Why seniors shouldn’t get discounts

Seniors today are among the richest, most comfortable people in the country. (That’s why.)

Paul Edmondson / Corbis

While Travelling in Hungary this past summer with his wife, Ernst Friedel had a revelation. “Anyone 65 and over is allowed to use the Budapest transit system for free,” he reports. “And everyone seemed very happy about that.”

Friedel, a retiree from Waterloo, Ont., enjoyed the experience so much, he figures senior citizens at home should get a similar deal. “If you made transit passes free for seniors, even if it was only during off-peak hours, it wouldn’t cost the system anything, there would be many more passengers and the seniors would certainly appreciate it.”

Canadian transit systems may not let seniors ride for free, but they do go out of their way to provide cheap fares. Friedel’s hometown Grand River Transit, for example, offers a 16 per cent discount on monthly passes. Calgary Transit goes much further, selling a yearly pass to anyone over 65 for $95, or less than one-tenth the regular price. That price is cut to $15 for seniors in financial need.

As any attentive shopper knows, cheap bus travel is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to seniors discounts. Shoppers Drug Mart has made the last Thursday of every month famous with its 20 per cent off promotion for anyone over 65 years old. Competitor Rexall Pharmaplus offers a similar discount on the last Tuesday of the month for shoppers over 65. (Although, from now until the end of December, every Tuesday is seniors’ day.) The Bay gives customers 60 years and older a 15 per cent discount on the first Tuesday of each month. And numerous hotels, taxi cabs, hamburger joints, optometrists, movie theatres and arts groups give seniors a hefty discount any time. With careful timing and planning, a senior almost never needs to pay full price.

The public sector is even more generous. Everything from taxes to incidental fees gets cheaper when you turn 65. Alberta exempts seniors from provincial health care premiums and gives them a break on medical devices such as hearing aids. Senior citizens in most provinces pay only a fraction of the cost of prescription drugs, and often these co-payments are capped at a few hundred dollars. And there are also substantial property-tax rebates available for senior homeowners from coast to coast. Beyond such big-ticket items, countless smaller expenses are also discounted. Seniors in Prince Edward Island can get a fishing licence for free. Anyone 65 and older visiting Fundy National Park in New Brunswick gets $1.00 off the regular admission rate; at Banff National Park in Alberta, it’s a $1.50 discount. The city of Toronto shovels seniors’ snow for free. As well, numerous universities allow seniors to take courses either without paying tuition or at substantial discounts. The list, quite literally, goes on and on and on.

The seniors discount has long been justified as a way to recognize the constraints faced by pensioners stuck on fixed incomes, and as a modest token of appreciation for a lifetime spent paying taxes and contributing to society. And for those truly in need, who would quibble? But with half a million Baby Boomers—a group not known for frugality or lack of financial resources—turning 65 every year for the next few decades, the seniors discount is in for much greater scrutiny.

Last year, in a move widely seen as a first strike against the unquestioned seniors discount, Toronto-Dominion Bank eliminated its no-cost seniors bank plan for new customers, replacing it with a 25 per cent rebate off regular monthly fees for anyone aged 60 and up. That’s still an attractive discount, but the change drew loud complaints from seniors groups such as the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP). The bank claimed its move was driven by simple financial logic: “As with any business, we have to look at the evolving Boomer demographic,” TD spokeswoman Barbara Timmins said at the time. “We have to think about our long-term needs, as well as our profitability as a business.” Or, to put it more bluntly: TD decided it was time to stop giving away its services to some of its best customers.

“The original seniors banking plans originated decades ago, when the average senior didn’t have the financial security of seniors of today,” says David McVay of McVay and Associates, a Toronto-based financial-industry consulting firm. “Targeting a large portion of your customers who represent a big revenue share with free services doesn’t really make sense anymore.”

There was a time when the seniors discount made a lot more sense. In the mid-1970s, nearly 30 per cent of all seniors were considered poor, as defined by Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off. But today, this has fallen to a mere 5.2 per cent. The impact of this turnaround is hard to overstate. Seniors once faced the highest rates of poverty in Canada; now they enjoy the lowest level of any age group: The poverty rate among seniors is almost half that of working-age Canadians.

Thanks to a solid system of government support programs, the very poorest seniors receive more income in retirement than they did when they were of working age. The near-elimination of seniors’ poverty is widely considered to be Canada’s greatest social policy triumph of the past half-century.

This tremendous improvement in seniors’ financial security has dramatically changed the distribution of income across age categories, as well. In 1976, median income for senior households was 41 per cent of the national average. Today, it’s 67 per cent. Over the same period, median income for families where the oldest member is aged 25-34 has fallen in both absolute and relative terms.

Then there’s the vast wealth generated for the Boomer generation by the housing and stock markets (only some of which was lost during the great recession). The stock of wealth in housing, pensions and financial assets held by the average senior family is nearly double that of working-age households. Accounting for the financial benefits of home ownership and rising house values, Statistics Canada calculates the true net annual income of retired households rises to 87 per cent of a working-age household’s income. In other words, non-working seniors are making almost as much as folks in their prime earning years, but without all the expenses and stressors that go with a job, children at home, or middle age. Not only that, the current crop of seniors enjoys historically high rates of pension coverage. The much-publicized erosion of private-sector pensions will hit younger generations who are currently far from retirement.

It’s not even clear what it means to be a senior anymore, as the sunset years of life keep lasting longer. The Canadian Institute of Actuaries recently updated its mortality tables: A 60-year-old male today can now expect to live beyond 87, a 60-year-old female to nearly 90. With some seniors deals kicking in as early as age 50, it may soon be possible to wangle a discount for half a lifetime. And many seniors today choose to keep working well past age 65 for reasons of personal interest, or to afford more travel or other luxuries.

Today’s Boomer-generation seniors are thus the richest, most comfortable and longest-living folks this country has ever produced. Not every senior is wealthy, of course, but even the poorest ones are better off than in previous generations and, in many cases, better off than their younger peers. So, taken as a whole, do Canada’s elderly really need—or deserve—free banking, cheap bus tickets, drug discounts and $1.50 off national-park admission fees?

David McVay recalls puzzling over what to do with free seniors accounts when he was a bank employee several decades ago. Now, with the crush of aging, wealthy Boomers giving new urgency to the question, McVay figures the die is cast. “I fully expect the other banks will eventually follow along,” he predicts.

And yet, the curious thing is that more than a year later, none of the other major banks, well-known for their herd mentality, has copied TD in cutting back on their seniors discounts. The prospect of an angry mob of retirees seems to have a cautionary effect on the business community; the ghost of Solange Denis, the feisty senior who forced then-prime minister Brian Mulroney to back down on a partial de-indexing of seniors benefits in 1986, haunts CEOs, as well as politicians.

