Canadian Women Worry About Retirement

 According to a recent survey, women in Canada feel less financially prepared for retirement than men

By Matt Smith


Half of working-age Canadian women say they either they don’t know how much they’re saving for retirement or they haven’t begun saving at all, according to an HSBC survey of respondents from 16 countries and territories including the United States and the United Kingdom. What’s more, 38% of those women responded that they weren’t sure what percentage of their salary they should be putting away to enjoy a comfortable retirement. And while 53% of Canadian men feel that they’re well-informed on money matters, fewer than two in five 5 women (38%) regard themselves as well-informed.

Exactly half of the Canadian women polled said they are worried about not being able to cover medical or care expenses during retirement (43% of Canadian working men said the same), and 44% are worried that they won’t be able to cover their day-to-day expenses, compared with 37% of Canadian men.

Women make up roughly half of the Canadian workforce, but their average wage is still only $0.87 for every dollar earned by men. Additionally, women are still much more likely to take time off work to take care of the family, with more than 62% having taken parental leave, compared with 22% of men. Working fewer hours for less money means that women are unable to contribute as much to their retirement savings as their partners. In fact, only 28% of those surveyed reported being able to save more than their partners, compared with 49% of men.

The survey also found that retired women in Canada are more likely to rely on their spouse’s pension income than men—43% compared to 39%. Nearly half (48%) of retired Canadian women also reported being more worried about not being able to make ends meet if their partners were forced to retire for health reasons, and 42% said the same about the possibility of their spouse passing away. (By comparison, 40% of men reported worrying about not being able to cover their expenses if their spouse took sick, and only 30% said they would find it hard to cope financially after the passing of a partner).

 The Good News
Despite this, the survey found that Canadian women tend to be less concerned than men about living on their own in retirement, and they’re more excited about pursuing their hobbies after retirement (77% versus 70% of men). Canadian women in the workforce also reported being more excited than men about the possibility of rediscovering themselves during retirement—58% compared with 52%.

Photo: iStock/skynesher.