It’s that time of year when scary things come out on Halloween. However, when you open your door on October 31, will you be confronted by anything scarier than these hair-raising financial horror stories?
Will debt destroy your future?
- Student loan debt has reached $1.45 trillion dollars in the U.S. and $42.9 billion in Canada. U.S. graduates owe on average of $37,712 and $27,000 for Canadians.
- Credit card debt is increasing in both countries. Americans carry an average of $16,000 and $4,100 for Canadians
- 107 million Americans have auto loans for a total outstanding debt of $1.2 trillion. It is estimated that 40% of the 120 billion dollars in auto loans in Canada are financed for 7 years or longer.
- Mortgage debt in Canada is a bigger problem than the U.S. because mortgage interest is not tax deductible. Average mortgage in Canada is around $200,000 (much higher in cities like Toronto & Vancouver) and $192,000 in the U.S.
Will someone steal your identity?
First we find out that the Yahoo hack in 2013 exposed the information of every single one of their 3 billion accounts and then we find out that a data breach at Equifax exposes the personal information of 145.5 million people. Is there a single American who hasn’t been hacked yet?
The odds are great that your personal information is for sale to identity thieves or already in their hands. Can you foil them with credit freezes and other ID protection measures before it’s too late? Is it already too late? Does your VISA card contain mysterious purchases for 10 large screen TVs from Best Buy?
U.S Health Care Nightmare
Who knows what horrors await you if you become sick and your insurance premiums are too high for you to afford? Average out-of-pocket medical costs continue to rise, topping $10,000 in 2016. Meanwhile, premiums continue to rise on the health care exchanges.
Over the past four years, premiums in the individual marketplace have more than doubled. As insurers back out of some markets and political uncertainty reigns, premiums on the state insurance exchanges continue to rise rapidly. For example, rates in Georgia are up by 57%.
Scary lack of retirement savings
According to a report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the mean retirement savings of all working-age American families, which the EPI defines as those between 32 and 61 years old, is $95,776. Almost 40 million households have no retirement savings at all.
Only 65% of Canadians are saving for retirement and on average have about $84,000 in retirement accounts. (RRSP & TFSA)
Frightening Canadian Energy Policies
- No access to foreign markets for oil & gas (besides the U.S.)
- Cancellation of Energy East pipeline (buying oil from the Middle East, selling discounted oil to the U.S.)
- Construction delays in Trans Mountain & Keystone XL pipelines
- No accountability for carbon tax revenue (how is this money spent?)
- 4 billion dollars of extra interest payments for reduced hydro rates in Ontario
Release the Nukes
What list of potential horrors would be complete without the prospect of nuclear war? The current tense relations between the U.S. and North Korea make that horrible concept more plausible and in addition to the terrible death toll and destruction of property, the financial impact on the world economy would be hard to imagine.
Remember the famous quote of Albert Einstein, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
Now remember the leaders who have their fingers on their respective nuclear buttons. ARE YOU FRIGHTENED YET?