81% of gig workers uncertain, worried about retirement: survey

The gig economy has changed many Canadians’ ability to manage their finances and plan for retirement, according to a new survey by TD Canada Trust.

The survey found only 11 per cent of non-traditional employees feel secure about their retirement. One in five (20 per cent) survey respondents who describe themselves as gig workers, job jumpers or postponed professionals said they’re waiting to earn more money before they start saving for retirement. As well, 41 per cent aren’t sure when they’ll retire given their job situation, while about three quarters (76 per cent) wish they had saved for retirement earlier in their career.

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Planning for retirement is even more challenging for Canadians who have joined this flexible workforce, said Jennifer Diplock, associate vice-president of personal savings and investing at TD Canada Trust, in a news release. “An increasing number of Canadians are choosing temporary or non-traditional employment and are having to rethink retirement – specifically what retirement will look like for them and what steps they’ll need to take to feel confident about achieving their retirement goals.”

Indeed, the survey found 72 per cent of this workforce demographic find it difficult to save for retirement, and 64 per cent said they anticipate they’ll be working into their senior years. Survey respondents said they’ve postponed saving for retirement to pay for daily expenses (49 per cent), existing debt (32 per cent) and their lifestyle (27 per cent).

“Many employers no longer offer a pension plan and the onus now falls on employees to not only self-fund their retirement, but to also determine how much money they’ll need and how to save for it,” said Diplock. “This shift in planning for retirement can be daunting, which is why it’s more important than ever to have a personalized plan in place to help make your retirement whatever you want it to be.”

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