Scratching for money

Question: I am 67 years old. I have $8,000 cash in a savings account and no other investments. I receive $1,200 per month from Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security. Any advice would be most helpful. – D.J.B.

Gordon’s answer: It sounds like you are really scratching for income. It must be hard to live on only $1,200 a month. However, I have one suggestion that might help ease matters a little.

It appears from what you say that you are eligible for the federal government’s Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) which is available to those 65 and over who qualify as lower-income Canadians. The maximum income you can receive to be eligible is $13,464 a year, not including Old Age Security payments. Your income totals $14,400, but with OAS taken off you should be well under the threshold.

The maximum monthly GIS payment in the first quarter of 2005 is $560.69 for a single person. The amount is adjusted quarterly for inflation.

To find out more, visit the government’s Income Security Programs website at

If you qualify, I’m sure the extra income will help a lot.

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