Many Canadians to Keep Working in Retirement

January 3, 2007 ( - Nearly six in 10 (58%) working Canadians plan to do paid work in retirement - more than double the 23% of current retirees who do so, according to a new survey.

A news release from Investors Group, a Winnipeg-based financial advisory firm, said its survey found 65% of those in the 45 to 64 year old age group planned to stay in the labor force in their later years.

The majority of working Canadians (56%) agreed they would not have enough money to live on if they stop working entirely, but that was not the only reason for staying active. Maintaining social connections and gaining new experiences also appeared to be on the minds of Canadians as they envision their retirement lifestyle. Thirty percent of survey respondents said the opportunity to stay connected with other people was a benefit of working in retirement.

The research showed gender differences: Men were more likely to say the satisfaction of making a contribution/having something to do is the greatest benefit of working in retirement (46% vs. 26% of women), while women were more driven by the desire for social connection to continue working in retirement (37% vs. 26% of men).

Women were also more likely to say money is an important motivator for working in retirement (34% vs. 28% of men). In addition, more women said their physical health is better than their financial health (70% vs. 64% of men), according to the survey.

Working Canadians may want learn the lessons from the experiences of their retired counterparts. While only 8% of non-retired Canadians said they have a health condition that might prompt them to retire earlier than they want, 21% of retired Canadians said they have actually encountered a health condition that has forced them out of the labor force.

Also, while Canadians on average said they think they will retire at age 61, 42% of retired respondents said they did not start thinking seriously about retirement until after age 50.

Using an Adviser

The Investors Group survey also found that, while the notion of their physical health was high on respondents’ personal agendas, many were not taking their interest in their financial health to the point of meeting with an adviser. Some 46% of Canadians get help in financial management from an adviser, according to the data.

“Canadians are increasingly focused on improving their physical fitness, but it is equally important to establish healthy habits to ensure sound financial fitness,” said Debbie Ammeter, Investors Group’s Vice President of Advanced Financial Planning Support, in the release. “Physical health and financial health are not mutually exclusive – both are essential to longevity and a prosperous future.”

The research found the higher their household income, the more likely Canadians were to work with a financial adviser. “Professional financial advice is not something reserved for the wealthy,” advised Ammeter. “You do not just use an adviser to manage the money you’ve got; you work with an adviser to plan for the money you want.”

It appears the proof is in the pudding – 76% of those who are not retired and 80% of those who are retired said working with an adviser has helped them be more prepared for a comfortable retirement.

When it comes to funding their retirement, Canadians are overwhelmingly counting on RRSPs and government pensions as a source of income, but those currently in retirement are counting more on government programs. Canadians are also relying on employer-sponsored pensions, but many are lacking knowledge about their plans. Of those with a plan, 51% of non-retired and 45% of retired respondents did not know if their plan was defined benefit or defined contribution.

The Decima data was gathered between October 20 and October 30, 2006, through Decima eVox, the company’s large national online panel. Results are based on a sample of 2,170 Canadians.