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V8N12 - May 3-23, 2010:

Spotlight feature:
Tony and Alette (Ali) Eason
Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba


Tony and Ali Eason

This issue, you may be surprised that our ‘Spotlights’ are retired, but seem to be speeding up, up, up—not slowing down—in more ways than you could imagine.

Meet Tony and Alette (Ali) Eason from Lac du Bonnet, MB. They are not your average retirees and they have an above average sense of adventure.

Ali is 71 years old and has a bucket list—things to do before you kick the.... well you know. It includes a hot air
balloon ride, sky diving, ultra lite flying, a Walk in the Clouds, and ziplining. Her list is almost complete, with only ziplining left to do, but she is looking for more daring things to add. They’ve already rode a helicopter, ship, train, small plane and water plane, and Tony tried white water rafting.

Ali doesn’t really like the water adventures. Have you noticed? “It’s never too late to try new things and in my case, what goes up has to come down,” says Ali.

Tony isn’t quite as daring as Ali, although he did join her in the balloon ride, ultra lite flying, and a Walk in the Clouds - a trek across a suspended 10” wide, boardwalk bridge, 10-20 metres above the forest floor in the Haliburton Forest in Ontario. And you paddle Voyageur canoes to get there.

“He is almost as crazy as me!” states Ali. Their children and grandchildren agree.

It all started in 2006 with the balloon ride in St. Vital Park. They made an impromptu landing in a farmer’s field adding to the adventure, and they had to crawl out.

What’s more impressive is that Ali is a cancer survivor and had undergone two knee replacement surgeries not long before.

The following year, was skydiving. It was the scariest adventure for Ali. She wasn’t aware that you somersault at first after leaving the plane at 8000 feet. Once things levelled out, her jump instructor, attached to her back, let her steer on the way down. Her son commented, “Mom, you jumped out of a perfectly good plane!”

Then in 2008, they ‘Walked in the Clouds’. 2009 was ultra lite flying in Steinbach. Here, only the pilot and one passenger take off on a runway with the engine running, and once they’re at about 3000 feet, the engines are turned off and they glide down.

This summer they are planning on a Hy-Wire Zipline Adventure ride in the Pembina Valley where you zip along, hanging from a cable, strapped in a harness, through scenic ravines and terrain.

Tony and Ali have been in Canada for only 45 years. They left Sevenoaks, Kent, England, their home town, and arrived in Canada by ship in May, 1965. They had to experience their first winter here with the famous 1966 snow storm. They first settled in Winnipeg—Windsor Park, Elmwood, St. Vital—before settling in Lac du Bonnet.

Tony worked as a mechanic at Midway Chrysler on Portage Avenue, in Winnipeg for 40 years before retiring. Ali says she never had a paying job. She alway volunteered her time unselfishly. They both had been Scouts leaders for 45 years, retiring three times from it. Tony was a Beavers, Cubs and Ventures leader, while Ali lead Cubs and Beavers. Ali founded one of the first Cubs groups in Windsor Park, Winnipeg, in 1972 and then one of the first Beaver’s groups in the world in St. Boniface shortly after. They have seen about 2000 Scouts pass through their groups in the 45 years that they were involved. And they still keep in touch with many of them. They even have a Scout Camp reunion every two years with attendees ranging in age from 25 to 52.

With both being outdoor enthusiasts, there never was a shortage of things to do. They enjoyed snowshoeing, ice fishing and snowmobiling. In fact, when their lady friends, ages 68 and 74, also Scout leaders from England, came for a winter visit, they all enjoyed the activities immensely. They hadn’t been able to do such things in England. Tony even built a Quincy Hut—a large pile of snow with the centre dug out, carefully—for the women, who just loved it!

