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Diabetes & Ozempic

Diabetes & Ozempic

Diabetes & Ozempic

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified diabetes as one of the greatest public health challenges of this century. It is a serious health concern among people living in Canada and especially for Indigenous Communities. In fact, statistics shows that Indigenous populations have a higher risk of developing diabetes than non-indigenous communities. Research also shows that self-reported diabetes rates among First Nations adults living off reserve and Metis adults are 1.9 and 1.5 times higher than that of non-indigenous adults, respectively.

There are multiple reasons why diabetes rates are higher within Indigenous communities. Indigenous people have suffered inequities as a result of colonial policies and practices including systematic racism, intergenerational traumas, disruption of cultural identity and self-determination, and limited access to resources. These factors have severely undermined indigenous values, cultures, and spiritual practicing, creating long-lasting physical, mental emotional, and social harm for these communities.

Continue to read the rest of our newsletter to learn more about the causes, types, and prevention methods of diabetes.

Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic health condition characterized by elevated levels of blood sugar. When healthy, our bodies break down most of the food we eat into sugar (glucose) and release it into the bloodstream. When blood sugar rises, it signals the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts as the key to taking blood sugar into the body’s cells to use it as energy. With diabetes, the body cannot produce or use enough insulin. When you don’t have enough insulin or your cells become unresponsive to insulin, excess blood sugar remains in your bloodstream. Over time, diabetes causes serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.

There are different types of diabetes that people are diagnosed with. Let us discuss them in detail below:

Type 1 Diabetes

This type is characterized by the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. With type 1 diabetes, you are required to have daily insulin injections. It usually begins in childhood. Neither the cause nor the means to reduce the risk of acquisition are known yet.

Type 2 Diabetes

This type occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or does not effectively use the insulin produced by the body. This type is caused by several factors such as unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and smoking. Genetics and obesity are also important risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Daily insulin injections may be required.

Gestational Diabetes

This type of diabetes is diagnosed during pregnancy. This type often goes away after delivery, however, there is a high risk that people with gestational diabetes and their babies may develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

Aside from these types, researchers also include prediabetes. Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. This condition is associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes Medication: Statistics & Drugs

Statistics indicate that the diabetes treatments and supplies category is dominating all other therapeutic classes for health benefits plans and experiencing strong growth year over year. In 2022, diabetes treatments and supplies totaled up to 15% of the total amount covered on drugs. This percentage rose to 31.7% for non-insured health benefits (NIHB) and first nations health benefits (FNHB) plans. Among the top treatments for diabetes for the NIHB and FNHB plans is Ozempic.

Research shows that in 2022, Ozempic accounted for almost 30% of the total amount covered for diabetic drugs, and the utilization rates have increased by 70% from 2021 to 2022 across different age ranges from 25 – 65 and older.

So, what is Ozempic, and how does it work?

Ozempic is one of the most commonly used diabetes control drugs of our time. Ozempic (generic term: semaglutide) binds to glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and stimulates insulin release from the pancreas when needed, which helps lower blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C. Ozempic also reduces the amount of sugar your liver produces. It slows down food leaving your stomach and prevents blood sugar spikes in your body. What makes Ozempic a unique drug is that it does not inject insulin into the body. Instead, it helps your body release its own insulin.

Ozempic is used only once a week and the amount injected varies, depending on individual health conditions.

This drug is a popular treatment for type 2 diabetes, and the BC government announced that it will expand its production of Ozempic to meet demand and ensure continued availability of the drug to patients who need it.

Is Ozempic covered for First Nations Health Authority clients?

Ozempic is a covered diabetes drug if you are FNHA client, but it is subject to criteria and requires the prescriber to submit a Special Authority request.

Click here to read more about the Special Authority request.

Learn more about the covered diabetes drugs, insulins, and supplies for FNHA clients here.

Can Ozempic be covered by private insurance?

Patients with private drug plans may be eligible for coverage of Ozempic – depending on the plan and insurance provider. Sometimes the coverage options may vary; it could be partial prescription drug coverage, or it could be having a maximum amount the company will cover. Talk to your Plan Administrators about the details of your benefits plan coverage.

