Canadians expect to live long lives, but that hardly motivates them to get their affairs in order.
A retirement report by HSBC finds that, on average, Canadians think they’ll retire at 62 and live to 85. Globally, that’s one of the longest retirement windows (global averages are 61 and 81 years, respectively).
But, despite expecting a long retirement, Canadians are among the least likely to say they actively seek information to guide their financial decisions (42% versus 56% globally).
And most aren’t seeing positive results through technology use. The report shows that less than a third of working-age Canadians (31%) agree that new technology makes it easier to save for retirement, compared to 47% globally.
“While about one-third of working-age people in Canada expect new technology will help make it easier to save for retirement — such as doing research online, using an online retirement calculator or trying out a robotic financial advisor — the data makes clear that many western nations are falling behind in terms of taking full advantage,” says Larry Tomei, executive vice-president and head of retail banking and wealth management at HSBC Bank Canada, in a release.
Canadians also demonstrate they have comparatively low risk appetites, with just more than one in five (21%) saying they’d be very willing to make risky investments to ensure their financial stability. Only 22% say they’d risk financial losses (global averages are 34% and 28%, respectively).
If a lack of information-seeking and disappointment with tech, combined with conservative risk profiles, keep Canadians from reaching their financial goals, they’re at least willing work it out — by going back to work.
Just over half (55%) say they’ll continue working in retirement; 66% are willing to defer their retirement for two years or more to have a better retirement income, and 44% would work longer or get a second job.
Broke and hurting
At the same time, health worries prevail. The HSBC report reveals that 31% of pre-retirees expect both their health and finances to diminish in retirement. Accordingly, 28% of retirees surveyed said their health did indeed worsen in retirement, and 27% said their finances got worse. (For additional details about Canadians’ retirement concerns and expectations, read the full HSBC report.)
Despite these worries and results, many Canadians haven’t discussed elder care or financial support. While most Canadians with a parent aged 65 or older think it’s important to discuss such matters, 62% say they haven’t had these discussions because it makes them uncomfortable, reveals a CIBC poll.
With StatsCan showing that, in 2015, almost one in six Canadians was at least 65 years old, and with a generation of baby boomers set to retire soon, avoiding such discussions potentially puts many Canadian families in vulnerable positions. The CIBC poll finds that only 43% of boomers have discussed their financial affairs with family, and only 22% have taken steps to formalize their wishes.
On the positive side, 68% of Canadians with a parent aged 65 or older say their parent has a will. But only 43% say their parent has either a power of attorney (POA) or mandate in Quebec, or a personal care POA in place, finds CIBC.
About the sources:
The HSBC report is the 12th in a series and represents the views of 18,207 people in 17 countries and territories.
The CIBC poll was conducted online between March 16 and March 20, 2017, among 3,034 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panellists. The margin of error, which measures sampling variability, is +/- 1.7%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and, in Quebec, language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada.