While 80% of Canadians nearing retirement believe they’ll choose when they leave their careers, in reality 41% of retirees say they left sooner than expected, shows the RBC 2013 Retirement Myths & Realities Poll.

Often employers asked them to step down (41%) or health issues sped up their departure (22%).

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The survey also shows 20% of retirees had one month or no advance notice before retirement, with 65% reporting they had notification one year or less before their retirement date.

“We advise our clients to begin refining their retirement roadmap at least five years before they expect to retire, to get a clearer idea of their retirement lifestyle, as well as the corresponding retirement income plan that will help them achieve it,” says Amalia Costa, RBC’s head of retirement strategies and successful aging.

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The poll also shows:

  • 72% of fully retired Canadians responded they had retired “at the right time”
  • The top strategies cited by Canadian retirees for supplementing their retirement income if necessary:
  • Move (downsize, rent, etc.) or stay in my home and live frugally – tied at 79%
  • Stay in my home and sell assets – 44%
  • Borrow against my home equity – 38%
  • Return to paid work – 29%
  • Stay in my home and rent a part of my home to create income – 16%
  • Take out a loan without borrowing against my home equity – 10%
  • Ask a family member for financial help – 5%

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