Canadians Feeling the Pinch Too

August 4, 2009 ( - A recent survey from ING DIRECT finds North Americans are the most pessimistic about their retirement plans following the economic downturn.

According to a press release, 29% of Canadians surveyed say the recession has already taken a toll on their retirement plans, and a third of those expect to work an extra 10 years or more. The number is virtually the same among U.S. respondents (see What Would You Sacrifice to Retire Earlier? ).

However, ranking 2nd, Canadians continue to save at the same pace or more than they have been over the past six months (77%), just behind Austria (78%), but ahead of the rest of the countries, including the U.S.A. (72%), U.K. (65%), France (60%) and Italy (59%), the press release said.

Canadians ranked “creating a buffer or cushion” as the number one reason to save (26%), and they also cited “uncertainty about the future” (18%), and “saving for retirement” (16%) as key reasons to save.

Most Canadians are also doing things differently to save money by spending less (80%), cutting unnecessary or small luxury items (56%), saving energy (turning off lights, etc) (50%), and spending more time at home (50%). Many have cut back or delayed spending on bigger-ticket items like new vehicles, homes, or home renovations (40%).

The survey found Canadians are also cutting back by cooking at home and bringing lunch to work (44%), avoiding credit card purchases (40%), and travelling less (35%).