Canadians Getting Retirement Financial Advice More Likely to be Optimistic about Nest Egg

September 15, 2008 ( - About two-thirds of near-retirees in Canada (45 to 59 years old in 2007) say they will have a big enough retirement nest egg to maintain their standard of living when they stop working.

That was a key conclusion of a new research report released by Statistics Canada, a Canadian government agency.

According to the agency, that sense of optimism about one’s retirement finances was tied to whether the respondent was getting financial advice; those receiving the advice were more likely than those who didn’t get such input to be confident about their retirement savings. About three in 10 Canadians currently don’t receive advice.

The agency said the relationship between having confidence in retirement savings remains even when other characteristics such as income, pension coverage, and registered retirement savings plan assets are taken into account.

Of the 5.7 million employed near-retirees, Statistics Canada said 71% received financial advice from at least one source, and 50% received advice from at least one source in the financial industry.

According to the agency, a number of factors are associated with the likelihood of receiving financial advice and understanding public programs related to retirement preparations. These factors include an individual’s proximity to retirement, financial resources, and demographic characteristics.

Those further from their planned age of retirement are less likely to receive retirement-related information. In 2007, for example, 83% of individuals who planned to retire within five years typically received financial advice, compared with 67% of those for whom retirement was 15 or more years away.

Near-retirees with lower incomes and fewer assets are less likely to receive retirement-related information. For example, 52% of near-retirees with household incomes under $40,000 received financial advice compared with 82% of near-retirees with household incomes of $100,000 or more. Immigrants who arrived in Canada since 1990 were less likely to receive financial advice than individuals born in Canada.

This release is based on two reports in a dedicated issue of Canadian Social Trends that focuses on the retirement plans of individuals aged 45 to 59. Data for these reports draw upon results of the 2007 General Social Survey (GSS) on family, social support and retirement.