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Canada’s Peter Pig’s Money Counter

NEW Canada’s Peter Pig’s Money Counter
Learning about money is fun with Peter Pig. Kids can practice identifying, counting and saving money while learning fun facts about Canadian currency with this interactive educational game.
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For Mother's Day, Discuss Mom's Financial Future

For Mother's Day, Discuss Mom's Financial Future

By Carla Hindman, Director of Financial Education, Visa Canada

On Mother's Day, children of all ages thank their moms for the many sacrifices made during their childhoods – and well beyond, considering how many adult children still hit up their moms for a loan or free babysitting.

Unfortunately, for many mothers sacrificing extends well beyond sleepless nights and boring recitals. Women frequently leave the workforce during prime earning years to care for families. Consequently, they often fall behind on pay increases and promotions, so their retirement accounts and Social Insurance benefits may be much smaller than men's. Plus, women live an average five years longer than men so their already smaller income must stretch even further.

I'm not trying to be a downer, but rather to suggest that your best Mother's Day gift this year might be to initiate a frank discussion about your mom's personal finances and how she can better prepare for the future. Here are a few topics you might discuss:

Put retirement savings first. You can always borrow money to pay for college or a house, but you can't get a loan to pay for retirement. If she's still working, make sure your mom is putting some savings into an RRSP and saving as much as possible.

Social Insurance benefits. If your mom worked and contributed to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), she'll be eligible for benefits. If she stopped working or received lower earnings while raising children, she may be able to use the "child-rearing provision" to increase her CPP benefits. CPP benefits are usually claimed at age 65, but can be received as early as age 60, with a reduction.

Old Age Security (OAS) is a monthly payment available to most Canadians 65 years of age who meet the Canadian legal status and residence requirements. It's Canada's largest pension program and is funded by the government.

Also keep in mind:

  • Survivor benefits may be available if your mom has been widowed.
  • OAS and CPP are considered taxable income, so depending on your mom's overall retirement income, she could owe tax on a portion of her benefit.

The Service Canada website ( offers comprehensive information about the types of benefits available and how to apply.

You can help your mom estimate her retirement income with the Canadian Retirement Income Calculator available on the Service Canada website.

Discussing finances isn't as much fun as a picnic in the park, but your mom will appreciate your looking out for her financial future.

This article is intended to provide general information and should not be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.

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