Susan Eng, vice-president of advocacy for CARP, says the business sector is right to fear the wrath of seniors if it tries to cut back on discounts, whether the price cuts are necessary or not. “Our members have a strong altruistic streak,” she says. “Many seniors know they don’t need a discount personally, but they expect businesses to look after those who do.”

Besides, everyone loves a bargain. “If I have access to a discount because of my age, I’ll take it,” Eng admits. That the Harper government made specific mention of protecting “no-cost basic banking” in its most recent Throne Speech is seen by Eng as a further sign of CARP’s political clout and the eternal importance of seniors discounts.

Yet a discount for one age group inevitably means higher prices paid by others. Considering the massive shift in seniors’ incomes and wealth over the past four decades, younger generations wonder, justifiably, why they’re left to pay full freight for the necessities of life. “I don’t begrudge seniors their discount,” says Kerry Taylor, the 39-year-old author of the popular bargain-hunting website Squawkfox, in an interview. “But I’m getting pinched left, right and centre; daycare costs me more than my rent. It’s hard being young. So where’s my discount?”

Anger at seniors discounts seems to deepen the further one is from one’s own golden years. “It’s Millennials, not seniors, who are vulnerable today,” writes twentysomething Priceonomics blogger Alex Mayyasi, lamenting the dismal job prospects and high debt loads carried by his cohort. “If you’re a Millennial, the next time you see an adorable old lady paying less bus fare with her senior discount, demand that you receive the discount instead of her. Tell the driver it’s the ‘screwed Millennial’ discount.”

Intergenerational gripes aside, Ken Wong, a marketing expert at Queen’s University’s school of business in Kingston, Ont., cautions it’s a mistake to confuse marketing strategy with social justice. “With Baby Boomers, the most populous segment of the population, it simply makes sense from a marketing perspective, to use pricing as a way to secure a hold on them,” he says. Just because seniors don’t really need a discount doesn’t mean it’s a poor business strategy to give them one.

Shoppers Drug Mart, for example, offers its discount because it drives business and improves the bottom line. While the promise of 20 per cent off may convince many seniors to hold off on purchases until that final Thursday of the month (in fact, some retirement homes run buses to the store on that day), the promotion “gives us an overall boost to our sales,” says Tammy Smitham, vice-president of communications for Shoppers. “We try to treat our best customers better.”

That said, it’s possible for businesses to overdo it, particularly in such favoured elderly activities as theatre and music. According to Michael Rushton, director of the arts administration program at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., some arts groups have discontinued seniors discounts after discovering very few patrons were paying full price for their tickets. “To have almost your entire audience taking advantage of a seniors discount is clearly absurd,” he says.

Of course, businesses are entitled to price their products however they wish. As ridiculous as it may seem to give fully employed 55-year-olds a break on toothpaste or symphony tickets while charging cash-strapped Millennials and Generation Xers the full price, no one ever said the marketplace had to be fair to the young. Boomers still rule, even in retirement.

Outrage over seniors discounts is entirely justified, however, when governments decide to play the same game. “Sometimes,” admits Wong, “the seniors discount is just purely politically motivated.”

In its most recent budget, Manitoba announced seniors no longer need to pay the education portion of their property taxes—a benefit worth an estimated $50 million a year for the province’s elderly homeowners. Of course, the rest of the province’s taxpayers are still expected to do their bit for the education system.

Lorne Weiss, who has campaigned for years to reform Manitoba’s property-tax system, says creating a new seniors discount was never part of the plan. As chair of the Manitoba Education Financing Coalition, Weiss argues that the cost of the provincial school system should be borne by income taxes and not taxes on property. “Giving an exemption to seniors because their kids are no longer in school flies in the face of common sense and turns it into a user-pay system,” he complains. If seniors get an exemption, why should childless individuals or couples pay education taxes either? Even CARP’s Eng admits it is “fundamentally unfair” to let seniors off the hook for education taxes.

Coincidentally, Alberta is in the process of eliminating a partial rebate of education property taxes worth $12.5 million a year to seniors, and replacing it with a much cheaper and more defensible program that allows seniors to defer their property taxes until their homes are sold or they die. (In essence, the province loans the seniors the cash for their taxes, then places a lien on the property for repayment, plus interest.) Where 70,000 elderly Albertans took advantage of the old rebate, just a few hundred needy seniors have signed up for the newer, and less advantageous, deferral plan. Property-tax deferrals for seniors began in B.C.’s Lower Mainland when the housing boom of the 1990s threatened to force seniors from their homes due to rising property values. With governments always keen to keep senior voters content, such tax deferrals have spread to Ontario and Prince Edward Island, as well.

Publicly funded seniors discounts keep sprouting up, regardless of need. Ottawa now allows seniors to split their income for tax purposes, a tremendous advantage to single-income households that is not extended to working-age folks. (It’s been promised on a universal basis once the federal budget is balanced, possibly in 2015.) A senior today can earn almost $20,000 before paying any income tax at all, nearly twice the basic personal exemption for working-age adults. Plus, when the Harper government announced the change in eligibility for Old Age Security from 65 to 67, Ottawa made sure to exclude everyone aged 54 and older from the changes. Younger Canadians get screwed again.

Perhaps the cruellest of all seniors discounts is the one offered by many universities: free tuition. York University in Toronto, for example, waives tuition costs entirely for students 60 years and over for up to a full four-year undergraduate degree. With Ontario university students paying the highest tuition fees in the country, at $7,200 a year, and student debt levels soaring, such largesse might be better spent on younger learners. Other universities put on special mini-courses specifically designed for older learners at bargain prices. Such educational giveaways are defended as community outreach, or the promotion of lifelong learning.

Free fishing licences, free tuition, cheap bus tickets, unfair tax exemptions and the panoply of other seniors discounts offered by governments and the public sector make little sense, from an economic or fairness perspective. Seniors take up just as much space on a bus, in a classroom or at a national park as anyone else. Any money foregone via such discounts is money that must be extracted from other—working—taxpayers. Plus, given their financial wherewithal, most seniors don’t even need the price break.

Perhaps the best way to bring fairness to the concept of the seniors discount is to replace universal price breaks with needs testing. Alberta’s switch from an outright tax rebate to a less attractive deferral system seems a model of rationality. Why should every Boomer get a property-tax rebate simply for having a pulse at age 65? Restricting such giveaways to seniors who are truly in need would leave a lot more money on the table for everyone else. An easy solution might be to limit discounts to seniors in receipt of Ottawa’s Guaranteed Income Supplement, which is capped at an annual senior-couple income of approximately $22,000. The seniors drug-benefit programs in Newfoundland and New Brunswick already use the GIS as an eligibility criterion, as does Calgary’s $15-per-year transit pass and Ontario’s property-tax deferral plan.