Some people use Ozempic for weight loss too; is it safe?

Although Ozempic was not approved for weight reduction, some people use it as a weight loss tool. Some people are experiencing weight loss when taking Ozempic if combined with proper dieting and exercise. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Health is asking respective colleges to ensure the physicians prescribing and pharmacies dispensing Ozempic are compliant with the procedure-approved indication.

Here are some of the dangerous side effects of Ozempic: pancreas inflation, changes in vision, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), kidney problems (kidney failure), serious allergic reactions, and gallbladder problems.

Talk to your doctor about how Ozempic may affect your health and monitor your body for irregular symptoms while on Ozempic.

Diabetes: Prevention Method

Although many studies were and – are still being – conducted to learn more about the causes and means to prevent type 1 diabetes, no prevention method has been identified yet. Nonetheless, scientists are inventing drugs that can potentially delay a diagnose of type 1 diabetes for two years such as Teplizumab. Scientists also encourage early screening to detect Type 1 diabetes early on to manage it at its earliest stages.

For type 2 diabetes, the situation differs. Mitigation and prevention methods are found and if practiced appropriately, they can have a major role in preventing type 2 diabetes. Some of those methods are proper dieting and frequent exercise. Let’s explore these options further in the following sections.


Diet plays an important role when it comes to Type 2 diabetes prevention. Your registered dietitian can guide you through a healthier lifestyle by improving your eating habits. Here are some recommended dietary restrictions:

1. Develop A Healthy Eating Style

When you decide to follow a healthy lifestyle, your food choices have to include vegetables and fruits, whole-grain foods, and plant-based proteins. Canada Food Guide recommends using the following proportions:

  • Make half of your plate vegetables and fruits.
  • Make one-quarter of your plan whole grain foods.
  • Make one-quarter of your plate of protein foods.
2. Prepare Your Meals

Weekly meal planning helps you avoid making decisions at the moment when you are hungry. When you create a meal plan for the week, you are choosing better quality food for your diet (fruits, vegetables, protein) and thus improving your organ function and blood sugar. Meal preparation also helps you reduce the stress that is caused by feeling guilty for eating unhealthy food.

3. Use The Glycemic Index

Blood sugar management is an important factor in managing and preventing diabetes and this is where the glycemic index comes to play. “The glycemic index is a measure of how fast different carbohydrate-containing foods raise our blood sugars after eating them” – Lumino Health.

Using the GI can help you make better choices when it comes to meals and snacks. The GI of foods is ranked as follows:

  • Low GI: 0 – 55
  • Medium GI: 56 -69
  • High GI: 70 – 100

Essentially, the lower the glycemic index, the slower your blood sugar will rise and the steadier your blood sugar will be after you eat that food.

Physical Activity

Another key factor to prevent diabetes is physical activity. Doctors recommend an active routine to ensure your body is protected from illnesses like diabetes. Here are some of our recommendations for a healthier lifestyle:

1. Fit Movement into Your Day

Many of us have stories of starting a new exercise routine and then failing to commit to it a couple of weeks or months after. We need to transform thinking about exercise into actually doing the exercise!

To start, you need to think about what is motivating you to commit to those 30 or 45 minutes of exercise every day. Often time, we lose interest quickly because we don’t have what motivates us to move out from the couch. So as the first step, learn about what motivates you.

The second step: know your barriers. Is it not having enough time? or, is exercising at 6 o’clock in the morning exhausting you? Or is it a financial cost? Once you have identified your barriers, it’s time to address them. Find a closer gym, exercise at home, exercise at a time that works well with your schedule, etc.

And remember, short workouts are better than no workouts at all. You can start with a short period of 5 minutes and then increase gradually. There are some phone applications you can use that can keep you on track, such as the MOVR app.

Most importantly, you need to remember to designate a time for exercise, just like eating, sleeping, or working. Once you prioritize your workout time, there will always be time for it.

