Disease and disability threaten health of retirement portfolios

Globe and Mail | March 24, 2016, Written by Joel Schlesinger

Few Canadians imagine their retirement will be derailed by a degenerative neurological disease. Nonetheless, 500,000 Canadians find themselves facing similar challenges to Mr. Hague, suffering from the likes of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other degenerative illnesses, according to a Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) study, Mapping Connections: An understanding of neurological conditions in Canada. That figure is expected to double by 2031 as the population greys, the 2014 study found.

While illnesses involve troubling health prognoses, many sufferers also face difficult financial futures, says Jacquie Micallef, senior manager of public affairs and partnerships with Parkinson Canada.

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Tim Hague Sr., who has early onset Parkinson’s, isn’t so much afraid of dying as he is of living for a long time and draining his family’s finances. (John Woods For The Globe and Mail)

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