The traditional retirement age in Canada is 65. The Sun Life Financial annual survery regarding retirement shows for the first time, most working Canadians feel they'll have to continue working past 65 to maintain an acceptable standard of living.
Photo Credit: via CBC

Working Canadians can’t afford to retire

In its annual “Unretirement Index” Sun Life survey results show that more than one third of working Canadians now feel they’ll outlive any retirement savings.

Sun Life Financial has tracked retirement expectations of working Canadians for seven years. This year for the first time they also added questions for retirees about their actual situation. In that instance, one in seven thought they would outlive their savings.

“This really is a tale of two retirements,” says Kevin Dougherty, President Sun Life Canada. “It is striking that in today’s economic environment, they’ve developed a view of retirement that previous generations of workers would not recognize.”

The traditionally understood retirement age for Canadians is 65. This latest survey shows for the first time that the number of Canadians who feel they will have to continue working past age 65 has surpassed those who feel they will be fully retired.

Some 60 percent feel they will have to continue working full time (32%) or part-time (27%) beyond retirement age, compared to only 27 percent who think they will be fully retired.

The main reasons given for having to work beyond age 65 are

-To earn enough money to pay basic living expenses (21%)

-Disbelief that government pensions will be enough to live on (18%)

-To earn enough money to live well (16%)

The survey was carried out for Sun Life by Ipsos Reid between December 5 and 22, among 3,000 Canadians 30 to 65 years old. Demographics for the online panel was adjusted to reflect the adult population according to census data. An additional 400 retired people were asked questions about their financial security.

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