2. Stick to your workout routine

Personal trainers understand that motivation can lag; that sometimes life priorities can get in the way of doing your workout. That is the first thing that they want to advise when you want to commit to a workout plan; recognize that everyone experiences motivation lags sometimes.

But how can you work around it and stick to your workout event after some lag?


They advise you to acknowledge your roadblocks and set up an accountability system where someone expects you to show up to their workout session every time. Go with a friend, you will be held accountable!

Experts also advise when trying to commit to a workout plan, lose the critical self-talk when you miss a workout or two. Remember that every activity counts, even a short walk after work!

Being able to manage diabetes successfully is about so much more than tracking blood sugar. It’s about setting a healthy lifestyle and committing to it; being able to make the right food and exercise choices when the time comes. Go for a walk, eat well, avoid blame, learn a relaxation technique, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends.

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Six Tips To Consider Before Filing Your 2022 Taxes

Six Tips To Consider Before Filing Your 2022 Taxes

Six Tips To Consider Before Filing Your 2022 Taxes

It is that time of the year again! You guessed it, it’s Tax Season.
In Canada, individuals who may owe income tax or may be eligible for Canadian government tax credits or benefits file “income tax and benefit return” by the end of April, every year. Indigenous people are subject to the same tax filing requirements as non-Indigenous residents in Canada, even if income is eligible for the tax exemption under Section 87 of the Indian Act.

How do I know if I am eligible for tax exemption as Indigenous person?

According to Section 87 (1) (a) of the Indian Act, “The personal property of an Indian or a band situated on reserve” are exempted from taxation in Canada. This means the income of registered Status Indian will be exempted if that income is located on a reserve.

This exemption does not apply to all Indigenous people living in Canada because there are conditions to meet for a tax-exemption approval.

If you are unsure if your income qualifies for tax exemption, speak to your employer. There are a variety of criteria that must be assessed including a connecting factor test that assesses related criteria such as the domicile of your employer, working from home, location of work duties performed and proration rules.

Learn more about the connecting factors test here.

My employment income is considered tax -exempt, should I still file a tax return?

My employment income is considered tax -exempt, should I still file a tax return?

As Indigenous person, you have access to the same benefits and credits as non-Indigenous Canadians. If you choose not to file your tax return, you may be ineligible for specific benefits and credits that you may be entitled to.

To ensure that you are receiving benefits and credits, you must submit your tax return on time, every year even if your income is considered tax-exempt or if you had no income at all. You spouse or common – law partner needs to do their taxes as well so that CRA can calculate the payments based on household income.

Some of those payments include Goods and services tax/Harmonized sales tax credit (GST/HST), Canada child benefit (CCB), Northern residents’ deduction, Canada workers benefit, and Canada training credit. 

Continue to read the rest of our newsletter to learn about the six tips we recommend considering before filing your tax for the year 2022.

1. Use a simplified paper tax and benefit return

You may be able to file your taxes using “Let Us Help You Get Your Benefits! Credit, and benefit” short return. If you are a member of a First Nation, you may also be eligible for the T1S-D, Credit and Benefit Return.
To access these forms, you can contact your local friendship center, community representative, or band council office. You cannot download these forms online. Learn more here.

2. Create online account with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

A great way to keep track of all your previous years’ taxes, benefits and credits, balancing owing, and more is through creating an online account with Canada Revenue Agency. Your CRA account helps you easily manage your taxes and credit information online, from the comfort of your home. Here are a few excellent ways you can utilize your online CRA account:

      • Apply for benefits and credits
      • Update your account information (marital status, address, phone number, etc)
      • View your notice of assessment or reassessment
      • Pay your payments
      • Review historical tax information for up to 7 years

Register for your CRA account here.

Filing Electronically

Electronic returns are usually processed within two weeks whereas paper returns may take several weeks for processing. According to research, 92% of tax returns are filed electronically due to their convenience, security, and faster processing.

