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May 24, 2021

Canadians enjoying retirement, but pre-retirees not so confident

Retired Canadians with assets of at least $100,000 are enjoying retirement, with more than half (56%) saying their quality of life has improved, according to a recent ‘Retirement Myths and Realities Poll’, courtesy of RBC.

The vast majority report they’re having a successful retirement (95%), with the biggest key to retirement success being realistic expectations (30%).

On the other hand, only 38% of older Canadians who hope to retire soon expect life to improve after they quit work, with half (50%) expecting no significant change, RBC reports.

Not that it’s all good news. Just over half of retirees (55%) and 65% of pre-retirees admit to having some second thoughts about their approach to life after work.

Some regrets among retirees include not taking better care of themselves (13%); not starting to save earlier for retirement (12%); and not travelling enough (7%).

This uncertainty mirrors recent research from Washington’s Employee Benefits Research Institute, which reports that seven of 10 U.S. workers have simply given up on the idea of ever retiring.  

“Those currently working are more skeptical than those actually in retirement” about whether they’ll even have enough to live on, said Craig Copeland, senior research associate at EBRI. “It’s hard to say for certain whether that fear is justified. Certainly, changes to Social Security or Medicare would make it much more difficult.”

There was also an underlying anxiety about the sources of retirement income on which respondents in each country said they planned to rely. Many expect they won’t live as well as their parents in retirement and aren't quite sure just what to do about it.

Sound familiar? What are your retirement prospects? If your parents are older, how are things working out for them?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...