Canadians plan to work longer, fear finances won’t recover after pandemic, finds surveys

While working Canadians expect to retire, on average, at age 62, they’ll require $878,000 in retirement savings, more than twice the amount of current retirees, according to a new study by Mackenzie Investments.

It found 45 per cent of respondents who are still working said they plan to continue doing so in some capacity, compared to just nine per cent of those who are currently retired. And while the survey found respondents had relatively low awareness and comfort with concepts like managing investments post-retirement and retirement budgeting, many wished to be more knowledgeable.

Read: Older Canadians coping better than younger demographics in pandemic: study

Another survey, published this week in advance of Financial Literacy Month, found the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is significantly affecting Canadians’ financial health and outlooks.

According to the report by FP Canada, 30 per cent of respondents said they likely won’t financially recover from the crisis, a figure that increased to 36 per cent among Canadians between the ages of 45 and 54. Forty-one per cent said they’re in a worse financial situation today than before the pandemic began, while 42 per cent said they weren’t in a financial position to weather the second wave.

More than a third of respondents said they had to draw from personal savings or take on new debt to make up for shortfalls and cover expenses.

Read: 81% of Canadians say coronavirus is negatively affecting their mental health: survey

Fifty-one per cent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 said they’ve taken advantage of a government subsidy or private-sector deferral program, including 29 per cent who relied on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Half of younger Canadians polled said they borrowed money to make up for financial shortfalls and 15 per cent turned to family for funds.

In addition, a new survey by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada found a third of Canadians have experienced increased financial management stress due to the pandemic.

While 46 per cent said their financial situation was the same as last year, 31 per cent of respondents saw a decrease in income, while 30 per cent had to reduce the amount they’re saving. Twenty-one per cent said they planned to retire later than expected.

Read: Coronavirus pandemic affecting retirement plans, savings: survey