“Freedom 55” was a marketing slogan from the financial sales industry that arose during the late, great secular bull that ran from 1982-1999 and encouraged people to spend too much and save too little while banking on risky financial bets to make up capital deficits. The real estate/mortgage business has also done a great job of convincing people that borrowing and buying expensive real estate is ‘investing’. Scotiabank’s “You’re richer than you think” slogan to encourage borrowing and high risk/high fee securities is just one repulsive example. It may have seemed like magic, but none of this was ever a realistic sustainable financial plan. Unfortunately, the masses have been very slow to see the truth. As Mark Twain once said: “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
A third of Canadians who don’t have an employer pension are reaching their mid-sixties without enough in retirement savings, forcing them to keep working. Here is a direct audio link.
The best plans are grounded in realism. People have to want to be defensive and proactive in their own financial health. For my summary of some tangible steps, see: Commonsense financial management.