In fact, limiting discounts to those in financial straits need not unleash the wrath of seniors upset over the loss of their discounts. Even CARP’s Eng, who has little time for the Millennial generation’s habit of “whining” and “finger-pointing at Boomers,” admits more means testing and beefed up income supports for the poorest seniors could convince her to drop her sturdy defence of across-the-board price breaks. “Do that properly and perhaps we wouldn’t need to offer seniors discounts,” she allows. It would certainly put the altruism of Boomers to the test.

And yet, for Gen X bargain blogger Taylor, the prospect of a seniors discount remains one of the few attractions of getting older and she’d be sad to see it go. “I sure hope it’s there when I get old,” she says. “If Shoppers Drug Mart is still offering 20 per cent off on Thursdays when I’m a senior, I’ll be there. That’s how I operate.”

Improves with age

Perks and discounts offered across the country, from transit to Tylenol

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

In Toronto, seniors over the age of 65 can purchase monthly transit passes for $106, saving $20. The real discount can be found in Calgary, though, where anyone over 65 gets a yearly Calgary Transit pass for $95, less than one-tenth the regular price.

RETAIL

Shoppers Drug Mart offers 20 per cent off for anyone over 65 on the last Thursday of every month. Rexall Pharmaplus offers similar discounts on the last Tuesday of the month for shoppers over 65. The Bay gives customers 60 and older a 15 per cent discount on the first Tuesday of each month.

EDUCATION

York University in Toronto waives tuition costs entirely for students over 60, up to a full four-year undergraduate degree.

Correction: The Shoppers Drug Mart seniors discount begins at age 65. Incorrect information appeared in this story previously.




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Why seniors shouldn’t get discounts

  1. You didn’t mention that the only group of people in the country who enjoy income splitting are old people….not the poor, not people raising kids…just blue hairs. They only start paying taxes on their first 19,000 of income, so with splitting, effectively seniors pay no taxes for the last 20 years of their lives. Yet – no single group of people COSTS more than them. All so they can golf six months a year in Florida and Arizona on our dime. And don’t start with the ‘I paid my whole life…blah, blah, blah’ The average pensioner has been paid back for their contributions within 2 years of turning 65….after that, it’s old people welfare. The poorest segment of society are single parents with kids….so these old bastards are literally crushing society’s kids to fund their cranky coffee drinking at tim’s.

    • So why not just kill seniors off if they are such a burden to our society and costing us so much. Also who made single parents single? Seniors? I don’t see how the single parent group is revelent to a group of people who yes have paid their dues and worked for what they have. You’re ok to shell out money to people who are able to work and have many structures in place to assist them and a percentage of these single parent families don’t want to work. I would like to see some statistics that shows seniors are paid back for their contributions. My dad who with my mom raised five kids on one income paid approx 50% in taxes a year for over 30 years. Even with his pension from his employer it would take close to 50 years to get close to the 2.6 million plus he’s paid in taxes. He only recieves 25% of his salary aprox 50000 a year. My dad is far above average when it comes to his career success. And he is able to manage a second home because he saved money and never used credit cards if he couldnt pay it back the next day.
      He is able to live in florida during the winter because he worked his ass off even having a heart attack from the stress. You make it sound like every senior is able to do this. There is the only one other person in our family, who made it as a single mother doing real estate in the 90′s (winner of one of Canada’s top real estate agents) out of a total of approx 20 people who are retirement age who can have a ‘florida home’ so it is far and beyond normal to be living in florida half the year playing golf. Also these far from majority seniors pay taxes in two Countries Canada and the US so yes I do think these seniors who have contributed far more to society than most of us will should be entitled to a few discounts here and there.

      • I think Canadians should be taxed according to income, not demographic. Seniors with low incomes need breaks; those (like your father and mine) should pay more. Believe it or not, there are all kinds of young – middle-aged Canadians working full time at low wages, or they are unemployed or underemployed, and it does not make sense that they should pay more — younger people have families to support. I love seniors, and I say give breaks where needed, but not blanket tax reduction “just because.”

      • Completely spurious argument. Your dad gets less out of the welfare state than he paid in because he is rich (boohoo, he only receives slightly above the median HOUSEHOLD income). You are arguing against progressive taxation. He still gets some government benefits from being old (aside: do you really think giving your dad social security is an effective use of taxpayer money). He does marginally better than a young person with the same income would.

        Also, to paraphrase Barack Obama “you uh… didn’t build that.” Rich people pay more in taxes in part because they use government services more intensively. If you own a successful business you need roads, you need property rights protection, you need skilled workers, etc.

        Your father also benefited from decades of asset-inflation policies. Governments have prioritized a booming stock market and rising house prices over rising incomes for the median worker. It is precisely those kinds of policies that make life easier for old people (who have had more time to get assets) than it is for young people.

        Is it also precisely those policies that are screwing the country. Broke young people means fewer people going to school, it means fewer families, and it means greater misery for those families. That is a catastrophically poor decision for us to make as a country. I like old people, but “investing in seniors” isn’t exactly a long-term investment, is it?

      • They do. Why do you think seniors wait longer and wait for essential health care? Just not official yet, but how it works.

        Its by design. Sure, they deny it but as a wise person once said to me, “Watch not how they talk, but how they walk”.

        • I watched my grandfather get denied an operation and proper care that would have lengthened his life (and improved the quality of his remaining months or years) back in 1993, so I can second the motion – seniors certainly do sometimes take a back seat to younger, more priority patients. I’m not necessarily stating there is anything wrong with this – every healthcare system has some form of triage. But it is a disadvantage if you are a senior, no doubt about it.

      • I don’t know your dad’s situation but if he stays in the US much I’d check out with a good accountant about US estate tax. You don’t have to be their much for it to kick in. And the Florida home could trigger it.

    • Actually, the poorest segments of society are unattached singles, single parents, and lone seniors. I’d rather offer cheaper programs to everyone paid through taxation versus stripping specific groups of benefits. Pull the rest of us up, don’t drag some of us down.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • Those old bastards raising large families had help from their own parents. Today’s grandparents are too busy cruising Alaska to help with the grandkids. It’s a pity they’re unwilling to extend the help to their children that they received from their parents.

        • My mother cruised one time. When Dad was alive. She would always be there to help. Even now with Alzheimers she thinks she should be helping. I recall my grand parents helping us only once, when my mum went back home to visit her family when her mother died.