Tony has a sense of creativity as well. He built cedar strip canoes by hand. He built go carts out of recycled bicycle parts. He helped build a hovercraft with a lawn mower motor and a special fan. It really ‘hovered’ too! He also built a water wheel, that he convinced some, was powered by tree sap. Secretly, he inserted an electrical outlet in a pine tree and it looked like the wheel was just plugged into the tree. He convinced people he had a sap convertor and he called it ‘sapomatic electricity.’ One person even told him that Birch trees have more electricity than pine. It was all in fun. Besides that, Tony loves to garden, but prefers to grow only flowers.

Both Ali and Tony are dedicated to youth. They fostered 21 children as well as raising their son and daughter. They volunteered with Youth Justice and Big Brothers and Sisters. They are also dedicated to the older generation. They both volunteer at the personal care home in Lac du Bonnet, as well as read to preschoolers at the library.

Tony and Ali have turned their lives into an adventure, challenging life and fulfilling their bucket list. They are determined to not have any regrets or unfulfilled dreams. Both have had to face their mortality with health challenges which motivates them all the more to enjoy life to its fullest. They say, “Everyone should have a bucket list.”

(Read more in the May 3-23/2010 issue of Senior Scope)


Age & Opportunity’s third annual Seniors Housing
& Lifestyles Expo - April 16, 2010 - Spectacular!

The third annual Seniors Housing & Lifestyles Expo was the place to be this past April 16, 2010. This year the event changed venues and was located at the Victoria Inn 1808 Wellington Ave. the show ran from 10 AM to 3 PM and was a spectacular success! If you had questions about housing options and services available to older Manitobans, the answers could be found at this event.

The Expo included information displays and presentations. Visitors would learn about selling their homes, buying a new home, life leases, downsizing, and information on assisted living options. There was also information on support services that help keep older adults independent for as long as possible, including caregiver services, financial services, subsidized housing and more.

“The participants were very knowledgeable and they came with a purpose. They were seeking to find specific information which was met by the high quality of our exhibitors”, said Maurice Allard, Manager of Development & Member Services at Age & Opportunity.

People who may have lived in their own homes for many years may have no idea what their home is worth or how to go about selling it and finding a new residence in today’s fast paced real estate market. Title Sponsor Dave Lowery, of Century 21 Bachman & Associates, was on hand to help older adults become familiar with the process and offer tips for success. Older adults may need help or advice with downsizing to a smaller residence and making the transition from home to condo or seniors’ residence. Some older adults may be considering lifestyle services to help them remain in their homes longer.

This Expo would not be possible without the encouragement and financial support from our other sponsors Saper Agencies Ltd, Dignity Memorial, Investors Group, and the Trader Corporation who publish the Real Estate Guide and the Home Renter’s Guide.

There were also a number of presentations to inform and answer questions. Topics included the changing needs of older adults accessing the Disability/Health Tax Credit, making the most of your investments, how to downsize, the services of the Office of the Public Trustee, as well as a fitness demonstration for older adults.

New to this year’s events were panel presentations dealing with downsizing issues presented by members of the Professional Organizers Association of Canada, and navigating your way through the many services offered by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority that help older adults maintain their independence as long as possible. The speakers from the WRHA provided valuable information on; Home Care services, Community Housing options, Support Services to Seniors, services available in Personal Care Homes, and the services available in the Rehab and Geriatric programs.

The Housing Coordinator for Age & Opportunity, Deborah Lorteau, provided an informative presentation entitled “When to know where to go”. She advises older adults and their families on housing issues and has organized tours of various housing developments to help older adults explore their options. “We try to encourage older adults to be proactive and learn their options before any crisis occurs so that they have the freedom to make choices in their own time and find the right place that will meet their needs. With the wait lists and low vacancy issues in our city, an older adult is more likely to be successful if they are well informed”, said Deborah Lorteau.

Age & Opportunity’s main booth provided information on its social, recreational, and community services for older adults. The SafetyAid program provided information on their free home safety audits to older adults 65 and up, and those who have been victims of crime. In addition to the audit, safety items are provided and installed for them, including deadbolts, peep holes, non-slip bathmats and flashlights.

