This summer, ING DIRECT put together some ideas on long-term savings and submitted them to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance – a Committee that gathers ideas from Canadians on the economy in advance of preparing the next year’s federal budget. They’re available here http://bit.ly/otFsDR.
Just as the government is intent on making sure the economy continues to grow, Canadians also have to be made aware of the need to make the right financial decisions now, so that their long-term financial well-being is taken care of.
I myself and ING DIRECT have long-held concerns regarding the level of consumer debt in Canada. If you read DIRECT TALK regularly, you know we believe it is a serious issue more of us have to start paying attention to, as it has a real impact on our future. Canadians should understand the implications of debt and what it means to max out credit cards or lines-of-credit, both today and tomorrow.
To make financial well-being more concrete, ING DIRECT has submitted three recommendations to this Committee. Here’s what we’ve proposed:
1. More education for individual Canadians on the savings needed for retirement through the creation of an annual personalized “check-up” letter;
2. Encourage RRSP participation by younger Canadians through the creation of a Canada Retirement Savings Grant (CRSG) for individuals aged 18 to 24; and
3. Proceed with the introduction of Pooled Registered Pension Plans – new, low-cost retirement savings vehicles that will help better meet the retirement objectives of Canadians.
I hope all Canadians will soon take note of these recommendations and that over time, retirement, as well as consumer debt and saving money regularly, become a bigger part of a larger conversation about financial well-being.
It is, after all, a conversation worth having, don’t you think?