A desire to do more with their golden years will keep a majority of baby boomers working through retirement, according to the latest Consumerology Report.

“While most Canadians view retirement as a ‘second life’—an opportunity to do the things they really want—we found three quarters of Canadians are financially unprepared to afford the lifestyle they imagine,” says Jack Bensimon, president of Bensimon Byrne the Toronto-based advertising agency that commissioned the report. “The ‘new retirement’ will look a lot more like a ‘working retirement,’ as retirees try to afford the quality of life they want to maintain.”

Saving enough?
Only one in 10 respondents indicate that they believe they have enough saved to live comfortably in retirement, and most indicate they do not have a pension plan—36% say they have a defined benefit plan, while 18% have a defined contribution plan. The majority indicates they expect personal savings (67%) and either the Canada Pension Plan (65%) or Quebec Pension Plan (66%) to be important sources of income in retirement. Less than half (45%) say their employer-sponsored pension will play an important role in their financial security.

The report findings show that only one in three Canadians expect to retire before age 65, while almost half expect to still be working in some capacity during retirement. A catalyst for this attitude seems to be the desire to continue living a lifestyle similar to that of pre-retirement years.

Retirement priorities
Most non-retired respondents placed spending time with family (73%) and taking care of their spouse (62%) at the top of their retirement-years priority list, financially driven desires such as travel (62%) and helping children financially (53%) were also high on the list. For those respondents who are already retired, they valued the ability to travel (53%) and helping children financially (42%), suggesting that retirement years could begin to look very different with the coming generation.

Despite their desire to do more in retirement and their perceived shortfall in retirement income, 45% of those not yet retired say they expect their retirement years to be “the best part of my life.” Forty-eight percent say they wish the government had done more to prepare them financially for retirement.

“Working people are turning a blind eye to the realities of financing their ideal retirement,” says Bensimon. “They acknowledge they are not confident they have enough savings to pay for their retirement, but don’t consider that fact when planning their future.” consumerology.ca Read the full report