Canadian Boomers Plan to Change the Face of Retirement

January 6, 2005 ( - Canadian baby boomers are once again redefining the terms of retirement, according to a new study.

A study conducted for Investors Group by Decima Research found sharp contrasts across many questions between current retirees and baby boomers, who start turning 59 this year. From vacations to volunteering, this group, at least in theory, plans to change the way retirement is done.

Some contrasts between the two groups are:

  • Fifty-six percent of working baby boomers (ages 45-54) say they plan to move during the harshest months of the winter, while only 27% of current retirees do.
  • Fifty-nine percent of baby boomers plan to devote a lot of their time to hobbies in their retirement, while only 45% of retired Canadians actually do so today.
  • Twenty-eight percent of baby boomers plan to purchase a vacation property, motor home or boat in their retirement, while only 15% of retired Canadians said that they plan to make or have made such a purchase in their retirement.
  • Eighty-two percent of baby boomers plan to do some or a lot of physical recreational activities, while only 64% of retired Canadians report doing the same.

Baby boomers’ expectations also affect those that follow. “The baby boomers’ shadow of influence is as long as ever,” said Debbie Ammeter, Vice President of Advanced Financial Planning for Investors Group, in a press release. “The research also shows that the retirement attitudes of working Canadians trailing the baby boomers (aged 18-44), are quite similar to the boomers, which suggests the boomers are once again redefining an important life stage, not only for themselves, but for generations to follow.”

Additional examples of baby boomer’s planned changes include the fact that 70% claim they plan to do some volunteer work in retirement. Of 18 to 44 year-olds, this number stands at 62%; for current retirees, this number sits at only 48%.

Despite 56% of baby boomers having so far failed to figure out how much income they will need in retirement, the study asserts that many have done a good job saving. Eighteen percent have household savings of over $250,000, while another 21% have saved between $100,000 and $250,000.

“While many baby boomers have done a good job of saving for retirement, without a plan they won’t have the reassurance that their expected retirement income will support their desired lifestyle,” said Ammeter in the news release.

Many baby boomers, and those behind them, don’t plan on entirely stopping work upon retirement, according to the survey. Fifty-one percent (and 53% of all working Canadians) plan to do some consulting work or self-employed work in retirement, compared to only 22% of retirees today.