Dream of retirement seems elusive for many 55 and older

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many worried about retirement costs
Surprisingly, about one in six Canadians aged 55 or older have not started to prepare financially for those many years of retirement.

A recent study found Canadians 55 years and older do not feel they are on track with their retirement planning.

The Royal Bank completed an online survey of 2033 adult Canadians. The study included comments about financial security and a happy personal life.

First, I will cover the financial issues. 

Almost half of those who responded said their main concern was not having enough money to retire.

About a third of respondents were concerned with future healthcare costs. In a land where medical care is “free” those approaching their retirement feel they will be bearing the brunt of significant health care costs. 

The main cause of peoples’ worries was time. With extended life expectancy, many retirees will spend up to three decades out of the workforce. That is a lot of years to pay the bills without a paycheck. 

Surprisingly, about one in six Canadians aged 55 or older have not started to prepare financially for those many years of retirement.

Not preparing for retirement is reasonable for some.

Many have problems paying for everyday life and there just isn’t enough money left over to plan for the future. That is a reality we will have to face as a country with a significant number of retirees being financially dependent on the government for financial life support.

The most interesting aspect of the Royal Bank study was how Canadians view retirement from a personal perspective.

The study found that 15 per cent of people who have yet to retire where concerned about being alone.

Thirteen per cent felt they would miss the sense of purpose they feel from having employment.

Twelve per cent were not sure how they will pass the time.

Four per cent were concerned that others would not see them as productive members of society.

Two interesting statistics were revealed about how couples viewed retirement.

One in 10 felt that they would not have enough time with their spouse during retirement. However, four in 10 were worried about having too much time with their spouse.

My observation after seeing the statistics in the retirement study is that it’s time for us to start a conversation. 

Talk to your spouse, family, your financial advisor and lawyer. 

There are many things to consider. I suggest being proactive at planning for your golden years.