Canadian retirees were forced into retirement earlier than they had planned

 In Retirement Income, Retirement Planning

Angus Reid Institute poll has found, nearly half of Canadian retirees were forced into retirement earlier than they had planned and more than one quarter of those people are now struggling to make ends meet.

The results are key findings in a new report conducted by the Angus Reid Institute, which examined the “anatomy of retirement” based on a survey of close to 2000 Canadians, 40 per cent of whom were retired and 60 per cent were still working. Currently, there are 6.4 million retired or semi-retired persons in Canada, according to the Canadian Association of Retired People

A total of 48 per cent of retired respondents said they retired earlier than they intended to because of circumstances beyond their control. Among that group, 27 per cent stated that making ends meet was a struggle. Another 46 per cent said they lived comfortably but did not have money for extras. Only six per cent of those surveyed said they retired later than planned.

Furthermore, around half of retired Canadians, 48 per cent, indicated that they were worried about outliving their savingsThe study also found that government pensions make up a major source of retirement funding, with 57 per cent saying these pensions were among their main sources of income. That compared to 53 per cent who said private pensions and 30 per cent who cited registered retirement savings plans. Only 13 per cent mentioned investments.

Those still working had a much different perspective on retirement finances. Among those still working, 28 per cent said they expect to have trouble making ends meet when they retire. Less than half, 45 per cent, of those working expected to rely on a government pension for much of their retirement income, and half said they would need RRSPs. . Though this showed significant financial unease among retirees, it was much lower than the 74 per cent of non-retired Canadians who noted they were already worried about outliving their savings.

The Angus Reid poll found a wide divergence between public and private sector employees. Private-sector workers were more than twice as likely to say they were struggling in retirement as public sector workers – 22 per cent versus 12 per cent.

Indeed, public sector workers were twice as likely to rely on work pensions as their private sector counterparts – 75 per cent versus 39 per cent.

“[Retirees] will all experience a different retirement reality,” said Angus Reid, chairman of the Angus Reid Institute, “and it’s mostly a combination of health and money that determines how happy you are going to be.”

The ones who enjoy retirement have, predictably, both health and wealth, whereas the struggling have mixed health and little financial security. The other two groups have varied balances of each.

Aside from money and health, quality time with family and travel were the top two factors that made retirement meaningful, though most retirees travelled less than they intended to. Boredom was a non-issue, as the majority of those surveyed indicated they had no trouble filling up their days.

Awareness can go a long way toward reducing the danger of the unexpected. Knowing you have your basic shelter and food expenses covered leads to peace of mind.

Call us today to discuss you retirement and get your peace of mind.

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