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A national study of Canadians with more than $100,000 in investable assets shows that worry over healthcare needs has emerged as the second most important driver, behind retirement itself.

Among investors under 50, 34% identify healthcare as a priority compared with the average of 46% of all respondents, but even among this younger group, healthcare needs emerge as a significant rationale for investments.

Even among respondents with more than $1 million in investable assets, 41% identify healthcare needs as an important investment objective.

“The findings around healthcare were a surprise,” says John Cucchiella, senior vice-president and head of retail at Dundee Goodman Private Wealth. “We thought that priorities like travel and leaving a legacy for kids or charities would be top of mind. I think the wealth management industry in Canada may be a bit out of touch with their clients.”

The findings indicate that, with the boomer retirement wave about to crest, many Canadians are concerned about the financial challenges that arise from an aging population and rising life expectancy in the developed world. Healthcare costs increase dramatically as populations age, and many Canadians are well aware of this fact through their experience with the needs of elderly parents.

“Immediacy crystalizes priorities,” explains Christopher Kelly, the Strategic Counsel partner who designed and directed the survey. “We are all having to think realistically about what we’ll need in order to get by when we stop working, and I expect that healthcare costs will become a priority for a growing number of us for the foreseeable future.”

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Copyright © 2016 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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