For the first time in five years of tracking retirement trends, the Sun Life Financial annual Canadian Unretirement Index finds that the number of participants who expect to be retired at 66 has declined by almost 50% to 27% which is almost equal to Canadians who expect to be working full time at 66 (26%). Almost another third (32%) expect to be working part time at 66 adding up to almost 60% of Canadians who expect to work past the traditional retirement age while about 15% are not certain.
Canadians anticipate requiring an average income of $46,000 per year for their retirement and are aiming to have $385,687 in retirement savings (excluding their home and other property). Government benefits plus approximately $300,000 invested in a Private Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) and/or Real Estate Limited Partnership (RELP) providing a conservative average income of 7% would provide an annual income of more than $46,000.
Now is the time that a small provocation could lead to a full-blown war.
In 2003, the once “foreign terrorist organization,” Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), was used by Bush to justify an attack on Iraq. Saddam was accused of sponsoring “international terrorism,” and it was considered a felony to provide “material support” to the MEK.
Glenn Greenwald reports from The Guardian on “five lessons from the delisting of MEK as a terrorist group:
1.) “There is a separate justice system in the U.S. for Muslim-Americans”
2.) “The U.S. government is not opposed to terrorism; it favors it.”
3.) “‘Terrorism’ remains the most meaningless, and thus the most manipulated, term in political discourse.”
4.) “Legalized influence-peddling within both parties is what drives D.C.”
5.) “There is aggression between the U.S. and Iran, but it’s generally not from Iran.”
The would-be president continues to complain bitterly about media favoritism. His advisors, according to an article in yesterday’s FT, criticize media “fawning” as interfering with official duties. The article sites media advantage coupled with opaque campaign financing as a threat to an otherwise “reliable” voting system. Because the president has the media in his pocket, control of government purse strings and threat of retribution against those that vote against him, a key adviser calls the upcoming election “David against Goliath.”
The article referred to was written about the upcoming election in Venezuela and Hugo Chavez.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a believer that the Twelfth Imam is coming soon to annihilate the U.S. and Israel and to set up a global Islamic caliphate, does not take seriously the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
One of Iran’s top military leaders went further over the weekend, however. He spoke not of his nation’s ability to defend itself from an Israeli attack, but of its potential desire to strike first — at Israel and at American military personnel and facilities. “Iran could launch a pre-emptive strike on Israel if it was sure the Jewish state were preparing to attack it, a senior commander of its elite Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying on Sunday,” Reuters reports. “Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, made the comments to Iran’s state-run Arabic language Al-Alam television, according to a report on the network’s website. “Iran…could launch a pre-emptive attack if it was sure that the enemies are putting the final touches to attack it,’ Al-Alam said, paraphrasing the military commander. Hajizadeh said any attack on Iranian soil could trigger ‘World War Three.’
Lingering animosities around the world threaten to boil over such as events between Japan and China.
Last week, their dispute resulted in Japanese companies closing shop in China as Chinese burned Japanese stores and cars. Ostensibly, the disagreement is between a chain of tiny islands called Diaoya in China and Senkaku in Japan. The islands were returned to its Japanese owners (descendents of original inhabitants) along with Okinawa in 1972. Recently, the Japanese government purchased the island sparking anger across China. The Japanese claim China didn’t care about the island until the discovery of natural gas, but this dispute is much deeper.
The Chinese are feeling strong and feeling like it’s time to finally put those Japanese imperialists in their place. The experts say there will not be a full scale war, but a trade war between $345 billion partners could rock the entire planet.
The world is a tinderbox, and against that backdrop, it’s amazing America is on the verge of going into a trade war with China over solar panels and windmills of all things. Japan is talking about cutting back on its direct investments into China (last year $12.0 billion), but China is scoffing and returning the economic threat by asking the rhetorical question “how could it be that Japan wants another lost decade.” The People’s Daily (Communist party newspaper) even goes further asking if “Japan is prepared to go back two decades.”