Our Old Jim.

Old Jim is one of the fixtures in my neighbourhood. I think he’s 79 years old. He fought in Korea, and has had several wives/girlfriends, and has numerous offspring, none of whom are in Vancouver. I believe his youngest son is 14 this year. Jim grows an amazing garden out back of the apartment building he lives in, and is my go-to guy for gardening advice. If you can get him to talk, he has great stories.

I was surprised and saddened when our friend Rubin said he saw Jim panhandling at Broadway and Granville. Rubin pointed out that he was probably panhandling for beer money, but to me, that’s neither here nor there.

Is the Old Age Pension so small that seniors are really struggling? I called my Old Guy Expert (My Dad), who pointed out that different people get different amounts, depending on what they put in. Maybe Jim never expected to live this long, and didn’t plan accordingly. Maybe he doesn’t mind panhandling. Anything could be possible, in the circumstances.

But it still bothers me.

7 Comments to “Our Old Jim.”

  1. By Arwen, September 26, 2007 @ 6:32 pm

    I did some research on this with the whole privatization talks were going on in the states.

    Canada Pension Plan – what all the employed by others people get – gets source deducted. Therefore, “what you put in” isn’t really a matter of your planning but is your years in the workforce working for others and how much you made while doing it, to a maximum of like $800 or something.

    Then there’s the Old Age Pension, which everyone gets, which is like a slap in the face and a car backing over you. Um… No, actually, $500.
    But I think there’s like, Old People Welfare on top of that for the really needy. My understanding is the whole subsidy kaboodle comes to about a grand per month, for either a single person or (barf), a couple.

  2. By Liz, September 26, 2007 @ 10:59 pm

    So that’s a max of $1300 a month unless you’re really needy? Fark me. What an insult.

  3. By Arwen, September 27, 2007 @ 4:38 pm

    I think it’s actually a max of 1100/month if you are really needy, and 1300/month if you worked for 30 years as the CEO of a Fortune 500.

  4. By Arwen, September 27, 2007 @ 4:46 pm

    ...Or, in other words, RRSPs are not a bad idea.

  5. By Liz, September 28, 2007 @ 12:16 am

    speechless

    Will aging boomers change this outrage?

    Christ. It all makes me want to go and live in a box in the forest. Seriously.

  6. By Robin, September 28, 2007 @ 1:40 pm

    I was actually approached by an older lady not long ago asking for money in a target parking lot. I’ve seen similar scams to this so was leary from the start, but was so taken aback by the fact that it was a older lady running it. I just wasn’t sure if she was telling the truth. So, not to insult the innocent, but not to let myself be cheated, I just told her that I didn’t have any cash.

    The whole fact that this incident happened to begin with still bothers me. What if that was my grandmother?

  7. By Liz, September 30, 2007 @ 12:08 am

    Hey Robin, welcome to the blog. That crossed my mind as well. How many older people is this a problem for, and why isn’t it more highly publicized?

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