The quality of exhibitors this year was exceptional and provided a wide variety of information ranging from; All Seniors Care Living Centres, Holiday Retirement, Manitoba Housing, Residential Tenancies Branch, The Kiwanis Club of Winnipeg Seniors Building Inc, Wal Mart Pharmacy and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to name a few. “The large variety of over 45 exhibitors were able to provide participants with information on questions they had in regards to housing, financial, support services and much more” said Stacey Miller, Manager of Community Services at Age & Opportunity. One of the exhibitors said, “This was a very good opportunity to meet the target group of 55+. Very meaningful interactions and interesting conversations.”

The Honorable Minister of Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors Jim Rondeau brought greetings from the Province of Manitoba. This was very fitting with the intergenerational aspect of the show. Students from
Tec Voc cooking school provided food samples from their cooking program. There was also a display of artwork submitted by students from around the province for the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Visitors also had the opportunity to enter a number of free exhibitor draws at this information only no-sales event. Admission to the show was a very affordable $5.00. For further information, visit or call Age & Opportunity at 956-6440.

(Read more in the May 3-23/2010 issue of Senior Scope)


April 15, 2010


Centenarian Swimmer Jaring
Timmerman Inducted Into Order
of the Buffalo Hunt For Life-long Commitment to Healthy Living

Manitoba's Children's Fitness Tax Credit will be extended to include claims for organized physical activities of young adults aged 16 to 24 starting in 2011, Premier Greg Selinger and Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors Minister Jim Rondeau announced today at the grand opening of Sport Manitoba's new Sport For Life Centre, where the premier also inducted world-record-holding 101-year-old swimmer Jaring Timmerman into the Order of the Buffalo Hunt.

"Young adults have been known to reduce their fitness activities as they graduate from high school," said Selinger. "Jaring Timmerman exemplifies the benefits of life-long physical activity and the extension of this tax credit will help Manitobans follow his example."

Now called the Fitness Tax Credit, the change is intended to encourage young people to continue in organized physical activity as they become adults and transition from school to the workforce. Eligible fitness activities, as defined under federal legislation for the children's tax credit, with costs totalling $500 or less, can be claimed by the young adult, a spouse or parent. As a tax credit, this will reduce the Manitoba income tax otherwise payable in a year. As is currently the case for the children's tax credit, young adults with a disability will be eligible for an additional tax credit. This is the first step toward meeting the commitment made in the 2009 speech from the throne to phase in a new adult fitness credit, said Selinger.

Another component of the overall approach is Manitoba in motion, a program to help all Manitobans make physical activity part of their daily lives for health and enjoyment. Communities, schools and workplaces across the province are participating. Manitoba in motion provides tips and tools for Manitobans wanting to get active.

Details are available on the website at

Jaring Timmerman, an in motion champion himself, joins other notable Manitoba athletes inducted into the Order of the Buffalo Hunt including Jonathan Toews and Milt Stegallfor their outstanding and distinctive contributions of leaders in areas such as politics, business, sports and entertainment.



Manitoba Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South, Rod Bruinooge, announced the launch of the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas at FortWhyte Alive on April 9, 2010. It is a comprehensive five-year project consisting of gathering information that will help preserve our unique avian populations.

"The Breeding Bird Atlas will be one of the largest citizen scientist volunteer efforts ever conducted in this province," said Minister Blaikie. Manitobans will be invited to participate in monitoring the abundance and distribution of bird species. Breeding bird atlases have been produced in many European countries and throughout North America.

"The Government of Canada is pleased to support Breeding Bird Atlases across Canada. This year is the International Year of Biodiversity – the abundance and variety of life on Earth.

The information will help conservation efforts by:

· tracking Manitoba's bird populations;

· identifying local biodiversity hotspots and distribution patterns to update provincial status ranks for birds;                                                        

· adding to the Conservation Data Centre's information on rare birds, particularly in under-surveyed areas of the province; and

· contributing to the development of a website with interactive maps in conjunction with Bird Studies Canada that will allow for viewing by a specific region, or by province wide results for any given species.

