Pandemic sheds light on financial planning goals, how to achieve them: surveys

By Staff | October 18, 2021 | Last updated on October 18, 2021
2 min read

The pandemic has affected Canadians’ financial goals and how they plan to achieve them, two surveys suggest.

According to an Investment Planning Counsel survey of 1,001 Canadians conducted by Environics Research, Canadian investors are contacting their financial advisors more regularly.

Retirement planning (45%), overall health and well-being (23%) and inheritance planning (23%) are the most prominent topics discussed between an investor and their advisor, respondents said.

Among those leaving an inheritance, the most common concern was how the high cost of living and home ownership would affect their heirs.

As for what keeps investors up at night as they think about income for the next 10 to 15 years, health issues were most cited (40%), followed by inflation (30%), market fluctuations (29%) and running out of money (25%).

Around 56% of respondents noted they want to enter “semi-retirement” before the age of 65 — still working a little bit, but not drawing on their retirement income.

After 18 months of the Covid-19 pandemic, more respondents (71%) said they would be able to retire how and when they want, up from 65% in last year’s survey. Half of respondents said they’re more focused on “living my life now than I am about saving for the future,” up from 44% in 2020.

However, more Canadians were also concerned about outliving their savings, and 29% said they’ve had to abandon their life-long goals (up from 20% last year).

A CIBC poll also showed the pandemic has led investors to reassess their plans. According to the survey released Monday, about 58% of Canadians said they’ve re-assessed “what is truly important in their lives.”

However, for the majority (73%), their goals are essentially the same as they were pre-pandemic.

Covid-19 has prompted some slight changes. Around 25% said the pandemic has motivated them to develop “a bucket list of goals and ambitions.” The top long-term goals for Canadians surveyed are travel (29%) and eliminating debt (21%).

There also appears to be a shift in the size and scope of Canadians’ goals. Around 73% of respondents are now more focused on smaller, feasible ambitions. Further, 42% said they had put larger ambitions on hold during the pandemic.

Environics Research conducted the online survey of 1,001 English and French-speaking Canadians 30 and older with more than $100,000 in investable assets for IPC from Aug. 10 to Aug. 25. The online CIBC survey of 1,516 randomly selected adult Canadians was conducted by Maru/Blue between Aug. 13 and Aug. 15. Representative sample results in the Maru/Blue survey were weighted to reflect the Canadian population, but online surveys can’t be assigned a margin of error because they don’t randomly sample the population. staff


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