Coronavirus pandemic affecting retirement plans, savings: survey

Many Canadians are seeing the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on their retirement plans and ability to save, according to a new survey by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

In the survey, 40 per cent of respondents expressed concerns about the pandemic’s effects on their savings, with 23 per cent unable to contribute to a nest egg since mid-March. Of those who couldn’t set aside any savings, 26 per cent were between the ages of 34 and 55, while 20 per cent were 56 or older.

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In addition to finances, 32 per cent of respondents said they’ll travel less than planned or not at all in retirement, while many expect to work past retirement age, either due to a pandemic-related loss of income (30 per cent) or to cover increased costs (26 per cent). Another 40 per cent said they’ve delayed plans to downsize their primary residence.

The survey also found 68 per cent of men and 57 per cent of women felt confident about managing investments in retirement. Women were also more likely to turn to friends and family for retirement advice (25 per cent), while 23 per cent of men claimed to make all financial decisions on their own.

And of those who felt the coronavirus has affected their retirement plans, 24 per cent said they realized they can live with less and will significantly reduce their discretionary spending in the long term. Other lessons learned by respondents included the importance of monitoring personal finances (20 per cent) and saving for retirement (19 per cent), as well as keeping calm while markets are volatile (21 per cent).

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