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Canadians are thinking about a retirement reset

Curtis HaighBlog

Canadians are thinking about a retirement reset

Couple enjoying coffee looking at laptop

A couple smiles at each other while looking at their laptop and drinking coffee

According to a new poll by RBC dubbed the 2021 RBC Retirement Myths & Realities Poll, it states that 18% of Canadian respondents aged 50+ have now hit the pause button on retirement, with Alberta being the highest at 33%.

Respondents stated that the pandemic has caused them to hit the pause button with concerns over outliving their retirement savings.  21% of respondents aged 50+ with over $100,000 of investible assets stated they expected to outlast their savings by 10 years.

Perhaps most interesting, 50% of those respondents do not have a formal financial plan and only 20% have ever created a financial plan with a Saskatoon financial planner.

Poll respondents also indicated the Covid-19 pandemic has prompted them to either think about a wide variety of retirement related issues, such as:

  • Thinking more about where they will live in retirement (22%)
  • Deciding where they do not want to live (20% do not want to live in a retirement home)
  • Updating wills and beneficiaries (15%)
  • Taking stock of their current financial affairs (17%)
  • Taking up a new career or hobby, perhaps realizing that ‘life is short’ (16%)

To help bridge a shortfall during retirement, the respondents stated that they would:

  • Stay in their current home and live more frugally (37% of those with >$100K; 36% of those with <$100K)
  • Return to paid work (31% of those with >$100K; and 36% with <$100K respectively)
  • Downsize/move (31% of those with >$100K and 23% with <$100K respectively)
  • Ask a family member for assistance (lowest on their list of options, at 3% and 5% respectively)

The survey is remarkable in detail, but the few issues that stand out for us are:

  1. The overwhelming lack of financial planning with Canadians aged 50+
  2. The lack of retirement savings (outside of company pensions for all Canadians)
  3. The concern the pandemic has brought to the forefront about expected rates of returns on investments, inflation, and the market in general.

Being able to retire comfortably and with dignity is easy when a person works with a financial planner.  Creating a sustainable plan for retirement with realistic objectives is both accessible and enjoyable.  We love helping our clients perform retirement planning, and think that this survey highlights the need for all Canadians to put some extra effort forward!