Canadian Retirement Myths & Realities

There are some surprises in store for Canadian Boomers approaching retirement.

Already-retired Boomers (aged 50+) identified three retirement realities that contradict the expectations of their pre-retiree counterparts:
Retirees don’t miss their pay cheques from work as much as pre-retirees expect to, by a margin of almost two-to-one (26 per cent compared to 49 per cent). What retirees do miss most is their social time with colleagues at work (51 per cent).
While simply “taking time for myself” is how the majority of retirees (72 per cent) report they are actually spending their time, travel tops the “expect to do in retirement” list for a similar majority of pre-retirees.
Close to half (43 per cent) of retirees didn’t get to choose their retirement date, in contrast to the 80 per cent of pre-retirees who expect to have that choice. Retirees cited several reasons why they left their working lives behind before they were ready to do so, including health, the need to provide caregiving to someone else and employer’s request.

“Each of these realities has retirement planning implications for Canadians, including how they will affect the lifestyle they hope to achieve when they are no longer working,” noted Yasmin Musani, head of Retirement and Successful Aging Strategies, RBC. “They raise important questions for Boomers to consider about their life goals and priorities as they approach retirement. For example, ‘What social network will you have in retirement?’ and ‘How will you spend your time?’”

Through its annual poll and a separate research study, RBC also explored retirement income expectations of three specific groups of Canadians who are not yet retired: single women (not married, separated/divorced or widowed), business owners and the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community.

As pre-retirees, single women and business owners were equally concerned (41 per cent each) that they would not have enough money to live well and do what they want when they retire. In a separate RBC-sponsored LGBT retirement study, conducted by the University of Waterloo’s RBC Retirement Research Centre, 30 per cent of LGBT pre-retirees shared similar worries, stating they expected their funds would be inadequate or barely enough to achieve the retirement they have in mind.

“When common concerns arise for Canadians heading into retirement, this reinforces the importance of sitting down with a financial planner to explore all your options,” added Musani. “By taking a wide range of possible scenarios around your lifestyle and finances into consideration, you’ll gain the flexibility to adapt to any unexpected changes in your life and the lives of those around you.”

Leave a Reply