A partnership between federal and provincial governments, non-government organizations, private corporations, individual citizens and communities, it is also supported financially by Manitoba Hydro. Steering committee partners include Environment Canada, Manitoba Conservation, Bird Studies Canada, Nature Manitoba, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Manitoba Museum.  

Because birds are sensitive to our environment, their behaviours can help with assessing ecosystem health. Nearly 300 species of birds breed in Manitoba every year.

The Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas invites anyone with bird-watching experience, or a desire to learn about birds, to be volunteer citizen scientists. There are other volunteer opportunities as well, such as for editing, graphic design, fundraising and promotions. For the atlasser’s Guide and Data forms, or to register, visit and email for more info.

(Read more in the May 3-23/2010 issue of Senior Scope)

Financial Planning Solutions

Beware of the "Clawback"

BRIAN G. KONRAD CFP, Financial Consultant

As a senior, you have access to tax assisted programs and can take advantage of a variety of tax credits that are not available to others. For instance, as a senior, you have access to the Old Age Security (OAS) program and the age credit once you are 65 years of age and older. But, did you know that both OAS and the age credit are income tested? Once your income exceeds a certain level, these two benefits start to diminish and after a certain point, these benefits are eliminated entirely.

This is what is referred to as the “clawback” and there are strategies you can implement to ensure you keep more of these benefits for yourself.

Old Age Security

The Old Age Security (OAS) program is a monthly pension available to most Canadians 65 years of age or older. Applicants who have lived in Canada for at least 40 years beyond their 18th birthday are eligible for the full pension, while those with at least 10 but less than 40 years of residence in Canada after turning 18 are eligible for partial benefits.

While everyone meeting these eligibility requirements is eligible for an OAS pension, higher income pensioners must repay part or all of their benefit. The repayment is equal to 15% of the person’s net income that exceeds a stated “threshold amount” which is increased each year based on increases in the cost of living. Once your net income exceeds a maximum threshold amount, your entire OAS pension will be subject to the “clawback”. See an Investors Group Consultant for the current net income threshold amounts.

Age Credit

The age credit is a non-refundable tax credit only available to Canadians 65 years of age and older. You may be eligible for at least a portion of this credit, providing your net income does not exceed a predetermined threshold. If you don’t need all of your age amount to reduce your taxable income to zero, the unused portion can be transferred to your spouse. See an Investors Group Consultant for the current net income and credit threshold amounts.

Strategies to keep more

For both OAS and the age credit, it is clearly advantageous to explore strategies that allow you to report on your tax return only as much income as you require to meet your needs. A thorough assessment of your income needs should be completed before you consider implementing the following strategies, which can assist in keeping your taxable income to a minimum:

• Pension income splitting. You are able to allocate up to 50% of your “eligible pension income” to your spouse for taxation purposes. “Eligible pension income” includes payments received from a registered pension plan irrespective of your age and RRIF payments once you have reached age 65. Taking advantage of the pension income splitting provisions may reduce your family’s overall tax bill and could reduce the affects of the OAS “clawback”.

• Other income splitting strategies. You should consider strategies such as: gifting or loaning assets to your spouse for investment purposes; spousal RRSPs; and decisions regarding who pays for daily living expenses and who invests. The goal is to move as much taxable income into the hands of the lower income spouse to benefit from their lower tax rate while at the same time minimize any “clawbacks” which may apply to you. These strategies can be difficult to implement and tax advice is necessary to ensure you are following the rules regarding income attribution.

