Nearly half of Canadians will be working past age 65

January 29, 2009
Written by CNW Group Ltd.

According to the country's first ever "Unretirement(TM) Index" released today by Sun Life Financial, many Canadians now expect to work longer for positive reasons, such as remaining mentally active and enjoyment of career, but they are also concerned about their financial readiness for retirement. These findings signal a departure from how Canadians have been retiring in the last few years and will have important implications for families, employers and society.

"Despite many Canadians expecting to work after age 65, those surveyed are approaching this reality with resolve," said Dean Connor, President, Sun Life Financial Canada. "Interestingly, in pinpointing their primary reason for working past age 65, as many people singled out lifestyle reasons as those who indicated financial reasons."

- Nearly half of working Canadians believe they will be working past the traditional retirement age of 65. This is in sharp contrast to the average Canadian retirement age of 61 in recent years.
- Nearly all of those who expect to work beyond age 65 cite one or more lifestyle reasons, including remaining mentally active, enjoyment of their jobs and the interaction with their co-workers.
- In the survey, 75 per cent of Canadians rated their personal health and overall level of happiness highly. The survey found much less confidence around general economic conditions and Canadians' personal finances.

"Despite the optimism, many Canadians are not as clear about what it will take for them to reach a comfortable level of retirement income," said Connor. "Only 28 per cent of people are very confident they will have enough money to enjoy their desired lifestyle in retirement. Not surprisingly, Canadians who use a financial advisor to help them plan for retirement feel much more confident when it comes to their future."

Working Canadians who used a financial advisor to help provide retirement advice reported that:

- they are making better financial decisions (87 per cent),
- they will have a better retirement (86 per cent),
- they are more confident about their finances (83 per cent),
- their spouse/partner has more confidence they're doing all they can (79 per cent).

What are Canadians doing to prepare their finances for retirement?

- Just 22 per cent expressed full satisfaction with their level of personal savings, or with how their income is growing.
- Over the past 12 months, less than half of Canadians have calculated whether their retirement income will last long enough (44 per cent) or calculated how much income they'll need to retire (41 per cent).
- Furthermore, 62 per cent of Canadians polled lack a written financial retirement plan and only 47 per cent have spoken to a financial advisor to create or update a written retirement plan within the last 12 months.

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