If you are registered for “My Account” with CRA, you can use “Auto – fill my return” to quickly fill in parts of your return with your information the Canada Revenue Agency has on file. If you choose to file your 2022 tax return digitally this year, access Canada.ca to learn more about the certified tax software you can use to file your tax.


3. Enter your income and other benefits payments.

If you are employed, you should receive your T4 from your employer by the end of February 2023. You may receive other slips from different payers such as pension providers, financial institutions, and educational institutions that you should also include when filing your income tax return.

If you have received benefits from CRA such as Canada Recovery Benefits, and Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit, you will receive a T4A information slip that you should add as an income for the year 2022. You should also receive these slips from the Government of Canada by the end of February 2023.

Other sources of income are still required to be reported but may not generate a tax form, such as:

    • Income from sales of goods and services regardless of whether payments were in cryptocurrency or traditional monetary currency.
    • Income earned through buying and selling crypto assets.
    • Tips and gratuities earned at your place of work.

If you also generate a world-wide business income, you should report that through the platform economy. One example of this type of income is social media influencers’ income that is generated through social media platforms.

These income sources may be generated through advertisement, referral codes, merchandise sales or commission on sales, sponsorships, or barter transactions.

Click here to learn more about reporting international income.

4. Claim your benefits, credits, and deductions

You may be eligible for tax deductions, credits and expenses on your tax return for the year 2022. CRA uses the information from your return to calculate your benefits and credit payments. Some of these payments include:

    • Canada Child Benefits
    • Good and Services Tax/ Harmonized Sales Tax (GTS/HTS) Credits
    • Provincial or Territorial Benefits.

You might be able to claim a deduction that can reduce the amount of tax you may owe. Examples of those expenses are childcare expenses and home office expenses (if you work from home as an employee and have arranged deductions with your employer). If you are self-employed, you may be able to claim certain business expenses such as a motor vehicle, and business–use–of–home expenses (heating, home insurance, & electricity).

Learn more about the tax credits and benefits you might be entitled to here.

5. File on time, pay on time!

Filing your taxes on time will ensure your taxes returns and benefits will not be delayed or interrupted.

If you owe a balance to the CRA, it is important to note that retirement income benefits such as the Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) may be held back if you do not file on time.

The deadline for filing for 2022 income tax is April 30th, 2023. If you, your spouse, or common law partner are self-employed, you have until June 15th, 2023, to file your taxes and benefit return. If you don’t file your taxes by deadlines, you may be subject to late filing penalties on any money you owe.

In addition to filing on time, any balance owing is also due by April 30, 2023. Paying your dues in full ensures interest will not be charged. If you are unable to pay your balance owing, contact the CRA to make payment arrangement that suit your ability to pay overtime.

Learn more about payment arrangement here.

6. Maximize your tax return with Registered Saving Programs

An excellent way to reduce taxable income is through contributing to a Registered Savings Plan.

If you are a non-Status individual or a Status individual earning taxable income, a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) may be a good option for you. Contributions you make to an RRSP will attract a tax deduction annually. The savings within your RRSP account will grow on a tax-deferred basis. Taxes will be payable at retirement or upon withdrawal, based on your marginal-tax rate (MTR) at that time.

Generally, the contribution room (limit) for RRSP is 18% of annual earned income from the last tax year (up to a maximum of $27,830 for 2022), however, each individual has a unique RRSP limits subject to multiple factors. Check your online CRA account to find more information about your personal contribution limits.

Find more information about RRSP here.

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Four Ways Employers Can Support Employees’ Mental Health

Four Ways Employers Can Support Employees’ Mental Health

Four Ways Employers Can Support Employees’ Mental Health

“Mental health problems and illnesses among working adults in Canada cost employers more than $6 billion in lost productivity from absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover in 2011.”

 – Mental Health Commission of Canada

Workplaces can play a vital role in supporting and maintaining positive mental health for their employees. They can give people a sense of productivity, value, and achievement, all of which are strong contributors to employees’ mental well-being.

Yet, a workplace can also often be a big stressor and a contributor to poor mental health. There is no workplace that is immune from poor mental health risks to its employees.

