Canadians less optimistic about retirement

By Staff | March 8, 2011 | Last updated on March 8, 2011
2 min read

The 2011 Canadian Unretirement Index, released by Sun Life Financial today, shows the average Canadian expects to retire at age 68—three years later than respondents reported in the same study a year ago.

The economic downturn has had the most significant impact on the retirement expectations among those earning less than $50,000 per year. They’re less confident about how prepared they are for retirement, and they expect to retire later—at age 70 on average—as a result. Canadians who earn over $100,000 expect, on average, to retire at the traditional age of 65.

As Canadians age and approach the traditional retirement time frame, they anticipate working longer than younger Canadians predict, the poll shows. Canadians in their thirties and forties expect to retire at age 67, while those in the 60-65 age group expect to retire at 72.

The survey also shows almost 8 out of 10 Canadians (79%) don’t have a financial plan. However, the results illustrate that Canadians who do have a written financial plan are more confident about being able to take care of basic living expenses in retirement (84% with a plan vs. 48% without a plan); more confident about having enough money to pursue their hobbies and interests in retirement (73% with a plan vs. 32% without a plan); more confident about having enough money to enjoy the lifestyle they want in retirement (71% with vs. 30% without a plan); and more satisfied with what they’re saving for retirement (67% with vs. 26% without a plan).

Canadians’ financial priorities are also shifting, according to the survey. Paying down personal loans, credit cards, and other debt moved ahead of saving for housing or retirement and is now the number one financial priority. staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.