Withdrawing the minimum from your RRIF. Again, depending on your income needs, given the fact that RRIF withdrawals are fully taxable provides a real incentive to leave as much of your registered assets taxsheltered for as long as possible. To get the most tax deferred growth from your RRIF, and keep your reported taxable income as low as possible, consider withdrawing only the minimum each year and if you have a younger spouse, base your withdrawals on their age, as this will produce a smaller minimum withdrawal. Note however, that at age 65 RRIF income is eligible for pension income splitting.

Seek out non registered investments that offer preferential tax treatment. The goal of this strategy is to keep taxable investment income to a minimum. A strategy to consider is investing in equities rather than fixed income investments, as capital gains are 50% taxable versus interest income which is 100% taxable. However, caution is advised. You should keep in mind the balance between equities and fixed income investments over your whole registered and non-registered portfolio. Also, from a tax and “clawback” perspective, you want to ensure you are not investing in investments that produce large amounts of dividends as the reported taxable income
from dividends is the “grossed up” amount before the dividend tax credit. Another strategy to consider is tax advantaged or switch funds for your non-registered portfolio, as you report capital gains for tax purposes only when you leave the structure.1 Keep in mind that your investments should be chosen based on your individual goals and risk tolerance first and not based solely on the
tax consequences.

Reporting less net income is the key to avoiding the “clawback” on OAS and the age credit. Remaining vigilant in paying less tax can not only assist in avoiding the “clawback”, but can also assist in preserving your wealth for years to come, and ultimately, make your retirement as fulfilling and worry-free as possible.

Why not ask us today how to structure your retirement income in the most tax efficient way possible. Since these decisions are often irreversible, a few minutes invested today could turn out to be your smartest tax choice this year.

Financial Consultant
(204) 489-4640 ext. 246

Stephanie Graham
(204) 489-4640 ext. 267

This report specifically written and published by Investors Group is presented as a general source of information only, and is not intended as a solicitation to buy or sell specific investments, nor is it intended to provide legal advice. Prospective investors should review the annual report, simplified prospectus, and annual information form of any fund carefully before making an investment decision. Clients should discuss their situation with their Consultant for advice based on their specific circumstances. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.
™Trademark owned by IGM Financial Inc. and licensed to its subsidiary corporations.
“Beware of the “Clawback”!” ©2007 Investors Group Inc. (09/2007) MP1029
1. You may also be taxed on capital gains dividends that may be periodically paid by the Fund.

(Read more in the May 3-23/2010 issue of Senior Scope)


Competing at the Manitoba Lotteries 55 Plus Games at the age of 85

Reinhard Jansson of Winnipeg is turning 85 years old this June. But don’t think that is going to slow him down. He has already dropped off his registration form for the 2010 Manitoba Lotteries 55 Plus Games taking place in Killarney June 15 to 17, 2010.

Reinhard has participated in the Manitoba Lotteries 55 Plus Games since 1991, when they were held in Hamiota, Manitoba - 19 years ago.

Reinhard hopes to add to his medal collection again this year. He has entered 5 of the swimming events, as well as the 3KM predicted walk/run event. He participates every year because he sees the Manitoba Lotteries Games as keeping him active, he likes the competition and enjoys meeting new people every year.

There are many participants just like Reinhard. About 1,500 participants age 55 and over from across Manitoba are expected to compete in 23 events during the Games, ranging from golf, track & field, tennis and cycling to floor curling, shuffleboard and card games. In the past, the age of participants has ranged from 55 up to 96.

For the past 28 years, Manitoba Society of Seniors (MSOS), along with a host community, organizes and runs the 55 Plus Games each June. This is the only annual multisport event for active adults 55 plus for the province of Manitoba, and is one of the largest annual multisport events to take place in the province. Manitoba Lotteries is title sponsor for this year’s Games.

Many of the Manitoba Lotteries 55 Plus Games events and entertainment will take place in Killarney’s new Shamrock Centre, with the swimming competition being held in Boissevain’s pool. The Games features a mix of playoff events and open events (in which participants do not need to qualify).