        • @ Dirty – You gotta be kidding. I don’t know who you’re talking about, but we, and all of our mid 50s to early 60s friends spend tons of money on their children and grandchildren.

    • Afraid not, Kevin. I worked for 45 years and paid into the CPP and taxes all those years, supporting those that went before, many now now dead or dying The dying off begins at 60 and the number of over 60 drops from 5.9% of the population, to 4.4% and then to 3.3% at 70-75, continually less every year. Most of the pensioners I know are living on less than $1400 a month at a time when costs are rising every year. I am willing to bet that you make a whole lot more than the $13,000 that I receive. Rents if one doesn’t own a home run at about $1000 a month. Now you call it “old people welfare” – exactly what do you expect one to do when one is unable to work any more? I think that the average pensioner has paid more than only $26,000 into the fund in CPP and taxes over a lifetime of work. There will come a time in your life when YOU will be an “old bastard” yourself and not only are your words unfair but they reflect a selfishness that many will find disgusting.

    • Wow – what a mean-spirited, bitter comment. Are your parents and/or grandparents still alive? How do they feel about your calling them “old bastards”?

    • My mother is 93, I do her taxes and can attest that she does pay each year. She does not golf 6 months a year in Florida nor anywhere else and never has. She doesn’t go to Tim Hortons and I don’t recall she ever did. I would agree that means testing is necessary. Not only for pensions but for health care and education. Am I getting into YOUR territory yet? I hope your kids regard you the same as you regard other seniors.

    • I don’t think there’s anything to say other than you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  2. [Calgary Transit goes much
    further, selling a yearly pass to anyone over 65 for $95, or less than
    one-tenth the regular price. That price is cut to $15 for seniors in
    financial need.]
    Could this be “one tenth less” rather than “less than one-tenth”?

    • A year of monthly adult passes would be $1128, so in fact they’re paying only 8.5% of the cost they would before the magic age of 65 — even though they aren’t deemed in financial need. It’s a thousand-dollar-a-year gift just for having not died yet.

      • Also probably not using it as much, did that ever come across the small minds out there?

        Isn’t like a retired senior uses it every day. Buddy of mine declined renewing it as he never used it. Same for me, I use it once or twice a year tops, so why pay and just use a single ticket?

        Reality is seniors are not getting away with anything, they don’t use it. Just tax and revenue greedy, unfounded envy of others drives this insanity greed.

      • Work hard, work smart, stop whining, avoid Starbucks and iphones and health clubs and a bike that cost anything more than a Supercycle, save your money and THEN you can give it all to your kids and then get nothing but garbage back in return from people just like yourselves. Good luck and thanks for the discounts! Oh yes and BTW I get FREE tuition at my alma mater for law school and I will still make $300 an hour just like my classmates who paid. And the joy of knowledge work is: I will be in the workforce till the day I die. Boo hoo kiddies. I worked for it

    • A few years ago, ALL seniors in Calgary paid only $15 per year for a bus pass regardless of their income. At the same time, younger people on AISH (assured income for the severely handicapped) who were making only $1,200. per month paid $45 per month for their transit pass. When they raised the seniors pass to $95 per year, the seniors were outraged.

  3. I just knew there was a Gravy Train out there somewhere
    that had to be Stopped. Thank you for the open invitation.
    Let the chest-beating begin.

    • All those poor starving Cons out there who’d be billionaires if it weren’t for taxes eh? They have a tough life.

      They’d probably enjoy a tour of a care home.

  4. I love the idea of free transit for seniors. I would feel a whole lot safer on the roads!

    • Fine….go drive with 16 year olds.

      • 16 year olds can’t afford cars, let alone insurance… in fact, car companies are having a tough time trying just to get millenials interested in driving at all, many do not even bother getting a license these days.

        • 16 year olds can and do drive. However there is no need to be so literal….16 to 25 year old males are the most dangerous people on the road.

          • My 17 year old son is safer than any female driver on the road.

            I’ve watched young, middle and older aged women drive unsafely, not stop for pedestrians in marked crosswalks, rear-end other drivers, tailgate, do their hair/makeup, use a cell phone, text, read a book (on the highway!), drive while emotionally upset, not pay attention to the road because they are talking (using their hands for emphasis) etc.

            Signed… his mother, who took drivers training and is accident free because she drives defensively, respects the road and doesn’t trust other drivers, especially females.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Your rudeness duly noted.

          • I reply in kind.

          • Actually you are the one being rude that person did not in anyway attack you. But this sort of retort is to expected for someone who obviously has issues. Get off the keyboard and go take your meds.

          • No one was talking to you.

          • most 16 year olds today mommy and daddy are buying the car and paying insurance. and they’ve done many a poll with young people on driving and how its more of a chore than anything else, people today dont want to drive the want to be driven. just look at the features in your new cars, park assist. cruise control nice and quite drive, smooth suspension…… AUTOMATIC!!!! sensors everywhere to tell you if you to close to anything. cameras galore so you dont have to know the boundries of your car.
            and as far as the 16-25 year old males being the “most dangerous” its most likely only because they’re the ones with the cars….. all through highschool i remember the guys ahd the cars…. girls didnt need one… flash of their eyelashes and we’d drive them anywhere
            and ive been driving since i was 18. and had 1…. count it 1 accident….i’m now 28…. 1 accidnet in 10 years of driving and i still have to pay higher insurance rates than a female who has only been on the road a year…..i know plenty of female drivers who have absolutely destroyed 1 or more cars per year and one who has gone through 5 in the last 2. and yet our payments were equal the last time i checked…… hell all the woman in my family have destroyed a car. so i’m a bad driver just for being a guy? besides, not the point of the article, but thanks for pissing me off with your absurd statment….

          • The post wasn’t about you, Chris. I don’t even know you.

            It was about the stats.

            So go be studly somewhere else.

          • “16 to 25 year old males are the most dangerous people on the road.” i’m male and was in that age range.if there are more male drivers on the road in that age range, then obviously the stats for accidents involving males are going to be higher. how are we then at that age range the most dangerous people on the road? and its not about me being studly, its speaking the truth. in highschool the guys had cars, the girls didnt. i can only think of 2 or 3 females that had a car in highschool and one of them smashed 3 cars trying to park one day. don’t remember any guys doing that.

          • That’s why the insurance rates are so high…..past 25 they start to come down.

          • Well, in my son’s peer group, girls now drive as much as boys. This new generation of aggressive girls will probably change the stats. A lot of young male drivers work hard to buy/maintain their vehicles and drive them responsibly because they have more invested in them. The ones having accidents deserve their insurance hikes for the most part but it isn’t fair to punish competent young male drivers with good driving records. Insurance companies are ripping off young men with their inflated rates by gender. The rates should depend on your driving record, not your gender: it is matter of bias.

