contributions or increase payouts. The worker's retirement funds should be under those rules not part of any type of collateral for these companies.

Kudo's to you well done
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you so much! I got to sit in the hair and makeup chair for half an hour before the taping. It was a tiny bit intimidating to go up against the "big boys" of pension debates...but I think the show appreciated having someone slightly different to debate the issues. :)
 

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I'm a little nervous tonight as tomorrow I'm meeting some investors to possibly do a consultant gig for them.

I always struggle with the "professional" vs "feminine" balance when meeting with people for the first time. You absolutely nailed it.... which I am currently very jealous about.

Awesome way to improve your brand... when I saw the graphs come out I laughed a little to myself .... of course MoneyGal always has the best graphs.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks! I'd love more specific commentary than that I rock, but I will take what I can get. :D
 

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Update this thread when it becomes available on their site, and I'll try to take some notes if you want some more specific feedback.
 

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Interesting discussion.

Like MoneyGal, I've never worked anywhere that had a pension plan (well, actually my current employer has one, but only for US-based employees; I lost that benefit when I moved to Canada, although our Canadian office provides an annual bonus instead that employees are supposed to put in their RRSP).

And having spent most of my life in the U.S., I've been trained to assume that I can't count on a public pension to be available to me when I retire. So I agree that it's up to individuals to ensure that they have enough to survive on in retirement.

I also agree that, while doubling CPP is a nice idea, it would be foolish to count on it happening.

It's too bad MoneyGal couldn't get into the details of the Pensionize Your Nest Egg strategy, as the concept is definitely intriguing.

As an aside: I listened to this through headphones and kept hearing these ominous rumbling sounds: was there a thunderstorm during the show, or is the studio located near a subway station?
 

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As an aside: I listened to this through headphones and kept hearing these ominous rumbling sounds: was there a thunderstorm during the show, or is the studio located near a subway station?
TVO is on top of Yonge subway line with the Eglinton station next to it.
 

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Well done Moneygal. You carried those guys.

Problem for non-pensioners is:

1) No additional contributions or support from an employer. This is huge.
2) Everyone has to become a financial manager or pay large fees to higher one.
3) Totally dependant upon capital market returns and as MG says, sequence of returns.

That's the 1,2,3 punch right there. The fact that Canadians do not have any money to contribute is rediculous. Most Canadians act like children and should be forced to contribute to their own well being just as we force our children to go to school and eat their vegitables, etc. Here the Canada Pension plan option makes sense, since it is mandatory. My only arguement is that it doesn't resolve the issue that pension benefits will be a function of capital market returns. If no returns, who pays. If more pension benefits are wrapped up in CPP, then what, do we borrow more money as a country to pay the underfunded pensions of our citizens or do we pay more tax so that we can make more money and pay more tax. Another quagmire.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks.

I note that Wiley has the book page up for pre-orders, here. I'll give a couple of copies out to financial bloggers, too, if anyone wants to review/provide them as giveaways.

As an aside, if anyone ever wants to talk about the process of writing a book, I'm all for that.
 

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Good job Moneygal. I wasn't initially sure if I would watch the entire program, but it was an interesting discussion, so I did watch till the end. I also liked the way Malcolm Hamilton presented his views.

Improving CPP sounds interesting but as you say, it will likely be ineffective for those of us close to retirement and the best bet is for people have to take responsibly for their own retirement savings.
 
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