Canadians expect later retirement

By Steven Lamb | November 9, 2010 | Last updated on November 9, 2010
2 min read

Canadians are coming to grips with the notion that their original retirement plan might not work out as they expected, according to a survey by AXA.

The 2010 edition of the Retirement Scope survey found an increasing number of Canadians now believe they will have to work later into life than they had planned.

On average, Canadians said their ideal retirement age was 57, but they also said they expect to work until they are 62. That five year gap has increased since last year.

“This gap is not surprising in a country where a major part of retirement income comes from personal savings,” says Robert Landry, Executive Vice President, Life and Health Insurance for AXA Insurance. “Workers have seen their retirement savings seriously shrink in value, and many of them are forced to consider working longer than planned and longer than their elders did.”

While they may be willing to guess at their retirement age, most (57%) said they could not estimate the income they need in retirement. AXA found that lower income earners were the least likely to be able to estimate their retirement income.

Among those between age 35 and 49, 60% did not know what their income would be. Even as they neared retirement, a large percentage still didn’t know: 42% of those over 50 were unsure.

“These facts are worrisome because, without exception, we’re talking about groups of Canadians who are closer to retirement or who would benefit from planning their retirement more actively,” Landry says.

Those still in the workforce said, on average, that they started planning their retirement at age 37, but said they wished they had started three years earlier.

Ten percent of survey respondents said they had no idea at what age they would retire, suggesting they not yet started to plan their retirement.


Steven Lamb