            Shouldn’t your rates have lowered at age 25 or was it due to a penalty for the one accident?

          • 1 ticket for driving after midnight on a graduated license while working night shifts put my insruance up over 200 a year, the car was wrote off at 27, never seen a decrease in rate prior to that, only way i made my insurance drop was to buy a 99 or older and not have full coverage, just basic PLPD.

        • We gave my son his car and pay his insurance. We prefer that he is an honour student and has athletic pursuits instead of trying to work part-time. He has many chums who work 30 hours plus attend high school to pay for their cars and insurance. We live in a smaller urban centre though with limited transit hence kids drive and a lot pay their way.

          • your son would be the exception to the rule then. and maybe his friends parents cant afford to buy the car and pay the insurance, maybe they need to work for what they want like i did.

    • My motherinlaw’s driving record is impeccable.

  5. The healthiest, best fed, best educated generation that’s ever existed in history….and all they can do is whine about how hard done by they are. LOL

    Robbed….robbed I tell ya….by seniors who went through the Depression and a war.

    Poor babies….nobody ever told them that life wasn’t fair.

    • Depression? War?
      Sorry bub, but we’re talking about the generation born AFTER WWII.

      Pay attention now will ya?

      • Baby Boomers were born from 1946 to 1965, I’m a leading edge boomer born in 1946…..and the youngest boomer is now 48 years old.

        Since I’m only 67….none of us are ‘seniors.’ You are blasting the generation ahead of me…..there are millions of those now in their 80s and 90s….the seniors of Depression and war.

        You are attacking your granny….or great granny. Shame.

        • I hate to break it to you, but since you were born in 1946, you became a senior sometime in 2011. I didn’t pick that definition, but you don’t get to pick it either.

          • 65 used to legally be retirement age….it isn’t any longer.

            ‘Senior’ as a pop culture term refers to anyone 55 and older anymore.

            However someone in their 80s….is senior to me.

          • I do agree with your main point however. Much of the whining about seniors’ discounts and tax breaks is being done by perhaps the most spoiled and entitled generations who ever lived. That would include my own whatever-we’re-called generation (I’m in my early 40s, usually we’re incorrectly called Gen-Xers, even though we don’t fit the age group of Copeland’s book when it came out – that was actually about younger boomers.)

          • The generation-naming kick everybody got on seems to have petered out thank goodness….I think we got to x, y and millennials. Hopefully it ends there.

            I can’t believe how whiny and selfish people have become though. No way to build a country, that’s for sure.

          • I am also sick of it. I blame the boomers. Oh shit, there I go.

          • LOL

          • We now have to rebuild and pay for what you & yours stole & left us the bills for.

          • Where is Macleans getting it’s stats? The idea that the majority of seniors are wealthy is blatantly false. Do Your research before you start spouting nonsense./

          • I never said wealthy, they squandered most of it due to poor management & entitlement. I only said they boned the rest of us. Only an entitled Boomer would spout the phrase “do your research.”

          • I think your Icon ( SCUM) about sums it up. No respect for anyone , is a sure sign of one who feels entitled without having to put the work in to receive that entitlement. Once again do some research you half wit twit.

          • Without resorting to name-calling, go meet some people under 70, and ask them their take on the future, and how “retirement” is a thing of the past. Enjoy the fruits of others’ labour. I’m done.

          • We don’t have time for research. Too busy working.

          • Are you implying that the seniors did not work for what they have??Of course the generation of Me, seems to believe it should all belong to them. Writing idiotic opinions in a national magazine without one ounce of forethought is irresponsible. I am surrounded by Morons. Please , go play on your I Phones and leave the thinking to those who can.

          • That’s a lot to get of what I think out of two sentances.
            The new normal is working 7 days a week. Two incomes necessary for a family, sometimes several jobs. Now take seniors and children out of the income equation (not literally) and look at the bigger picture of why this has happened.
            Pssst… it has to do with taxes.

          • Yes GenX originally meant the tail end of the boom, people born in 1960-63 (like Douglas Coupland). They were named this because they often went through school in mobile classrooms, graduated high school into a recession, and were much more likely to drift from job to job, place to place, and relationship to relationship than either the generation before or after.

          • Hate to break this to you Emilyone but your denial aside, you are a “senior citizen” Check your tax form next spring.

            And to teenagers or someone in their 20′s, you’re ancient.

          • When the pension age has risen to 67?

        • If you’re 67, you’ve been entitled to a seniors’ discount for 12 years.
          Did you bother to read the article or did you just decide to swoop in and comment?

          • Have you read the thread? Because then you’d know what’s been said so far.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Don’t waste everyone’s time Kevin.

          • I’ll leave it for the retirees who aren’t aware they are senior citizens.

      • Well Kevin are we talking seniors or just your tidy little age group of boomers. Many seniors did fight and die in world war II. Korea and the depression. People that built their own homes and lived within their means. Unlike people like you with a pitiless soul like yours. With a sense of entitlement that would make Caligula blush.

    • Obesity data would seem to indicate that the boomers are the best fed…

      • Boomers range from 48 to 67,,,,that covers the people who went on all the diets and went to gyms.

        I believe you’ll discover the military in Canada and the US considers the current generation the worst shape of any they’ve ever seen.

        Rob Ford is 44…and not a boomer.

          • a) more boomers than anybody else b) natural ‘middle-age spread.’

          • c) you lost another argument but can’t admit it.

          • Nooop sorry.

            Rob Ford is obese….most boomers are not. You are just more concerned with what you see as ‘winning arguments’ than any objective truth.

            See….this entire premise is a red herring….because it doesn’t matter if boomers are fat or skinny. They will still get healthcare and pensions.

          • Which is why the numbers are expressed in terms of percentages. 22% of boomers are obese – higher than any other cohort.

          • It’s the term….’obese’. You’d be amazed at what is supposedly ‘obese’ anymore.

            And just a few years ago they were screaming about anorexic. It’s always something.

          • I have a friend who is 6’8″, 330 lbs. He sometimes wears a shirt that says, “I beat anorexia.” Makes me laugh every time.

            Speaking of obese, have you seen those Dove commercials?

          • It’s always another cop-out excuse, I’ll give you that.

