Seniors piling on debt faster than any other age group

TORONTO — It seems like Canadians may be heeding the repeated warnings about loading on debt — unless they’re a senior.A study released Wednesday by TD Bank found that although last year Canadian household debt levels grew at their slowest pace since 2003, debt accumulation by those aged 65 and over is markedly up.Using statistics from Ipsos Reid’s Canadian Financial Monitor, which surveyed about 12,000 households, the report found that seniors on average gained more than $6,000 in new debt, or 15% more in 2012 than the previous year.Canadians are entering retirement more indebted than everMost of this came from consumer spending, even though the overall assets of those 65 and over changed little.Although seniors on average still had the lowest levels of debt compared to other age groups at $47,549, the report warned against gaining so much debt so quickly.“The updated figures add credence to the recent theme that Canadians are entering retirement more indebted than ever,” it said.TD says seniors living in Ontario, Alberta and Quebec had the highest rates of debt accumulation in 2012, compared with their counterparts in the Atlantic region, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, who paid down debt.It also found that on average, those aged 45 to 64 were most likely to pay down all types of debt for the first time since the survey began in 2002.The average debt for this age group was $92,819, which decreased by $2,731 or 2.9% compared with 2011.Debt among 25 to 44-year-olds also slowed, with those in this age bracket seemingly cutting back on credit card spending and taking on new personal lines of credit but still opting for mortgage debt.The average debt for this group was $137,259, up $1,654 or 1.2% in 2012.Meanwhile, those between 18 to 24 had an average debt load of $71,628, up $3,030 or 4.4%.TD cautioned that although debt levels among seniors remain relatively low compared to other ages, the amounts may still have the potential to impact their futures if they cannot afford to take on the additional financial burden.“Older Canadians, on average, still hold relatively little debt and many have significant assets to fall back on,” said the report.“Debt growth among older Canadians, however, is a concern because it still raises questions as to whether higher debt burdens will affect their standard of living in retirement.”The Canadian Press read more

Acute food insecurity far too high UN agency warns as 113 million

“It is clear from the Global Report that despite a slight drop in 2018 in the number of people experiencing acute food insecurity – the most extreme form of hunger – the figure is still far too high”, said FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, speaking at a two-day conference to discuss the findings, in Brussels.“We must act at scale across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus to build the resilience of affected and vulnerable populations. To save lives, we also have to save livelihoods”, he added.While critical to saving lives and alleviating human suffering, humanitarian assistance does not address the root causes of food crises, WFP Executive Director, David Beasley noted in Brussels, highlighted the importance of “attacking the root causes of hunger: conflict, instability, the impact of climate shocks”.“Boys and girls need to be well-nourished and educated, women need to be truly empowered, rural infrastructure must be strengthened in order to meet that Zero Hunger goal.Programmes that make a community resilient and more stable will also reduce the number of hungry people. And one thing we need world leaders to do as well: step up to the plate and help solve these conflicts, right now”, Mr. Beasley added.From 2014 to 2020, the EU will have provided nearly €9 billion for initiatives on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture in over 60 countries.”Food crises continue to be a global challenge, which requires our joint efforts. The EU continues to step up its humanitarian efforts. Over the last three years, the EU allocated the biggest humanitarian food and nutrition assistance budget ever, with nearly €2 billion overall. Food crises are becoming more acute and complex and we need innovative ways to tackle and prevent them from happening”, said Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and EU “Global Report on Food Crises 2019”, shows that the number going chronically-hungry has remained well over 100 million over the past three years, with the number of countries affected, rising.According to the report, nearly two-thirds of those facing acute hunger come from just eight countries: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. And although there were 11 million fewer people believed to be in food crisis in 2018 compared with 2017, in 17 countries, acute hunger either remained the same or increased, the report indicates.Moreover, an additional 143 million people in another 42 countries are just one step away from acute hunger. Climate and natural disasters pushed another 29 million people into acute food insecurity in 2018, says the report, and that number excludes 13 countries – including North Korea and Venezuela – because of data gaps.New report from @UN, @EU_Commission & partners finds that:💥 conflict and insecurity🌊 climate shocks 💶 and economic turbulence continued to be the main drivers of #hunger in 2018. Get the Report 👉 https://t.co/5D7tkHXC6m#GlobalFoodCrises pic.twitter.com/Aji1eovmlB— WFP Europe (@WFP_Europe) April 2, 2019 read more