Today there were several hours of my life used up that I’ll never get back.
Some days are just more frustrating than others. This has been one of them.
I’m sure you’ve heard of RRSPs. Ever heard of a LIF or a RIF? I had heard of them but had no real idea what it meant. When I first began setting up some kind of investments, my counsellor at the time promoted the tax savings advantages of investing some money into RRSPs and ultimately a “LIF”.
Now that I’m into my pensionable years I decided to access my retirement funds and use some for a couple of personal projects. Imagine my surprise when I went to the bank to arrange for a withdrawal and was told “no”. I could only access a small portion of the funds that are tied up in a “LIF” each year from now until I’m 90 or die of old age, whichever comes first.
Who knew? I sure didn’t. IF it was explained to me, way back when, it didn’t sink in. I’m usually fairly astute about such things, but this one was over my head. Apparently, once funds are deposited only a small amount can be removed each year. It is a government regulation, not the fault of the bank that simply administers the program. Snarl.
And another little wrinkle? In order to remove funds from the LIF, my husband had to agree to the withdrawal and sign papers. Really? MY money. Not that he truly cares, that’s not the point. But the point IS that my husband should have nothing to do with an investment that is in my name. He’s my beneficiary, but as long as I’m alive, it’s my own money.
Needless to say, I’ve been a tad tense about that issue today as time was spent getting those papers signed that I will never get back again.
Then, as I was relaxing this afternoon the phone rang. It was a sales rep from Rogers letting me know that the current deal under which we receive internet /cable tv / home phone will be expiring at the end of May but he had a SUPER offer for me. It was only going to be 20% MORE than we are currently paying, BUT it would be SO MUCH LESS than what we’d have to pay ($250/month) if I did NOT accept the super duper offer.
Now, inflation over the last 3 years has averaged approximately 1.8%. Applying that to our current bill of $132.25 (taxes included) it would bring the new amount to $134.63. The sales rep was offering me SUCH a deal at $159. Two weeks ago I had been offered a rate at $147.75 that I thought was a bit too high, but $159? No way. When I told the rep about the $147 offer, he said no, the BEST he could do was $153. Here we go. He tried telling me what wonderful service I would get, etc. etc. I wasn’t asking for anything new – at any price.
Now, I have no problem with a modest increase, but even at the $147, that’s an almost 12% increase in three years. My pension income sure hasn’t increased 12% in the past 3 years.
“I have no problem with a modest increase – but 12% in less than 3 years?
My pension sure hasn’t increased in the double digits in that time.”
Long story short, after telling the young guy that he wasn’t listening to me at all, I asked to speak to someone else. He reluctantly, after I insisted, he did the transfer.
The young woman I spoke to agreed to honour the $147 offer made a couple of weeks ago. Here endeth the saga. I accepted and essentially postponed dealing any further for another year. Maybe next April I won’t have two things happen on the same day so I can undertake the battle with Rogers more effectively.
Here endeth my rant!