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More than half of Canadians fear not having enough for retirement, says poll


February 11, 2020
By The Canadian Press

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Photo: Getty Images

A Scotiabank retirement survey says more than half of respondents are concerned that financial pressure will force them to re-enter the workplace after they retire.

The poll found that the average Canadian respondent expects to retire at 64 years old, while six per cent don’t plan to ever retire.

Fear about losing their financial independence is the worry for 59 per cent of respondents, while 53 per cent say they’re worried about having to return to work after retirement, according to the 2019 Scotiabank Investment Poll conducted by Nielsen Consumer Insights that surveyed 1,012 people between Jan. 25 and Feb. 3.

Even though nearly seven in 10 workers are saving for retirement, the same proportion think they won’t save enough.

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How much do workers need to retire?

According to the findings, the respondents expect to need $697,000 in retirement savings, less than the average amount of $753,000 expected back in 2017. That’s significantly below the $1 million many financial advisers suggest for a secure retirement, said the bank.

The survey says retirement planning has taken a back seat to more immediate financial priorities, with saving for retirement a top priority for less than one quarter of Canadians, down from 32 per cent in 2017.

Young workers

Of the 32 per cent of respondents not saving for retirement, almost half are between 18 and 35.

“We know that younger people have different priorities at this time in their lives as they strive to get momentum in their careers, pay down student loans, and save for their first homes,” says D’Arcy McDonald, senior vice-president retail deposits, investments and payments for Scotiabank.

“The best advice we can give young Canadians is to start saving early for retirement. Even if it’s not much, a small amount that’s made through an automatic contribution is a great way to establish habits that will pay off in the long term as a critical part of your financial plan.”