Half of Canadians put off retirement saving, survey finds

By Maddie Johnson | February 11, 2020 | Last updated on February 11, 2020
2 min read
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Nearly half of Canadians have delayed saving for retirement — or have not started saving at all — according to a survey commissioned by Toronto-based Oaken Financial.

The survey found that 50% of Gen X workers (aged 35-54), 54% of millennials (aged 18-34) and 36% of baby boomers (aged 55 and over) have delayed saving for their retirement due to a high cost of living, suggesting that the current workforce will face a retirement funding shortfall. 

Costs associated with raising children and student debt were also factors that delayed respondents’ retirement saving. Forty-seven per cent of millennials and 38% of Gen Xers said that child-related costs were a financial burden. Additionally, 40% of millennials and 24% of Gen Xers said student debt has made it difficult for them to save for retirement.

When respondents were asked if they have had to make sacrifices in their lifestyle to assist children financially, 48% of boomers said they had, compared with 64% of millennials and 62% of Gen Xers.

Additionally, 29% of millennial respondents said they were financially responsible for both their parents and their children. Of this group, 36% said this had caused a strain on their finances. 

Millennials (30%) and Gen Xers (24%) were more likely to be counting on an inheritance than boomers (17%). Half of respondents indicated they had no intention of leaving an inheritance for their loved ones and said they were either already spending their money or intended to spend their money to support their own retirement.

Oaken Financial is a primarily online financial institution offering high-interest savings accounts and GICs. The online survey, conducted by Leger, polled 2,003 Canadians over the age of 18 between Oct. 3 and Oct. 14, 2019. Online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

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Maddie Johnson

Maddie is a freelance writer and editor who has been reporting for Advisor.ca since 2019.