Canadians nearing retirement are worrying about whether they can.
A recent poll of adult Canadians by mutual funds company Franklin Templeton Investments found their opinions on retirement divided.
When asked how they feel retirement will differ from previous generations, Canadians were fairly evenly split, with 31 percent of respondents indicating they believe retiring now will be better, 36 percent indicating that they think it will be worse and 32 percent believing it will be comparable to generations past.
Canadians aged 45 to 54 expressed the greatest concern, with 41 percent expecting their retirement to be worse than previous generations and only 26 percent expecting it to be better. “Pre-retirees” aged 18 to 24 predictably showed more confidence, with 37 percent holding a favourable outlook for retirement.
When asked about their stress associated with retirement, the 18-to-24 group was matched only by those aged 65 and over by their minimal stress levels – 40 percent of the young adults and a whopping 45 percent of the seniors were unfazed by their retirement savings and investments.
The highest stress levels? Ages 45 to 54, with nearly 4 in 5 indicating at least some level of stress, and 2 in 5 listing that stress level as moderate to severe.
According to Michael Doshier, Vice President of Marketing for Franklin Templeton Investments, retirement anxiety peaks about 11 to 15 years before retirement, which Doshier says indicates that people have begun thinking about retirement earlier than expected.
When asked what they would do if they were unable to retire as planned because of insufficient finances, “retire later” was the top response (nearly 70 percent), and almost one third of survey respondents who had already retired indicated that they sadly did not retire by choice – a real eye-opener, says Jeff Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.
“In today’s economy, people should really be thinking about retirement sooner rather than later” Schwartz explains. “Clearly Canadians are concerned about the uncertainty of retirement, and are trying to prepare to the best of their ability. With a clear financial plan, pre-retirees can focus on what needs to be done to help them achieve financial stability and, in turn, a happy and peaceful retirement.”