Retirement is changing in big ways and one of the biggest drivers of change are the baby boomers. The baby boom started back in 1946 and for 20 years, there was a massive number of babies born. The earliest boomer has turned 65 and for the next 20 years we are about to see massive number of people deal with retirement.
Related article: The changing face of retirement
For the past 15 years, I have been teaching retirement workshops and one of the biggest changes to planning is that more and more of these boomers are planning to work in retirement.
Sun Life has just release their Fifth annual Unretirement Index survey. New research by Sun Life and their Unretirement index suggests that the latest trend is that boomers are planning to work longer and retire later. Heres some of their key findings.
Fewer Canadians plan to be retired at 66
For the first time in five years of tracking retirement trends, the index found that the number of Canadians who expect to be retired at 66 (27 per cent) is almost equal to Canadians who expect to be working full time at 66 (26 per cent) and almost another third (32 per cent) expect to be working part time at 66.
“The dream of being able to afford a full retirement at age 66 is declining among Canadians, it’s being replaced by the reality that many people expect to be working beyond the traditional retirement age,” said Kevin Dougherty, President, Sun Life Financial Canada. “The aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008 has had a lasting impact with more Canadians expecting they will need to work longer as a result.”
Why are Canadians planning to work past 65?
The survey revealed that more Canadians are expecting to work past 66 because of necessity and fear of outliving their savings:
- 63 per cent expect they will need to work past 66 compared with 37 per cent wanting to work.
- With Canadians expecting to be retired for an average of 20 years, over a third (38 per cent) say there is a serious risk of outliving their retirement savings.
- Almost a third (31 per cent) of Canadians are not at all confident that they will have enough for medical expenses.
The survey also found that Canadians have a gap in their thinking about retirement savings. They anticipate requiring an average income of $46,000 per year for their retirement yet they are only aiming to have $385,687 in retirement savings (excluding their home and other property).
At the same time, only a quarter of Canadians (23 per cent) stated saving for retirement was their number one priority. Paying down debt or credit cards was the number one priority for nearly half of Canadians. The priority placed on saving for retirement varies with age. It was a top financial priority for 37 per cent of early Boomers in the 57 to 65 year age group. The number dropped to 12 per cent of people in Generation X – 30 to 46 year old age group – who say it’s their top financial priority.
In terms of their investments, interest rates are on the minds of Canadians. Twice as many Canadians (25 per cent) want the interest rate go up in 2013, compared with the number who want to see it decline (13 per cent). There are also differences in age groups. Thirty one per cent of early boomers (age 57 to 65) want to see the interest rate rise compared to 24 per cent of Gen Xers (age 30 to 46) and late boomers (age 47 to 56).