Retired life can be pretty good — if you’re prepared for it. That’s what we learned in the 2016 Sun Life Retirement Now Report. This is especially true when it comes to clients’ health.

When asked to give their advice to working Canadians about retirement, one of the top responses from retirees was: “take care of your health.” When they’re younger and healthy, clients might have a hard time imagining their health declining, but they need to be aware of the impact it can have on retirement plans. Taking care of their health today includes planning for how it may change over time.

Declining health can change retirement plans

According to the survey, 50% of working Canadians are planning, or are already in, a phased approach to retirement. At age 66, 70% expect to be working, either part- or full-time, compared to only 20% who expect to be fully retired.

But what if their health dictates when they retire and their retirement date is no longer a choice? They might be like the 23% of Canadian retirees who retired because of personal health or medical reasons. This is a growing trend, with a 5-percentage point increase over 2014.

Retiring earlier than expected because of personal health issues means clients may:

  • save less money,
  • dip into their savings earlier, or
  • face additional health-care expenses earlier than planned.

A health conversation is vital

Most clients will enter retirement with an understanding of their current health and how to manage it. But, because everyone’s health will change as they get older, it’s important to help clients plan for their health today — and in the future.

A health needs conversation is part of Money for Life – Sun Life Financial’s customized approach to financial and retirement planning.* Help clients retire with confidence; consider using these resources as a starting point:

To learn more, or to find the full suite of Money for Life resources, visit

*Only advisors who hold CFP (Certified Financial Planner), CH.F.C (Chartered Financial Consultant), F.Pl. (Financial Planner in Quebec), or equivalent designations are certified as financial planners.
Note: All statistics cited are from the 2016 Sun Life Retirement Now Report.

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