Just as poor physical health can impact employees’ work performance, poor mental health is often associated with emotional distress and psychosocial impairment comparable to that of a major depressive episode.


Employee Mental Health
The psychological, social and emotional well-being of individuals in the workplace is what referred to as “Employee Mental Health”.

It is important to understand the causes and triggers for good or poor employee mental health as the later impact their over health, performance, productivity, and their work interactions. As such, employers should make a conscious effort to foster a positive work environment that enriches its employees and supports their mental health.

Prior to discussing what employees can do to support mental health of their employees, it is critical to understand some of the causes or contributors to poor employee mental health:

  • Stress is the largest risk factor in poor mental health for everyone and specifically employees. While stress is common to experience in any workplace environment or field, excessive stress can have major risks on someone’s mental health.
  • Bullying and Harassment at workplace are big contributors to mental health as it leaves victims with long lasting impacts that are uneasy to overcome.
  • Poor working environment which includes poor working hours and workplace that can impact both mental and physical wellbeing of employees on the long-term.
It is important to mention that mental health experiences will differ according to race, economic opportunity, citizenship status, job type, parenting and caregiving responsibilities, and many other variables. Therefore, employers have a responsibility to take care of their employees’ mental health and explore what can they do to support their mental wellness.
What If Employees’ Mental Health is Ignored?

Unfortunately, if employee mental health is not taken care of, major risks will take place that cannot be easily eliminated or mitigated on the long run. Here are some of those risks of ignoring employee mental health:


  • It reduces trust between employers and their employees.
  • It creates unsupportive, distrustful company culture.
  • It can decrease employee performance and productivity.
What Can Employers Do To Support Their Employees’ Mental Health?
You, as an employer, and your human resources team, play a critical role in supporting employee mental health. It is your responsibility to create a welcoming and inclusive workplace and provide necessary support for your team. Here are some of the experts’ recommendations on how you can support your employees’ mental health:
  • Model Healthy Behaviors & Encourage Proper Self-Care

Promote the importance of self-care to your employees and lead by example. Consider offering paid time off for mental wellness days and/or schedule a team breaks so your employees can mentally rest during the day. Be creative with ways to support their mental health at work such as setting up companywide formal “walk” together if conditions permit.

  • Implement Supportive Workplace Mental Health Policies

Some of the helpful resources that supports employee mental health is Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), bereavement leave, grief counselling, and general mental health counselling. EAPs are great option to include in your employee benefits plan as it offers confidential counselling services to your employee. Learn more about EAPs here.

Other policies that support employee mental health are anti-discrimination policies (including bullying and harassment). Implementing such policies will foster more welcoming and accepting work environment and ensure that employees are safe and protected at their workplace. If you already have a policy in place, review it and see how you can better support your employees.

  • Encourage Work – Life Balance

Work -life balance is an essential aspect of a healthy work environment as it helps reduce stress and prevents burnouts. Work-life balance starts with offering flexible hours options. This helps employees have greater control and time management of their day, chance to avoid traffic, and opportunity to attend medical appointments, of all which is needed for mental health.

  • Facilitate a Clear Communication

Communicate with your employees clearly and compassionately about your company’s policies, and mental health treatment options. Offering that regular, open, and consistent communication with your employees helps strengthen relationship between you and your employee and ultimately boosts their mental health.

Supporting mental health in the workplace empowers employees to do top-notch work and to balance personal well-being needs. It is your responsibility as employer to create a strategy and foster an environment that enables and support your employees’ health.

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How Inflation Impacts Your Retirement Plan

How Inflation Impacts Your Retirement Plan

How Inflation Impacts Your Retirement Plan

“Just surviving day to day has become a big concern of mine”, “Yes, I can afford what I’m doing right now, but I’m starting to panic. I’m starting to think, ‘How am I going to keep paying for everything?”

 Morgan – 65 years old retiree.