      • I hate to agree with the hateful kid, but Hoser is right. By BMI standards 30% of boomers are obese add overweight and you get 60%. We’re victims of our own success. But we’re still in better shape than the 25 – 55 crowd who range as high as 65% obese or overweight. But globally EVERYONE is overweight. If we all eat less, there is more for everyone and we all live longer and healthier. My goal in on year (at 60) is to be the same weight I was at 40 . . . 5′ 9″ … 165 pounds. Down 10 (off for several months) and 20 more to go. And no, from birth till now you young ones for the most part aren’t what I would call underfed or under-financed

  6. We senior will own the polls and demand entitlements to let us live in extreme luxury until we’re 117 yrs old.

    Now, burn that fossil fuel as fast as possible and turn Canada into a tropical paradise. THEN we’ll be fully ‘happyfied’ and we’ll keep our money here instead of Florida.

  7. Seniors vote & seniors are strategic customers. Governments & companies pay attention to that… go figure.

    • But…but…Russel Brand told me not to vote!

  8. Seniors need double the C.P.P. then they get now and in Europe that is how 27 % of the economy will return.Police Seniors Buildings needed with Gordon Clan Tartan Carpet

  9. I used to work in the policy department of a small financial institution. I can recall one day where one of my coworkers, a good friend, suggested that providing no-fee banking to seniors would eventually become too much of a drain on profits as, demographically, they were going to become too large a proportion of our customers. By the reaction she got, you’d think she had suggested bowling over old ladies for sport.

    I’d like to see things done fairly (and if I lived in Manitoba, I’d be livid about that tax change), but the Boomer generation that got their way when they were young will continue to do so when they’re old. They’re numerous and thus dominate the discourse.

    • we senior’s need all the help we can get…you have no idea of the struggles we have …it’s called inflation, & I’m on disability…if I could continue to work as an RN, I’d have been OK.

      • I totally agree on difference based on income and assets, but that doesn’t automatically track with age.

        • Yes Lynne, seniors need all the help they can get [blanket statement].

          Like my Aunt and Uncle. He’s a retired school principal, my Aunt was a Vice-Principal. Recently they had to sell one of their vacation properties to make a major repair to their 4000 square foot house. They are just left with a smaller place in Palm Springs, the condo in Florida is gone. Helped to pay the bill and my Aunt said having two places was too much work and they are getting too old for that, not to mention the taxes and upkeep. Oh the horrors of being a senior….

          Yup, seniors need all the help they can get…..

          At least the 5% of them that are poor. My Aunt and Uncle???? Not so much.

          Give discounts to seniors receiving an income supplement, charge the rest full rates like the rest of us.

  10. Funny how much unfounded envy and tax greed behind this. I have never met a retired senor, disabled or unemployed vet using it much anyways. And if they do its to see a doctor.

    Seniors should pay less as they use it less. What is hard to understand?

    • So should I pay less in taxes for healthcare? For public support for nursing homes? For the pension system that won’t be there when I’m old? For (in the US) mortgage tax deductibility on the home I can’t afford (in Canada the CMHC effectively subsidizes homeowners)?

      That sword swings both ways, pal.

  11. ” But with half a million Baby Boomers, turning 65 every year for the next few
    decades …”

    So someone who is currently 35 years old is a “Baby Boomer or will be in a few decades?” How about the “GenX” and “Millennials?” How old are they now, or do they age at a different rate or in some other dimension where they avoid joining this other nefarious category?
    Let’s face it you wanted to make a little generation vs. generation rant and you don’t even know who is in the group you are generalizing about, let alone define it for your readers.

  12. Some of us seem to be forgetting that unlike the rest of us, many seniors simply aren’t physically capable of taking that second job, or often any job at all. Whatever income they earned in their life, that’s pretty much what they have now. They no longer have the time to get “back on track”, or recover from a bad year, or a job loss. Also, medical costs tend to rise significantly, while few seniors have full time jobs with benefits to pay for them anymore. Don’t kid yourself – there are a lot of uninsured medical costs out there. And these don’t get cheaper as you get older.

    • 1. Seniors face lower costs because they have accumulated assets over their long life. e.g. many have houses, purchased when housing was cheap. They also typically have family members they can rely upon.
      2. Young people have kids, which are tremendously expensive in terms of both time and money. When young parents take a second job they do so at a cost to their ability to spend time with their kids.
      3. Even if 1 and 2 were not important, dollar for dollar it makes more sense to invest in young people because they engage in activities that produce lasting benefits to everybody – raising children, and driving workplace productivity/innovation. Seniors, in contrast, die.

      When societies preference the elderly over the young, those societies will experience rising consumption, disintegrating family structures and long-term decline.

      • I agree, families with children are the ones who are getting really screwed nowadays. The cost of raising kids has pretty much scared me away from even attempting, and my wife and I are at the age where we are almost too old to make it happen anymore. ANd I can’t say I’m terribly regretful of the decision. I also agree that we can’t be so generous with seniors that we end up leaving the cupboard bare for the generations that come after. However, none of that negates what I said above.

      • Housing was never ‘cheap’…..it only seems like it in comparison to today. You forget wages were lower then as well.

        Family members may be at the other end of the country….or in another country…..so no one can count on them.

        If you’re promoting the idea that you can use people up and then discard them….remember your turn is coming.

        The western world has long since turned more senior than junior….this wil continue as you get get older, so there is no easy solution.

        • It certainly became cheap for some, like my parents. That generation bought in the 60s or 70s then saw huge inflation such that if they hung on to their houses and those initial mortgages they were paying ridiculously low percentages of their wages to housing in a few years.
          That gave them lots of free cash for other things, and allowed them to save for retirement, in a way that those who came after could never match.
          High inflation rates & accompanying interest rates weren’t good for everyone, but if you caught the right wave, as many late pre-war and early boomer folks did, it could be a real godsend.
          Timing is everything.

          • I would imagine that would be a small minority of boomers. In 1960, the first boomers were teenagers. By 1972, things had turned sour.

          • Yes – only the earliest boomers; more the generation before. My parents were born during WW2.

        • The ratio of house prices to income has doubled since the early 80s (see link below). Houses are twice as expensive, relative to income. Those numbers are even greater in cities like Toronto and Vancouver, where many educated young people seek employment.

          As for discarding seniors, no, I don’t think they should be discarded. The most valuable role they can play in society is as caregivers to their grandchildren. But the largesse we provide for oldsters prevents this from happening because A. seniors aren’t getting grandchildren as frequently (because the structure of the economy screws their children) and B. because we subsidize them enough that they are economically independent.

          http://financialinsights.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/house-price-to-income-ratio-canada.jpg

          • Mmmm no, I doubt most people worked hard all their lives just to do free babysitting.

            And we’re in a housing bubble….so you’ll just have to do what we all did and live in an apartment and save your money.

            Somebody tell you life was a rose garden did they?

          • This comment was deleted.

