Tag Archives: banks

Don’t Make Me Use my Senior Citizen Voice! By Linda Knight Seccaspina

Don’t Make Me Use my Senior Citizen Voice! By Linda Knight Seccaspina

Don’t Make Me Use my Senior Citizen Voice! By Linda Knight Seccaspina

A few weeks ago I received a note from a top Canadian Bank advising me that once I turned 70 on July 24, that my ‘insurance’ on  one of my investments, or was it a loan, would be cut off.  My son explained it to me like this:”cash surrender value on the policy”. I still don’t get it.

Frankly, I never expected with my inherited health lineage to live this long, but here I am.  But why did the bank pick the age of 70? People typically lose almost one-half inch in height every 10 years after the age of 40. Height loss is even more rapid after age 70. There is no doubt I am shorter, but was that one of the reasons? Three inches shorter at the bank counter and not making honest eye level with the teller anymore?

We know being a senior is not all unicorns and rainbows, but was I really going to drop dead the day after 70 and therefore be uninsurable?  Maybe when I walked into the bank one day they saw my foot that has been swollen since the birth of son number one 36 years ago and realized I wear a normal shoe on one foot and a shoe box on the other. Maybe the crepey skin on my arms caught their attention. That word “crepey” is still a new one to me.

The day I turned 60 was an important milestone for me with the same bank and they sent me several letters of warm congratulations. In the lovely letters they thanked me for being a devoted client for many years. In recognition of turning 60 they were going to give me a monthly rebate of $4.00 on my monthly fees. That’s right! Instead of charging me $13.95 a month I would be paying $9.95 instead.

I sat there and wondered what I would be able to do with the extra $4.00 savings each month. Would $4.00 buy me a package of Depends down the road? As I continued to read the letter they also told me that my banking needs might change over time, yet they never mentioned the word “70”.  The popular bank also reminded me that it was an important time in my life now and they wanted to help me reach my goals.


What goals?


Freshman College?

If I can get up in the morning and walk and talk at the same time I am on a roll for the day. So thank you dear bank for being so concerned. But now ten years later it seems to be another story. Honestly, if you think about it I am really 18 years old with 52 years experience— or 21 in celsius.  Honestly, I feel like maybe I should put up a for sale sign that says : “For Sale- 70 year-old, needs parts, but only one owner”.

When I became a town councillor I got involved with senior advocacy groups as I have always felt seniors feel less important, and they shouldn’t. Even as a teenager when I volunteered at the Nesbitt Senior Residence in Cowansville I knew the seniors felt they were being ignored and that our society values young folks more. Did you know ageism is one of the most tolerated forms of discrimination in Canada?

I was telling my friend Toby that seniors are now treated like trying to insure any home built before 1920 and he agreed. He said, “seniors make some people nervous and twitchy” and he is right. As Dr. Seuss wrote: “You’re Only Old Once” and life does not end when wage earning capacity ends. My mind is still functioning and so is my fashion wardrobe. I am still young at heart, but slightly older in some places. I am never going to change and one day I want to be that little old lady that puts vodka in the IV bags at the retirement home.  

Yes, we sometimes stumble, we suffer and we transcend, but we are positive, still have our sense of humour, and need some respect. If things do get better with age— then my fellow seniors, we are all approaching magnificence– and please don’t forget our discounts!

Related reading

Since When did the Word “Senior” Become a Dirty Word?

