November is Financial Literacy Month

Received a newsletter from Kamal Khera, Minister of Seniors for the Government of Canada.

She says the federal government is doubling the Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC) for six months for those who receive it. That means that seniors will receive an extra $225 on average (if they already receive the GSTC). The government has also increased the Old Age Security (OAS) pension by 10 per cent for seniors aged 75 and older, and increased the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for nearly 900,000 seniors.

In addition they have announced dental care for seniors and will deliver a $500 payment to nearly two million low-income renters, including seniors, who are struggling with the cost of housing.

As of October 1, 2022 all COVID-19 border measures for all travellers entering Canada by air, land or marine mode were removed. This includes the removal of all vaccination, testing, quarantine and isolation requirements. ArriveCAN is now an optional tool for travellers who want to save time at Canada’s international airports by providing their customs and immigration declaration in advance to the Canada Border Services Agency. The government reports that early usage data shows that using the optional Advance CBSA Declaration reduces the amount of time a traveller spends at a kiosk by roughly one third. The optional Advance CBSA Declaration is available on ArriveCAN online and on the mobile app. For more information see www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca . November is Financial Literacy Month and the Government of Canada has some tips for seniors and other. As the cost-of-living increases and interest rates rise, you may find yourself in a financially difficult situation. If paying down your debt is becoming a challenge, small actions can make a difference.

Revisiting your budget is always a good idea. Look carefully to see where you can cut costs to rebalance what you spend versus what you put towards your debt. If you don’t have a budget, you can try the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s online budget planner to get started. Set a payment timeframe that is reasonable, yet still affordable for each debt you owe.

If your timeframe is too long, you may lose focus. You’ll also end up paying more money in interest. If your timeframe is too short, you may not be able to keep up with your payments. Find more tips and free, objective resources at www.canada.ca/financial-literacy-month .

-Debbie MacDonald Moynes