Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Count Me In


"New (2014) Statistics Canada data shows that 12 percent of seniors live in poverty, amounting to almost 600,000 people. Seniors living alone are particularly hard pressed financially, with more than 1 in 4 single seniors, most of whom are women, living in poverty."

Read more here.

Yeah, old single women take it on the chin, or in the stomach or in the roof.

I was asked how old I was today. The person was horrified I was still working at hosting a B&B at my age.

"Why?" he asked, puzzled.

"Why do you think?" I responded.

"Well, it's very hard work, cooking cleaning, bed-making, welcoming guests, chatting with them, concierging. All by yourself. I honestly don't know why you do it."

I laughed. "I love luxuries: Gas in my car. No transit out here so I need a car for medical trips, hospital trips, fresh produce when I can afford it. The list is endless. I cut off my landline to save $35 a month, that's a tank of gas..."

"You're poor?"

"Living well below the poverty line, my friend, like most women of my age. If there was an easier way to make a living I would do so. But there isn't."

"My gawd, I'd no idea."

"I know. Most don't. But I'm happy. I'll keep on keeping on. I'm so very lucky, for many aren't and fall right through the cracks."

17 comments:

  1. I have an aunt who is well into her 70's. She is a retired Bell supervisor. She keeps two or three clients for whom she does house cleaning each week. When I first heard, I reacted critically I guess, although, at the time I wanted to be supportive. She told me that it keeps her in shape, active with people, especially ones who need both help and social contact, and... I should mind my own business. She was right, and I did!

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    1. I suppose the difference lies in doing it out of need or doing it out of a desire for community service. My community service is unpaid. My B&B business is necessity but I do enjoy it....most of the time. I haven't written about my demanding German guest from yesterday and I won't as it sours me too much against humanity.
      XO
      WWW

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  2. now you're scaring me! Demanding Germans? We are going to take our time turning the upstairs studio into an apartment. At least a year. And it is in a separate building. We need to do it to be able to stay here and to make the property salable in the future, we have two homes on two pieces of land but they are close to each other and share a water system. We currently have my elderly in laws in the ground floor apartment but someday we'll be on our own here so we are planning on the future. The upstairs was our office but we are ready to slow down the amount of work we do. I hope it will work out, since I know who will end up running the rentals and guest services!

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    1. She was a nasty piece of work Sharyn but the couple staying now more than make up for her. Endless demands and a sour puss to boot. The good outweigh the bad.
      Beware of guests who tell you how spiritual they are. LOL
      XO
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  3. I did not know that one could be like that in Canada! I thought that it was the epitome of the welfare state.

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    1. It is good for some Ramana but for elderly
      singles - mainly women - it is pitiful.
      XO
      WWW

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  4. It's probably very good for your mental and physical health that you're still working and not sprawled on the settee vegetating. I'm still working part-time at the age of 69 and I'm sure it does me a power of good.

    It certainly is pot luck with your paying guests!

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    1. Agreed Nick. I'm not the type to vegetate though. I've always got something on the go but would prefer to be doing more creative work. I do squeeze it in BUT. lol.
      XO
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  5. Do you get GIS in Newfoundland? (Guaranteed Income Supplement): http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/cpp/oas/gis/index.page

    It's something, but does not lift one out of poverty.

    Most people have no clue how little money women have.

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    1. My OAS is included in my below the poverty line status. Without it I'd probably walk off a high cliff as the situation would be untenable. Women are seriously undervalued for contributions to society and thus suffer greatly when aged and single. A flat income for everyone seems to be the only solution to avoid this deprivation.
      XO
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  6. I agree, and let's end wage discrimination while we're about it...older, single and disabled for most women equals screwed, at least here. Starting off in a population in which seventy-five percent of people are not hired is not great either. I was luckier than most.

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  7. Women are particularly screwed if they opt for private sector employment and take years off raising children. The economy is based on traditional role playing. Hubby marching out the door wifie at home. Divorce a no -no grin and bear it.
    XO
    WWW

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  8. When I sought work at 43 I was sent to seniors organisations by young editors.

    Yes, but GIS is an addition to OAS. I didn't know about it until recently, and they take forever to give you the pittance. Apply, and 18 months later, if you are income qualified. It's quite a shock how they treat you. When calling with a question I waited 45 mins holding my not-a-speaker phone tom ear, my feet and legs swollen under my desk. I was punted from department to department and clerk to clerk, only to have a clerk exclaim, "Oh I see the problem. You're on social assistance". I cried for hours. Welfare. I was on welfare. I know you here will understand.

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  9. And p.s. If you gave other income you may lose GIS. I lost it for almost two years for earning $200 in 2014. $200, for the whole year. I declared it, they took me off GIS.

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  10. You aren't going to be any trouble. So they stiff you. Do all that unpaid work and have nothing to show for it in your old age. That is unjust.
    Switzerland provides pensions for "stay at home" moms. Even though I did work as an English teacher, I get $600.00 a month, because I never made much money in the 13 years I lived there. I get this even though I am not a citizen of Switzerland.
    That's justice. And it makes me feel far better about all those years I got left behind in the rat race because I had to keep house and take care of the kids.

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  11. Switzerland sounds like I should move there. Which of their languages did you speak, and at what level did you teach? Did you love it? Well, $600 a month. It all helps.

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  12. P.S There was an article in the G&M (or Nat Post dunno) recently on how two people with total assests of a couple million could work their investments etc so they still qualified to get GIS. I was floored, and appalled that some financial advisor would even consider showing people how to do that. I am firmly of the belief that people like that should also NOT get the OAS. Then perhaps the gov could give all these thousands of women scratching out a bare existence a bit more.

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