Canadians Are Struggling to Save Anything for Retirement

A lot of us are seriously considering delaying retirement

By Katrina Caruso


It’s a commonly held notion that your expenses drop after retirement, but according to survey results released in May, more than a quarter of Canadians who retired within the last five years say their expenses remained constant or even increased—which is bad news for baby boomers facing retirement.

According to the same survey, conducted for Franklin Templeton Investments Canada, many boomers (defined by the survey as those between the ages of 53 and 71) are struggling to save for retirement—20% say they have no retirement savings. Gen-Xers (those between 37 and 52) have more time to save, but they’d better get started: more than a quarter (28%) haven’t saved anything for retirement; almost half (48%) of millenials (those 18 to 36) are in the same boat.

What’s more, 27% of pre-retirees have been busy paying off debts rather than saving. It should come as no surprise, then, that roughly 50% of those between the ages of 50 and 65 have less than $100,000 for retirement, or that 75% of pre-retirement boomers says they’re stressed about retirement savings. Almost half of the pre-retirees said that they would delay retirement if necessary.

A breakdown by provinces showed that:

– Albertans were most likely to say that they’d delay retirement if necessary (55%), while only 40% of Quebecers said the same.

– Ontario and Quebec had the highest rates of residents who hadn’t saved for retirement (31%), with Manitoba having the lowest (15%).

– 39% of those in Saskatchewan said that they worried about not having enough retirement savings; while Albertans and Quebecs were the least worried (28%).

– Residents of British Columbia were the most concerned about the prospect of facing health problems in retirement (35%).

While the study showed that Canadian Gen-Xers were struggling to save for retirement, the 28% with no retirement savings are still doing better than their American counterparts, 37% of whom had nothing saved for retirement. They were also the generation the most concerned (88%) with saving for retirement.


Photo: Photo: iStock/c-George.