Survey Respondents Excited about Retirement Prospects

December 7, 2005 ( - A new Canadian survey has found that those polled see their retirement years as something very different than their parents did.

A news release said that BMO Financial The BMO Retirement Trends Study, found that a whopping 87% of Canadians as least 45 years old agreed that the word “retirement” needed to be redefined.

Asked to select one of eight phrases to describe the “new” retirement, respondents made the following choices:

  • “the next stage of my life” (63%)
  • “the rest of my life” (58%)
  • “Time to pursue my dreams” (47%)
  • “The second half of my life” (46%)
  • “My years” (45%)
  • “A new beginning” (45%)
  • “My prime time” (36%)
  • “The giving years” (27%).

The survey findings also include that there is a sense of optimism shared by both retirees and pre-retirees. The top phrases selected by both groups to describe retirement, included “freedom,” “more leisure time,” “the next stage of my life,” “fun” and “confidence”. In fact, 74 % of retirees and 73% of pre-retirees picked “freedom” while only 5% of retirees and 7% of pre-retirees chose “anxiety.”

In reality, pre-retirees will work more than their older counterparts, according to the survey. When pre-retirees were asked about working after traditional retirement, 58% plan on working for an employer in some capacity and half expect to spend some time working for their own or family business when they retire. Only 16% of current retirees spend a great deal or some time working for an employer and 17% of current retirees spend a great deal or some time working for their own or family business.

The primary reason pre-retirees expect to be working in retirement is to be “mentally active” (71%), followed by “to keep in touch with people” (63%), “to earn money” (61), “to be physically active” (56%), “to keep busy” (51%) and “to keep from being bored” (49%).

Men and women appear to retire for different reasons. While responses to other reasons for retiring are similar between men and women, men are more likely than women to have retired because they “felt they had enough money to retire” (31% vs. 19% for women). Women are more likely than men to list “a health condition” (21% vs. 16% for men).

Two thirds of retirees and pre-retirees have or will have debt in retirement. Sixty-four percent of retirees carry debt into retirement and among these, more than one in four (28 %) don’t feel comfortable with their amount of debt. More than two thirds (68 %) of pre-retirees expect to carry debt into retirement.

The Ipsos Reid/BMO online survey was conducted from October 21 to October 27, 2005. For the survey, a randomly selected sample of 5,325 financial decisionmakers age 45 or over with at least $25,000 in financial assets completed an online poll.