Statistics Canada’s March job numbers show a jump in employment among women 55 and older
Today’s labour market survey from the federal agency shows that employment numbers are up, but young Canadians are not leading the way:
- Canada has seen a month-to-month net gain of 29,000 jobs.
- In the first quarter of 2015, the economy gained 63,000 jobs, many of which were part-time positions.
- Women aged 55 and older found employment in March.
- Since March 2013, most of the increase in total employment was among people aged 55 and older, up 96,000 or 2.8 per cent.
The numbers concern Jeff Schwartz. The executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada wonders what is at the root of the increase in employment among older Canadians.
“It could simply mean that we are living healthier, longer lives, and we want to stay busy into our senior years,” says Schwartz. “But it could also reflect a worrying reality that many Canadians aren’t financially ready to retire.”
There is plenty of data to support Schwartz’s fears. During the recent rush to make RRSP contributions before the March 1st deadline, CIBC reported that more than half (54 per cent) of Canadians had no plans to contribute to their RRSP during the 2014 tax year.
Considering our inability to save for the future, it is no surprise that an October 2014 report from the Conference Board of Canada said that early retirement is a thing of the past, with 60 per cent of those on the cusp of retirement (55-64 years of age) reporting that they have not set aside enough money to comfortably retire.
In an effort to help Canadians meet their retirement goals, Consolidated Credit has put together the following tips to course-correct the wayward path to the Golden Years:
- Set your goals – What kind of a retirement do you envision? Lots of financial advice articles talk about seven-figure savings requirements, but it entirely depends on you. Will you travel? Will you downsize? Will you buy luxury items? Check out our educational booklet on retirement to help you figure out our retirement goals.
- What’s it going to take? – Once you have your goals in mind, try the Canadian Government’s Retirement Income Calculator. Enter your financial information and see if you will hit your target or if you’ll fall short. Knowing where you stand will allow you to make the necessary adjustments.
- Start early – The sooner you start saving for retirement, the better. Adding small amounts to an RRSP in your 20’s gives your money 40 years of growth. Starting later would require much bigger investments to get the same results.
- Know your options – There is a range of ways you can fund your retirement, including public and private funds. Check out our “Planning for your Golden Years” section for some ideas.
- Eliminate debt – Everyone strives to be debt-free in retirement, but not everyone is successful. Attack your debt while still earning an income, or, seek help from a non-profit credit counselling service if your debt is unmanageable.
“Making smart financial decisions today will ensure that you will only work in your old age if you want to, not because you need to” adds Schwartz.
If debt is getting in the way of saving for a comfortable retirement, call today and speak to a trained credit counsellor. They will give you personalized advice on how you can conquer your debt and get a firm grip on your finances. You can also try out Free Debt Analysis online.