Being Old is No Place for Sissies! Part 2

Being Old is No Place for Sissies

Did You Know About the Golden Girls Act? BILL 69– More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan

The Mystery of the Bank of Montreal in Almonte

The Mystery of the Bank of Montreal in Almonte

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Bank of Montreal Photo– Millie Aitkenhead Collection

If you have read No Banker Left Behind – Bank of Montreal Almonte  you will see photos of the former 50s staff of the Almonte Bank of Montreal. I got them because of a huge lot of photos belonging to Millie Aitkenhead which I rescued at an estate sale. So these bank photos were all together and I assumed that the photo above of the bank was in Almonte. I had posted it on the Lanark County Genealogical Society page and had it in a story, and no one ever said: “Linda, that’s wrong!!” LOL

UNTIL-– I began The Tales of Almonte this week and Colleen Montgomery said, I don’t believe that this is BMO Almonte. The BMO was originally located in the Legion building then moved to 62 Mill St. BMO Almonte Branch has pictures of the two buildings and Mike Dunn did research of the history of BMO in Almonte and he provided the Branch with the pictures”.


It also appears here, clearly early 20th C: Brent Eades

I am the first one to admit I don’t know everything, and I emailed Brent Eades to clarify the situation as I like to get things right. He sent these photos saying “I’m pretty sure the Bank of Montreal never looked like that”.  So now thanks to Colleen and Brent we can clear things up about this photo. So now my question is: Anyone know where that Bank of Montreal in the photo above was? 🙂

Many thanks to Colleen and Brent!!


I’m pretty sure the Bank of Montreal never looked like that. I have this photo of the ‘new Bank of Montreal’ from what looks like the early 20th century (roads don’t appear to be paved yet)– Brent Eades



I also have this one of the ‘old Bank of Montreal–Brent Eades

No Banker Left Behind – Bank of Montreal Almonte Photos

What Happened to the House and Family on Frank Street –Part 1

The Aitkenhead Family at 20 Frank Street in Carleton Place

Before there was Baker Bob’s There was The Almonte Bakery

Hog’s Back Falls Ottawa –Aitkenhead Photo Collection

Down by the Mississippi River- Almonte Falls Photos 50s

Photos of the Orange Parade Almonte 1963 — Name that Band?

Who Will Blink First? Camp Walmart or Visa?




Walmart Canada will no longer accept Visa cards starting next month and the company told the media that the fees associated with Visa are unjustifiably high.” I wonder how many shopping carts full of product will be left at the checkout once customers realize this.


Visa said they are disappointed that Walmart chose to put their own financial interests ahead of their own consumers’ choice.  Since when did Visa put my financial interest ahead of theirs? So– no more MasterCard at Costco, No Frills,and now Walmart. Actually Walmart sued Visa over swipe fees in New York in 2014, alleging that “Visa’s monopoly power has enabled it to dictate price and inhibit competition.” That is definitely the most ironic thing I have heard in a long time. Walmart complaining about a “monopoly power”, “dictating price”, and “inhibiting competition”. Look at these two corporate giants fighting each other over making even more profits! Epic!


Walmart is fighting because their profit margin just got a little smaller. Not to the point of losing money, just to the point they make a few less cents on every sale. Visa on the other hand is the one trying to get more fee’s from Walmart, so in turn they can make more money. Walmart wants more money, Visa wants more money. Is it time to bring on the lawsuits and go to corporate war? Who is caught up by this? The consumer of course! 

What a lot of people don’t realize is that the Banks in Canada have been quietly adding a Visa insignia to their debit cards without even asking their customers or explaining to them that although this doesn’t mean they have a Visa Credit Card, their Bank and Visa are now charging merchants a 5% fee on all their purchases they make with their debit card – with their own money ! Pretty sweet deal for the Banks and Visa, higher prices for their customers. So come July – if your Debit Card now has a Visa logo on it, don’t expect to use it at Walmart


You do realize that Walmart has its own MasterCard, right? How many times have you heard the cashier ask, “Will that be on your Walmart MasterCard”? That is the card they want you to use because with it branded they get a cut of the interest MasterCard charges you. If on the other hand they can convert enough Visa customers to their Walmart MasterCard, then Camp Walmart makes that much more at the end of the day.

Whatever side you are on, in reality Walmart would like you to get their credit card.

Have we reached the race to the bottom yet?

Remember—- Please be kind to Walmart cashiers….they didn’t ask for this change.