Registration deadlines for playoff events are in April and early May (dates vary depending on region and event) and open event registration closes May 14. MSOS members pay a registration fee of $13 per event and nonmembers pay the $13 registration fee plus the cost of a MSOS membership.

A full list of events, schedules, as well as registration forms and event descriptions are available on the MSOS website at or by calling Marcia Dzik at 942-3147, ext 302 or 1-800-561-6767.

The Manitoba Society of Seniors is a nonprofit organization formed in 1979. Our mission is to represent Manitobans age 50 plus by promoting their needs and concerns and by presenting a positive image of older adults in the community.

For more information, or to arrange
an interview, contact:
Marcia Dzik, Coordinator, Development & Active Living Programs
Manitoba Society of Seniors Inc.
204-942-3147 ext 302

(Read more in the May 3-23/2010 issue of Senior Scope)

Vi Bjarnason-Hilton - a Woman of Distinction

Vi Bjarnason-Hilton

Vi Bjarnason-Hilton was the recipient of the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Community Voluntarism on April 28, 2010 at Winnipeg Convention Centre.

She was honoured for her outstanding voluntary commitment to and involvement in social services, programs and/or organizations within the community.

Vi has helped raise funds for many organizations such as the Canadian Cancer Society and Heart and Stroke Foundation. She is dedicated to her Icelandic heritage, being part of Icelandic Canadian Frón, an organization that strengthens Icelanders' commitment and accountability to each other and their community. She helped raise $1.5 million to help sustain the Icelandic newspaper, Lögberg-Heimskringla, and had even escorted tour groups to Iceland.

Vi is active in her volunteering roles with CJNU - Winnipeg’s nostalgia radio station, the Manitoba Art Show, Manitoba Freeze Frame Film Festival, and as a Gold Wing Ambassador at the Winnipeg airport.

You may also remember that Vi posed for the 2006 Beauty is Timeless calendar, a fundraising project which raised $43,000 for the St. James Senior Centre.

She also was the ‘Spotlight’ feature in the June/09 issue of Senior Scope.

Congratulations Vi! Well-deserved!

(Read more in the May 3-23/2010 issue of Senior Scope)

Safety First

How would you stop a vehicle accelerating out of control?

Imagine jamming your foot down on your vehicle’s accelerator pedal to merge into traffic and having the vehicle suddenly accelerate out of control, well past the speed limit, toward slower moving traffic ahead.

This thought may sound like a nightmare, but it has been a frightening reality for several owners of Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Toyota has conducted a recall of 3.8 million vehicles to deal with accelerator pedals that have become stuck under floor mats.

Some Toyota owners have said their vehicles have accelerated out of control after removing their driver’s side floor mats, but those claims have not been proven.

Would you know how to deal with a vehicle that suddenly accelerated out of control? Take this test to determine how you would react and then see the proper answer, as provided by Consumer Report’s senior automotive engineer Jake Fisher.

If your vehicle suddenly accelerated out of control, what would you do?

A. Pump the brakes to slow down.
B. Shut off the engine.
C. Press down hard on the brakes, shift the transmission into neutral and shut the engine off after the vehicle stopped.

The correct answer is C.

Fisher says pumping the brakes in situations of unintended acceleration may actually cause a total loss of power brakes. And shutting off the ignition may cause the steering wheel to lock, meaning that the vehicle can no longer be steered. Also, with the ignition off, the driver loses both power steering and power brakes. None of these scenarios is good in a vehicle that is traveling at breakneck speed.

Hitting the brakes hard, quickly shifting into neutral and shutting the revving engine off only after the vehicle is safely stopped is the proper way to respond to this type of emergency. Fisher recommends that drivers practice shifting their vehicles from ‘drive’ into ‘neutral’ in parking lots until they are comfortable with this practice.

Original article appeared in the
February 2010 issue of Safe Supervisor
( and is used
with permission of the copyright holder, Bongarde Media. (

(Read more in the May 3-23/2010 issue of Senior Scope)




















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