Seniors Outreach - December 14, 2016

I’m turning 65 in the next year. What do I do? That is a question that often comes up at Seniors Outreach during our office hours throughout Kneehill County. I’m sure it is constantly asked across this province. As we are aware, from 2011 to 2031, the Baby Boomer generation is retiring and what a retirement it will be. As of 2011 we had in the neighborhood of 450,000 seniors in Alberta. By 2031 the best estimate is that we will be in the range of 1,000,000 seniors. What a jump! So the question, “what do I do?”, is very prominent and a worthwhile one to ask.
One needs to fill out certain applications:
Canada Pension Plan – This Federal pension is the money that you have paid in to the CPP throughout your working life and now you are getting it back in monthly installments and it should be applied for generally up to 11 months ahead of your birthday or the date you wish to begin receiving it. From age 60 -64, one is able to apply for early pension. The general applications often go in at age 65 and some withhold their application until age 70. Should you apply at ages 60-64 your pension amount will be reduced by a percentage amount in the range of approximately 6% for every year under 65. At age 65 you will receive your pension and for every year from 65-70 you will gain approximately 7% more (age 70 about 42% more).
Example: Say at age 65 your pension would be $1000/month, If you took it at age 60 you would receive about $740/month (36% less); and if you took it at age 70 you would receive about $1420/month (42% more). These are approximations.
Old Age Security – This Federal pension is given by the Canadian Government and is provided through their budget each year and must be applied for at least 11 months ahead of your 65th birthday. At present it is only given from age 65 or later and depending upon your single or couple income level the average provision for 2015-2016 is approximately $573.00/month.
Guaranteed Income Supplement – This supplement is given by the Canadian Government and is provided through their budget each year and must be applied for once you are deemed eligible for the Old Age Security through a letter of entitlement. The amount of supplement varies depending upon your single or couple’s joint income of the year before the application. This Supplement is added to the deposit/cheque for Old Age Security. Any income above the OAS monthly amount is generally the supplement.
Seniors Financial Assistance – This assistance is given by the Alberta Provincial Government and is provided through their budget each year and must be applied for. You will need to provide a copy of your letter of entitlement for Old Age Security and you generally send this application in to Alberta Seniors no earlier than 3 months before your 65th birthday. This one time application opens the door to:
A. Seniors Benefits.
B. Seniors Financial Assistance.
C. Dental and Optical Assistance.
D. Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program (SHARP) – loan program.
E. Seniors Property Tax Deferral – loan program.
These 4 Pension, Supplement and Assistance programs need to be applied for (four applications), but as such, provide Seniors with the programming that is available to help support them from age 65 and beyond. At Seniors Outreach (403-443-2555) we provide assistance in explaining, applying and continuing to enable Seniors as they move into and through this season of life. We look forward to serving you.