          • These are the house prices, not the cost. A house bought for $100,000 when interest rates are 2% for a decade doesn’t cost the same as a $100,000 house when interest rates are 12 % for a decade.

      • Housing was a lot less expensive than today. But it wasn’t today’s seniors that bid the prices up. They never indulged in bidding wars so far as I know, not like boomers and millenials have. Most seniors today also did not binge on credit – though they may have voted for governments who did. So yes, buying a house today requires absurd debt-levels – as housing prices have gone way ahead of incomes. it’s the main reason I still won’t buy, even though I’m in a position where I can. I don’t know how people with kids even manage. But it wasn’t seniors who made it that way.

        • It’s not a matter of blame – I don’t blame individual seniors for the status quo either. Rather, there is a serious policy problem: we have an intergenerational wealth gap (one that prevents young people from having and raising babies – something that has positive spillovers for society generally).

          The solution to that problem is to reduce the degree to which young people subsidize the lifestyles of old people. Otherwise, this problem is only going to get worse, as the baby boomers grow older.

          An aside: the boomers are absolutely living on credit. Canada’s savings rate collapsed over the past 30 years, falling from over 20% to below 5%. They feel rich because the CMHC and Bank of Canada are inflating the value of their biggest asset, but that’s partly an illusion.

          • While it is true that my children (all in their thirties) don’t have, and may never have, children, I think most of it has to do with lifestyle choices. I had my first child in my early twenties. By the time I was 29 I had four, and we lived in an apartment. We did not have an automobile until we were in our thirties. We also bought a house, after inheriting money to help with the high down payments required at that time. The thought never crossed my mind that we were poor. Having a family was something we wanted to do.
            In their early twenties my children made their first trip abroad. By now all have seen a number of countries in Europe and Asia, and the Caribbean is an annual experience. I had to wait until I was in my fifties to start travelling.
            If you want to stop subsidizing the lifestyles of old people may I suggest you also stop subsidizing the lifestyles of young people. They look very well dressed to me, well-travelled, have cars, way before I could.

          • I don’t think policy would change the desire of people to have or not to have children – unless of course you ban contraception. It is also very likely that if you were to put more money in the hands of younger people they would travel more, they would get more electronics, would attend more rock shows, buy more and nicer clothes, etc.

          • This is American data, but probably still relevant. The percentage of Americans that want to have children is the same as ever. When polled on the ideal number of children, it’s in the same place as it has been since the late 1970s.

            The difference is cost – something mentioned by 66% of those without children. Are people making a choice to not have children? Sort of. But it’s a different choice than people had in the 70′s. Today it’s do you want to:
            A. Be dead broke, and have kids
            B. have a bit of additional income/time to travel

            That’s a very different deal than folks had in the 80′s. Dinks could do incredibly well back then, while young parents could get by.

            I would add that things like buying nice clothes are not necessarily unrelated to the process of getting children (step 1: attract a mate). And at any rate, you’re talking about a pretty small expense. Splurging on something that takes up ~4% of most people’s budgets isn’t nearly as crushing as the price of rent/mortgage payments.

            My source for comments on polling:
            http://www.gallup.com/poll/164618/desire-children-norm.aspx

      • Are we not funding child raising for all, no mater what the income? I would love to know how many, say of forty years old with two children, own homes these days versus 1980. One thing seems clear to me, as I look at my situation. My children will inherit a good chunk of money. Unless the younger generation is silly enough to bring in a death tax.

        • Plenty of today’s young people will eventually be well-off. Boomers will start dying off and downsizing, shrinking demand for houses. Some will have big inheritance windfalls. Eventually boomers will give up their high-paid jobs. The problem is that it will happen too late – millennials will be 40-50 before they have an environment conducive to child-rearing.

          That’s a pretty dismal future, no? Cavernous mcmansions, devoid of the pitter patter of tiny feet. The better part of a generation unable to reproduce itself. Millions of strands of DNA – preserved through perseverence over countless centuries released as a vapour. The same detatched irony of the hipster will blend too easily into a generic nihilism – with no genetic stake in the future, why save? Why strive?

          The lost generation was splattered on the fields of Flanders. In a sense I guess we’re the last generation. Perhaps when the Chinese build monuments to their rise, they’ll give credit where it’s due – and build a statue of the indulgent boomer, golfing as the west burns.

  13. actually, Scotiabank has also offered a discount instead of free banking for seniors…

    • I perceived the change to be keeping their options open. A low fee with an identical discount to over 60 (or is it 59) so they could raise it after you signed up and you know it would cost you to transfer out.

  14. I don’t understand this beseeching seniors for what they have accumulated during their lifetime. Is it their problem that daycare is expensive – most seniors had mom stay home and bring up their own kids. My parents didn’t buy me everything I wanted and pay with a credit card. My parents didn’t bring up seven kids in a 10,000 sq ft house bought on credit. They rented. My parents didn’t accumulate a lot of debt at all. They brought us up to work hard for what we have. They took the time to love us and be involved in our lives. Do they deserve these perks? Hell ya! :)

  15. This article reads as an asinine bleat from a pouty 30-year-old. While a small class of seniors is “well-off,” it’s by no means the picture for most. Furthermore, the senior who has to live on a fixed income finds that income destroyed by inflation, because the cost-of-living index is miniscule.

    The OAS is clawed back to zero for the senior with money. Senior discounts are non-existent in many activities — because refined arts don’t get the attention of the 30-year-olds, who have no culture beyond Youtube. So concert halls can’t discount 95% of their audience.

    Obviously, no one can argue against a means test for certain benefits. However, this article is a feverish attempt to attract attention, nothing more. Go to your room, churl.

  16. Every dollar you suck outa dad’s wallet means one less dollar at inheritance time.

    • With the number of people in fear of exhausting their savings, I’d say there probably wasn’t a good chance of relying on interitance anyways.

    • Hardly. Most boomers have their wealth locked up in property, but thanks to the magic of the demographic transition (the boomers are larger that any subsequent cohort) when they begin to sell they will push property prices DOWN. Young people will inherit dads house (and his bills), only to find one of those two is worth a lot less than it used to be.

  17. It’s people. Soylent Green is made out of people. 

    Good luck with that future! I’m not a senior, but count me out of your ideas of utopia. Let’s hope you don’t get old someday!

  18. ALL (taxpayer funded) benefits should be means tested. Healthcare, education, OAS, bus passes…. Why should your kids have to pay taxes to help me (when I hit 65) if I make more than them? But what a private company does to attract business by favoring seniors or whatever else should be their own business. If you don’t like it then boycott them. Which is something you can’t do to government.

