Today’s Retirement Reality

We all like to compare ourselves with our peers to see how we measure up to everyone else.

Here are some retirement statistics from the most recent Canadian Census, Statistics Canada and various surveys.

Age statistics

  • In Canada in 2014 the average age was 58.
  • The baby boom demographic, representing those born between 1946 and 1966, represents 30% of the population.
  • Within 10 years, those age 55 and over will outnumber children.
  • One in seven Canadians are now elderly and two thirds of the very elderly are women.
  • Average life expectancy is 82.5 years for women and 77.7 years for men.

Retirement statistics

  • 7% of Canadians aged 55 and over had already retired once. Of this group, 17% returned to work.
  • 48% returned to some form of work for financial reasons. The others had new, interesting job offers.
  • 23% retired initially due to personal and family responsibilities or care giving.
  • 8% retired initially due to personal health concerns.
  • 6% retired because they qualified for full pension benefits.

Debt in retirement

  • Over one third have retired with some form of debt – mostly mortgages, but they are also dealing with increasing credit card debt.
  • The average debt for consumers over 65 has climbed over 6.5% – more that any other age group.
  • The average debt amount is $47,000.
  • The number declaring bankruptcy is growing. 16% of all debtors who filed for bankruptcy were over 55.

Retirement savings

  • 63% of survey respondents who has household assets of between $250,000 and $600,000 are satisfied with their retirement savings.
  • 81% are confident they will be able to take care of basic living expenses.
  • 67% are confident they will have enough money to pursue their hobbies and interests and enjoy the lifestyle they want.

Home sweet home

  • 40% of boomer retirees don’t plan to move to a smaller home, preferring the bigger spaces and yards in their family home.
  • 16% describe themselves as snowbirds, spending time in warm weather spots in the US and Mexico for up to 6 months a year.

Final thoughts

When you consider all the variables such as careers, incomes, pensions, age at retirement, preferences, health and interests you can conclude that virtually every retirement is going to be unique.

But despite the bleak headlines most retirees seem to be satisfied with their lifestyles.

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  1. Kathy Your Net Worth Manager on May 29, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Making for interesting thoughts on how over 55 outnumbering the children will impact. Housing. Stock Market. Care homes and helpers. Taxation . Healthcare system. More services we take for granted as “free” now will be income and means tested.

  2. Jack Rankin on May 29, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Kathy, they will be delisted and not available to almost anyone.

    However, we don’t know how the economy will perform. It may be 1% to 2% higher than they predict and things may be better than we think.

    I am more concerned about people’s debt levels and how the combination of higher taxation, general cost of living could push millions into bankruptcy or just terrible poverty.

  3. Jim on May 31, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    The effect of an aging population has been well studied and is far more nuanced than this article suggests. The implications for society are exaggerated by financial advisers, politicians and others with vested interests. For additional REAL information, read this:

  4. Lawrence on May 31, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Jim, thanks for the link. It is a very thought provoking article.

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