In a survey done in April of 2022 for 1001 Canadians, data indicated that due to inflation, 54% of households are cutting back on dining out, 51% looking at flyers are looking for sales, and nearly half ^47%) are putting off purchases like clothing. Some households are struggling to pay the bills right away or their debts are getting bigger while for some others, they may be able to manage but not save for the future and especially for their retirement.

Understanding how inflation would hurt our retirement strategy is a must to ensure that we have enough assets to rely on and last through our retiring years.


Defining Inflation
In simple terms, inflation is the devaluing of buying power of a currency. It occurs over time as the government pumps more money into the economy. Essentially, inflation means that there is more money supply buying to a relatively fixed amount of stuff. This results in rising wages and prices over time which causes a reduction in the purchasing power of people, not allowing them to live the same lifestyle as they used to, only a few months back. As we try to understand inflation, let’s dig deep into the root causes of it.

Inflation could occur because of:

  • Cost-push Inflation
  • Increased demand over supply
  • Government printing money (to simulate economy during bad times – Ex; COVID-19)

Regardless of the cause, the problem remains the same; inflation will impact our retirement dollars just as it is impacting our dollar worth today (and if not worse).

The sad reality is that the consequences of inflation are not experienced equally across the income spectrum.

For low-income workers and those on fixed income support (ex: retiree), inflation can be catastrophic.
Inflation is always and everywhere more than simply an increase in prices; it’s fundamentally a conflict over the distribution of income and wealth.

There is no escape from this reality!

Continue to read the rest of the newsletter and let us help you understand how inflation can impact your retirement savings and what you can do to mitigate its risk.

The Impact of Inflation on Retiree

While inflation impacts everyone, retirees and pre-retirees can especially feel the effects when the money they are relying on to live comfortably for 20 or 30 years suddenly is not so secure. They would be very worried and fear that they are running out of money especially since their income is fixed meanwhile all living expenses are rising. This is concerning for Canadians that a recent statistic showed about half of Canadians, who are over 55 years of age, are planning to delay their retirement due to inflation and debt issues.

To explain how inflation impacts retiree life, lets first briefly list their potential sources of income during retirement:


  • Canadian Pension Plan (CPP)

Monthly payment to people who have contributed to their plans during their working years. The payment amount depends on how long you contributed to the plan and how much you contributed. You can choose to take your CPP as early as age 60 or as late as age 70.

  • Old Age Security Pension (OAS)

Monthly benefits for Canadians who are 65 of age or older. Working and non-working individuals can get OAS support (you don’t have to make a contribution). You can receive OAS at the age of 65 or choose to defer five years. Canadian citizens and legal residents are eligible for OAS with the condition that they have been in Canada for at least 10 years.

  • Guaranteed Income Supplement Pension (GIS)

Monthly non-taxable benefits to Old Age Security recipients who have low income and are living in Canada.

  • Employer-sponsored Retirement & Pension Plans

Benefits that you receive from your employer who sponsored you for retirement plans such as group Registered Retirement Saving Plan (RRSP) or Registered Pension Plan. Both, you and your employer, contribute to this plan.

  • Personal Retirement Savings & Investment

Sources of income that is made up of various savings or investment products such as Registered Retirement Saving Plan (RRSP) or Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). RRSP helps you grow your money while offering tax benefits. TFSA can also hold investment products and allow them to grow tax-free. This means you don’t have to pay tax on income from investments held in your TFS such as interest, capital gain, or dividends.

Regardless of your retirement income source, if it is set in your bank account and not growing (not generating a return), then it will inevitably devalue over time. For example, you save $1000 today, and in ten years, it’s only worth $800, and there is no way you can get those $200 back unless you change your retirement savings strategy.

Is there something you can do to control inflation rates? Not really.

Is there something you can do to grow your savings to outpace inflation? Yes, there is. That should be your strategy!

Controlling and managing inflation is not in the hand of the people, rather it falls to the Bank of Canada and whole economic regulations. However, what we can do, is mitigate the risk that is posing to our retirement savings. Continue to read the next section for some helpful recommndations.

What can you do to mitigate the risk of inflation on your savings?