  19. I’m hoping to become a senior in the next decade. I had and am still having my peak earning years during the wealthiest era of the richest society the planet has ever witnessed. When I retire I’ll allocate currently owned resources to investment income rather than the business and I’ll make even more. Poorer taxpayers shouldn’t be paying my way.

  20. “…no one ever said the marketplace had to be fair to the young.”

    It’s just a throwaway sentence, but all I can help think is: Don’t we have consumer legislation so that certain segments of the population aren’t unfairly gouged? That price collusion doesn’t occur? Don’t some laws exist to protect consumers in the idea that marketplaces should be fair?

    We are just going to accept the mentality of ‘gouge the weak’? It’s pretty obvious that the Boomers have gamed the system (another recent MacLeans piece reminded us that Boomers with Millenials in school get the tax breaks for the education instead of the cash-strapped Millenials) completely for their benefit. Yet this aging demographic still has the power, the clout, and the dexterity to kick younger people to the ground while reaching into our wallets for their discounts, their lower taxes, and their gold-plated government (and still existent private firm) pensions. I can’t imagine how many $5,000 Tax-Free Savings Accounts are being filled up by Boomers who have the means to.

    What will come of our cities once the Boomers go into retirement homes, divert healthcare costs towards them, and housing prices plummet due to poor markets? That leaves cities with dismal property tax bases to provide services (and most city revenues are based off of property tax collection). Otherwise, what can be done to curb property purchasing by groups, entities, and travelling/intransigent foreigners to keep costs down for people? These collectives and individuals do not live full time in the homes they have deeds to, but their desperation to get a house in a location has adverse effects on full-time residents of the town/city, driving up overall costs.

    The Boomers are going to be a huge problem to deal with soon, and its up to them to realize they have been burning their bridges with youth for over a decade now (and not vice versa). If they don’t change their attitudes quick, the ‘Golden Girls’ retirements they dream of might turn into a ‘Soylent Green’ nightmare.

  21. There is no question that it would be more fair to give discounts to people in financial need whether this is seniors or single mothers or homeless people.
    But it is better politics for every level of government to give senior discounts as the one thing they do is vote.
    That is why our taxation system and all our government institutions are so unfair.

  22. All BS.
    Unless you had a Union behind your job or worked for the govt somehow – CPP is all time low. Check the recent attempts to increase Canada pensions.

    I have friends in Sweden and Australia , laughing and crying at the same time, when I tell them how much my CPP/OAS/GIS ends up to.
    Seniors are not looking for a welfare state, but decent compensation for the 40 some yrs spent in the workforce.

    • Why didn’t you save some? You worked in the wealthiest society ever known.

  23. Kevin u r a foolish child. U aren’t doing anything us blue rinsers haven’t been doing since 1965. Stop whining – ur sickening. BTW, u aren’t paying for old people – they have already prepaid. U r pre-paying for urself! You must really hate ur old, rich parents. Not everyone has a spouse to income split with; not everyone can take old age pensions before 67. U think ur pissed off? How about the guy across the road who is getting CPP, has a multi-million $ home, drives a Porche, huge bank account in Canada AND sneaks money into the tax haven Cayman’s (who also gets welfare home care help if he gets sick). People who don’t have children pay thousands in school taxes on their property taxes (how do u think I feel when I paid all that money for the last 40 years and you didn’t use it?). Life isn’t fair foolish child – SUCK IT UP, BUTTERCUP!

  24. The guy riding the Budapest subway for free better be an EEC citizen or they’ll get shaken down pretty badly by the undercover subway police/mafia

  25. A side issue maybe the confiscation of pension contribution because of inaction by both federal and provincial regulators. Tell a Nortel employee he is well off after losing $150,000 + of HIS hard earned savings. Tell someone who was regularly terminated in the week before vesting was to occur. Tell someone who worked for a bankruptcy and lost all his own and company contributions because creditors were placed ahead of him in the queue, etc.

    You say ” A senior today can earn almost $20,000 before paying any income tax” how come I ended up with an income of $12,500 and still pay tax? How come my partner had an income last year of $21,800 and paid over $2,500 in taxes?
    How come my medical insurance plan to which I paid into for over 20 years keeps getting reduced coverage every year?

    The logic would seem to be to offer reductions on EVERYTHING if anyone met the GIS criteria. Everything from goods to services, autos, gas, taxes, food, …..!!

  26. Modestly put, I know I’ll be asked to show my driver’s license in Feb. when I turn 55 and go to Shoppers! It’s a competitive advantage to offer discounts and weekday.

    For government initiatives, they should be needs based – similar to the HST quarterly payments. Ontario Parks have discounted admission fees… but logically, they should be Monday-Thursday during peak season.

    But what about people on long-term disability? This “group” of people are living on a fraction of what they made when employed and are incurring more expenses to deal with their health challenges. (I know this based on my sister’s situation and appreciate the life style changes that come with poor health) I salute the Ontario government for discounting their park fees more than seniors. BRAVO!

  27. RE: Seniors today are among the richest, most comfortable people in the country

    Quote: “Although the current poverty rate among the elderly is significantly lower than in the 1970s, the increase documented in the Statistics Canada data from 3.9 per cent in 1995 to 10.2 per cent in 2005 and again to 12.3 per cent in 2010 is troubling. Among the elderly, the biggest jump occurred in the group of elderly women. Between 2006 and 2010, 160,000 more seniors were said to be living in low income. Of that amount, almost 60 per cent were women.”

  28. The same falsehoods the government used to defer OAS benefits to 67 yrs old. The Parliamentary Budget Office concluded that the fiscal arguments used to justify the change did not in reality exist

  29. And this news just in …… people who have worked for 40 years have more money than those just out of school.

  30. I can’t believe how mean spirited some of these remarks are. Most of them come from children and grand children of baby boomers. Obviously you forgot what they did and sacrificed for you.

  31. In the second paragraph of this article, the retired person says that canadian retired citizens should have free transit passes during off-peak hours. This person probably didn’t know it, but in Canada, it’s possible for seniors to take the bus for free. This service is available here in Quebec in many cities.

  32. I suggest you get your facts straight Kevin before you write an article in a magazine. Not all seniors are rich; my parents worked all of their lives, have no pension, and live on CPP now. They helped all of their kids purchase a house and made certain we had a good start in life. Among the comments below, their are so many misconceptions, not all seniors live in Florida half the year, many live in rooming housing alone or retirement homes. In my opinion, this is exactly what is wrong with the world today, well the Western world anyway, no values, no appreciation, and no respect for elders. Do you really care if they ride the bus for free? worry about something more important. For the record, if you had taken the time to read the fine print in the Shoppers Drug Mart seniors day rules and exclusions you would see that it says the seniors discount once a month is also extended to the families of seniors.

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