I was shocked on my drive home yesterday to hear on the radio that Jim Flaherty had suddenly passed away (I had been suspicious about health issues when he announced his immediate retirement three weeks ago). He was 64.
Whether you vote Conservative, Liberal or NDP – As the federal finance minister, Jim Flaherty made some incredibly positive economic decisions for Canadians:
2008: He established the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) – a savings program to assist Canadians with disabilities and their families to save for long-term financial needs, independence and security. This program is unique in the world, and was personal to Flaherty as one of his sons is intellectually disabled.
2009: Introduced the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) – a registered savings account, from which all withdrawals including interest earned is tax-free.
2012: Use of the Canadian penny was eliminated. The penny actually cost 1.6 cents to produce. The estimated annual savings from not minting the penny is $11 million – and honestly, how many of us really miss it?
A few years ago, I read this article about the advice Jim Flaherty gives his three sons. Simple, practical and relevant for everyone:
1. Education is vital.
2. Spend less than you earn.
3. Buy property.
4. Be frugal.
Jim Flaherty leaves an enduring legacy to be remembered by his wife, triplet sons, and all Canadians. He will be missed.