1. Grow your retirement assets (invest!)

As we explained before, inflation hinders retiree purchasing power as the cost of everything rises faster than the pace of their asset/retirement income growth. If inflation rises by 10%, and your income increase by 3% only, then everything is 7% more expensive than before.

When savings are invested at higher rates (bonds, stocks, property), your savings worth is going up outpacing the inflation rates (plus extra bonces). Speak with your financial advisors for ways you can invest your money for a good return rate.

2. Factor inflation rates into your future savings 

Pre-retiree should do long-range planning correctly for their retirement, incorporating inflation rates in their retirement (future fixed income). Meaning that they should factor in the increase of an average of a 3% annually (as an example) into their savings and their expected spending levels when they retire.

3. Downsize or rent a portion of your home to generate side income

Selling your home and buying less expensive one can provide you with extra money in retirement. Not in favor of small living spaces? Then maybe you can free up some space in your home (ex: basement) and rent it for extra income that pays off your mortgage and allow you to have extra savings.

4. Speak to an expert financial advisor

Financial advisors can be a great resource of information and guidance. They have market experience dealing with rates, inflations, recessions, and investments. 

They can offer you advice on how you can factor inflation into your future savings, where to invest your money, and how you can grow your retirement funds with low or high risk and return, offering you peace of mind.

Contact our expert financial advisors here to help you plan early for your retiremnet and navigate through your investment options.

Even if inflation become nonexistent again soon, you still need a plan to account for it over your lifetime, so the doubt and uncertainty of your finances do not overwhelm you when another year like 2022 returns.

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Inclusion In The Workplace

Inclusion In The Workplace

Inclusion In The Workplace

As social beings, we experience the need to feel included and an accepted member in a group. Inclusivity is very essential in our lives: without it, we are vulnerable to having poor mental health and experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Our healthy self-worth and self-esteem are tied to feeling included in a group or community. When we feel like we don’t belong anywhere, it can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression.

Let’s First Define Inclusion & Belongingness…

The sense of belonging is defined as experiencing the feeling of being accepted for authentic self and the feeling of being included in social circles. Inclusion is defined as the practice of providing equal opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized.

Inclusivity & Our Health

Studies show that social environment profoundly shapes our personalities and impacts our health. We tend to suffer when our social bonds are threatened or severed. Particularly, our mental and emotional health are at risk the most when we feel we are being excluded. Let us take the workplace environment as an example of social environment. We spend a minimum of eight hours a day at our workplaces, interacting and communicating with colleagues, managers and clients (both in person and virtually). Experiencing the need to be heard, seen and recognized in that small (or big) community is essential to make us feel we are part of that community (we belong to that community).

A study in this field was conducted to uncover how employed adults define belonging and what makes them feel like they belong at work and what makes them feel excluded in the workplace. The study data was categorized per generations: millennials, Gen Xers, & Baby Boomers.

When excluded, 38% of millennial respondents felt they are being ignored, 30% of them felt stressed, and 34% felt lonely. ,
Whereas for Gen Xers, when feeling excluded, 41% of them felt ignored, 27% felt stressed, and 26% experienced the feeling of sadness.
Meanwhile, for baby boomers, when excluded at work, 45% of them feel ignored, 26% feel angry, 21% feel stressed, and 21% feel lonely.

The numbers and the feelings varied from one generation to another but mostly all have indicated feeling stressed, anxious, sad or ignored at some level.

Inclusivity & Language

We use languages to communicate with each other and establish relationships. Choosing to use inclusive language with people you communicate with will means that you are less likely to make someone feel like they don’t belong. Train yourself to become more conscious of your language and the expression you use around others. It is important to remember that words have strong impact on others and when used carelessly, can deeply hurt people; leaving an impact that might not be easily forgotten.

Here are six tips to consider as you try to use more inclusive language in your speech:

    • Don’t complain about or express that you are struggling to be inclusive.
    • Don’t over apologize if you make a mistake. Your apology forces the other person to discount their feelings to make you feel better.
    • When someone corrects you, acknowledge them with thanks.
    • Reinforce your learning when you need to make a correction by practicing the correct approach three times.
    • Consider meeting up with someone else who is working on using inclusive language to practice.
    • If you observe a mistake, offer a quick correction. It helps the person become more aware, demonstrates respect and commitment and shows empathy and understanding.

