Greenhouse Canada

Features Business Research
Baby boomers will stay active after they retire


November 25, 2010
By Amanda Ryder


Topics

babyboomerNEWS HIGHLIGHT

Baby boomers will stay active after they retire
An Investors Group poll reveals that 59 per cent of Canadian boomers disagree with the picture of quiet retirement living painted by legendary Beatle Paul McCartney in the song, “When I’m 64.” Instead, they're looking forward to staying active by digging in the garden.

An Investors Group poll reveals that 59 per cent of Canadian boomers disagree with the picture of quiet retirement living painted by legendary Beatle Paul McCartney in the song, “When I’m 64.”

Advertisment

In
January 2011, the first of Canada’s boomers – an estimated 344,000 –
will start to turn 65 years of age. Instead of worrying about becoming
older as McCartney’s lyrics suggest, Investors Group research shows
that 61 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 45 and 64 are looking
forward to retirement as an exciting new stage in life.

“Boomers
won’t be knitting by the fire and taking quiet Sunday drives,” said
Debbie Ammeter, Vice President, Advanced Financial Planning of
Investors Group, in reference to McCartney’s lyrics. “They are gearing up,
not shifting down, for what is around the corner. This generation is
defined by their youthfulness – they are upbeat and energetic in their
approach to getting older.”

Who could ask for more?

Boomers expect to enjoy more than 20 years of retirement living and a majority (66 per cent) have a clear vision of their retirement lifestyle. They believe that it will be comfortable (54 per cent) but fulfilling
(43 per cent), busy (42 per cent) and exciting (25 per cent). Only 12
per cent of boomers think retirement will be lonely and boring.

Lack
of work pressures (58 per cent), opportunity to travel (61 per cent),
more time for hobbies, recreation and fitness activities (64 per cent)
and community involvement (36 per cent) will bring them the greatest
enjoyment.

Half (51 per cent) will take McCartney’s cue to be doing the garden, digging the weeds. More will be enjoying other quiet activities including reading (73 per cent) and watching TV (67 per cent).

Will you still need me, will you still feed me?

While
McCartney’s song seems to indicate his hopes for his future well-being
are pinned on his partner, fewer than four-in-ten Canadian boomers (37
per cent) say they will rely on their spouse for financial and
emotional support for day-to-day assistance.  Thirty-five per cent
aren’t sure who will give them support.

Despite the fact
that an overwhelming majority of boomers (70 per cent) believe it has
been easier for them to be financially successful than it will be for
the current generation, more than half of them don’t think they can
afford their dream retirement lifestyle (55 per cent). In fact
one-in-three (30 per cent) think they won’t even have enough money to
pay their basic retirement living expenses.

But the
future looks brighter to boomers who currently work with a financial
advisor.  Twenty-nine per cent believe they will have enough money to
afford their dream retirement – nearly twice as many as those without
an advisor (16 per cent). 

“As boomers become seniors,
they will have to address the gap between their dreams and the
practicalities of getting older,” says Ammeter. “This doesn’t
necessarily require adjusting lifestyles and attitudes, but rather
asking themselves some honest questions about their financial means.”

Time waits for no one

Concerns
about finances (59 per cent) and personal health issues (52 per cent)
threaten the retirement enjoyment for the majority of boomers and, if
they could go back in time to make their retirement plans, 36 per cent
of already retired boomers would start saving earlier.

In
the end, Mick Jagger may have got it right when he sang “Time waits for
no one,” Ammeter said. “Boomers, who took those lyrics seriously when
they heard them at a young age, were probably inspired to plan for
their future.”