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My vote for the people most vulnerable to inflation goes to SUV-owning parents who drive a lot and have to buy a family’s worth of groceries every week.

Could seniors be the least vulnerable group? Results of a recent Carrick on Money survey of seniors suggest it’s possible. Of the 1,748 people who responded, 15 per cent said inflation is not an issue in their lives and 41 per cent said they find inflation a modest annoyance. Two per cent said they flat out cannot afford their lives and are building debt, while the rest said they were cutting back on spending.

Another question asked respondents how inflation impacted their retirement savings. Forty-three per cent said inflation had little or zero impact, and 41.5 per cent said they’ll get by with a diminishing margin of comfort. Twelve per cent said they are concerned about the possibility of running out of money, while 3 per cent said they believe they will run out of money.

Asked how well their overall retirement income is keeping up with inflation, 41 per cent said they were ahead of inflation or neutral and 49 per cent said they were losing ground, but not dramatically. Just under 11 per cent said their income is falling way behind.

Some seniors are clearly besieged by inflation. But the survey results are a reminder that seniors as a group are more financially resilient than we sometimes imagine. The cliché of the financially frail senior needs to be retired.

The 2020 Canadian Income Survey published in April by Statistics Canada shows that 3.1 per cent of people aged 65 and older lived below the poverty line, compared to 7.8 per cent of people aged 18 to 64 and 4.7 per cent of children under 18 years of age.

Another take on the financial stability of seniors is their home ownership rate. The survey asked participants about their living arrangements and 87 per cent said they own and live in a house, condo or townhome. The overall home ownership rate in Canada is a bit below 70 per cent.

Roughly two million Canadians receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement for low-income seniors, a reminder that retirees living in poverty is very much a problem. But the overall financial resilience of seniors is a sometimes overlooked reality.

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Rob’s personal finance reading list

An ideal first reward credit card

RewardsCanada picks American Express Cobalt as a first card for someone who wants to start collecting travel points. Included is an acknowledgment that Amex isn’t as widely accepted as Visa and MasterCard. Now for a blogger’s take on why she looked beyond the big players in credit cards to an upstart company called Neo.

What if house prices dropped 30 per cent?

A CBC report answers this question by noting that a price decline of this magnitude would only take us back to late 2020 levels, which were considered expensive.

‘Is this the ugliest light fixture you’ve ever seen?

Ugly light fixtures and much more (the combo toilet/sink, for example) in a realtor’s collection of weird photos taken in homes for sale.

The Bank of Canada blame game

We’re starting to hear some criticism of the Bank of Canada’s role in the pandemic and the rise of inflation. Here’s a well-argued take on what the central bank did right and wrong.

Have your say

A recent newsletter that looked at tipping trends drew a response from a reader in Arizona who has a message for Canadians who vacation there or stay the winter: “Your article about the generosity of Canadians tipping was laughable to those of us in the U.S. As all Canadians know, tipping is different here. But they are incredibly cheap with tips at restaurants and casinos, sticking to Canadian practices. Throwing your blackjack dealer a dollar after you’ve played for hours and won five hundred isn’t generous but it’s the norm for Canadians. We cringe when the snowbirds head south. Canadians may not agree with how service wages are earned here in the U.S. (we aren’t crazy about it either, trust me), but it is what it is and we rely solely on those tips to pay our bills. Canadians are the nicest folks, don’t get me wrong, but ‘nice’ doesn’t keep my electricity on. Please write an article about practising ‘when in Rome’ etiquette for service providers.”

Today’s financial tool

A survey of best bank accounts for business.

The Money-Free Zone

A barista on how to make pour-over coffee. I do this daily, but maybe not quite as precisely as the instructions here.

Tweet of the week

This amusingly caustic comment on cryptocurrency generated a lively debate.

What I’ve been writing about

More Rob Carrick and money coverage
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