Is exclusion considered a form of bullying?

Yes! For many people, it is considered bullying. According to recent study conducted for young, employed adults, 54% of respondents believed that exclusion is a form of bullying at work. Meanwhile, 68% of employees that are part of the LGBTQ community believe that exclusion is a form of bullying. Whereas, for women participants, the majority believed that exclusion is a form of bullying in the workplace.

Inclusivity in the workplace

Being inclusive starts with little everyday things. For example, the choice of words you choose and how you interact in social settings. People can determine if you are being authentically inclusive or pretending to be.

For managers who aim to build an inclusive environment for their employees, start by making them feel heard, valued and recognized for their effort and unique abilities. Ultimately, when inclusivity exists in a workplace, organizations can experience game-changing insights, super-charged creativity and attract the most talented people to join a group of happy and satisfied employees.

What is Emotional Tax?

“Emotional Tax is the combination of feeling different from peers at work because of gender, race, and/or ethnicity and the associated effects on health, well-being, and ability to thrive at work”

Inclusivity for Indigenous Employees

A recent survey was conducted to explore the representation of Indigenous People in workplaces, indicated that indigenous employees are in fact underrepresented. When surveyed, participants responded that they often feel isolated at their workplaces due to the lack of Indigenous role models at senior levels. Additionally, the survey showed that Indigenous employees experience low levels of psychological safety at their workplace and also pay what is called an “emotional tax”.

Eighty-two Indigenous employees were surveyed (both men and women) working for different industries and job levels, and responded to the survey as follows:

  • Fifty- two percent of them said that they are regularly on guard to the experience of bias, a hallmark of “emotional tax”.
  • Sixty-seven percent of Indigenous women experience the feeling more commonly than Indigenous men (38%) which reflect the disproportionate discrimination and violence they experience compared to other groups.
  • Sixty-one percent of Indigenous People surveyed indicated that they do not feel physiologically safe at work. Low psychological safety reflects on employees’ feelings of belonging and impact their job performance directly.

In comparison with Indigenous employees who experience low levels of psychological safety, we found that those who experience high psychological safety are five times more likely to have a sense of belonging to their workplaces, over five times more likely to experience being valued for their uniqueness, twice as likely to speak up when something is not right, twice as likely to report task-focus, and twice as likely to report being able to exhibit creativity.

Inclusive Leadership

Creating an inclusive workplace could be a challenging mission to accomplish when the right strategies and practices are not applied. In order to create an inclusive environment for employees, inclusive leadership should be practiced.

For managers who are aiming to create an inclusive workplace for your employees, studies recommend practicing three important behaviors: empowerment, accountability, & humility. When applied appropriately, you will build teams that feel valued, appreciated, and recognized for their efforts.

Here is a list of recommendations when practicing the three behaviors:

  • Empowerment
      • Ensure that all team members have what they need to succeed and flourish at work and that they can bring their full selves to work by expressing and sharing their cultures.
      • Be a role model of your actions. Model your own learning, vulnerabilities and challenges related to tacking inequities and moving out of your comfort zone.
  • Accountability
      • Hold all team members responsible for their behaviours, development and work processes.
      • Openly discuss how to demonstrate that a wide variety of perspectives, identities and cultures are valued.
  • Humility
      • Practice humble listening by setting aside preconceived notions of how the world works, and truly hear what another person’s experience of the world is like.
      • Be willing to admit your mistakes; find grace for coworkers to make mistakes and take risks without being penalized.

For the full list of recommendations, click here.

Our social interactions can heavily impact our emotional wellbeing. When we experience exclusion, especially at social entities like workplace, we tend to feel sad, unmotivated, depressed and we underperform. Therefore, employers should embed inclusive leadership into their business strategy, taking care of the health and wellbeing of their employees.

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