Retirees Warn of Misconceptions About Retirement

A recent survey suggests that retirement reality may not match expectations


If you think you’ll be spending the winter months after you retire lazing in the southern sun, you’re sharing the dream of almost a third of Canadians pre-retirees. According to survey results announced in January, 29% of pre-retirees polled expect to be snowbirds one day—but among the retirees who took part in the survey, only 18% actually do head south. Half (51%) of the retired crowd said that time with family was more important.

The biennial RBC “Retirement Myths & Realities” poll revealed two other common misconceptions about retirement.

While many Canadians assume they’ll know the date they’ll retire well in advance, a lot of us are caught off guard. More than half (55%) of the pre-retirees polled said they expect to know their retirement date more than a year ahead of time, but only 39% of retirees had that experience; 16% had no warning at all.

Finally, precisely half of the pre-retirees said they expect to work during their retirement, but only 11% of retirees report working full-time or even part-time. Those who hope to work after retiring said their goals were to stay active, to prevent boredom, and to supplement their pension income; 43% said they expect to work for economic reasons.

Photo: iStock/kali9.