The latest poll by BDO Canada indicates that half of Canadians live paycheque to paycheque and a third have no retirement savings.

Gen- Xers (40 to 56-year-olds) are the most indebted with retirement fast approaching.

This is very worrying about the financial and mental health of Canadians and the problem is getting worse. Much of this debt is due to the high cost of living particularly shelter in cities such as Vancouver. What is the solution? Work harder and longer with less time to enjoy life?

Perhaps there needs to be a paradigm shift in our assessment of our “needs” to cut down on our costs. Previous generations had nothing like the costs we now have. There was no internet service to pay for, no cable TV, cell phones, second car or daily Starbucks coffees. These costs on average amount to $900/month! In a financial crisis, some of these costs must be cut out of our budget if we are to avoid insolvency.

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